As parents (and grandparents), don’t we just love to notice and share our toddler’s newly-found abilities, expressive language, sense of humor? There’s pride and a bit of relief, perhaps, also mixed in that our child is developing right on schedule – maybe even ahead?
But then there’s those tantrums – those unpredictable loud refusals, that larger-than-life NO just when you most need your child to cooperate.
Well, take another big sigh of relief – and of satisfaction – for all of that just means your child is developing right on schedule.
For sometimes our toddlers are just looking, just checking to see if “our way” – our family ways are consistent and strong, predictable and safe to count on. “You need to hold my hand to cross the street” – “In our family, we don’t hit” – “I know you’d like to keep on playing, but its time for bed”.
And when we can, we understand and go along. The red shirt instead of the blue – fine ; hold on to the grocery cart and walk along rather than sit in the seat ?- why not, if it’s working ; wash hands by her “own self”? – nice work.
It’s a balance. A toddler needs to know what to expect, that she’s loved and significant, that her suggestions and “needs” are heard and that there is always a strong, safe adult who loves him and helps him through the difficult times.
So hang on and hang out and enjoy this delicious display of emotional growth – both your child’s and your own.
If you are having some challenges in appreciating your toddler’s newfound independence and opinions, and would like some extra tips on working with your child, give me a call at The Parenting Place – 784-8125 and we can set up a time to talk.