Monday, June 20, 2011

Early Start of the 'Terrible Twos'?

Kenan is now 17 months old.

As a baby, Kenan was almost an angel. He started sleeping through the night since he was about 10 weeks old and had been a sweet little darling that was relatively easy to handle. 

But in recent months, he seems to have morphed into a toddler bent on getting his way. Like how he refuses to sit in the baby car seat and would cry and arch his back so we can't buckle him up. Or the way he screams murder in the highchair when we try to put a bib on him. Or when we are at the restaurant and he has to eat his own porridge, he would sometimes spit the food out and attempts to go on a hunger strike.

Recently, he seems to have also developed an allergy to pants and after we struggle to put one of his legs in and  tries to put the other one through, out comes the first and we'll have to battle with him for another few minutes, sometimes having to run after him, before he finally surrenders and put on his pants.

And he just can't seem to take 'no' for an answer. While we initially found it cute that he pouts when we tell him 'no', we soon realised we can't let him get away with "acting cute" and the disciplining got to start. So far, we've tried both the hard and soft tactics - scolding, persuading, ignoring his tantrums, diverting his attention etc. What has been real challenging for me is in being able to stay firm with him. Especially when he cries in the most heart-wrenching way and the tears gush forth like a broken dam, my heart immediately softens and whatever strong front I tried putting up crumbles. 

I know how important it is to be firm and follow through with what you say you're going to do and not give in to the child's demands no matter what. But I just find it so difficult! And the boy seems to know my Archilles' heel. So for now, perhaps I'll just leave the 'hard work' to the daddy and stick to softer tactics. 

Anyway, last week I took Kenan to the PD because he was unwell. I didn’t mention a single word about how he was getting more assertive, bordering on defiance at times, and how this mommy is finding it hard to be a disciplinarian. But the PD seems to have read my thoughts and said, "Don't you think the 'Terrible Twos' seems to be starting earlier these days?" Then she added with a laugh, “Maybe it's because of all the fish oil moms take when they were pregnant!”

But it did make me wonder could that be the reason? That I’m now starting to deal with the ‘Terrible Twos’ already? Mommies, how do you discipline your little one? What works best for you?


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