Wednesday, April 28, 2010

On/Off

Over the weekend, on Sunday precisely, a switch was flipped. That switch was labeled Terrible Twos, and for the longest time I was pretty sure that flip would never switch to the "on" position for my sweet little boy. I thought he'd always be well-mannered and laid-back, the easy-going-est of the bunch.

That's what I get for thinking.

Little did I know that once that switch flipped, I would be exchanging compliance for a tyrannical slew of No! No! No! followed by physical defiance of the kicking, hitting, back-arching kind. He also decided that he would only eat when he wanted to, and would serenade us with Get Down now! Get down now! Hold you! set to the tune of whining during dinner. Dinnertime is henceforth extremely pleasant. {Sidenote: he does say our nightly dinner prayer now which slightly compensates for being downright un-cute as he kicks himself away from the dinner table.}

I've always heard "pick your battles" from every parenting guru I've ever looked up to (hi, mom!), and unfortunately battling out your two-year-old when it comes to right and wrong is one of the small wars you have to wage as a parent. I, personally, see this as a foundational stage, wherein Becks will learn the ground rules for acceptable behavior and where we set standards and expectations we expect him to abide by. However, this is also the age where children want to assert their independence and take ownership for the few things in life that they can.

Choosing applesauce over pears or wanting to wear rainboots to church? No big deal. But kicking your mommy when she's changing your diaper just ain't happening, and Becks has found himself in his crib paci-less and G-less for the duration of 1-2 minutes at a time. He doesn't enjoy it. We talk about it when I'm carrying him back downstairs, and how it's not nice to kick mommy because it hurts (and also makes diaper changing seem more like pig wrasslin' than anything else). I also tell him to say sorry and I tell him that I love him :)

Is this the best way? I haven't a clue. But I do want him to know that there are repercussions for being disobedient. It's kind of cute to hear him repeat good listener too.


What are your parenting strategies for getting through the terrible twos? Or have you been blessed with a terrific two-year-old instead?

4 comments:

AbbyS. said...

Same here girl! The only advice I have is I have heard not to make the bed timeout. Find another spot. We have a rug by the front door. The first few times I had to hold him there, but now he sits. I've been told to keep the bed just for sleeping, not playing or timeout to aviod future problems with staying in it and sleeping...or so I have heard.
Just know that there are LOTS of others going through this stage together.
I love that he says the prayer...we must work on that!

Amy said...

I'm not a mom, but after all of my classes on child development, therapy, etc. it sounds like you are doing exactly what you are supposed to!! Giving him lots of choices (when possible) is great! The only change I would make is your time out spot - I wouldn't use the bed because he will then associate it with time out and you might have problems getting him to go to bed later on (think Pavlov's dog). Make a time out chair, rug, or use a step on the staircase. Good luck!!

The Ossege Family said...

Now the real fun begins :) Ah! the joy of the first time your child resists you in all ways possible. Austin has been in this phase for the last 6 months (so don't expect it to end any time soon) and remember this is where you really work to remind yourself not daily but by the minute that patience is a virtue. I have come to fear that this stage is enormously worse when raising a boy. The girls weren't even close to the behavior I've seen in Austin. Remember you have a great support system and good friends to trade stories with! I agree with the other two, don't use the bed, it will cause problems down the road.

Gina said...

We took Love and Logic classes (they have books, too) and it was the best decision we ever made. L was the worst case of terrible twos I have ever seen and Love and Logic changed.our.lives. Good luck.