I’m told I have a unique view of the world by many people. I try very hard to listen to alternate points of view, and I read people like Seth Godin and Tim Ferriss. To me, my view isn’t really unique, it’s just different from the mainstream.

It comes as little surprise to those same people that I have some different views on parenting. For example, Nick is quite stubborn, and I really like that. Yes, it makes my job as a parent harder, but I think a stubborn streak will serve him a lot better in life than subservience. I try to reason with Nick and talk to him in a normal (read: not baby) voice as much as possible. I get a lot of raised eyebrows, but I think I’m doing the right thing.

On Saturday, I was faced with a parenting dilemma. We had purchased a kite the day before, and we were intending to make it fly that afternoon. Mom had made a request: clean up the living room before we go out. Ordinarily, I will pitch in to pick up toys as long as Nick is doing something as well. Today, he decided that it was more fun to roll around on the couch. Mom was getting frustrated, and the point was fast approaching where we should start laying down the law by taking toys away if he didn’t listen. Instead, I chose an alternate method. I played stubborn.

I kept asking him to clean up his toys. Every time he left the room, I followed him and turned him back towards the living room. I shut every door upstairs so that he had no escape, and I blocked the areas of the living room that were clean.

This went on for about 45 minutes. I know – a really long time. I would ask, he would ignore. I would ask, he would try to run. Then, something strange happened. He sat down in the middle of the mess and started to cry. Then he stood up, picked up his toys, and put them all away. On top of that, he was a perfect child until he went to sleep for his nap. He listened, came when called, and behaved well.

I view this as a parenting victory – I think that my actions reinforced who was in charge and enforced the rule that he needs to listen to his parents. Still, I know there are a lot of people who would say that 45 minutes was WAY too long to wait, and that he should have had a spanking and grounding after being told twice.

What do you think? Did I do well, or was I a pushover? What methods do you use to get your toddler to listen?