The Terribly Terrific Twos
Hey sweet mamas! Happy Friday. There are many things that unite all mothers across the world. From mom guilt to lack of rest we can all relate to one another.
But there is one phase of motherhood that every mother can instantly remember. The thought of it may make your heart skip a beat. It may make you get the shakes, or possibly become nauseous. That’s right, you know what it is ——-
The Terribly Terrific Twos.
Jaxen is 29 months which means he JUST turned two a few months ago. The first two weeks of Jaxen being two made me chuckle. I thought to myself “HA, if this is what the terrible twos looks like I got this hands down.”
Now four months later, I find myself questioning my ability to control my son!
On one hand I am well aware that this stage of life is necessary and critical to Jaxen’s development. He is learning that he has choices, a voices, opinions, and is exploring those choices, voices, and opinions. He’s learning to self regulate, and how to express his emotions, and have empathy for others.
But these facts do not help me from loosing my cool after asking him 1000 times to stop dropping peas on the floor during dinner.
In fact, I am in a constant battle with myself.
Jo, hes only two I tell myself. But 9 times out of 10 my frustrations overpower that thought, and the next thing I know I’m loosing my cool. Can you relate?
Along the way, I have found a few tips that work. I can not say that I practice these tips daily, but I try my best to stick to them.
Get on their level. For the most part, when I am trying to correct Jaxen, I’m across the room screaming “Hey don’t touch that, you’ll get electrocuted,” and for the most part Jaxen will continue to do whatever he was doing, with no regard to my request. BUT when I actually take the time to walk over, get on one knee, look him the eyes and speak, it makes a world of a difference!
Toddlers NEED explanations. I know, I know — growing up we had to do as we were told. Children needed to stay in their place and parents didn’t owe us anything, especially an explanation. Hear me out. We are talking about correcting a little person who has only been on this earth for two years and doesn’t even fully understand the way that the world works. If Jaxen hits his friend and I just say “Don’t hit him” and walk away, what did Jaxen learn from that? Nothing. He just knows mama said not to hit. But if I pull him to the side and say “Jaxen, when you hit your friends it makes them sad. It hurts their bodies, and their feelings. Hands are not for hitting, but what can you use your hands for?” I am leading him to think about his actions and how they affect others. Although Jaxen STILL hits, when I approach him, hes already telling me what he should’ve been using his hands for, and apologizing to his friend.
Ask Questions. Our initial response to our toddlers negative behavior is to correct them and move on. In my experience Jax will continue to repeat those behaviors, leaving me feeling frustrated. For example, I was sitting on the sofa on instagram, and Jax was playing with his train. He kept taking it and throwing it across the room. After telling him 10 times that balls are for throwing and trains stay on the ground, I decided to ask him why he was throwing the train. Do you know what this kid said to me? “Because I want mama to play with me!” He simply wanted my attention. Again, he’s been on this earth for less than three years and is still working through his emotions. Although its common sense to us to just ask, it’s not common sense to our toddlers. After explaining to Jax that he should use his words to ask me to play, he did, the throwing stopped, and the problem was solved!
Overall I would say be gentle with yourself, and be especially gentle with your little ones!
Let me know what works for you in the comments below!