When it comes to raising a toddler, I refuse to accept the term ‘terrible twos’. I believe that when my toddler turns 2 years old next week, she will begin her season of ‘terrific twos’. Why speak “terribleness” over your child’s life, anyways? No sir, no thank you. I mean, parenting is challenging enough as it is!
But with that said, I sometimes sit and stare at my kid as she goes from being ecstatically happy to mournfully sad in a matter of seconds. How is it, little girl, that you loved chicken so much 5 minutes ago, but now you simply cannot have it near you? Did I miss something? One minute she loves her dad and croons “Hallo dada!” beautifully as she plants a fat kiss on his lips. And the next, she yells “NO!” at the top of her voice, when he attempts to pick her up. Split seconds, I tell ya. Is it normal? Yes, yes it is.
Around the ages of 2 and 3, toddlers are able to express their feelings better (noise levels in your home gone up? Yep, you’ve reached that stage). This could manifest itself in bursts of dramatic laughing or expressive crying and as much as we would like to hush them up, it’s better to just roll with the punches. I’ve begun to realize that my job, as a parent, is to help my kid understand WHY she is feeling an emotion.
Parents.com says that helping your toddler understand the connection between what they are feeling and the situation that lead to that feeling, will also teach your kid that she has the ability to control her emotions. Likewise, when she’s feeling sad, let her know that it’s okay to feel sad. Sometimes things don’t go the way we’d like it to and it makes us sad, and that’s okay. But it’s not the end of the road, it’s a pit stop – they need to know that and that there are ways to feel better! I intensely dislike when someone says “Oh, why is she crying, she’s so naughty!” Like, no. Cut it out. When you’re upset, no one puts you in a corner and calls you naughty. Sure, there is a need to set right from wrong. But there is an even bigger need to validate your kids emotions and help them understand it better. In this way, you are increasing your child’s emotional intelligence so that they will, in turn, be more sensitive to the next person’s feelings. We need to teach our kids how to feel empathy and practice sensibility when it comes to dealing with each other. Well, that’s my opinion anyways.
So yes, my kid is not dramatic or a diva or *gasp* naughty. She is a healthy, growing girl, who is simply experimenting with her expression.
Oh, sorry… I’m saying this to me, not you. Need to remember that when she throws a “no dudu” tantrum at 10pm.