Sometimes, the only way I can cope with the three-year-old-ness is by saying, "I can't talk to you until you do X," where X is the thing I have told him he needs to do. It's usually something completely unreasonable, like putting on his underpants. And then I have to question my methods while I listen to, "But Mo-ooooommmmm! I don't LIKE underpants! I like rough things!" (I told him he has to wear underpants because his pants will be too rough without them.)
Would you like to know how long a three-year-old can claim to "LIKE rough things" incessantly? I'll tell you. Forty-five straight minutes.
So let me ask you this. Is it a legitimate parenting strategy to calmly say, "I cannot talk to you or play with you until you put on your underpants," and then ignore the whining for forty-five minutes except for occasional repetitions of the "I can't talk to you" thing? Or is there a better strategy? I can usually keep it together enough to maintain a calm tone when I tell him I can't talk to him, but I often end up telling him he is driving me bananas and making me angry. I haven't yelled yet, but I am only human and there is a definite timbre of impatience and anger in my voice. I use this "technique" when I feel like I will LOSE MY MIND if I have to argue with him for one more second, and ignoring him seems better than losing it and screaming at him. I also use this method when I don't want to put him in time out because he will scream and wake the baby and then I will LOSE MY MIND.
What do you think?