Parker Ann's (She refers to herself by both names now...) second birthday is creeping upon her and everybody knows what THAT means...YEP! The "Terrible Twos" are upon us. It is very interesting how one day a child can be so laid back and easy going and the next going into fits. I experienced this with my own children but had not really thought of my grandchild hitting that stage of life. Well, she HAS hit it in full force and now I am once again trying to figure out how to cajole her out of these bouts of fit throwing (sigh...).
It is my opinion that the "Terrible Twos" are a form of a child becoming more independent in the world. Their vocabulary has become larger at this point and one can notice the words, "My and Mine" being interjected into most conversations with them. Now, I'm truly not sure what causes the "fits", per se; perhaps they are brought on by frustration at not being able to clearly communicate what they want or then again, maybe it's just that they are learning that they can't get their way about everything. The real challenge is, however, how to deal with one of these outbursts when they occur.
I will admit that Robby and I did believe in spanking our children. HEY! Don't judge us...if you lived with our three little boys and saw all of the things they did, you would believe in spanking too! Anyway, I realize that most young couples today do not spank and that is their prerogative, however, often times a little swat gets the attention like nothing else will. But, I am the grandmother and I really don't even LIKE the responsibility of having to discipline my grand daughter ...thus, I have been struggling about how to handle these sudden outbursts( double sigh...).
I went into the week with a couple of goals in mind: First, I was simply NOT going to let an almost two year old control ME. Parker Ann is VERY verbal (and strong willed...); she has been making sentences for quite some time now. She not only makes sentences but understands what you are telling her, answering OK, yes and no when you tell her to do something. Goal number 1 would be to attempt to discipline my grand daughter by talking to and reasoning with her (a pretty foreign concept to me, I'll admit...) when she began to throw one of her conniption fits. Goal number 2 would be to wean the child off of watching so much Dora the Explorer! Seriously, I was going around town singing all of the silly songs associated with that program. Too much Dora for anybody is not a good thing! I knew that setting these two goals for the same week was being a little ambitious but I was gonna give it a try!
The first fit came early in the day, was surprisingly easy to resolve (whew!) and only happened once that day. I was sitting on the floor simultaneously folding clothes and playing with Parker. She was trying to open the door of a sorting toy with an attached key when suddenly I heard her say, "Hard!" Before I could say anything, she threw the key down, whacked herself in the head and started to get wound up for a big ole fit! I simply looked at her very calmly and said, "Now, we don't hit ourselves in the head and pitch fits. I know it's hard to open and I will help you but you have to quit pitching a fit first." She looked up at me, began wiping the tears from her little eyes and said, "OK". WOW! It worked...well, at least THIS time. And I suspect that was because there was no one else to turn to, to plead her case for continuing the fit to. Whatever the reason, goal number one had been accomplished and I was feeling pretty good about that. Sadly, however, I did not choose to tackle the Dora thing on the same day. Moving too quickly surely couldn't be a good thing and I wanted to savor one simple victory for the day. On her next visit, we would tackle Dora...no need to get too ambitious on Day 1 . After all...I AM her Ya Ya; I want to have FUN with her!