If that’s your toddler’s favorite word, you aren’t alone.
No, she doesn’t want to put on her shoes.
No, she doesn’t want to go to the store, and no, she doesn’t want to leave.
No, she doesn’t want to take a bath, and no, she REALLY doesn’t want to go to bed.
As frustrating as it is, it’s normal. Blessedly typical development for your little one.
Your two (or three) year old is caught up in exploring her world, a world where she is fully mobile, can walk from room to room unescorted and can discover the wonders around her. She’s also learning about limits, how it’s not safe to wander out the back door without a parent and how pulling the cat’s tail might not be the best of ideas. All of that is important stuff.
You can help by setting limits. Yes, kids like limits. They like to know it’s OK to go play in their bedroom alone, but not in the backyard. They need to know that when mom says “Don’t touch,” it’s for a reason (it’s hot, it’s sharp, it’s dangerous).
You can be on their side. “I know you’re having fun and don’t want to leave the playground, but you’ll see Camden in two days, so let’s go home and you can help me make dinner.” Distraction works, too.
You can reinforce and praise good behavior. “Thank you so much for not throwing a fit when I told you to pick up your toys!”
Give them choices. “You can pick up your toys now and we can watch a movie, or you can choose not to pick up your toys, which means I’ll have to take the toys away for tomorrow and you can’t play with them.”
Whatever routes you choose, be consistent. Be consistent. Be consistent.