I am a hypocrite.
Every single day I am reminded of how much I detest labels and trying to pigeonhole people into being one thing or another. My belief is that it almost always does more harm than good and yet I am just as guilty of it.
A teen, a tween and a toddler. That’s my reply when asked about my kids. But Col is more than a teen, Bess is not just a tween and Moose is so much more than a toddler.
I think I hate this term most of all. We bring our child into this world and we dote on them. We feed and nurture them and then the moment they begin to develop their own sense of their little selves? BAM we slap on the label of “terrible two’s”. For what? For acting like a toddler? What were we expecting?
There are articles in loads of parenting magazines telling us how we should “tackle the terrible twos” but maybe we should be looking at things a little differently if we want to do this successfully. I think it should be less about tackling and more about understanding. Them and us.
Try to think about this from your kid’s perspective.
Your little darling is throwing himself on the floor in screaming rage because you “broke” their banana (a Moose favourite). It might seem silly to you but to him, it’s a very real and perfectly valid reason to feel upset. He is a tiny person trying to deal with feelings too big still for him to contain let alone understand.
During a tantrum any parent will tell you that reasoning with the child is not an option. That’s because the fight or flight part of their brain has taken over and they are attacking and defending rather than thinking and listening. With this in mind it is probably a waste of time trying to talk them out of it.
Deal With It. Or Don’t.
- I am a big fan of just letting them get on with it (and if it’s safe to do so, moving yourself away while they do)
- If you can sell them the idea that they now have 2 bananas then great! It worked for my daughter, never has for Moose though.
- If you’re in public don’t assume that you are being judged harshly. Most people are probably just trying to sympathise.
- Try to stay calm. Easier said than done, granted, but if you can then it helps. A lot.
- When your kid calms down (and they will, promise) then talk. Validate their feeling and maybe give it a name too.
It’s not pleasant to have to deal with a tantrum but if you can remember that really they still have so much to learn then I think you are halfway there already.
Add your own tips in the comments below!
Besides, if you think that two’s really are terrible then you my friend have never parented a three year old!
Mummy & Moose