I don’t even know where to begin with this. This has been stressing me out.
So yes, “terrible two” is expected. But it sure as heck doesn’t make it easier when the dreaded finally comes. Baby Bubbles has been hit by the terrible two syndrome for a few months now. Tantrums are regular parts of our day to day, and screams are way too common I’m surprised I’m still sane.
Well, sanity is objective anyway, right. If you meet me, you might think I’m a loon already.
It started a few months back, when suddenly this child knew how to throw himself on the ground, on his belly. His legs kicking and the whole screaming shebang would begin. If he didn’t get what he wanted, he would be on the ground in no time. Honest to god, one day he just did that. I have no flipping clue where he picked that up. My dad in law said that children just knew how to do that naturally. I doubt it. To this day, I’m still figuring out what started it.
There’s this saying that children in their terrible two phase love saying “no” to everything. In my case, I can safely testify to its truth. If he is in tantrum mode, nothing would satisfy him. He gets himself all worked up, unable to calm himself down, and anything you offer, short of forbidden sweets (this is last resort to me), would be responded to with a sounding “NOOO!!!”
Now I really do not want to bribe my child with sweets everytime tantrum strikes. Although in some cases, I will admit, that I give him some candy bar like Snickers so he would quiet down. This is rare, and usually only happens when said tantrums happen in public places. Grocery store and the doctor’s office are example of such case. Nowadays, we have found a better approach to fix this emergency, and that is by letting him play with the coloring app on his dad’s cellphone.
At home, I tried to make this work. I tried reasoning with him. The problem is, reasoning doesn’t work once he gets himself into his tantrum bubble. It’s a hysteria mode, and unless he snaps out of it, no amount of reasoning would reach its desired effect. The problem is getting him to snap out of it.
I am the parent who doesn’t believe in the “spare the rod and spoil the child” school of thought. No spanking for me, thank you very much. I am sure it works for some people, but I actively make the decision not to do it to my own child. I make absolutely no judgement for parents who choose this approach as I firmly believe that there is no ONE correct way to raise a child. There is, however, different ways for different children. Everyone has their right to choose how they’re going to raise their children.
My parents rarely ever spanked me or used hands. I can count only with one hand the instance(s) in which they did, and I can honestly say that in those instances, such actions were well called for. I was unruly and highly misbehaving. But I always remember that they try their damnest not to ever raise a hand even when I was being very frustrating to deal with. I thank them for this, everyday, always.
Before having a child, I was somehow apathetic to the “time out” approach. So.. you get your child into a corner and let them stay there in hope that, some 5 minutes later, they come to their senses? Yeah, I didn’t know shit back then, so please forgive me.
So one day when reasoning doesn’t work, I decided to attempt this time out approach. I put him in a corner and firmly told him, “You will not treat me like that. You will stand in that corner until you calm down.” Well, he was still flailing about and screaming. I sat near the corner, and told him to go back to the corner. He cried for another 5 minutes or so, uncontrollably, and I didn’t move. I stayed there, firm, unmoved.
The crying eventually subdued into sobbing, and eventually into mild sobbing until it stopped altogether. When he was done, he stood there, looking at me with his puppy eyes (DARN IT CHILDREN AND THEIR PUPPY EYES!! LETHAL WEAPON I TELL YOU). I told him to come to me, sat him in my lap, and told him that he can’t do that, tantrums aren’t okay and it makes me sad. He calmed down, hugged me and I told him it’s okay. Then he went back playing.
Some days, this works for me. He would know that when he is on time out, he is in trouble. He would adjust his attitude then. But some more difficult days, not even time out works. Sometimes I just let him scream it, I tried to hug him but he would flail about, so I just stay near him and let him finish his tantrum. Once he calms down, then I do the reasoning. At this age I feel like he has some understanding of some parts of the reasoning, like why certain things are not okay.
But terrible two is still very much a big part of our life now. I’m slowly trying to make peace with it. That it’s just a phase and it will too, pass. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but man, some days the tunnel is so dark I can barely step forward without being afraid I might step into a black hole.
Okay, not the best analogy. But you get the gist.
Any of you blogger friends experiencing the same thing? We’ll all get through it, right?