Because being two is fine…trust me.
The following is a PSA that Being Two is Fine. Because it is. It really, truly is.
If there’s one piece of parenting advice I can give to you (having navigated three cases of “toddlerhood” myself) it’s that being two is fine.
Two-year-olds are amazing.
They are emotional.
They are unpredictable.
They have less life experience than some of the condiments in my refrigerator, and that is a perspective that’s easy to lose when they are on the floor of Target in a heap because you (yet again) said “No” to the 5 foot tall light up something-or-other.
Just remember: you are not alone.
I have no cure for the frustration we ALL feel except to say that you are not alone in feeling it and (maybe more importantly) your child is not abnormal for experiencing it.
You are a good parent and those “two” moments we ALL encounter are not a reflection of you.
They are a reflection of a brain, a body, a human that is just starting out in the world and doesn’t have the skills to navigate emotions the way we adults do. It’s OK that they have these big feelings and it’s OK when they need to show them.
We don’t need to ask them to stop being two.
What we need to do is provide firm, clear, and consistent boundaries as we help them navigate a very big world.
And we need to show them empathy. A whole lot of empathy because while it might not feel like it, they don’t actually know better.
But we do.
We can remember that we are adults and they are children, and only one person can be in crisis at a time. Wait your turn and don’t add any logs to their fire. The tantrum, the “two” moment, won’t be fixed faster by you losing control too.
I am 36 and my son is 2. He has the market cornered on meltdowns. It was my turn in 1985. This is his turn.
And at the end of the day (sometimes a very long day) yelling at him won’t make his brain develop any faster…
So what can I offer in moments of total “two”?
I can offer a hand or a hug and let him know that I will be there for him during even the worst moments of his life. This goes for now and for always, but the foundation for the future is laid today.
I’m happy to be there for him when his fruit snack pouch is opened improperly to make sure that he knows I’ll also be an anchor for his life when the problems are a little bigger than that.
We can meet a toddler where they are at and we can acknowledge these big feelings they have. That doesn’t mean we excuse, accept, or wipe away the behavior. It just means that I’ll wait until his head is a little clearer before I give life advice on how to get the toy you want from a friend.
I don’t want my message getting lost in the screaming, the crying, or the emotions of it all. My words can wait until they can be heard.
Keep your parenting chin up.
There’s so much more to two than just these moments we all encounter.
Remember that: moments we all encounter.
You aren’t the first parent to travel down this road and they aren’t the only toddler walking on it either.
Just promise me, in the moments where emotions run high and life seems insurmountable that you’ll remember this: Being two is complicated, and hard, and fun, and exciting, and frustrating, and terrifying, and fine.
Being two is fine.