The terrible two’s that actually start way earlier
So, they call it the “terrible two’s”. When I wasn’t a mom yet and when Freja was still a baby, I was under the impression, that this term refers to toddler’s between the age of 2-3 years of age. Oh boy – was I wrong. Looking back I can now say: the terrible two’s start when the child is in his/her second year of life – this means when he/she turns one year, he/she enters the “terrible two’s”. At least that was how it went for us.
Now Freja is what I would call a super easy-going child. She’s usually happy, eats well, sleeps well etc. etc. But she’s also has my temper and her dad’s stubbornness and already with 20 months she knows exactly what she wants. And if she doesn’t get what she want, oh boy, all hell breaks loose. Now what do I do in those situations and what kind of tips can I give?
I strongly believe that while I try to understand her and meet her on eye’s level (literally, bend down to your child, otherwise you are talking down to him/her) children should also get some “guidelines” from their parents/caretakers. I don’t want to call them rules as this sounds too strikt in my opinion, but they should learn even at this age that life doesn’t always go the way they demand it to. But what do I actually do, when another temper tantrum is on it’s way:
- I try to reason with her to a certain level. Direct eye contact, face to face, on her level.
- I hug her very tight and tell her how much I love her.
- Distraction. Doesn’t always work, but quite often it does.
- Let her be. If she wants to roll on the floor screaming I let her. She does see that people look at her funny and when I just continue doing what I am doing (e.g. grocery shopping) she often realizes that maybe she should snap out of it.
- And lastly: give in to what they want. Not optimal but I am not free from never doing this.
I know there are mom’s, that try to reason with their children and I applaud them. I am honest: I neither have the patience nor always the time. And I have to admit: I am not sure how much a 20-months old overtired and hungry toddler understands after a long day at day care. But I do know that people have different opinions on that, which is good.
So, what kind of parent are you and how do you handle those kind of situations? I would love to hear (and possibly learn) from you.