Accepting half-compliance

Monkey has started the half-compliance. It’s where you give the child a demand and they sort of do the demand whilst retaining control themselves. If you tell Monkey to sit on the chair he will sit on the floor. If you tell him he can have one sweet he will say ‘two sweets’ in his really cute voice that makes you say ‘well okay then’. If you tell him to eat his dinner he will say ‘drink’ and have his drink instead.

Half-compliance. It’s one of the milder demand avoidance tactics and it quite brilliant when you think about it, it gives everyone what they want. The child kind of does what you want them to do, the child sort of does what they want, it’s a win-win. I’ve found it’s best to let this tactic slide rather than trying to exert my will and make him do exactly what I say (unless he’s doing something dangerous). Forcing the issue just causes further non-compliance and will make him use less favourable avoidance tactics.

There’s nothing wrong with letting the child retain some control over a situation, especially when the only downside to him not fully complying is me not getting what I want (and I’d have to be a pretty petty adult to complain about that). If there’s a real danger or problem to the half-compliance though, that’s when other tactics may be needed. Like when I tell Monkey to get out of the kitchen because I’m holding something heavy and hot and he’s in the way (I don’t want it dropping on him) then it would be better if he did as he was told. Of course he wants to do whatever he came into the kitchen for in the first place and his way of half-complying is to quickly do whatever he came in for and then leave. Only I don’t have the time to wait until he’s finished. Distraction can be helpful here. ‘Watch out Ton’s going to grab (insert name of favoured toy)’, add in some really good acting and he’s legging it out of the kitchen giving me time to put down hot item. Sometimes telling him that I will get it for him can work and he’ll toddle off into the living room to await his servant (me!), though he’s becoming very independent so that’s not working as well as it used to. Asking if he asked Daddy first can work, he hasn’t quite caught on that if he just says ‘yes’ that we might believe him without checking (no one tell him that 😉 ). Mini threats sometimes work too ‘if you’ve finished watching PawPatrol I’ll turn it off then’, occasionally results in him running into living room to continue watching the programme he’d been ignoring for last half an hour but still insisted be kept on.

Thankfully he’s still young so can be easily persuaded (read tricked) into doing something I need/want him to do. As he gets older than wont always work. I know from experience. Polar Bear just raises an eyebrow if you pretend something’s happening that isn’t. They say Autistic’s cant read others but he’s pretty damn good at telling when I’m acting, and I can be a pretty good actor when I need to be. I guess that’s one area my role playing trait comes in handy for parenting.

Polar Bear doesn’t really use the half-compliance any more, not unless he’s in a hyper/silly phase and you can tell by his face, he always has a cheeky grin on his face when he’s doing something he knows he shouldn’t do. Like if you ask him to pass you something (please nearly always works) and he grins then throws it at/over you or in the opposite direction. Or he’ll pretend to not know what you mean, ‘what, this one’ said whilst pointing to a completely different object to the one you asked for. It’s usually best to ignore him when he’s in this mood. It’ll pass. It’s kind of like the opposite of a meltdown. That anxiety has to come out some way, and when you’re in a good mood it’s hard to meltdown, so hyper silliness comes out instead. Nowadays Polar Bear uses a variety of avoidance tactics such as ignoring, distracting the adult and changing the subject. At the moment there’s a lot of moaning and complaining when asked to do some things, I think he’s hitting the teenager stage early. We do keep demands to a minimum anyway.

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