Her inner voice

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.

Not today.

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. 🙂

More about April

10 thoughts on “Her inner voice

  1. Amber C.

    I started reading about positive discipline which led me to grace-based discipline. You should check out the gentle christian mothers forum. Lots of great tools and mamas who’ve been there done that… learning how to parent with grace instead of punishment has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but so very much worth it! Miss baby zumba-ing with you and Miss Belle.

    1. April McGrew

      Amber – I have missed you and the ladies so much! That time in my life was exactly what I needed. I will definitely check out the gentle Christian mothers forum!

  2. Amanda

    I love that quote as well and remind myself of it frequently. And just how I talk around my children. Being a parent comes with a lot of pressure! But we all have our off days and that’s okay too.

    1. April McGrew

      Thank you for the reminder to cut myself a break! I need to remember that too. I find that starting my day a little earlier than B and spending time reading and meditating, I make better choices throughout the day. It’s like I let the day control me otherwise. Does that make sense? Thanks for commenting!

  3. Megan Card

    I’m so glad you linked up with us for the Mommy- Brain Mixer 🙂

    1. April McGrew

      Me too! I’m glad you hosted it! I want to do more link ups- I just feel like I hardly have time to keep up sometimes!

  4. Amanda E

    Thank you for this post! My daughter isn’t 2 year but I know she see’s my frustrations with her when she doesn’t listen or do what I say. It’s hard for me too because she’s at that age where she is wanting to be free and run around all the time and doesn’t want to snuggle or even sit with me. I know it’s not that she doesn’t want me but I wish I could get a good snuggle or hug from time to time. Sorry if that doesn’t make sense but I’m thankful for this post because I know she knows I love her and I know it probably won’t get easier as she gets older :/. I need to watch what I say so she won’t always see frustration with me. You are doing great momma! Keep up the good work!

    1. April McGrew

      B was the same way at that age. I started to wonder if she even knew her own name! Everything you said makes complete sense! I think that the snuggles will return, she’s just figuring out that she can do so much on her own! Thank you friend — I can tell by your posts how great you are as a mama too!

  5. ST

    My daughter is a little over 3 years old, and she’s wild and independent and somewhat rebellious. Yelling often happens. I needed to see this, because I need to remember that she responds better when I stay calm and don’t fly off the handle. Thank you!

    1. April McGrew

      This age is so hard! I understand that the more difficult they are now, the more independent and the greater leader they have the potential to be later. It’s just trying to figure out how to keep both you and your child alive during the process! ha! Good luck with your 3 year old – I’ll keep my fingers crossed for both of us!

Comments are closed.