The terrible twos!
Well let me just start with OMG….
My precious little girl has recently entered the ‘terrible twos’. Now I’m not one to ‘label’ people or stereotype, but after hearing stories about the ‘terrible twos’, I’m pretty certain that my little miss, has decided to join that club.
Let me start by saying that although I’ve had some questionable days with my 4 year old, nothing he ever said or did is even close to what my little miss does.
Maybe it’s a second child thing?
Maybe it’s a girl thing?
I’ve heard that girls can be more ‘bossy’ and also the second child learns from the first? My first isn’t badly behaved, although he can push boundaries, he is no where near as brave to push me to limits where my miss thinks it’s funny.
I really know when it started, but most days (of late) we have a tantrum of some sort and over petty things? – well things that seem petty to me.
We can have tantrums because I got her shoes that she didn’t want to wear.
She can throw a tantrum because she wanted to do her own hair.
Sometimes tantrums are because she wanted to sit on a particular part of the couch.
Or a tantrum can be caused when I open her snack when she wanted too.
Oh and let’s not forget when I get her the wrong colour cutlery for meal times, and the list goes on…
Anyway, each day is different and I’ve learnt not to expect 100% perfect behaviour all day long. Now I know that kids can’t be perfect, I definitely let things slide, but picking my battles is becoming more of a lifestyle choice.
I understand that tantrums are often sparked by a child’s frustration at their inability to complete a task or voice and explain themselves correctly. The child thinks that they should be able to do on their own things and their own way and when they don’t succeed, it seems like they have failed themselves and in return they throw a ‘doosey’.
On top of this frustration, toddlers quite often get frazzled doing simple things because they do not have the language skills to express their feelings which equates to their temper being shown, therefore throwing a ‘temper tantrum’.
I’ve learnt that tantrums are normal for the development of every child. Each child goes through this (maybe some not as bad as others) however These tantrums will decrease around age 4, once motor and language skills are better developed.
When it comes disciplining my little miss, during one of her many tantrums, I’ve learnt it’s important for me to remain calm and avoid inadvertently reinforcing the behaviour. If I don’t, it makes her worse. Sometimes I feel like laughing of throwing a tantrum myself (merely from frustration) but I keep it together. I am the adult. 😉
If I keep my emotions in check, I find she generally calms down sooner. If my emotions escalate or I yell or get cranky at her, her temper is 10 fold.
I remember laughing at her once and it was like adding fuel to a fire. She laid on the ground kicking and screaming and yelling “I no likey you, go away me now”.
I try not to confront her. Instead, I walk away and do something else, basically I ignore her. I don’t make eye contact or speak to her, I simply wait for her to calm down. This has helped with ensuring her that I am not reinforcing her bad behavior.
After the tantrum finishes I go and provide her with reassurance and guidance. Speaking to her in a relaxed and calm tone and telling her what she has said or done is not appreciated or nice. Sometimes she is receptive, others she just sobs and ignores me. I guess I can’t expect too much, she is only 2.
With each tantrum I’m trying to teach her how to express her feelings through words instead of throwing herself around and screaming.
Reassuring her that I still love her, but not her tantrums then we move on to the next activity.
I thought that having a very stubborn boy was tough, honestly my little miss is so defiant, stubborn, head strong and loves to assert herself. I know it’s only a phase and will soon pass, maybe I will miss it (possibly not) but I know it’s all a learning process for us both.
Have you a strong willed child?
What are your experiences with tantrums and the terrible twos?
I’d love to hear from you. Xx