“May your coffee be stronger than your daughter’s attitude”
I’ve had about 2 or 3 cups of coffee this morning and there is not enough coffee in this world that could be stronger than my toddler’s temper tantrums. I am going to give you the honest truth here and spill the beans. I almost had a breakdown moment with my daughter the other day. The kind of breakdown moment where I felt like giving up and hiding in the bathroom.
It starts with my toddler’s temper tantrums. She’s almost two, and I finally understand the true meaning of the terrible two’s.
Now, I’ve seen some parents writing about how you shouldn’t call it the terrible two’s. “Because our kids are not terrible human beings and blah blah blah…” Well, of course, they aren’t terrible. We, as parents, know for a fact that our kids are not terrible. We love them to death and we would do anything for them, literally. But it’s understandably called the terrible two’s because of those terrifying moments that you have to face when it comes down to disciplining our kids.
The first time I actually felt like a terrible mom…
The other day, we stopped over my in-laws to spend some time with them and the kids. It was a beautiful Sunday. It was hot outside, but nonetheless, it was beautiful because we were spending time together as a family. We talked, laughed, and had the kids in the baby pool just to cool off a bit. My daughter was having such a great time. But I knew she was getting tired. Because she had skipped her nap a couple days in a row due to other family activities.
Mind you, she also went to bed very late the night before. But we’ve already established an early bedtime routine that you can read here.
Well, we got some takeout and all of us were having a pizza picnic on the front porch. The baby gate was up and everything was going great. Until I saw my daughter trying to climb over the brick wall to do her own thing.
This turned out to be a disaster because of course, she flipped out while I tried to stop her. As she was refusing to get down, she started whipping her head back and forth. It was becoming too difficult to control her. And she was determined to do what any normal toddler would want to do. So, I sat her down in a chair while she was still having some serious meltdown. It was so serious that when she whipped her head back, she slammed it against the brick wall.
My husband is a worrywart and he was ready to take her to the hospital. But thankfully she was okay. She just had one huge lump on the back of her head.
But right at that moment, I felt like a terrible mom. I didn’t know what to do or how to handle that situation in front of everyone. It was like my mind went truly blank. How do you even handle those types of situations when you’re not at home?
After that chaotic moment passed, I started to notice that my daughter was having all kinds of meltdowns every time I would try to tell her no. I kept brushing it off, thinking that she was just tired or her teeth were coming in. So, that’s why she was acting the way she was. I started making excuses for my toddler’s temper tantrums.
The lessons learned from my toddler’s temper tantrums
Finally, the one day I had had enough. I felt like giving up and hiding in the bathroom. But I couldn’t because, in reality, I was just not facing the hard facts. I needed to face this ugly side of parenting and discipline my daughter. This was the first time I really put her in a timeout and it actually worked. After she was done screaming, I went in to comfort her and I had to tell her that she needed to listen to me when I told her no. That moment there, I felt like a real mom.
About two years ago when my daughter was a newborn, I couldn’t have imagined disciplining my daughter today. You feel like the only thing you need to do in this world is to comfort them. But now that my daughter is getting older, I’ve realized that sometimes you just have to put your foot down. Otherwise, they are never going to learn those hard lessons.
It wasn’t easy for me to put her in time-out that day. But I was running out of ideas on how to deal with my toddler’s temper tantrums. And she was really pushing me to the limit. You only have so much patience until that timing runs out.
When it comes down to it, there will be some challenges that you have to face when it comes to parenting. It’s not always going to be hugs and kisses. No one wants to deal with that ugly side of parenting. But I’ve realized that I need to embrace my position as a parent.
So even when you feel like giving up, try to take on that moment. See where it takes you so you can get back to those precious moments with your child.
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