If you are anything like me as a parent, I am sure there has been a moment or tons of moments of you “knowing” your children will be different from other children. You “know” this because you will raise them different than other parents. Although, I do believe there are things that you as a parent can deter them from doing based on how they are raised. I am also learning that there are some things that you just will not fall exempt from. One of those things being that stage we call terrible twos. I have been told, time and time again that “terrible twos” are really a thing. And time and time again I have told myself that Aiden will skip that stage because I have already learned how not to parent.
I gained a little more confidence in this idea when I noticed how advanced he started to become, how we were past the one and a half year mark and I had not noticed any changing behaviors. Of course that being because we are always the last ones to notice our children’s toxic behaviors. I thought, “he’s so smart that it will be easy to teach him how not to behave.” I believe the moment happened for me when we were in a grocery store where he cried to help carry items, then threw them all on the ground when I refused to buy him a toy (in which they did not sell). This is when I questioned if I had done everything right to avoid the stage that everyone claims to be the worst.
As his 2nd birthday approached us, he learned how to say “shut…up mommy,” and also learned to yell at me to “sit on the pot right now.” All things I would look at other parents with a side eye for before becoming one myself. Entering this stage with your little one can be extremely frustrating when you have to also deal with the everyday stressors that come with parenting. Especially when you have focused on avoiding this moment. It will seem as a small deal to those around you. Even those who have had children because for some reason people tend to forget or ignore that this is really a thing.
Going through this stage will also seem like an easy fix when you consider that you are the adult dealing with a toddler. However, these are the moments that require the most stop, think, and deep breathing time. I constantly have to remind myself that as smart as my kid may be he still holds a brain that is not even half way developed. Meaning his ability to act and think logically does not necessarily exist. When I want to drag him out of stores for screaming for a banana or yell “WHAT?!” when my name is called for the 4000th time, I literally have to stop and think before responding.
I would advise not only parents, but anyone who spends time around toddlers, to remember that they are just that, toddlers. I asked a cousin of mine how I would explain that my son is a nut case and she responded when people stare, just say “he’s two.” This is how I remind myself that his behaviors are not a result of what I did wrong in the first year and 23 months. Attempt to let frustration go, even if it means ignoring before you respond. There is something natural about this stage of life for them. Try not to punish or traumatize them for what they cannot even fully understand.