My 23 month old is hitting TWO!
So we are now entering the terrible two zone, and it is one to be entering in with full body armour. The time has finally come and I still cant believe it. Just the other day he was learning to roll around on the floor and call me ‘Mama’.
The change has slowly becoming apparent and his temper tantrums are becoming more frequent and more aggressive. I often feel like pulling out my hair when he starts hitting and screaming at the top of his lungs ‘NO, NO, NOOO!’ Instead of ripping out my lovely braids from my scalp, I take a very deep breath and tell myself that he is not being problematic, he is simply experiencing a problematic situation. From what I learned during my Psychology degree, is that at this stage, children are often struggling to understand boundaries, and often find it difficult to express their emotions. For example when my son kicks off and throws himself onto the floor in a rage, I know that it is midday and he has had a long and exhausting morning at play group; he needs his nap. The best thing that I can do for him is not to get angry and shout, but instead I often find myself having to stand patiently and wait out his tantrum. Talking calmly to him helps.
My son wants to be more independent. Every time he gets dressed, he tells me that he wants to do it himself and often bats my hand away and attempts to put his arm through his t-shirt. When he gets frustrated because he is not allowed to do something, it’s important for me to let him know that these things are not for him and why he cannot do it. For example, he helps to load the washing machine, but then wants to put the laundry power in the draw. He obviously is not allowed to touch the powder as it dangerous, so then he starts to insist and then cry. My method is to get down to his eye level and calmly explain why he cannot to this. On a good day, this works, but sometimes I feel that I have to be a bit more firm with him. It was my health visitor who told me that he is not too young for time out. Since watching Super Nanny, I used Joe Fosters technique on my eldest son when he is misbehaving, he gets one minute for each year of his age. My son is 6, so he gets 6 minutes. I was slightly shocked that a 1 year old could or should be given time out, but 1 minute isn’t very long and it allows them to take the time to clam down and return to a bearable equilibrium. When his time is up, we talk about why he was given time out and by the end of it, he sweetly apologises and we hug it out. For me this technique is effective when he decides to keep hitting his brother or me. My almost two year old is very clever and is coming to terms with good and bad behaviour. He also is well aware of what time out is.