Q: It seems our 1-year-old is showing willful disobedience. We tell him “no” and try to redirect but he does the same things over and over again. The things in question include turning over and not being cooperative when I’m trying to change him, slapping us in the face and standing up during bath time. I’m trying to be creative with ways to entertain him and make things fun but am getting weary. Any advice on how I can correct him?
A: I’m fairly certain this is your first child because the examples you gave of “willful disobedience” are typical of this age. By thinking of them as acts of defiance that need correction, you’re setting the stage for ongoing, and ever-worsening, power struggles. In other words, the problem here is not his behavior; it’s your perspective, your interpretation of his behavior.