What the stage of a two-year old is not about – and four points what it is about
As parents we have the unique privilege to lead our children through each one of the developmental stages. There are stages that are more challenging for us than others and it surely has to do with our own background – and the information we have about the child’s motivation for his behaviour.
This is especially true for the developmental stage around the age of two.
With my fourth child I have the privilege to experience the whole impact of what this age can signify. My three other children went through this age rather smoothly.
Now I have all these tantrums, the anger, rebellion and opposition that are normal for this stage.
So, I took the time to study all over, what this age is really all about, and first of all what’s NOT about:
It’s not about you
All the anger, rebellion, opposition and the tantrums are not a sign of you failing as a parent. If we are not aware of what the important issues are in this season of life, we may mistake with our assumptions and wrong our child in it. It is not about the sinning heart of the toddler that needs to be disciplined right away.
It is about Symbiosis
Symbiosis is this professional word to describe the attitude of a Baby: “I am my mama, my mama is me. It is through my mama I exist and think and feel”. The two-year old process consists in starting to think and feel by himself. He starts to resolve the symbiosis. So it’s a scary time for the toddler. To challenge this symbiosis means to live in this uncertainty: What will happen if I do that? Until now, symbiosis was equal with survival. The Toddler’s reality was: “Mama cares for me. Without her, I die.” Now the toddler has to challenge the symbiosis:
It is about learning to think by himself
“Mama, I can start thinking for myself. Mama see, I am big now and not any more dependent on you in everything”.If we don’t understand this and feel threatened by it, we risk hindering what needs to happen at this stage: the toddler needs to learn to start thinking by himself. To solve small problems by himself.
It is about learning how to deal with his Anger
He needs to learn to handle anger. How will he learn that? By observing how we handle it. If we react with anger and punishment every time he shows opposition and rebellion, we teach him how to handle anger in a very poor way.
His opposition and anger should meet a love that is relaxed and unshakable, no matter the situation.
It is about learning to behave in society.
Learning about social demands, how to be socially appropriate. This is the time to teach him certain behaviour, make him do things (like cleaning up his toys) even if he doesn’t want to.
Are you ready to take on the challenge to love your toddler like this?