Wednesday, February 4, 2015

All I know about the terrible twos

I find myself in a position I swore never to be in - at the beck & call of a two year old.

Before you think that I am just another mama who lets their child rule the roost - think again.

I have Googled more articles than you can shake a fist at - and believe me, I feel like shaking my fist when the whining and "no's" begin. Have mercy, Lord.

Faced with so many decisions that I can't even decide where to start. There are so many view points out there, and we all fall on one side or the other. (and honestly - sometimes switch views after finding one didn't work).

Do time outs. 
Don't do time outs - they'll throw your child straight into a tail spin of insecurity.

Confront the situation head-on.
Ignore the child so they don't see you buying into their shenanigans.

Make your toddler eat your crab-stuffed shrimp topped with a side of "no".
Slap PB&J on some WonderBread and call it a day! (I do love my PB&Js)

Avoid using the words "No", "Stop it", and other words they may use against you.
Try to out-do them, and tell them "No" more times than they can say the same ugly word.

While some of these are NOT any advise I was given, I want to drive home the point that there are a tank-full of tips from a host full of mamas, and whether their tips worked, or didn't work - your child is yours. A strategy that worked on Monday - will probably back-fire on Friday.

Deep breath, sweet mama.

I have learned however that my attitude can help the situation immensely. After all, I can only control where my own heart is at.

If I am rushed, he feels that as well. I can't tell you how many times I have told him "get your coat", only to have to run back to my room to grab my purse...then back for earrings...then quickly fill my coffee, add creamer, make my lunch........ good grief, Charlie Brown! You can only imagine by the time I am done running around, that he is fully engaged in playing with a toy and has NO interest in getting out the door. 

Some things I know to be true:

He needs my FULL attention more often than I am giving it to him. Can I just say to any parents out there - PUT DOWN THE PHONE/IPAD/TECHY DEVICE - and be present with your child! I don't say this from a place of judgment, because I would be condemning myself right along with you. But when Gavin sees that I am only partially interested in his needs it sets him off like a firecracker.

Hugs - lots and lots of hugs! Today, in fact, I dismantled an emotional bomb in him by just putting his little body in my arms and giving him a big bear hug. Gently telling him that I understood that he was upset, but we don't need to talk like that/hit... To which he replied in his sweet voice "ok mama".

Grace for each of you. There are days (Mondays usually) that I find myself in a frustrated state. Not anything in particular causing my poor attitude, just an "off day". Kids have those too - heavens have we had a few this past weekend! We survived though, and allowing myself the time to spend with him one-on-one, reading books, cuddling, or playing with his 'dinonos', turned the situation around. Now did the ugly "no's", "stop-its" and whining cease to exist forever? I wish.

It has helped when I allow grace to flow, realize each day is new - each situation is different, and there isn't a single parent who hasn't dealt with this EXACT thing at least once in their life.

If you are a parent who has side-stepped this phase in raising a toddler, please let me know - I'll buy you lunch, while you bestow your wisdom on me!