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World War - TWO's


The terrible two's, a term coined somewhere along the line in a Childs life when the frustrations start. I personally hate this term , not only because it puts a judgement on your toddlers instantly, but also it doesn't even start at two ( it can be much earlier for some ) but also there is no such thing !!! But you just said it can start much earlier and it doesn't exist in the same sentence. Yes, I did . What people normally attribute to the terrible twos is a toddler, who is constantly crying , or whinging , throwing tantrums and generally being very grumpy. What I see is your child starting to communicate and find their identity and place in the family. To know their own mind, needs and wants and being compelled to a sense of independence and accomplishment in doing these things for themselves. And cant quite get this across to others. It's a learning phase of life... and can start when each child is entering the realm of communication. So it neither terrible nor two's . The only truth to the phrase is that its terrible to watch your child battle with this perpetual state of annoyance and that it can last the whole 2 nd year of their lives.


Remember, as a baby, they get everything done for them. They sleep, eat, and play when you tell them and let them and suggest to them it would help Mummy out a lot of you could . They cry out and we instantly jump up. Now enter being able to start making some choices for themselves... but no able to convey what they are ? Imagine being plonked in a strange country / planet, where you speak NONE, of the language. And you need help, be it you're sick or thirsty , uncomfortable, hungry. There are lots of people around and you can see what you need but you don't even know the right hand gestures to use to get their attention, let alone the right sound to make to get what you want. This is why I call it frustrations, not trouble or tantrums or terrible anything. You would be very distressed and exasperated. And with limited comprehension and cognitive scope, you would manifest physical emotions too. I still feel like kicking and screaming and crying sometimes.... Mostly at my teens, who I seem to have a 2nd head and speaking another language all together when asking them to do something or try to offer advice !!


The steps , I have found in the past and especially now with my own wee one, to help both you and your wee one through this trying time go like this

Reading the situation, and side step the frustration - by you seeing the storm coming, as in physical anxiety ( tantrum ) when they are trying to get you to do something or trying to do something themselves, you can redirect the energy and get them to focus on you instead.


In the case of them getting frustrated at an activity , I have found that its good to give them time to do it. Yes, it's frustrating for all parties, when whatever it is won't go in where ever it either suppose to or where they have deemed it too. For example shape sorters or climbing on couch to chasing the cat in our house. I find reassuring them to try and try again, that there is all the time in the world and they can do this . That they will succeed eventually. Maybe not with the cat, my wee one will have to accept fate that she's not going to stay and be mauled by her. Sometimes a hard lesson instead of achievement does the trick too.


The second step is to Help with the struggle without taking over, I'll stick with shape sorting and cat mauling. Showing her how to stroke the cat softly and gently and taking her hand to show her the pressure needed allows her to learn through her senses. She's listening to you say gently, she feeling the cats fur and how she should touch her, she's seeing the cat not run off when you do this sound and this touch. With the shape sorter, I put my finger next to where it needs to go as I'm repeating the shapes name , etc. She learns through trial and error and copying and watching, that I'm helping her to do it herself.


talk them through itWhich takes me nicely to when they want your attention and are getting agitated , talk them through it-either repeat repeat repeat the word , with eye contact, touching them or the object, ask them to watch your mouth. Or get down to thier level and ask them what they need? Acknowledge them. When they are this little it's not giving in that comes later with threenagers and I recommend not making that rod for your back. When it comes to language your wee one is a sponge and at this stage they want to learn and repeat and tell you stuff. They are bursting with it. They know things and they want to tell you ! My wee one has started to pull me when she wants me to come or move from my spot. She grabs at me and my hand. Which when my jumper and t shirt and bra are being pulled in weird directions can be annoying to the wearer. So I ask her to look at me , and I say up or down or come, or out or yes or no with an added please ! She is delighted when she uses the right sounds as she is now forming a basic vocabulary to say what she needs. The glee in her is wonderful and she practises as much as possible. She is so proud of herself. But when you are on two different pages and none of the above works, there is always distraction- a-lot to be said for oh look over here or singing or moving away from the problem if there is no solution that is age appropriate or you find your at an impasse. - either repeat repeat repeat the word , with eye contact, touching them or the object, ask them to watch your mouth. Or get down to their level and ask them what they need? Acknowledge them. When they are this little it's not giving in that comes later with threenagers and I recommend not making that rod for your back. When it comes to language your wee one is a sponge and at this stage they want to learn and repeat and tell you stuff. They are bursting with it. They know things and they want to tell you ! My wee one has started to pull me when she wants me to come or move from my spot. She grabs at me and my hand. Which when my jumper and t shirt and bra are being pulled in weird directions can be annoying to the wearer. So I ask her to look at me , and I say up or down or come, or out or yes or no with an added please ! She is delighted when she uses the right sounds as she is now forming a basic vocabulary to say what she needs. The glee in her is wonderful and she practises as much as possible. She is so proud of herself. But when you are on two different pages and none of the above works, there is always distraction-a-lot to be said for oh look over here or singing or moving away from the problem if there is no solution that is age appropriate or you find your at an impasse. talk them through it- either repeat repeat repeat the word , with eye contact, touching them or the object, ask them to watch your mouth. Or get down to their level and ask them what they need? Acknowledge them. When they are this little it's not giving in that comes later with threenagers and I recommend not making that rod for your back. When it comes to language your wee one is a sponge and at this stage they want to learn and repeat and tell you stuff. They are bursting with it. They know things and they want to tell you ! My wee one has started to pull me when she wants me to come or move from my spot. She grabs at me and my hand. Which when my jumper and t shirt and bra are being pulled in weird directions can be annoying to the wearer. So I ask her to look at me , and I say up or down or come, or out or yes or no with an added please ! She is delighted when she uses the right sounds as she is now forming a basic vocabulary to say what she needs. The glee in her is wonderful and she practises as much as possible. She is so proud of herself. But when you are on two different pages and none of the above works, there is always distraction- a-lot to be said for oh look over here or singing or moving away from the problem if there is no solution that is age appropriate or you find your at an impasse.


Alas, I have saved the best or worst bit till last. When the frustration builds up and no matter what you do, they explode. Then you need to be patient, give them a safe space, hugs ( when they will let you touch them ) reassurance and sometimes you just have to let it all blow itself out. It's their version of letting off steam. A good cry , whinge and wail can be good for everyone once and while. My wee one likes to do fists of fury, kicking and body jolts ( lying on the floor or in the cot and just every fibre pulsing / convulsing ) If I ask if she wants me or a comforter, she yells no no no and I have to accept her request and let her do her thing. Sometimes not diverting the energy allows it to dissipate quicker than trying to manage it or stop it. A good friend said , you cant control water, you can only divert it. But if it wants to break its banks nothing is holding it back. It will run its course and return to its natural flow. A temper tantrum is just that. A manifestation of frustration that they cant get what they need.


The terrible twos are very misunderstood. And need to be realised for what they are and handled with knowledge and a grasp that it's not misbehaviour in any way shape or form ( that comes later when they discover choice )! We need to be better in our education of whats happening to them. Thats not to say that there will not be the odd or reoccurring blow out from your child. But in understanding their state of mind, we parents can help provide and teach our children the necessary vocal words, gestures, ways to approach non verbal situations and how to achieve physical ones. Like climbing on a couch or tidying up or what ever activity is causing distress. Because thats all it is the TT's, is distress in a situation. If we saw them, or any of our loved ones in distress , we would help. We need patience and understanding of the situation. Of their mind set. To see it their way and teach them a different way, to get what they need. Stay calm and carry on !










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