Terrible Twos. When parents discuss this topic, I always see a certain look on their face. Dread. Fear. Confusion. I find that my own personal experience with my son turning two has been very different than the reputation that supersedes him — total shocker!
I wanted to give my two-year-old the benefit of the doubt. Imagine if you were barely able to understand and speak a language, yet you were expected to communicate; you'd lose your cool too! So, with that in mind, I decided to take my toddler and his tantrums head on.
Before getting started, I reminded myself that I would need to tap into as much patience as I can, and I keep in mind that he's watching me closely, learning by judging my reactions, so I needed to be careful how I deal with my frustration. I took the time to speak softly and slowly ; to be clear and concise with my words and to get down to his level and make eye contact.
On those occasions that he did lose his cool, I let him know that it's okay to feel however he's feeling and I wait for him to get it out of his system. When he's done and ready to talk, I let him know that everyone needs their space sometimes — and I make sure to give him some time of his own. I stay nearby, in case he needs me (and so he doesn't feel abandoned), but I try to stay level-headed so that he'll realize that I'm not trying to rush the moment away; just trying to give my guy some room to calm down.
Over time, the tantrums (surprisingly!) started to lessen. When he started to catch on and realize that he'll get the attention he wants when learned to use his words, it was like the tantrums weren't necessary anymore. I've even taught him a few words: mad, no and bad to help communicate what he's feeling. I have discovered that if I can find the funny in the fury, he forgets.
By far, parenting a toddler is not at all easy, but it is (oddly enough!) a bonding moment for us. I remain honest and at peace knowing that this stage will soon pass and I'll soon enough have another parenting challenge to work through.
How did you get through the terrible twos?