My husband doesn't explain things to her, but when he gets mad or uses a loud voice she listens. He says she knows how to manipulate me and plays games with me until I lose my patience. I have also noticed that some days she has a real "attitude" toward me and anything I say will get the same negative reaction, but not with her father.
Is this a phase that normally occurs at this age? I need help in knowing how to talk to and discipline my daughter. I really like Dr. Dobson and others like him, but I just can't seem to make it work the way they describe. Help please.
His "discipline" is based on scaring her. You want her to know what she has done that merits discipline. Your approach, over time, will produce much more of an internalized sense of right and wrong than his. This internalization of right and wrong leads to self-discipline, the goal of all parental discipline. I know things don't always work out as they're explained in the "happily ever after examples" in experts' books. I will suggest, however, The Parent's Handbook, by Dinkmeyer and McKay. I think their suggestions are among the best offered for disciplining kids.
Your two year-old is doing her "assigned job" of being stubborn and manipulative; she actually is developing naturally by behaving in these ways. I would strongly suggest, however, that you and your husband get together on a unified discipline message and approach with her. It doesn't matter whose approach is "working" now; it matters that your parental discipline gives her the supportive teaching she needs.