Blink—And They're Grown

Parents, Families and Child Care

Terrible or Terrific… It’s All Perspective

1 Comment

terrible-or-terrific-journeyOnce my son turned two many people commented on the “terrible two” age. They shared how their child was when they were two. Many stories of the many things like coloring walls and tantrums in the mall. Many people have suggestions as well as ideas for discipline. I’ve been reminded about teaching no and wait time as extremely important tools for this age. As I think about all of the stories that people share I examine how most seem negative. After hearing about the turmoil of toddlerhood I begin to wonder what I am going to do with my children. So I did some deeper digging.

One of the first places I usually look to get development information is the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) website. According to NAEYC, “toddlers (16 to 36 months) are working on their identity; they want to know who they are and who’s in charge.” After reading this my suspicions started to become reality. It’s all a matter of perspective. My two-year-old is working on establishing his identity and is experimenting with the boundaries of who is in charge.

The next thing I began to think about is what I can do to help him develop his “self” and practice decision making. Here are some things that we have found and have tried. It’s a journey; it takes time, so be patient.

  • When planning to do anything, try to allow for plenty of transition time to move onto the next thing. This can be hard when you are busy trying to get things done quickly but allow for your journey with your child to go on the road less traveled.
  • Work on your redirection skills, this can help set them up for success. These mini successes build self-esteem.
  • Allow for emotions to run their course. Help them talk through and handle what they are feeling. It’s hard from a child’s perspective when things don’t happen the way that they want. It’s hard for adults as well, but if we can help them learn how to recognize and regulate then we are giving them a huge tool for the future.
  • Finally, let them be in charge. Let them choose things especially things that they can easily handle and control. These are the beginning steps of being independent. When working around the house let them be part of what you are doing. Let them sweep or hold the dust pan. Give them a choice of which they want to do. Let them choose what they will wear for the day.

At the end of the day its all a matter of perspective and when I get down on his level and see things through his eyes, it’s better for both of us.

Author: Archer

Archer is the oldest of 4 boys and father of a two. He uses his experiences of years of scouting, camping, and sports along with the most amazing wife to be the best parent and teacher for their son and daughter. Parenting has been like running day camp. It’s all about the (participant)children, always changing and evolving. It takes, planning, skill, patience, and lots of humor and fun. Giving his son and daughter the most experiences to discover their place in the world with loving support is what this “super dad” want-to-be strives to do each day. Archer is School-Age Coach at 4C for Children in the Miami Valley.

One thought on “Terrible or Terrific… It’s All Perspective

  1. Where was this great advise when I had four 2-year olds enrolled in my daycare program over the summer LOLOLOL. Seriously, these are workable and achievable tips for parents who are struggling through this stage. When my daycare parents make reference to the terrible twos I always assure them that there child is exploring and learning the world around them and how things work. Yes, it can sometimes be challenging, but planning ahead, following the tips that are mentioned in this article, and patience is a recipe for successful outcomes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s