Re: "I am 2. I am not terrible..."
I don't know if you guys have seen this long Facebook post floating around, but I've seen it a handful of times. I have a visceral feeling every time I see it.
Let me be clear. I don't disagree with the post, but a lot of it has me saying "yes, but..."
I believe in balance. As a parent, I also understand that balance is hard to achieve. I find this particular post frustrating because it seems so much like parent-shaming. I am glad that the author has taken a moment to view things from a 2-year-old's perspective. This is incredible valuable, for anyone empathizing with their children and trying to understand them better.
I feel like this "diary entry from a 2-year-old" demonstrates perfectly why it's important to teach autonomy and agency, why it's important to demonstrate respect, why we Just A Moment Publishing are such huge proponents of Gentle Parenting and teaching our children to be mentally strong!
The balance comes in when you, the parent, examine whether this really is something you have to do for your child, or if exercising a bit of patience and understanding on your part can turn this into a wonderful moment for your child to learn. If you truly are short on time, and need to do it all, then a bit of respect and communication go a long way to saving you from a half-hour tantrum.
"You seem sad and upset. I know you wanted to dress yourself, but we don't have time right now. I'm sorry. You can dress yourself when we go to grandma's house later today, okay?" - By communicating with our children, we can teach them how to communicate their thoughts and feelings more effectively.
- "You seem sad and upset" - identify feelings
- "I know you wanted to.... but we don't have time...." - explanation and acknowledgment of their feelings as valid
- "I'm sorry" - sympathy, allows them to feel understood
- "You can dress yourself when we go to grandma's later today" - specific compromise so that they won't feel like they'll "never" get to do it.
By teaching our children how to identify and communicate their feelings, we are teaching them empathy. We are showing them how to be vocal about their wants and needs. We are teaching them how to resolve conflict.
By validating their feelings, we are building them up! We are helping to establish healthy self-esteem.
By suggesting a compromise and following through with them, we are establishing trust.
Respecting our children is simple and yields so many benefits, not least of which is - you'll likely see fewer tantrusm.