Patience is a virtue they say and its all I have to draw on these days. As recently my child ( two and half yrs old ) thinks I'm invisible unless she wants something and has gone deaf as she ignores me completely unless the situation suits her. I will end up a patient in the looney bin at this rate as I swear I'm talking to myself most days. What ever I need from her , she switches off and or runs the other way. On purpose. It's not she wants to go that way, it's an act of defiance pure and simple. It's infuriating and even as an experienced nanny who knows this is coming and that the will pass , I still dislike this stage strongly , to put it mildly. I can only imagine how frustrating it is first time around !
Right now it's a game to her, to see how far she can push the limits. She knows exactly when to switch on the sweetness so that when she has over stepped the boundaries she can charm her way out of it. And sometimes it does work .. She is so dam cute especially as she knows exactly what to say... I'm sorry mummy , I love you , I would be silly any more... till five minutes later. She even said to me I cant get angry with her, ( she had run off in a park ) because she is beautiful. Im raising a master or a monster ! But we as parents need to remember they know what they are doing. They know the boundaries and that they are overstepping them. Because of my Jedi nanny training do I know that it's here we as parents can get caught and make a rod for our own back in these situations. You need to decide what your limits are hard and soft and mentally stick to them. Our wee ones know they are pushing boundaries and its up to us to enforce them, for their own safety and our own sanity. It's so easy to let things slide to make an easier life in that moment, but it makes a president for early life and habits ( theirs and yours ) that are hard to break. Most common ones are below and how not to fall in to a trap with them.
Sit down or you go hungry.
I am not going to be the Mum that puts bite sized food in my child's mouth as they pass me like a marathon runner doing laps of the playroom. My daughter excuses herself from the table but wants dinner in every other place in the house. Ive had to harden to the thinking... I'm getting food in to her and breath deeply reminding myself she won't go hungry.
Hold my hand.. stay with me ...
When they decide that your choice of direction is not where they want to go. I've had to invest in reins attached to a back pack and or the wrist pincher move. ( hold around their wrist rather than hand so they cant let go. This usually happens in the most inconvenient places. For me , its right when I trying to leave somewhere. She's been given her five min go do a last play , etc. Or we are walking to car and presto she turns 180 and is off back the way we came. This is where selective hearing comes in .... She is ignoring me and I will not bribe her to come back ! It’s reins or physically handcuffing her to me!
Loss the use of legs
Why do they choose the exact time you need to be somewhere else to turn to jelly and dislocate their arm sockets and crumple on floor. I know its not just my kid. If we have to sit on the floor, her not me, till she is ready to walk properly , I can ignore everyone else and wait. When she realises I’m waiting on her , she usually gets up and goes about her day. Unless I’m actually trying to leave area permanently. But I’ll cover surfboarding your kid later on.
I know right now , there is no negotiation with her and I get that... dealing with a two year old , we just have to do what we have to do to get thorough the day in one piece. But I do have a few rules that I start to slide in here and there for her to follow.
Hand on car-
I have a puppy and a toddler and they both go in opposite directions so I have to be very aware of safety when it comes to getting them in and out of the car. I have had this command from my early nanny days when I had multiple children getting in and out of vehicles on busy London streets. I have a circle on the car door, my car isn't clean so easy to draw it or in the past I had a sticker. My charge and now child has to put their hand in that circle and stay there like they are stuck like glue to the door. My wee woman thinks it's a game and thats great but I keep up the pressure of expectation that she follow this command and stay put, while I either open the door for her to get in or what ever else you need to do. I have her close to me and always one eye on her and a hand at the ready to grab clothing if she makes a unprompted break for it. But so far it's working and as she gets older it will just be a thing we do , no questions asked.
Giving her a count down-
I give her a time limit she can understand. End of this song, programme, one last play, or countdown from 5 ( it will go to 10 when she older ) before I surfboard her out of where ever we happen to be if she doesn't want to leave of her own accord. As I said above right now no negotiations will work. But if she understands I will remove her from the situation then as she gets older she will ( hopefully ) come away more easily.
Touch her -
This is different to the wrist hold or hand hold of the shops. Children respond to touch , we all know that from day dot of skin to skin and numerous cuddles over the years. This is where your wee one will engage better with you if you ask them to do something in the home and you touch them on the skin as you are asking. You are switching on their senses. Firstly the sensation of your skin on them alerts them to your presence, they will look at your hand then engage with your voice, and hopefully the trifector make eye contact ! You can even push further with them asking them to repeat what you have said, so it really goes in.
Managed expectations -
Wee ones can't multitask, plain and simple. They are learning so fast that when they are focussed on a task their whole being is engaged in learning from it, physically, mentally even emotionally depending on the task. They can't hear you , and we have to remember that especially if we are calling asking from another room. The rule of thumb is to ask / call out 6 times to infiltrate their concentration and then once you have their attention, either ask them to come to you or you move to them and do the above touch response request. This is a good reminder for us to consider in our dealing with toddlers before our hackles rise.
My little lady is hard work at the moment, she is transitioning. Becoming her own person. Knowing her mind, but also sending me out of mine at times. She thinks she knows best , like dropping naps but isn't ready too. I have persevere with her as she finds her place and keep her safe and remind myself even though parenting is a partnership between my child and myself , I am the majority shareholder and I know best and will need to invest time and patience . We will find our way.. Get over our miscommunications and hopefully not get too lost in translation.
''Cute as a button while pushing all mine ''