I am loathe to talk about the terrible twos in general. I mean, we all know that our children go through them, either around 2 or 3 (it’s actually a state of disequilibrium that occurs on the 1/2 years. That’s why you see behavioral issues at 18 mo, 2 1/2, 3 1/2 and occasionally 4 1/2.)
At the risk of not wanting to sound like a broken record and not wanting to hear a ton of rebuttals about how things will get worse, I often refuse to write about them.
Let me begin by saying that Bluebelle is an amazing kid. She’s funny and smart, says “pleeeese and tank you,” and is a good kid in general. She listens pretty well to others, although I’ve learned that she will go with the crowd in her gym class. The more kids are running around, the more she’ll run around with them and not hear the teacher. She’s normal. She’s bright.
We are also midway through her 2 year old year. She will be 2 1/2 in a few weeks, officially. This age is tricky, because I feel like I can get more done due to her independence, but if she is not in the mood for me to be doing it — everything grinds to a halt. We have the hair-trigger tantrums and often it feels like it takes the whole family to reign her in. It’s actually quite nice when the family comes to visit because we have 8 hands and eyes to keep on her — and we need it!
She wants to be doing whatever it is you are doing, with no regards to safety (which is normal and actually why this is the highest mortality time in childhood) and so it seems like I am constantly trying to redirect or discipline her. Often, the only time I can achieve this is by raising my voice and threatening punishment — and then following through because we know she won’t listen.
At the end of the day, I’m not sure if I’ve spoken in my angry voice more or my normal one. That breaks my heart.
I don’t like it when I’m angry and frustrated. I don’t know many that do. However, sometimes when you are parenting you tend to forget who’s in control of the situation. Combine her assertion for independence with a serious lack of sleep for both of us, and you get a Molotov cocktail.
Yesterday I saw this quote by Peggy O’Mara, “The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.”
I want my daughter’s inner voice to be confident. Self-assured. Firm but gentle. Not angry. Quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to become angry. Kind and compassionate.
I put a version of this quote on my phone. This way, every time I look at my phone (which I do all too often) I am reminded to be patient with her and put her needs before my desire to check Twitter or Facebook. I chose a picture of her in all her goofy glory. It’s kind of her personality in a nutshell. That’s the picture you see above.
I know that I am in no place new and uncharted in this world, but I can choose the kind of voice I give her.
If you are here with me, know you are not alone.
If you have learned some tips for keeping your sanity, please share. 🙂