Someone recently asked me if Conrad had entered the "terrible two's" early.
Yes. He has, if the "terrible two's" even exist. All kids are terrible every now and then i suppose. It's just that recently he's been A LOT more terrible and he's not quite two.... He throws temper tantrums when he doesn't get his way, or he acts mean for no reason at all just for the sake of being mean because for kids, it seems like we have to teach them to be good rather than teach them to be bad. They know how to be bad right out of the womb.
Just the other day, we were at the play ground and as Conrad and I were trying to go down the slide, a little boy shoves past us and in a really mean voice says, "Get out'a my way!" I turned around and said, "You don't talk to adults like that!" He ignored me instead of turning around and simply saying, "I'm sorry." (Kids exist who are well behaved and don't act like this. I have to believe they exist.) Right after our exchange of words, or my attempt to show my son that this behavior is not acceptable, I look at his parents who had nothing to say on the matter and folks, it got real weird after that.
In response to me saying to little Jimmy, "Be careful, don't push your friends." (DON'T SHOVE ADULTS WITH TODDLERS....) on the playground after he's shoved my kid down and thrown sand in his eyes, you could say something like, "Hey Jimmy, be nice. That wasn't cool. Go help him up!" Or if we're all hanging out at the water park and little Suzy steals a car from my sons hands, you could say, "Little sweet Suzy, that toys' not yours. Give it back to that really cute blond kid. Ask him if you can share that toy instead of taking it from him." But NO, you watch your kid steal toys and don't say anything, and I have to feel like a jerk when my kid is crying and It gets all awkward because you're standing there like a mute-statue not teaching your kid how to share. You could have retrieved that toy from her and kindly returning it back to my sad little boy. If you help me out with this little playground conflict and not just stand there, you won't have to glare at me when I walk up to your child and nicely ask for that toy back.
BUT you can bet your biscuits that if my son steals toys, or pushes someone down, or shoves past someone, I'll be right there telling him that we don't treat others that way and give that toy back, and ask him if he'll forgive you for being mean. Chances are, I'll ask my son to give your kid a hug too.
But that's just me.
DISCLAIMER TO PARENTS ON THE PLAYGROUND: If my kid is being an asshole, feel free to point it out to him or myself (in a nice voice, we don't have to get crazy or anything....) and I will back you up if he is truly being an ass. Kids need to be taught how to be nice, I understand this, and so I give you permission to teach him how to be nice. We can all work together! It will be fun! IF YOUR KID is being an ass, and shoving fools left and right and not acting respectful to adults (sure, I look young, but I AM an adult. I can prove it.), please back me up if I point it out. We all want the same thing. We all want well behaved children. Lets help each other out! If you tell my kid what's up, I won't be mad at all. I will certainly back you up. Because really, we're all aiming for the same thing: Kids who are nice to other kids and can function like responsible citizens of society...
A little glimpse of my sweet boy playing peek-a-boo
before the "before two, terrible two's" started:
My kid is a bad boy too. Just last week while I was dressing my terrible-baby-boy, he wouldn't let go of his drum stick to so I could put his arm through his shirt, so i pried it out of his little sweaty hand, and forced his arm through the shirt. All of a sudden, i get hit in the head with that same drum stick. Without me realizing, he busted out his ninja swiftness and used it as a weapon against his mother! The nerve! So I take his sweet, precious hand and give it a little swat (2nd time ever I've done this. I don't like doing this. It makes me feel guilty.) He froze, looked at me, started crying, got up and came to give me a hug. It was almost to say, "that hurt mom. I hurt you like that? That wasn't nice. I'm sorry." He realized that his actions were wrong and hurtful. I'm sure not every course of action will always be this smooth and easy with him realizing he was bad and giving me a hug but it was nice and made me feel like a good mom for not just ignoring his bad behavior, but teaching him that it was wrong.
Even if disciplining our kids makes us feel bad, or mean, or uncomfortable, It has to be done. Sure, I've let it slip a few times when he's doing something he's not supposed to do because I'm exhausted and don't feel like telling him NO yet again, for the hundredth time, in the same hour. It's so tough. That's why us Mom's have to encourage one another in this parenting thing and support each other so that we can be strong and not let our crazy kids take over and destroy the world!
I've talked to quite a few moms lately about how they discipline. I've asked plain ol' strangers on the playground, friends, mom's who have been mom's much longer than I. It's such a grey subject. I'm not talking just TO SPANK OR NOT TO SPANK. Because I believe it goes much deep than that. I want to know how do I discipline my son as God would have me do so. I'll have more on this topic shortly.
Please feel free to chime in with advice on discipline,
the terrible two's and any other little pearls of wisdom you have to impart.