Monday, July 11, 2011

Terrible Two's: Fact or Fiction?

At this point I'm going to go ahead and say FACT!  My previously sweet, well mannered, well tempered child has become a tantrum throwing, messy, loud, hitting, screaming toddler. The past few times we have went out, we have had at least one episode whereas we used to go out and get so many compliments on how well behaved our child was.  So at the age of 18 months (as of tomorrow) my child seems to have officially hit the terrible two's.  

We still have our fun and when she is in a good mood, she is still the best child ever. But she has discovered her wild tantrum throwing side that is not so much fun.  The worst is the hitting.  I can't stand that.  I have popped her hand and her butt for other things, but I really don't think spanking her when she hits is effective. Telling her not to hit as I'm spanking her?  That's sending mixed signals.  So I am experimenting in the discipline area and hopefully will find something that is effective. 

Luckily her tantrums are still few(but not far between) and are still manageable.  But where she used to be content in the cart while we shop or in her high chair during dinner, she wants down and wants to wander around.  Because of this new development we are now the proud owners of a toddler backpack leash.  It's a cute little dog that is a harness and she seems to like it.  People have looked at me like I'm insane when they see her in it, but to me it just makes sense.  When she won't sit in the cart and doesn't want to hold my hand, what am I supposed to do?  I am not one to let my child scream in public and I will not let her walk around without some connection to me, so this is the perfect solution.  She gets a little deserved freedom and mommy is comfortable because she is still attached to me.

It's not all bad though. I prefer to call it the "Trying Two's" because it's not really terrible. She is at a really fun stage and we are able to do so much with her. She is like a little sponge absorbing everything around her and it's awesome to watch her transform from a baby to a little girl. Her vocabulary has really exploded these past few weeks and we can really communicate well. At the stage of development that she is at, it's easy to get frustrated and I know that's where the tantrums are stemming from.  So the best thing I can do is be patient and work with her as much as possible and try to avert frustrations before they occur.  It's a learning experience for us all, but we are doing it together.  Like with everything else, it's just a phase and it will eventually work itself out.

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