Being two years old is rough work. Exhausting, really. It takes all that Bean has to hurl himself emotionally onto the floor in order to let me know that he would rather have water than milk with his dinner. These kinds of statements don’t just happen, people. Two year olds put blood, sweat, and tears into their decision making. Being two ain’t for the fainthearted.
Neither is being the mother of a two-year-old.
Can I be honest with you? I feel like a total failure about 85% of the time with Bean. Like, I must be doing something wrong for him to have such explosions of emotions and tempers. I do what everyone says to do, I ignore the behavior that I don’t want to encourage. But this just seems to exasperate the problem.
After a whole year of ignoring the bad behavior, I decided last month that I was over that. It didn’t correct his behavior or show him what he should be doing instead and he didn’t seem to have a problem laying on our kitchen floor wallowing. And, quite frankly, I was tired of hearing him wallow. Now, when Michael flips out, I do one of two things. If he’s flipping out about a frustration he has that I can help him with, I go to him and tell him very calmly that I can’t hear him when he is crying. Then I wait and 9 times out of 10 he gets himself together and tells me what is wrong. The other times when he is upset simply because he doesn’t get his way, I put him in his bedroom to cool off a bit. I don’t yell at him or punish him, I simply walk him up to his room (or drag him…whatever you want to call it…) and explain that when he stops crying, then he can back downstairs.
At first, I felt really bad sending him away like that, but I’m learning that it really is a better option for Bean than a time out. For one thing, I can send him to his room and he can still calm down and play (which is how it usually goes) and for another thing, I can save the time outs for defiant behavior – which is not allowed at our house.
But no matter what the game plan is or how we choose to handle Bean’s two-year-old outbursts, I still feel like I’m doing something wrong. That he wouldn’t be so emotional if I was a better mom.
Maybe better mom’s don’t watch their two-year-olds pitch temper tantrums while thinking to themselves, “That kid needs a Midol…”