“She is telling you something.” We were at the park. My free spirited toddler was writhing on the ground screaming at the top of her lungs. There was nothing I could do except stand above her. I asked her if she wanted to go on the swing, which was met with more screams. A lady nearby said “she is telling you something.”
Is This Normal?
Everything we read and everything we hear teaches parents to tackle those tantrums: start setting limits and that our strong toddlers need strong discipline. I knew the terrible twos would be hard and filled with tantrums but what I didn’t expect was how much pressure I would feel to have perfectly well behaved kiddos, which I do not.
They are called the terrible twos for a reason, the more terrible they act, the more discipline they need (or so I thought). Toddlers will push the limits to the max and maybe even make you worry that your toddler isn’t just going through the terrible twos, and that you need help. I find myself constantly asking, is this normal?
The Terrible Twos
Experiencing the terrible twos has been just that: terrible. Meals are torture (for both of us), beginning before she even gets to the table, she screams and kicks, fighting the whole process. Throughout the day the same: if I don’t read her intentions correctly, more screaming. I can’t walk from one room to the next without tears and yup, even more screaming to be picked up and carried. The emotional roller coasters are giving me whiplash.
Am I A Terrible Mom?
The emotions have left me battered. I have a really intelligent thinker of a two year old who now has a four month old brother. As interested as she is in him is also how much more she needs from me every day.
The Stronger The Child The More Discipline They Need, Right?
I tried to discipline her. I tried to establish boundaries and set limits. Let her know that I can’t pick her up all of the time. She doesn’t need to be carried around the house. She can’t throw her food on the ground repeatedly, Just tell me your done! Don’t scream when you want something, just ask mommy! The tantrums grew worse.
Discipline can wait
She’s telling me something she can’t put into words. She needs me still. I will be there for her in any way I can.
For us it didn’t work. My sweet girl was feeling more distressed by the day. It finally dawned on me that discipline can wait. She is telling me something. My two year old (my baby!) needed her mommy still!
She still needs to know I’m 100% there for her no matter what. Even if that means picking her up as she lays on the ground screaming for me, or just picking up her thrown food on the ground and moving on. Ignoring the bad behavior sometimes and just being her #1 fan even when she’s trying hard not to deserve it. She’s telling me something she can’t put into words. She needs me still. I will be there for her in any way I can.
I Gave In To Love
As we are currently struggling with this in our house, I’ve realized my friends are all there to give support and share their stories. It’s really helped me see that things may not be as bad as they seem sometimes. Maybe this is normal.
For now that may mean sucking it up and ignoring the tantrums. Giving extra TLC and making sure she knows mommy is still here and would do anything to make her happy.
While some may think I’m giving in and not providing her the lessons she needs, what’s more important is providing her soul with the love she deserves. The most important lesson I can teach her at this tender age of two is that she is loved beyond measure. She will always be my baby and she just wants to remember that.
Ormond Beach native Samantha Watkins is a wife and mom of two children and one pap-chi. She is an ICU RN, but currently is taking a few years away from work to be hands on her with her kids. Her guilty pleasures are watching TV in bed, napping, and lavish lunches with her best friend Jeri of 25 years.
If your toddler is throwing you major shade, read To The Mom Having A Bad Day.