I don’t know why people are always talking about the “terrible twos.” Two has been easy peasy for both of my kids. I don’t know. Maybe for other kids two really is hard. But for us, three years old has been the challenge. My daughter was whiney and stubborn; my son just turned three, and he is stubborn and aggressive. It’s hard when the kiddos are going through some stage that drives Mom and Dad up the wall. When there are tantrums all the time, everywhere.
A while ago someone pointed out something- a new perspective to me. How many times is my child whining, complaining, and yelling, and I say out of pure frustration, most often with not one ounce of patience in my body, “Just be PATIENT!” So, as my son is going through this very challenging stage of life, I am trying to keep in mind that he will never learn patience if I react to him with impatience. He will never learn to be grateful if I never show him what it looks like to be grateful. He will never stop whining about getting his way if I do the same in my own adult, more socially acceptable way.
So, for you Mommas and Dads out there with a little tantrum thrower on their heels, take a deep breath. You’re not alone. You will make mistakes. You will yell at your kid(s). You will be impatient. I’m not saying you can be perfect, or that you should pretend to be. But when you do make those mistakes, those bad reactions can be turned around. You can respond with grace next time, and this time, the time you yelled, the time you broke down, the time you responded with anger, you can repent to your child. You can show your child what it looks like to truly be sorry for something, to recognize your own faults and deal with them in a healthy way.
This parenting thing is tough sometimes. But it’s awesome, too. Just remember, twenty years from now, you’ll be looking at your baby all grown up and wishing that they had stayed two or three years old just a little bit longer.