At this age, your child’s non-compliance is his way of communicating, 'I am my own person. I’m separate from you'. In other words, he recognizes that mom and dad’s desires do not always match his own and that he can have his own likes, dislikes, and belongings.
What you need to know:
Your kiddo may continue to exhibit non-compliant behavior throughout his life as he explores his own unique identity, separate from his parents, although his way of expressing himself becomes increasingly sophisticated e.g style of dress, wearing sandals, etc. Common behaviors during this stage are frequent, use of the word “no,” difficulty sharing, claiming possessions as “mine”, picky eating, and throwing tantrums when he does not get his way.
Instead of becoming more restrictive during these times which will likely make the behavior worse, be flexible and use your child’s resistance as a barometer for when you may need to give your child more developmentally appropriate control over his choices and environment. Your child’s resistant behavior can be difficult to embrace at any age; however, responding harshly or with criticism only makes the behavior worse and can potentially damage your child’s self-esteem.