The other day a mother came into the toy store with her young son, Nicolas. Her son was very well-behaved, and played quietly at the train table when she asked him to. My boss commented how pleasant the boy was, and she informed us that he had been having an awful day, and that this was the first time he had been content.
When it came time to leave, however, her son threw a fit and began disagreeing with everything his mother said. It was an amusing psychological response.
"Come on, it's time to go to Mandy's house."
"I don't want to go to Mandy's house!"
"But she's having a birthday party, and you'll get to have ice cream!"
"I don't want to have ice cream!"
"And you'll see all of your friends there!"
"I don't want to see all of my friends there!"
And so on. She put him in his stroller and I held the door open for them, encouraging poor Nicolas as he continued crying and carrying on.
"Stay strong, Nicolas!"
"I don't want to stay strong!" he wailed.