So although her second birthday isn’t until next month, lately my little girl has been in the throes of what is generally called ‘The Terrible Twos.’
She cries uncontrollably over basically everything, throws her head back in defiance, says ‘no’ constantly, and basically only smiles when she gets exactly what she wants.
While I’m tempted to just blank out this time in her development and pray that the next year or so doesn’t make me crazy, I’ve recently started trying to look on the brighter side of toddler insanity. And after assuming this more optimistic approach, I can see that this phase might be one of my favorites so far.
Here are the main reasons I’m actually enjoying my newfound role as a toddler meltdown negotiator:
- You get to be instrumental in teaching them difficult life skills like patience, sharing, and empathy: I still struggle with these skills as an adult so being able to ‘practice what you preach,’ so to speak, allows me to cultivate healthy behaviors. Sure, they won’t always say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ but it’s the times they do that make parenting so worth it.
- They learn to respect you – and you learn to respect yourself: This one has hit me more and more since my daughter entered this difficult stage. As a child, I always thought that respecting my parents was just something innate rather than something I was taught. As a parent now I can see that a child’s respect for their parents generally comes from receiving patient and loving instruction from adults in their lives.
- You learn to diffuse anger with silliness: This is a serious and oft-neglected life skill, guys. For real. While everyone might not have an inner goofball, I would argue that humor is one of the most helpful ways to diffuse an otherwise hairy situation. Toddlers are difficult. They get mad. They make you mad. When you get mad, you do things you regret. So when that anger hits, why not take a breath and chose to stick your tongue out rather than shout a profanity? Looking for simple, effective ways to deal with stress is one of life’s great challenges, so why not use your toddler’s tantrums to develop stress management skills?
What do you like most about The Terrible Twos?