How to Win an Argument With My Daughter

coat, winter coat, pink coat“Let’s go, guys. Time to put coats on!”

“I’m not wearing a coat today!”

“Yes you are.”


“Honey, it’s zero degrees outside. Do you know how many degrees that is? None. That’s cold.”

“I’m wearing a sweater.”

“And you should be. But you need a coat, too.”



“I won’t be cold! I promise!”

“I’m not arguing about this. There’s your coat. Put it on.”

“What if I wear… a jacket?”

“You’ll actually wear a jacket?”


“Fine. There’s your jacket.”

(I point to her coat. She puts it on.)

“Great. Now let’s talk about gloves.”

47 comments on “How to Win an Argument With My Daughter

  1. God Bless You…when Laura would get in one of those moods, my mother would say “Thank God she’s not a twin”…but in your case, well…(I would have had 10 sets of twin boys to 1 girl! Just saying. Oh and if Laura reads this…I love you Laura!

  2. My son refuses to wear a coat too! Yesterday, when it was -11 when we left the house, he did not have his coat on. Or hat. Ot mittens.

    • I’ve thought about letting them have their way (my son sometimes refuses to wear his coat/hat/gloves). Honestly, I just don’t want to be judged by the other parents when I deliver my kids to school shivering in their short-sleeve shirts, even if they learn their lesson from it. 🙂

      • dang judgement from other parents! I just had to run him 10 feet to a in home daycare. I would probably put up more of a fight if I had to face other parents.

  3. Love your blog. Anything that works. We went through all that the entire fall. I’d allow my 3 year to go out without a jacket and gloves rather then have these daily struggles. As the weather got colder he began to get upset being cold. First he’d ask for his jacket and then his gloves. Today at 12 degrees, he put on both without a sound. It just reminded me that the natural consequences are the best.

    • I loved reading this because sometimes I see kids outside without coats, scarves etc and I think, “why didn’t that parent dress their kid properly!”……now I know lessons are being learned!

      • Yes, and when you see a kid in mismatched clothes, clothes that are the wrong size or something else that just looks horrible on them, it’s a safe bet the kid insisted on being dressed that way.

    • The other day, after I got my son in his coat and hat, he walked outside and said, “Daddy it’s not even cold!” (Mind you, it was about 10 degrees, and he could see his breath.) About 30 seconds later, he was asking me to carry him, because he was so cold.

  4. LOL..I remember those days…I once bought a brand new yellow jacket at Nordstrom for my two year old to wear because it was raining. As we were leaving the store she refused to put the jacket on and threw a tantrum & stomped on the coat, causing Nordstrom security to surround us at the exit with accusatory looks……

    as my daughter continued her asked if they could help..I said “yes..I would like to return this jacket….with my daughter in it..”
    Great post Mommyman..

  5. Your post strikes a familiar chord. I managed to threaten or trick mine into wearing their coats until they were big enough to pick me up and move me away from the door. Child number two’s argument as I type: “I can’t put my coat on because I can’t fit my hands in”. “Take off the wrist protections first, then”….. Sigh…..

    • Thanks, but I give the credit to Sutton on this one. She came up with the face-saving way out of our argument, changing “coat” to “jacket”. Sometimes, you learn the best tricks from your kids. 🙂

  6. Somehow I don’t think this will work with my teenaged son. If you think you won’t still be having this argument in 10 yrs., I’m here to tell you, you’re wrong!

  7. Ha! This made me laugh and reminded me of Claire two nights ago. She asked for Cheerios and I put a few in a bowl for her, after which the following dialogue ensued:
    Me: That is a lot.
    Claire: Ok.

    • Ha! Love it, Tom! Bennett has argued with me before (and vehemently) about the exact amount of cereal I should be putting in his bowl… and at the end, he usually eats exactly none of it.

  8. Love this. She won. You won. I give Piper a lot of false choices. Tonight at dinner: “Would you like five pieces of broccoli or six?” At bedtime: “How many books should we read? Two or three?” At the door: “Mittens or gloves?” Piper thinks she rules this place.

  9. I immediately had to share your blog with my friend in the USA who has a little adopted girl, Leah. This sums Leah up to a tee and I am sure my friend can well and truly relate. 😀

    • From the sound of these comments, this is an argument a lot of parents have had with their kids. One of the great things about having this blog is realizing I’m not alone. You can tell Leah’s parents the same thing!

  10. Do I have a bad conscience because I sold the rice to my pasta-only little monster by creatively re-naming them “rice-noodles”? ‘Course not! It’s like Deborah said, a win-win. Sometimes I wonder though whether he actually sees through the deception and simply humours me.

  11. I work in a day care and a church nursery so I see these toddler arguments all the time! Such fun! One I’m particularly proud of is when this little girl was uspet because she wanted to wear her sweater on our walk but hers was with her parents and not with us. I got a sweater out of the stash of clothes we’ve got and she refused because she wanted to wear her pink butterfly sweater. I said “well how about one with flowers? Look, this one has flowers!” And on with the sweater and out the door we went! Yes! I think the best part was the other 2 adults standing there with dropped jaws and a look of complete awe! 🙂 hehe But I too am a fan of “guiding” choices and love when the kids give you the idea like Sutton did and then you run with it and they are so shocked that they comply before they even realize what’s happened! Yay kids!

  12. I can remember going supermarket shopping with my children when my oldest was four and her brother was two and one half. My daughter said I want candy (over and over again) as we went up and down the aisles of Pathmark. At first I said no candy before dinner – then no you cannot have candy now – later after dinner – she insisted “I want candy now, Mommy” – “I want it now” – I responded and I want a lobster. Both kids looked shocked at me and didn’t say another word. Go figure.

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