While my son has just turn two, many fellow parents have warned me about the infamous 'Terrible Two'.
Honestly speaking, 2 months into my boy's 'Two', I have to say I am more than well-pleased to describe his 'Two' as his 'Terrific Two'.
Well, being as someone who really hates blending into social norms and sayings... there are some which totally repels me.
Words like.. 'If he goes childcare, he will SURELY fall sick." "Oh, he is turning two, brace for his terrible two."
These 'kind', well-meaning words often are a prick to my ears.
As a parent, I feel that I have the right to decide what kind of confessions I should think and make over my children's lives. If your life sucked, don't measure mine to yours. I am just starting right here with my boy.
If you don't know what's "Terrible Two"? Go google. Or go ask a fellow parent. They can and will tell you ALL ABOUT IT.
I am here to talk to you about the 'Terrific Two". Hey, Wait. I am not saying my son don't throw me his temper tantrum. Oh my... believe me.. He has his moments. But those massive moments of everyday tantrum? The crying? The black-flipping? No longer happening often.
Toddlers are one of the most misunderstood species in the entire universe. Their unruly, crazy expressions are often viewed as naughty or just plain bad behaviors. But often than not, their temper tantrums are really due to the lack of of ability to verbally express themselves and with their goo goo ya ya... their parents also have zero clue what they want.
Just the other day, I thought I heard my son said 'earpiece' please... I was like clueless and I was like "what? what? what?" " Why do you need earpiece?" Later next morning, I realised, he meant "LIGHTS PLEASE."
It is not just the inability to articulate properly. It is not knowing how to express correctly. Hey, lets face it. We are facing adults as old as in their 40s, 50s, not knowing how to handle their complex emotions. They walk off at the face of anger. They shout or scream vulgarities. They cower away at the tint of any negative emotions. Come on... some of us aren't even at our best behaviours aren't we?
Our little children as young as 1 year plus, can be sensitive to their environments and changes they go through. Go to a new school, or even simple transition like moving 20 steps from infant care area to graduate to a playgroup can give our these little ones alot of stress.
Stress? Ya... apparantly, in their small little bodies, they do have their big world out there. Or even a slight change in their routine. Eating first then shower or shower than eat? It so matters to them!
When your tod's behaviour moved from typical yelling, crying, rolling all over... to hitting you? You must beware. You must be reflective by now. You can feel frustrated that you are being treated wrongly, and you can feel hurt that your child disrespected you. Yet, I have to tell you the truth. This is a case of a major attention issue here. He needs your attention!
Your child is in plain, moved from telling, to screaming, to 'nudging'. He is crying out loud "Mommy! Hello!? I have a problem!" And they desperately need to be understood.
When your child is 18months and below, they could be faced with many triggers. The motor skills which is not quite there yet for certain play toys, or that they have been refused by some things which are dangerous for them.
At 18months of age, our tod will start to display their interests, likes and dislikes. They want to tell us what they really want and what they really dont want. Hence, this is the season, you will hear alot of 'No'. No No.
When my son turned 2, I hear him moved from No... to 'Dont Want".
After me suffering much with his tantrum in his earlier days, as early as bout 13months old, I have learnt the hard way out. I remove triggers, master the art of distractions (which work great till now by the way). I learn to really listen. I listen not just to the gibberish whatever he was saying words, I read his body language. And observing these languages have brought my son a long way now.
He is happy most of the time, he seldom have temper tantrums. I give him enough activity each day and esp weekends to stimulate his curious mind. I let him dispense his energy at the correct spaces.
Apart from giving your child all these great planned out activities and bonding, you need to set boundaries for him. Your child needs to know what is allowed and what is not allowed. And you must be serious in your warning and follow through with it. You cant just say a warning and give empty threats.
Following through our warnings to our children by teaching them consequences is a way to tell them that we do require them to have certain behaviours at the right time and space. And following through what we say as parents are our children's way of interpreting our CONSISTENCY. And remember, our little children are suckers for ROUTINE. CONSISTENCY.
At the same time, they will know who's words they can disrespect. They will always be trying to push buttons, test boundaries to see how far they can bend us. Yea... they are that smart. Our children need to know what they can or cannot do. If they do not have that clear idea, they will always be screaming for things they cannot have and things they cannot do. And all these longterm tantrums? Lets face it. It will make you enjoy parenthood lesser and lesser.
So if you want to enjoy your children? I suggest start from your own reflective self. Be creative in spending time with your tod. They are so adorable but yet these plushy cheeks can drive you nuts.
Terrible twos are really for lazy parents who put their blame on their children. Be the smart one. Create a Terrific Two in your own home! And you will love them everyday.