Christia Colquitt from Faith Filled Parenting recently launched an awesome new blog series entitled “Embrace the Phase”. It is designed to provide mamas with various practical ways they can go about truly embracing the current parenting season in which they find themselves. I was incredibly honored when Christia invited me to write the post for embracing the two year old phase. If you are a mama of a two year old, my prayer is that you find something in this list of tips to help you on in your journey!
We have likely all heard the terminology before – “The Terrible Twos”.
For my daughter who is now 2 1/2, this phase actually started early – at around 18 months, to be precise! Anna went from a mild-mannered, calm, easy-going baby to an independent, willful, very vocal toddler seemingly overnight. And while toddlerhood can indeed prove challenging and having a two-year-old can at times feel a bit terrible, I have come to realize that it doesn’t have to feel as terrible as the culture would have us believe.
I have found that I carry a lot of influence over my child’s attitude and actions through my own.
Though I am not ultimately responsible for how my two-year-old chooses to act, the way I am as a mom can nevertheless greatly impact just how terrible this phase may or may not be.
And, you know what else I have learned? Even the phase of the “terrible twos” can be embraced! Even this season can be incredibly beautiful and sweet and precious.
The question is – will we take the time to help make it so?
What follows is a list of five different practices which are aiding me in my desire to fully embrace and enjoy this time with my daughter.
1. PRACTICE EMPATHY
When I get exasperated at my toddler’s temper tantrum and respond in anger and frustration, it only makes matters worse.
When I instead take a moment to remember that her fit is likely resulting from her feeling unable to fully communicate her feelings and desires and thus stemming from frustration on her part, I am much better able to respond out of a calm place. When I do, everything goes so much better, and she calms down a lot quicker.
If I have trouble embracing this phase that can be ridden with tantrums at times, it is oftentimes due to a failure on my part to place myself in my daughter’s shoes.
I am viewing these situations from my perspective as an adult rather than her perspective as a little child.
I am forgetting that, for my daughter, this season can be incredibly overwhelming in its newness.
The toddler season is a lot like the newborn season – our little ones are experiencing a whole new world, with a lot of new feelings, discoveries, changes in their abilities, and more that can make it an overwhelming time for them. Everything feels new again as they begin to process more, feel a little more independent, and exercise new skills.
If we practice a bit of empathy, then, it’ll go a long way towards our being able to more fully embrace this season, because our frustration and the frustration of our child will be greatly diminished.
To read the other 4 tips, head on over to Christia’s blog!