I dedicate this article to my youngest son and his wife who are such an inspiration to me. These two are such loving, kind and understanding parents and definitely have more going for them then I did when I raised my children. Perhaps due to the fact that they were not raised to be compliant/doormats themselves could be the reason why they are such good parents. They know their own minds, are not afraid to say NO to the crowd, and, very possibly could have written this article without any help from me.
I also dedicate this article to my beautiful Hungarian mom who is now with the Lord and my fantastic Dad who taught me how to sing, paint and fish, etc. My mother had a knack for what I thought was “reading my mind” She was a very loving, kind and gentle Mom. The fact that I ended up being too compliant was no fault of hers or my Dad. It was just the day and age in which all parents thought that if they had a “compliant” child, nothing needed to be done. In that day and age most parents didn’t try to teach their compliant child to speak up for themselves and to know their own minds. They were simply very happy to have an easy going, compliant child who causes no trouble and says yes to everything asked of them.
Now on to the subject at hand! During what we term the “terrible twos” the child is at a stage in their life where they are at war within themselves because they want to please their parents yet, they also want their independence at the same time.
The “terrible twos” can start from one year to 18 months. In order to survive the “terrible twos” the parent must keep in mind that children at this age are not logical or rational. They simply are motivated to show their independence. They may make a decision just because they can and not because they want the outcome.
The adult can still maintain control by allowing their child to make small decisions for themselves and offering them limited choices.
The basis for temper tantrums is the lack of communication and the frustration the child feels at that moment. The problem the child faces is that he/she can understand our language but has not as of yet developed the necessary speaking skills to communicate their needs to the parent. If the parent is willing to take time out from their busy schedule and really look at their child, they will be able to understand their child’s attempt to communicate.
Studies were done with baby monitors placed in the crib of the child. It was found that children exhibit more advanced speaking skills when talking to themselves then when they are with the adult. Perhaps some parents are unconsciously trying to keep the child from advancing in their speech by always talking “baby talk” to them.
Most children who encounter problems that are characterized by the “terrible twos” are those who have not had adequate training, adult communication and peer exposure. Those children who are given enough productive type of play where they learn to make choices and adequate adult communication will ease their way through the “terrible twos”.
If you child does start to show characteristics of the “terrible twos” the best thing to do is schedule more time for “productive play” where the child is encouraged to make choices. Spending time with the parent during the productive play is essential for the child to feel secure and loved and also learn better communication skills. The parent then will also learn how to prepare their child for decision making when they become of age.
When one understands the “terrible twos” and uses them as a teachable time, parents can help their child through this phase of development. If your child does throw temper tantrums don’t just assume that you know the reason or simply assume that the child being bad. Understanding the underlying reasons for the temper tantrums is the key to success.
Getting through the “terrible twos” with understanding, love and patience will better enable the parent to cope during the teenage years. In other words if you do your “homework” during the “terrible twos” you will pass those teenage years with your child with flying colors.
The “terrible twos” do not have to be a time of tears and heartache. If the parent allows their child to make small choices in their everyday life, the child will help gain decision making skills that they will need the rest of their lives.
According to an ancient Greek sage “Anon” the “terrible twos” is not so much a developmental problem caused by the child as it is the result of all too common parenting mistakes. The child is able to perceive the problems associated with their life yet they can’t get this across to the adult. The adult should ask the child to show them what they want when the child cannot verbally tell them. When the parents cannot adequately assist the child in managing the expression of his/her thoughts and feelings the result is the behavior known as the “terrible twos”
If your child shows signs of the “terrible twos” this time should be met with thankfulness on the parent’s part. Your child is just trying to communicate, get to know themselves, reach out to you and the world around them. The parent should be thankful that the child is not so compliant that he/she shows no signs whatsoever of the “”terrible twos!” According the Doctor James Dobson the “compliant” child gets into many problems when they have to deal with decision making in their teenage years. The compliant child is more likely to go along with the crowd and not speak up and say no to evil in a very evil world. If the parent has broken the child’s spirit, the child is headed for disaster and will end up being a doormat for the world to abuse.
The “terrible twos” if handled properly with love, understanding and communication will prepare your child to say NO to strangers and to their peers when asked to do something that goes against their grain and/or Christian upbringing.
Therefore the parent should be happy if their child shows independence and will not just go along with the crowd. Especially the Christian parent because the world is so full of many evil influences that someday your child will have to be strong enough to say “NO” to.
It is quite unfortunate that many Christian parents take the Bible out of context when dealing with children especially when using the Old Testament as a guide where it says that if we spare the rod, we spoil the child. I would like to mention here that we are in the age of GRACE not in the age of the LAW and that Christ FULFILLED the Old Testament laws when he died for our sins. Sometimes we as Christian are so brainwashed by Old Testament legalistic blind obedience that we reward the compliant child and look down on the child who seems to have a mind of its own. Instead we should teach the compliant child to say NO and reward the child that does have a mind of its own.
I AM NOT SAYING that we should not teach our child right from wrong but we need to be careful in our Zeal to please the Lord that we don’t break the child’s spirit so that they end up saying yes to everyone and every thing! For their very life may depend on them being able to say NO to evil someday!!
I speak from a life time of experience on this subject! Being compliant is not the way to go in today’s world. If I would have been taught to know my mind and be the person God meant me to be, my whole life would have been different, and, more importantly I would have known how to protect my beloved children.
In conclusion, the behavior of a child can be solved with better listening from the parents. If parents listen to their child rather than arguing, they will probably understand what their toddler wants and will reduce the tantrum problem when and if it does crop up. Parents should avoid giving reasons for denying their child’s wishes. It is clear that until and unless a child is 5 years old, he will not understand the reasons. By saying “no” to your toddler, giving them the logic behind your decision, ignoring their requests and looking for more a smart distraction, you then will be able to divert the temper tantrum.
My own childhood experiences, and: