The terrible twos. A mental exercise

In the last couple of weeks we somehow slipped into a new phase of our kids life. A period of time that is frightening especially for us parents. The so called terrible twos kicked in. Our little baby girl is getting older and is developing a strong will that she wants to force on us. Sounds familiar, well here are some Daddy thoughts and mindful ways to deal with it!

First of all, the most important thing is, that you have to understand that it is nothing personal. Your loved one is not working against you, they have a hard time to deal with this period of their lives as well. They understand that they can do things on their own, they can move better than before and they start to talk fluently. So it is important that they develop a strong will and the ability to communicate what they want. That’s all they do and needless to say that this is not always in sync with you wishes for the day. So conflict is just normal.

As a good Dad or Mommy all you need is to understand that you should never take anything personal. It is not against you, when your kid’s laying down on the floor and screaming right in the middle of the supermarket. Accept the hard time she or he is going through and help them to better deal with the frustration. When you seem to be boiling inside, stay calm or just ignore them. Never shout on them or fight them. This is the right time to start talking with them like an old sage giving advice for their future to become a better person. So do not force your will on your kids or tell them that the rule is to behave like everyone else. Work on values that are important in life, like fairness, love, peace and mindfulness. Be a role model for your kids especially in this phase of life.

The second important lesion you will learn is that you have to be in the present moment, not in the past and not in the future. All that counts is here and now. Your kid is shouting terribly because all she or he wants is a sweet treat right now. A second later they decide that they want to watch tv now and yet another moment later it is the stuffed animal that needs to be cuddled immediately. We grown ups tend to struggle when life changes so quickly because we learned to plan ahead and we also consider the past in our wishes for the future, so change needs time.

As a Dad I often compare this behaviour with American football. All they do is to learn runs that try to predict what’s going to happen usually based on experience made in the long history of games. Imagine that one day a team decides to not line up like they normally do. They just stand there a couple of yards away and form a circle. The opponent team would certainly take a timeout to work out a plan on how to react to this new situation. Well now you as a Dad are in exactly this situation every second with your 2 year old. You can’t take a time out like in a football match. You have to accept the present as it is. Fokus on what is there, and deal with it in a calm and wise way. Do not plan ahead or try to learn from a past behaviour. Your kid is unpredictable and so all there is is the present moment. This is one of the best life lessons your kid is teaching you forever. Stay in the present and focus on what is in front of you. With this mindset you will sail through hard times a lot smoother.

Well and the last lesson the terrible twos are teaching you is that no matter how hard you try, you will ultimately fail and have to try again. It’s like the brick wall that is in front of you and forms the limiting beliefs that dominate your mind and hold you back from living a fulfilling life. You have to try again and again and you do not want to give up especially because you are responsible for the well-being of your toddler. So as with everything in life if you consistently work on yourself and on the way you approach your kid, it will become a harmonious relationship even when they are right in the middle of the terrible twos. So speaking as a Dad, guys, don’t lose your temper or your nerves. Stay calm, don’t take it personal, be in the present moment and never give up. Sounds like a pep talk from Yoda himself , haha. Keep going !