My two year old brings the drama. Yes, my toddler is dramatic… there, I said it. Oh wait, you think I’m exaggerating. Let me put it to you this way: On a scale of one to Beyonce, she totally ranks when it comes to being over the top. And the thing is, Hubstopher and I are many things, but over the top dramatic is not one of them. (I’m serious guys… no, I mean, in real life, I’m a serious person) So I have no idea where this flair for dramatic expression comes from. Anyone else feel me? Do you have a dramatic, over the top, toddler and you have NO idea how they got that way?
Well, I don’t know about your kid, but mine can give you a stinky side eye, so stinky, that it burns. It’s a look that says “How DARE you!” and I promise she did not learn it from us. She is also quite well versed in being able to tell you that you’re wrong or that you need to leave her alone. Full sentences. Sparing no feeling. (Just ask Kyle who is met with “Go away NOW, Kyle!” when he so much as looks at her). My toddler is the drama in dramatic. But whose fault is it anyways?
I’ve always reiterated that my child is not in her “terrible” twos. She is a terrific two year old! (Speak life, and all of that) And I certainly don’t think that there is anything wrong with her or my parenting skills. Sure, Hubstopher and I do give each other “did you see what she just did” looks and stifle our giggles behind stern expressions. But we definitely do not encourage her to demand her way or our attention. So I did some research (because I have a spreadsheet brain, okay) and learnt that toddies still have a lot of cognitive development to, uhh, develop. They experience things with their whole being (that’s why little things are such a big deal to them). And even more so if the kid has a higher sense of maturity or awareness.
Kari is exceptionally clever (I’m really not just saying so out of bias) so she is aware when you’re trying to con her into something or if you’re duping her to get something done. I’ve found that sitting down to explain things to her helps so much more than a simple “no girl, sit girl, lay girl, ata girl.” She wants to know the why’s and the why nots. With that said, she may not always understand the why’s and why nots. Sometimes I need to have a very elaborate back story to help her get it. “You need to brush your teeth so that the goggo’s don’t move in! Let me check and see… ahh okay no goggo’s yet… let’s brush quickly!”
Toddlers are frustrated when they cannot express how they feel or properly communicate their wants or needs. They are also not that skilled in switching from one activity to another yet. (Which explains why they may not do what you need them to do immediately or without fuss). They have no concept of time. They have no control of their emotions. Heck, most of them can’t even poop in a “big people” toilet yet.
In a nutshell, they are just tiny humans who are still busy growing! And that’s nobody’s fault. In fact, it’s a good thing, yo. Nope, they are not misbehaving or acting out. And nope they do not need to be punished or taught a lesson. What they need is to GROW and to be steered in the right direction (with patience and love) while doing so. And that’s a fact. So the next time you’re faced with an Oscar-winning performance, grab your toddler, give ’em a big hug and remind yourself that this too shall pass.