Avery has started standing and jumping on the furniture as a way of testing boundaries. We have told her that she needs to sit or lay down when she’s on the couch or the chairs, because she could fall and get hurt from standing and jumping. She wants to see just how far we’ll go to enforce this rule, and she needs to test us every single day in case we’ve changed the rule from the day before.
Avery: stands on couch
Me: please sit on your bum when you’re on the couch.
Avery: smirks, stays standing.
Me: Can you sit down on your own, or do you need me to help you get off the couch?
Avery: still smirking, starts stomping her feet.
Me: You’re showing me that you need help to get down. Lifts her onto the floor.
Avery: kicking and crying. Runs to the next piece of furniture, climbs up, and stands on it.
Me: Sit or I’ll help you down.
Avery: stomps and cries.
Me: lifts her down.
Avery: runs to the next chair, stands on it.
Me: lifts her down.
Me: pulls hair out in frustration.
Finally out of furniture to climb on, she gives up and runs off to play with something more appropriate. It is unclear who won.
If you’re interested in how we devise our game plan for dealing with boundary testing behaviour like this, I highly recommend two books: The Soul of Discipline and No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame.
I recommend both of these books, but No Bad Kids is a quicker read with very easy to follow ideas for actually responding to your kid’s behaviour in real time. The Soul of Discipline gets more into theory of misbehaviour and discipline.
Full disclosure: These are affiliate links, but I have not yet been accepted into Amazon’s Affiliate Program. I need to drive 3 sales in order for my blog to be considered for this program. If you’re interested in either of these books, purchasing through the links provided here will help me to qualify for the affiliate program. Belonging to the Amazon Affiliate Program will allow me to earn a very small commission from Amazon sales made through the affiliate links I provide on my blog.