I am at this moment a mother to a “terrible two” child. I have to admit that it is frustrating and patience testing and there must be a better way to do this. As usual, I turn to devouring the Internet for solutions.
At least I know one thing – I am not alone. And from the experiences that mothers’ around the world share, I must say. at least I can feel blessed that mine’s not the worse!
Here are some methods I have read and tried and they seem to bring some relief.
At this stage, apparently the children have a sense of newfound freedom and would want to do everything by themselves. From pouring the cornflakes to handling the 1litre bottle of milk, to wanting to carry a heavy pail of laundry, they want to do it all!
What I’ve learnt is that by giving them a flat “No” it often results in a screaming match and at the end, no one is in the mood to eat anything anymore. If it happens first thing in the morning, it just ruins your entire day!
And I noticed that, the more you say no and give attention to the mischievous act, the more fun he gets out of it just repeating the act to annoy you.
With the exception of the act being dangerous, what’s the harm to letting them pour the cornflakes? Sure there’s some cleaning up to do but hey, he gets to do it and with practice, I am sure the cleaning will get less! I have started to learn to “choose my battles”, a term I found to be realistic. Do I really want to be screaming at my child at everything he does?
The other way is distraction. Just the other day, we were all seated down and ready to watch a DVD and the little one wanted to run off just as we were starting to get relaxed. Then I remembered that he was fascinated when I tied up my hair and told him that it’s called a “pony-tail”. Apparently, he was tickled at this new word.
So, to keep him on the sofa,(so that I could enjoy the movie) I suddenly asked him, “Can you find mummy’s ponytail?” and miraculously, it kept him busy trying to tie up my hair to create the ponytail.
This reminds me of the martial art “Aikido” where you actually harness the energy from the “enemy” to make it your own. Handling a 2-year old almost works the same. Instead of going against his negativity, find ingenious ways to reduce the number of times we have to yell “No!” “Stop it!”