I’m having a bit of a challenging time with S at the moment. She’s being a typical toddler, testing her boundaries and finding out where her limits are.
Quite often, she wants to sit on my lap, hold my hands, and climb all over me, pull me over, kick me in the face, pull my glasses off. It’s not enough to have a hug; she needs to be clambering all over me. Sometimes she needs me to get out of my chair so that she can sit in it.
There is a lot of crying over things I don’t understand. Perhaps I’ve put the plate down in the wrong place for lunch, or the wrong show is on TV, or she wants me to cuddle her and I’m not, or she wants me to get lost when I’m cuddling her. She has discovered that sort of grizzle that just makes you want to reach for the ear plugs, and she does it a lot.
At the moment, at least once a day I am finding myself in the kitchen, taking deep breaths. I spend a lot of time saying, “I don’t know what you want, show me what you want!”
I don’t want to do the naughty step with her; I don’t want to punish her for her actions. But I do want to learn how to manage her behaviour, and how to help her to get what she wants, learn what she wants, and stop feeling the need to cry. I don’t want to tell her to stop crying; I want her to not feel like she needs to cry, if you see what I mean.
The other day, I was telling someone about how S has been sleeping in my bed a lot lately. I joked that “well, the men aren’t exactly queueing up so there’s space for her. Why not let her sleep in my bed? Before I know it, she’ll be a teenager and won’t want to be there!” This person’s response was: “yes, and she’ll be a devil child by then.” If I thought what I was doing would create some sort of selfish, nasty person, I wouldn’t be doing it. But right now, I’m struggling to find a way for us both to get what we want without tears.
I’m wondering: what do you do with your toddler when he/she is having a hard time?
Does your toddler get to share your bed if he has a nightmare or can’t sleep? What if he has trouble getting to sleep at bed time?
Does she get to eat her tea on the sofa if she doesn’t fancy sitting at the table? What if she doesn’t like the tea you’ve cooked, or isn’t hungry and doesn’t want to eat at all?
Does he make that horrible grizzle noise when crying that just goes right through you? Does he do it for no reason you can fathom?
Does she use your body as a climbing frame, even if it’s obviously causing you pain? Does she kick you in the face, pull your glasses off, yank at your jewellery?
What do you do when your toddler does something you’d rather he didn’t?
How do you help your toddler to learn about the world, about boundaries and limits?
I’m genuinely interested to see how other parents have handled their children’s terrible twos. I don’t want you to tell me what to do; I want you to tell me what has worked for you. Please do leave a comment below; if you’ve written a blog post about this sort of thing, please feel free to leave a link.
N.B: Please bear in mind that since I am not interacting on social media at the moment I won’t be able to read any comments you leave on Facebook or tweets on Twitter. Therefore please leave your comment here rather than anywhere else!