« Parenting

Hilarious and frustrating at the same time

by Nikki Montgomery

Today is my birthday and my 2 year old got up and ran into the baby's room where I was getting them up. She gave me a hug, wished me happy birthday then she and Daddy sang happy birthday. After singing happy birthday she announced that we're gonna have a party and cake and dinosaurs and butterflies. In a 2 year old's mind everyone has a birthday party. She was so excited, now I'm wondering if I should get a cake and dinosaurs and butterflies to make her happy.

These are the moments that I cherish. Two year olds can be difficult at times, but they sure are fun most of the time. It makes it all worth it. When we're going through those difficult times we just need to remember she'll crack us up soon.

We've all heard of the "Terrible Twos" and many of us have experienced it. Part of the reason two year olds are difficult is because they are struggling between their reliance on their parents and their desire for independence. I see it all the time with Mia..."I do it myself." Then she gets frustrated and throws a temper tantrum when she can't quite do it herself. Our pediatrician also told us that 2 year olds are just learning how to control emotions and this can be frustrating to adults because we don't understand why she's crying out of the blue or mad for no reason. In these instances the doctor told us to just leave her alone and ignore her behavior. She'll eventually stop. I guess you could say, "Don't feed the beast." Make sure you praise your child for good behavior, but don't make a huge deal out of ordinary things. If she picks up her toys let her know she did a good thing and then move on. Right now we're teaching Mia to make her bed. This morning she told me she made her bed and Daddy helped. I said, "Good job Mia." That made her proud, but I didn't make a huge deal out of it because I want her to know that she should be doing that even if I don't see it.

I want Mia to want to make us proud and the only way she'll know that we're proud of her is if we let her know. When I was a kid the fear of disappointing my parents kept me from doing a lot of bad things. When I was faced with a decision that I knew my parents would disapprove of it was easy for me to say no. Not saying I was a perfect kid, but I have always had a good relationship with my parents and I want that same kind of relationship with my kids.