Why toddlers defy

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Why toddlers defy

It's a toddler's job to be defiant and say, "no." This is how the toddler separates from you, becomes autonomous, finds his power, and learns about the world. It's the parent's job to continually, consistently, and repetitively set the limit so that the child learns to internalize the rule and be able to regulate his own behavior. As children are driven towards power, when a child is defiant, a parent can invite the child's cooperation creatively by helping them to get a sense that they will have power in the situation. For example, if the parent says to the child, "It's time for a bath," and the child says, "No." The parent can say to the child, "Do you want to climb in or do you want mommy to put you in?" Then the toddler hears "climb in" and moves away from the "no" and feels a sense of power and moves toward cooperation, which helps the parent to avoid a power struggle and create a win/win situation. This is truly the art of parenting.

View Allison LaTona, MFT's video on Why toddlers defy...


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Allison LaTona, MFT

Parent Educator, Marriage & Family Therapist

Allison LaTona, MFT, is a marriage and family therapist, whose life-changing consultation groups provide a practical and compassionate roadmap for those navigating the journey of parenthood. LaTona has 18 years of experience counseling children, families, couples and individuals, and has facilitated groups in private practice, as well as at Santa Monica's Babygroup with Donna Holloran, MSW, for over a decade. La Tona is an author for Twigtale, an online resource for creating transition books for young children.  

Focusing on respectful parenting philosophies, the power of language, emotional intelligence, and a child's natural developmental capabilities, LaTona offers specific strategies and invaluable insights that ease the inherent challenges of contemporary parenthood. Her work empowers parents with the vision and tools to create thriving and fulfilling family lives, and fosters long-term connections within a supportive community. With 13 years "in the trenches" raising two young children of her own, LaTona's personal path complements her professional credentials. Her empathy, experience, and dedication fuel her passionate commitment to her work.

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