A few weeks ago something changed in my 2-and-a-half year old. I honestly thought we had somehow been really lucky to have avoided the terrible two’s. We’ve been able to surprisingly reason with her and she’s been a wonderfully behaved kid. But all of a sudden, she’s screaming and crying the second she doesn’t get what she wants. You know that website, Reasons My Child is Crying? Yeah, I have about 1 million things I could add.
I hope this doesn’t sound horrible, but I have minimal patience for this behavior. I don’t like giving in, and don’t give in very often. My husband has a much softer spot and tends to want to just make the crying stop because he feels that the crying is an indication her needs aren’t being met, but I’m worried that if we give in, she’ll learn that she can get what she wants no matter how badly she’s acting. I try to calmly let her know that she will not get what she wants by crying and that if she can speak to me in a normal voice, we can work it out. 98% of the time she still continues to scream and I’ve had to start using the “quiet chair” as a place to help her calm down (and for me to get a break too, in all honestly).
I admit that some days I struggle to respond to the crying in a loving way and instead find myself being short with her. I hate that I do that. I wish I could show patience all the time but sometimes the whining sends me over the edge. I always apologize to her, and my goodness is it humbling to say you’re sorry to a two-year-old.
This has become the most challenging part of parenting for me. That is, figuring out how to handle this new behavior in a way that I feel good about and that takes into account my husband’s differing approach. I’m hoping that this is just a phase and not an early beginning of the thrilling three’s but I don’t think that’s the case. All I can do is continue to work on reacting from a place of love, instead of a place of frustration, and try to cut myself some slack when I don’t handle things perfectly.