Not this past Sunday, but the Sunday before, I volunteered in our church's walkers' nursery; I was dealing with any walker up to but not including age three. Oh, and I was the only adult adult. I mean, there were two others, teenagers, helping. But, because I was the oldest, I was in charge. Some ten or twelve little ones; I was overwhelmed.
I quickly found out who the princesses and princes were, and my younger one was not one of them. I mean, there was plenty of drama and attitude. I wasn't about to let any of them smell or sense fear. No way.
That experience got me thinking. Whether a child is experiencing terrible twos behavior or attempting to express autonomy in some other way, we cannot readily jump to the conclusion that the parents of the child are simply spoiling the child or allowing the child to be wildly. Must understand the situation more thoroughly and properly; the context is crucial.
A case in point. My younger one is and has been for a little while now been demonstrating terrible twos behavior - shouting "no" or bu yao ('no' in Chinese), throwing fits or objects. I'm not saying that any of those activities is acceptable in itself. I do want to say that my older one went through that phase, came out of it, relived it (when we moved), and got past it again. Of course, guidance and direction are needed on behalf of the parents. But, we, as parents, shouldn't readily and quickly assume that the child is deliberately making people's lives miserable. How about understanding the child is trying to figure out how to assert and voice his or her own view? Pretty frustrating when your vocabulary and ability to communicate is limited but you have lots on your mind and loads of preferences. Practically speaking? Sometimes dealing with the behavior involves not giving it attention, letting the little one ride out the tantrum solo. Sometimes other, more direct guidance is needed.
I'm too tired to continue writing with any semblance of coherence. What do you think?