So my darling little girl, Darby, is turning two in a little under two weeks, and she is in the full swing of the terrible twos. Though she is by no short order the worst two year old I have seen, looked after or heard of, she is definitely pushing the boundaries and exercising her authority.
Her behaviour shifted, seemingly overnight, from almost completely compliant and lovely, to rejecting ideas that aren’t hers, ignoring directions till the person giving them almost breaks, and generally behaving in a manner that is quite unlike her. Just the other day we were sitting on the couch watching Hey Duggee while she finished her yoghurt. She finished, or mostly finished, her yoghurt and decided that she didn’t want the container anymore, so summarily threw it across the room onto the floor, laughed, and went back to watching the show. Naturally I wasn’t going to accept this behaviour, so I took her off my lap, directed her to pick up the container and put it in the bin, something she has done hundreds of times before. Thats when the fight started. The NOs came streaming out of her mouth, the tears started and at one point a lashing out of the hands. I calmly instructed her to pick up the container and put it in the bin. After 5 minutes of back and forwards, and the threat of a smack if I counted to three, she finally picked up the container and put it in the bin. But then the real punishment began. She would ignore me, avoid me, not want to sit on my lap, give me a hug, or even look at me for nearly an hour. She would eventually get over it, and it would be as if nothing had happened, but dinner was around the corner and it would all soon start again.
My advice to those who are currently going through what my wife and I are is, Patience. I know at dinner time when you have had the argument that the food on your plate is exactly the same as theirs, or that it is indeed bedtime, or that the white walls are not the same as the white paper, it can be difficult. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. They do eventually grow out of it, you will gain your precious little angel back. In the mean time, share the love, if you have a partner at home, tag team. When you feel at your end, tag in your partner. I don’t mean to threaten your child with If you don’t behave I’ll get Daddy/Mummy, as that only undermines one of the parents authority. I mean ask your partner to join you, and give yourself an excuse to leave, like the bathroom or getting a drink. Then let your partner start with a fresh attitude and refreshed patience.
If you do find yourself on your own due to fly-in fly-out work or other various reasons, remember your patience will already be thin, ask the child to step up and show you what they have pictured in their own head. If your child is set on the orange plate to match their spoon, they may not communicate it very well. So instead of yelling, try asking them to show you what they want, a child is far more likely to be able to point or grab at what they want then actually describe it.
Stay strong and Maintain your Rage parents! Remember, you are awesome! If this is your first child, there is no manual for dealing with these little terrorising leeches that have been thrown into your family unit. If this is your second, third or tenth child, then remember that all children are different, so don’t rely on methods or techniques that worked with your others.
Do you have any tips or tricks from your children Terrible Twos? Any other advice for new or even the experienced parents? Please feel free to share it in the comments section below. Until Christmas Day,
Maintain the Rage