When your toddler looks at you with that fire in their eyes and the devil eyed grin on their face, you can tell that they are just thinking “dare me…” Their toes just inches for the edge of the couch as they tower there waiting to leap until you lock eyes with them.
The terrible two’s, it’s not a myth! It’s a real thing! They are trying to learn about the world around them, seeing what the limits are and how far they can push them. It’s hard!
I find myself countless times a day saying “NO”. No you can’t have more juice, no the dog is not to be ridden on, no you cannot color on the table… the list goes on.
I found myself preaching/barking a million times a day for her not to do something or to stop doing something. She was getting frustrated, I was getting frustrated, no one was getting their point across.
It took me a while to realize, I the adult, was the one with the communication issue. Can you believe that, the one with a Mass Communication major was the one who was not communicating well.
In her own little way, she was trying to ask to do things, it was not her fault that she did not know not to color on the table. She had done it, I barked no but why can’t she color on the table. She had no idea, she was learning. So, she did it again, would mom say no again?
When I finally realized my issue, and took the ten seconds to get down on her level and tell her why. “We don’t color on mommies nice table, only color on the paper. Mommy doesn’t want the color on the table.” It no longer was an issue.
Once I started taking the time to teach, not bark the battles became fewer and farther apart.
“No we can’t let the dog out without the leash, he might run away.” “We can’t read books, we are getting into the bath, but we can later.” “please, don’t take toys away from your brother. You don’t like it when he takes toys away from you.”
I may seem like common sense to explain these things to your child. However, when you are busy trying to make dinner, the Paw Patrol theme songs is playing in the background for the millionth time, and it’s been a long day… sometimes you just forget! It can just be easier to preach “No” or “Stop!”
Don’t get me wrong, we still have those meltdowns where you swear they could win an Oscar for the most dramatic. We still have the melt downs over putting juice in the wrong colored cup or the lack of fruit snacks in her diet. However, the melt downs over why she can’t put her shoes on the wrong feet have subsided.
I am not a parenting export, I am far from it. Please don’t get me wrong I still just say no some days, and move on. However, I have found it I take the time to teach, instead of preach things are a little calmer in the house. She is only two, she is still learning and it’s my job as a parent to help her.