It seems we have hit the terrible twos a month or two early there are sometimes during most days I really don’t want to be around Jocelynne due to her attitude, anger, and frustration. I am well aware it is a phase and that if I can keep my cool and be there to help her navigate this period I should in theory have a well adjusted child when she comes out the other side. In practice however there are many times I would just like to stick her in her crib and close the door and not go back until she and I have both calmed down.
I try my hardest to not force the issue Jocelynne is particularly head strong (she gets that from her mother) I read things about trying to distract children with other toys or activities when they are doing something you would not like them to do but this has never work with Jocelynne even from an early age. If she had to do something she didn’t want to or if I needed to keep her from doing something that was dangerous or unacceptable there was nothing in the world that was more interesting than the activity I was trying to keep her from doing.
In the same spirit if Jocelynne has decided she does not want to get dressed or put her jacket on or have her diaper changed there is very little that will persuade her other wise. I don’t force her to get dressed against her will unless it is 100% necessary to leave the house for example on the mornings I work. She is getting better about understanding and her desire to “go bye bye” usually eventually trumps any desire to go against the wishes of her mother. So while I can’t say lets get dressed now, I can wait for her almost predicable desire to go bye bye to which I reply “Okay if you want to go bye bye we need to get dressed”. Sometime this take many attempts or we may get a shirt on and then have to go back to square one as she does not want to get pants on. I calmly reply “Sorry we can’t go bye bye until you are dressed” and walk away waiting for her to come back to me to ask again to go bye bye.
While this works as long as I know there is something in it for her that is more appealing than not doing the task at hand some things don’t come with such incentives. Diapers need to be changed no matter what and I am not at a point where I feel comfortable leaving her is a soiled diaper because she is throwing such a tantrum to not have it changed. As mentioned above some mornings we have to be out the door at a certain time (I am toying with the idea of just taking her to her my mother in laws in her PJs with the understanding my mother in law does not let her start playing with the toys until she is dressed).
With all of the best intentions my patience usually wears out before her will to defy what I want to accomplish. I waver between a fear of raising a child who is spoiled and you see and think my god what did her parents do wrong to end up with such nasty child and feeling like I am stifling Jocelynne’s freedom and her ability to feel like she has certain rights and can make certain decision for herself. I don’t want to rule with and iron fist I would love to find that happy medium where both Jocelynne and I feel like our needs are being met and that I have raised a child who feel respected as a human being. I praise and secretly love every time she does a task I have requested and take really deep breath many times a day for all the other times, hoping we get there in the end.