When my daughter turned one, people started warning my husband and I about the terrible twos. They would say things like, “Enjoy the good behavior while it lasts because once she turns two, it’s terrible!” Parents of former two year olds would tell how their babies turned into “nightmares!” Not knowing what to expect from a two year old, I would always walk away from those conversations with positive comebacks. I know how powerful words can be, and the last thing we wanted was to speak negative, life-sucking words over our child.
We started saying that she was going to be in the terrific twos instead of the terrible twos!
So when the twos came upon us, things did change, but the changes weren’t terrible and neither was our little girl!
We have come to the end of the twos, and one night I was taking a shower and enjoying the quietness of being alone; Something that moms of littles rarely get. I found myself reflecting on the past year of being a parent of a two year old, brought on by a conversation I had had with my husband before I jumped in the shower. He had taken our daughter shopping earlier that day. I nonchalantly asked him if she was well behaved while they were out and about. He said she was and that her good behavior is what got her a prize.
It made me proud! Just a week before, I saw posts on my social media feed about terrible toddlers; memes referring to how awful toddlers act in public, and depicted how that’s just part of parenting.
Yes, I know kids can have bad moments, but that’s not something to brag or talk about on my social media feed. I believe we should, instead, choose to bring light to the positive things our kids do! Like their kindness with friends or how their purity in seeing the world changes us. I know I would not want someone posting my bad moments or sharing them in any other social setting either!!
It's sad how I see and hear more negativity about kids from their own parents than positive things. We are the ones that should be bragging about how awesome our kids are!
Not tearing them down, even when they can’t hear us or read what we write about them! Words have power whether they are heard or not!
Going back to my proud momma feeling while I was relaxing under the hot water, I began to wonder what makes our experience with the twos different from others.
Perspective and choice!
Consider your child in this light for a moment:
Why are we so hard on our toddlers? They have, after all, been in this world for only a few short years!!! I mean, come on! Life is HARD, and here they are in their tiny bodies with their big hearts and independent minds, just trying to figure out this thing called life!
I thought about all the things my little two year old has had to learn, do, get used to, and change in just ONE year, and I realized how completely overwhelming all these things must be for her! And on top of that, she doesn’t even know what the word overwhelming means or how to express it.
Here are some of the top things my tiny tot had to deal with in her terrific second year of life:
1- Learning that mommy’s tummy is going to get bigger and bigger because a baby is growing inside of it! That’s got to be confusing.
2- Potty training! I don’t know about you, but this one made me cry sometimes too! Going from diapers to these things called panties and going from going on yourself to having to listen to your body and get to the toilet before it’s too late has got to be overwhelming! No wonder why fits of outrage would come boiling out when something became upsetting!!!
3- Daddy had a career change and was at home a whole lot more than usual! Even though this was fun to her, it was nonetheless an overnight change that yet again her little brain had to process.
4- Meeting her baby sister and learning that she’s not the only ONE anymore. How exciting and heartbreaking all at the same time! No longer receiving mommy’s attention whenever and wherever she wanted it.
And these are just the big things that happened to her over the past year. Think about all the little things we cannot see them going through like brain development, emotional development, hormones (this is a big one and will be for the rest of her life) and figuring out what boundaries are!
I think about how would I, as an adult, cope with all these changes. I may cry sometimes too, or get angry as well, but show those emotions in different ways. However, my two year old hasn’t yet learned those different ways, so she is simply doing and responding in the way she knows how!
And that’s where us parents come in! We should be their guide, teacher and cheerleader; helping them navigate through all of the changes!
So I encourage you to stop with the negative words over your children; including memes and Facebook posts.
Have compassion! Have a little more patience! And be there FOR them, not against them!
CHOOSE to put more focus on their better qualities, and leave the not so pretty ones unannounced!
Ask yourself these two questions-
1- How would you feel if someone else called your child terrible?
2- Would you allow someone else to speak ugly, negative words over your baby?
Your answers to those questions should reflect your perspective of your toddler!
I know I would be one angry mama bear if I heard someone saying mean things about my kids! Why would I allow myself to speak those same words about them?
No, I’m not denying that there are hard days and some days feel like the worst, but do not let a tantrum-filled moment ruin your perspective of your child, and cause you to begin to speak negative words about your babies! You should be their safe place!
So take a step back, take a deep breath because a moment doesn’t define who my child is or how I perceive them!
I have a challenge for you:
Next time negative words about your kid are about to spill out of your mouth, replace them with something good! The same goes for social media posts!! When you’re about to hit the share button on that meme that would reflect negatively on your toddler, instead post about how proud you are of them for something they did!
To be honest, I would much rather read about how awesome your kid is instead of the tantrum they threw in line at the grocery store!
So I’ve come to the conclusion that the only terrible thing about the twos is how terribly fast it goes by!
Ps. People are already telling us about the “terrifying threes” and to that I say bring on the triumphant threes!!
I want to know about how AWESOME your babies are, no matter what age and stage they are in at this moment. Leave me a comment and BRAG on them like crazy!!!!
Don't forget to SHARE!! This is something that all parents need to hear! Let's start the trend of positive parenting!
Author- Marianne L. Johnson
This is a blog about my journey and adventure of being a mom. Let's be honest! Motherhood is nothing but an adventure. Some days you roll with the punches while other days unfold to be little specks of perfection. With whatever kind of day I get presented with, I always find God's glory, grace and blessings.