First thing’s first, notice the title doesn’t say “5 ways to Tame Your Toddler” or anything of the sort. I did that for a reason, because I don’t have the answer. I am no where close to having the answers, but something I now know very well, at least in my household, is that tantrums occur more often then one would like to admit. Of course, some days are better than others, but I don’t think a day goes by that doesn’t consist of at least a couple of tantrums. I guess that is just a part of living with a toddler and being a SAHM to a little toddler, and hey Listen! This isn’t a post to complain about all the tantrums, because honestly more than half the time I (and my husband when he is around) end up having to stifle laughter because that bottom lip pokes out as far as it could possible go and the pout face is just too much! However, there are days where his frustration is met by our frustration because we know it stems from the fact that he still can not yet articulate his feelings and thoughts adequately and so there is a lot of grunting, yelling, and crying. Most of the time it’s chalked up to Silas being Silas and normal toddler tantrums, however sometimes we are frustrated and left scratching our heads wondering why he is about to be 2 (6 days from today!) and still not speaking enough to get his needs and points across. The feelings of, “what am I doing wrong? Why isn’t he talking yet? Is he behind his peers? What can we do to make him talk more?” creep in along with feelings of inadequacy and disappointment (TO CLARIFY: Of myself as a mother, not in my child). Deep down I know that it is nothing I have done, or any short coming of my son, but rather the truth that all children learn, develop, and talk at different stages than others and I CAN NOT compare my son to other’s no matter how easy it can be to do so. It’s kind of funny because before the time of social media really the only time parents felt inadequate and were subjected to the comparisons and some times one uping of others was in person. Now it is constant, and sometimes even unintentional, just scrolling through your page you read how someone’s little boy isn’t even 2 yet, is fully potty trained and speaking 3 word sentences. Suddenly your sons, who is the same age as the potty trained 3 word sentences boy, feat of stacking blocks and finally saying please seem to pail in comparison.
But you know what, I grew tired of feeling like this and tired of the comparisons and so, for the most part, I have tried to ignore the comparisons and the slight one-uping that seems to occur from time to time. I try to remind myself over and over and over again that he has the ability to speak and he will say the word’s when he is read, It may not be in the timing that my friends kids do things, or what the doctor would like to see, or even what my husband and I expect, but when HE is ready. For instance, Please and More have been words I have worked on with him since he was like 16-18 months and he just now in the past month or two has begun saying “please” along with signing it! It took him like 7 months to finally actually start saying it, and in the right context, as well as following commands, but he is doing it. So it’s not a matter of “if” it’s a matter of “when” and I think that the most valuable lesson I can learn, that all parents can learn, is to go along for the ride and realize that these things take time.
So, I guess the same approach is good when handling these tantrums and, while it can be so hard to do, I guess the best thing we can do is come along side them and try to comfort them and see if we can’t figure out and articulate for them (hen we’re able to) what exactly it is that they want or might be trying to convey. This parenting thing has so many rewards and is such a beautiful thing, but no one promised it would be easy. Actually, every parent has told someone without children one of two things, “Having kids is going to change your life” or “It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do.” They would be right on both accounts, and it is definitely the hardest thing I have ever done, but also the most rewarding and beautiful thing I’ve ever done. In the end it is all worth it, all 217,392,873,298,729,835,755,798,879 tantrums I am bound to witness (something tells me I will literally witness this many by the time I have raised all my kids)!