First, Let’s Take a Stroll Through Lala Land
I recently came across an article that included this cute description of the Terrible Twos:
“….the occasional tantrum.”
Bwahahahaha!!! (Wipes tear from eye.) But seriously, I digress.
The article went on to explain further what parents can expect from the Terrible Twos. (See my real-life commentary in italics.)
- “The Terrible Twos can begin long before a child turns two, and can end shortly or long after he or she turns three.”
- Depending on the child, this could be as long as twenty years – or more – after he or she turns three.
- “Every child really is different.”
- The one thing the author actually got right.
- “Toddler tantrums usually get better as kids become better able to express themselves verbally.”
- The downside here is that, once they can talk, they never shut up. And then they add whining and begging to their repertoire of skills that makes you wanna drive nails into your eyeballs.
- “Once they get a bit older, develop some maturity and understand that the parents are in charge life settles into a somewhat calm routine.”
- Giggle!! Snort!! The author has obviously never raised an actual human child. Not a child like the ones I’ve raised, anyway.
Now, Let’s Talk Reality
I’d like to add the following points to the list.
- God made kids cute starting out so we wouldn’t kill them later.
- He fills parents with an insatiable need to take bazillions of photos and videos of their kids while they’re little.
- Somewhere between the ages of 9 to 11, until some far-off future time – which varies wildly with each kid (see article author’s point #2) – your kid will know more than you do. About EVERYTHING!! Until this stage ends spend as much time as possible looking through all those photo and videos you took of their baby and toddler years. This and point #1 may be the only thing that prevents you from killing them.
- When they become hormone-crazed teenagers you begin to understand why some animals eat their young. And secretly wish you weren’t human.
- Generally – and this has just been my experience – the teen-age years with boys are much easier than with girls. Notice how calmly I wrote that? That’s because written words cannot adequately describe what life can be like with a hormone-crazed, teen angst-filled, drama-ridden, boy-crazy teen-aged female human child. I won’t even try to describe what bad hair days and boyfriend break-ups are like.**
- If you’re a mom, just think back to your own teen years. If you’re a dad who had teen-age sisters, take a moment to reflect a bit on what life was like growing up with all that estrogen circulating madly through the home, ricocheting off the walls and slapping anyone in the face whose reactions weren’t fast enough to dodge it.
Then multiply everything you actually remember by ten. Or maybe a thousand.
**Underdaddy and Supermom – start preparing yourselves mentally now. Sorry, I’ve done it twice and that’s all the advice I can give you. I will pray for you though.
- If you have the misfortune of having a kid with ADHD, bipolar disorder, anxiety issues, etc., be prepared for everything I described to be multiplied by at least a million.
- Until the hormone wars raging in your child’s body and brain settle down to a manageable level teenagers will generally revert back to their previous Terrible Two personalities. Only magnified. Astronomically. So basically what you’ll have living under your roof for several years is an almost adult-sized two-year-old stranger. Who can drive a car. Now there’s a fun thought.
So, Do I have any Words of Wisdom to Share?
The best advice I can give parents is to pick your battles carefully. Plan ahead, rather than while in the midst of a crazed toddler and/or teen meltdown, how you’ll respond to your kid’s undesired behaviour.
A good rule of thumb for deciding whether you should punish or ignore is to ask yourself, “Is this the hill I want to die on?” I really like this war analogy. Because dealing with toddler and/or teen tantrums often feels like you’re walking through a mine field, leaving you fatigued and battle-weary from trying to avoid setting them off. The mines. Or the kid. Take your pick.
Which is why I think parents should receive combat pay and also qualify for PTSD disability payments. Which I’m gonna look into, right after I take a nap.
Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.
You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.