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Terrible Twos

Y’all. This guy has only been 2 for a few weeks now and he’s living the term “terrible twos” in every way possible. Honestly it probably started at 18 months. This kid...he’s adorable, smart, funny...but he’s also defiant and a full-time boundary tester. MINE and NO are his favorite words right now. (Which is why he’s sitting in a pile of beach towels - because they were “his” and I was tired of fighting this morning.)

I love this kid with every ounce of my soul but being a toddler mom is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. I felt like I did the newborn mom thing ok- it made sense to me. But the tendency towards illogical and irrational with toddlers is something I have the hardest time dealing with.

Being a parent is for sure the hardest job I’ve ever had. Trying to be the calm in someone else’s chaos is not for the faint of heart. But we take it one day at a time and one foot in front of the other.

In case any others mama’s need to hear this: It’s hard. I know it’s hard. But you are the exact parent your child needs and you got this!

What good things did your little one do today?

Yesterday I talked about Ralphie (@simplyonpurpose) and the parenting advice she has been giving over the last week. I am making a conscious effort to implement the strategies she talked about and this morning I noticed another profound difference that I wanted to share.

I am not typically a “think happy, be happy” type of person. I have a tendency to be a bit of a cynic. And more times than I’d like to admit, I will have a rough morning getting my little guy out the door, and find myself thinking “thank goodness he’s off to daycare and I can have some peace and quiet.”

This morning was another one of those rough mornings with lots of whining and crying but I remained focused on all the good things he was doing - even if it was simple like willingly giving me his foot to put his shoe and sock on. I purposefully ignored the “junk” behavior and reinforced the positive. And even though it was a rough morning, when he left for the day I noticed that I wasn’t feeling negatively about the morning, I wasn’t grumpy. I mostly just found myself hoping he had a good day and thinking about something fun we could do when he gets home later.

I’ve read it a thousand times that if you think negative thoughts about your child (they are being such a brat, they are so annoying right now), you tend to act negatively towards your child. If you are dealing with all of those negative thoughts it gets in the way of loving and connecting with your child. Making an effort to keep a positive focus is making such a profound difference in how I parent and the relationship I’m building with my son. I’m shocked at the difference it’s making, but unbelievably happy about it as well.

What good things did your little one do today? Drop them in the comments and let’s start building positive momentum in our parent/child relationships!

Behavior - First Post

When my sister and I would fight, our consequence was to stand with our nose in the corner. But after a couple minutes of time out, we'd forget why we were there and one of us would sneak over to the other's corner to play.

The difference with this picture is that I didn't send this child to time out or tell him to leave my teaching table. Instead, he recognized his breaking point and asked to take a break before he reached it.

Our children experience real, raw, big emotions. It's not our job to stop them, shush or downplay them. Instead, we should acknowledge and validate what they're experiencing, teach them how to manage their emotions, and then support them as they work through them.

This is my favorite thing to teach children and support parents in doing. Our children are going to grow up. If we don't teach them to appropriately handle their anger as children they'll grow into angry adults.

If you're interested in learning more about my upcoming behavior management course (for parents, teachers, aunts, or someone who hopes to be a parent someday) please let me know in the comments section or tag someone who may be interested.

When it comes to behavior what questions or challenges do you have? I'll do my very best to share what works and help.

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