Rough Times with Toddlers

This morning was rough, and it didn’t need to be. Upon reflection I could have avoided upsetting my kids and in turn avoided getting myself annoyed and frustrated.

The problem is I, like most people, have limits. Our kids have been in this “phase” for a while now; approximately 8 months. The defiance, obsession with independence, arguing and possessiveness is reaching an all time high and sometimes I can’t stop myself from losing my patience in the moment.

One of the boys insisted on teasing the other and then later the other flipped out while requesting water and milk and cried when I brought him either. The last straw was the rejection of the eggs I made; then I was just pissed off and that doesn’t help anyone.

The point is not to beat myself up too much over this. Evoking fatalism helps me accept that I behaved wrong, but that’s in the past. I can instead focus on the future and my behaviours—two things I have more control over.

It’s not fair to my children to punish them for being irrational. They don’t have the knowledge or experience to even understand reason at this point. By reminding myself of my primary goals and duty I can get back on track and stay focused on raising good, productive members of society.

If this sounds or feels familiar, trust that by practicing these strategies you will eventually get better at handling similar situations. You will begin to observe yourself in these situations almost in the third person and begin to notice when negative feelings are approaching. When we get to that point we have the opportunity to change out behaviours for the better and more permanently.

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