This is not news to any of you moms out there- but being a mom is hard as hell. It was absolute heaven for the first 15 months. I couldn't get enough of it. Then came a premature case of The Terrible 2's about month 17. And now I'm running on fumes, here. Discipline, setting boundaries, dealing with conflict, asserting myself, handling stress, diffusing tough situations- these have never been my strong suits. And these are things that raising a toddler means you will encounter daily. Hourly. Minutely. And need to be done with grace, patience, love. Firmly yet gently. Present but not over bearing. Setting a good example by not responding with your own tantrum. Sound impossible? Yeah...
In fact, I just finished reading a ton of literature about Ada's escalating Toddlerhood- and it turns out I've been doing a buttload wrong- unraveling all of the positive love, attention, and building up I did for her first 1.5 years! And I'm feeling the need to confess and come clean- so I can have a fresh start this afternoon when Ada wakes up from her nap. Here are my mistakes that I will NOT make anymore:
-I've been forcing her to share and telling her she's being "ugly" when she says "mine!" Apparently that hinders self esteem and confidence. (Any suggestions for alternative ways to teach socially acceptable behavior? Because I am at a loss...)
-I've been ignoring her tantrums- trying to avoid giving negative attention. That enhances feelings of insecurity and aloneness.
-I get just as frustrated as she is sometimes. Great example.
-I even have a joke that I say "stiiinky!" when I change her poopy diapers- and that is even a kick her to poor self esteem. Per Dr. Sears "avoid words that imply shame." AWESOME, way to make my daughter feel ashamed of herself for something out of her control.
Ada is a pretty amazing kid. She's so smart. She has a really great sense of humor. She's uber-independent (often what sparks a confrontation). She's becoming very empathetic and in-tune with other's moods and feelings (doesn't always deflect a tantrum, but she's only 21 months). And if we can make it through the next year or so of toddlerhood without me ruining her, we will be safe!
I apologize for the Debbie Downer post.... but it was therapeutic just writing it down and getting it out in the open. Here's to renewed patience and tactics! :)