I have a 26-mo old very spunky daughter. She has always loved to climb, be curious and is very verbal. (She signs and has an older sister.) I am preggo with my 3rd girl and I hate labels but to give a clear picture, she has the typical middle child syndrome. Not really defiant (because I am BIG on following through with what I say and in giving choices within my perameters) but like has selective hearing almost.
My oldest (whom I seem to have figured out) is 4 is very much motivated by not upsetting her parents and is intrinsically motivated. Explaining why something is the case really works. (You can't touch the door as it is closing because it can pinch your fingers.) Not so much with my 26-mo old.
What currency is your child function under? My oldest has a currency of approval (which is the same as me) and I am very aware at the pros/cons of this but can't for the life of me figure out my youngest.
Example: Playing in the sand box. We review the rules before getting in (one is keep the sand in the box), model the appropraite behavior and give reminders. She starts fine and then starts dumping out the sand again. Redirect, explain, repeat, model ... still. After several warnings I finally warn her that if that happens again she will have to get out. Then she does it, I close it up and she walks away as if it doesn't bother her. (Although it must becasue my husband has this trait and says he uses that as a coping tool for not getting what he wants. Just pretend you don't want it.)
Or I will follow through with 'time-in' thinking about not doing what mom says, reasons why sand stays in the box etc. She says sorrry and really seems to understand and feel empathy but .... can't fugure out why she does this if she understands. SOMETIMES she does ask if I am mad anymore. I have figured out I need to reassure her that I love her even when I am mad and she is not listening.
I know that she understands because random times throughout the day she will give me a 'new' rule she has learned, 'don't throw sand.' etc.
HELP! Please.. your thoughts.