Re-think the terrible twos

It’s started. The terrible twos. Well the almost twos.

Do two year old’s have tantrums?

Otis is a few months short of two but already I have started rounding his age up to ‘nearly two’ and with that come the questions.

‘Is he in the terrible twos yet?’

So presumptuous, so shocking, so rude. How dare you tarnish my little angel with the same brush as all the other twos year olds.

I laugh at my former self who would have had that exact thought. But now. As we fast approach the next chapter and I faced with it. I’m scared.

My biggest issue with the ‘terrible twos’ is that there is such an assumption within society that because my child is two, that’s why he is having a tantrum.

But what I have learnt recently is that age is just a number.

Otis has been able to have melts downs for a very long time now, and I suspect that they will continue right through until I wave him off at the age of 31 when he can finally afford his own home.

The naughty step

I picked Otis up from his childminders recently and I was gently informed that he had been ‘hands on’ with his friends and had ended up on the naughty step.

My heart actually sunk. I felt like I had failed.

Now setting aside whether we should call it the ‘naughty step’ or simply ‘time out’ I was shocked at how upset I was.

My child was naughty. The terrible twos really had started. It’s not a myth!

I did what I always do when parenting things catch me out, I took to Instagram to chat with my Instamum tribe.

And I had some wonderful feedback. Namely that I need to rethink the term terrible twos…

because it was suggested to me… It’s not that they are terrible, but that it’s terrible for us.

This blew my mind. This is bloody brilliant – I love this concept. Turning the cliché on its head!

It’s not you it’s me

You see Otis its not having a terrible time. He is coping with this massive transition fabulously.

Every day he has to learn so many rules, some of which contradict themselves. Sometimes I want him to walk, sometimes I don’t. It’s great for him to explore his food, but sometimes I just want him to eat it. I love it when he wants to ‘help’ and sometimes I don’t!

And I he navigates all this while not be able to tell me if he is tired or has tooth ache, or is ill. Otis does all this while he can’t actually tell me what he is doing. He does this all while his size and strength limits everything.

Otis does really well.

It’s not him…It’s me! Me who is struggling.

We as parents are the ones who find this ‘terrible’!

And this I can actually deal with, it gives me more patience, it makes me realise that sometimes I have to let it all go, and go easy on myself.

And go extra easy on him.

Now I’m learning that he needs me to support him, to explain to him, to work with him.

I have to suck it up too, I have to know that sometimes he will kick off when I need him not to but because I need to get something done, we will not be able to have a chat about it.

This stuff is not clean cut, there are multiple parenting styles that I have to employ, and that’s OK – I am trying my best… and he’s doing his best – And we will get there together.

In the meantime there is always wine and chocolate!


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