I hope everyone is enjoying their summer! I know the summer sun is shining bright out here in Arizona! And, boy, its shining alright- cause it’s blazin’ hot! ;] We have been staying cool this Summer by doing a lot of our outdoor activities in the evening when it isn’t too hot & although school is out for the Summer, we are still doing workbooks — math and reading! (They’ll thank me later ;])
This year our birthday’s start in August, which is a few short months away! Our oldest, Skyler turns 6 this year and enters first grade (He is SUPER excited!) Spencer’s birthday follows suit and little man finally turns 5. Spencer, has an awkward birthday when it comes to the kinder cut-off. He is technically “too young” to enter into kindergarten, but will be considered “too old” to enter preschool since he turns 5 midway through the school year. So, right now we are trying to test him into kinder or whatever deems suitable for Spencer, academically. Kate this year will be turning 2. Yep, you read that right.. T-W-O, two! I don’t know if a lot of you parents (or even Grandparents, guardians, Aunt(s)/Uncle(s), etc) have witnessed or even better experienced the terrible two’s? oh, you haven’t –well let me tell you!! Terrible two’s are known for the tantrum stages, as a toddler begins to grow-up sometimes they find it hard to explain how they are feeling which easily gets them frazzled. Hence the spectacular age of 2! I was grateful to have not gone through these “tantrum” stages with Spencer. Which actually really surprises me considering, Spencer is now, my active, rambunctious, rebel child! (HAHA!). Skyler, went through them and we quickly kicked it in the gutter before it blew out of proportion! Katelynn, on the other hand well, she is a little Princess. Daddy, constantly says yes as soon as a crocodile tear can be seen. Trust me, when I say Katelynn has her Dad eating out of the palm of her hand. She literally does! Baby Girl, has her crying tactics down to science! Its accompanied with hand gestures to the mouth, a few crocodile tears, and a few glares to make sure you are watching this theatrical break down. I have to remind my Husband that sometimes it is not a “real cry”. Cause you can distinctly tell her real cry from her theatrical cry. Anyways, back to my point, I wanted to share my experience with the terrible two’s when we were first time parents. As first time parents, we always felt the need, and when I mean we, I mean my Husband and I, my Mom and my other Family members. (It took and continues to take a village to raise my 3 kids)- to constantly not let a child cry, meaning saying “yes”, and “giving-in”. Yes, I can feel the eye glares, and distinctive NO nods.. trust me, it gets better. My superstitious, traditional filipino Family believed as parents we were being “mean” if we said “no” to our first born & not let him have exactly what he wanted. Even if it meant a liter of soda. (Gasp!).
When we would go to work or school we would leave him with various sitters. We noticed his attitude and demeanor would change when he would be with us at home vs at the sitters. We later learned that there really was no discipline when he was at the sitters, not even a talk. So, once we learned of that we figured out Skyler’s reason or his “why” he threw tantrums. In one household he would consistently get his way, and of course at home he would get some of his way, depending what it was. We talked to our sitter who was watching him to instill a form of discipline. We encouraged talks in which we defined it as, talking to Skyler and explaining to him why he shouldn’t do something bad, or why he couldn’t have a certain item, or why it was not ok to be mean, etc. At home, we instilled “the talk” with Skyler at a young age, we spoke to him gently, kindly and would talk it out to alleviate the tantrum. A great example would be when, Skyler was playing with a toy car, and another infant took it. He got very upset and started yelling and screaming and was trying to take the car away. We sat Skyler down, took a few deep breaths (mind you he is 2..) and would explain to him that the baby did not mean to take it away. That the baby is little and still didn’t know how to use his words, that if he could nicely ask for the car back. We practiced this type of talk in a varying scenarios and thankfully has always worked for us!
Fast forward to now, Baby K is now our only little girl, and at times I can feel and see that she feels out numbered by her big brothers. She tries her best to keep up with sword fighting, ninjas and video games! I can see when she is frustrated and gets irritated when the boys don’t let her play along. I have to sit the boys down and remind them that Kate is little & is also their little sister. Sometimes the boys need a friendly reminder to know that sometimes it wasn’t fun to play alone. Thankfully, this talk will work, and sometimes it just won’t. And, when it doesn’t I just have to redirect Kate to a more age appropriate activity with me. So, even though we are noticing some “terrible two’s” from Kate. We are learning to re-direct that anger or tantrum into an activity. Thus, far it has been working. We have a few more months until she is actually two, and she speaks a few more words. What are some terrible two tactics that you have used? I’d love to hear them, sound off in the comments below!