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Terrible Twos!

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Why do children begin to test their parents when they reach the age of two?

My Personal Experience
Maya Eve age two & four months

I noticed a change from the first day of January 2015; she had just turned two years the month before. The change was not gradual nor was there any warnings to what was about to happen.

Suddenly she began to scream, without cause and without reason, just scream continuously in a manner that made the back of your hair stand on end.

Maya Eve up until her second birthday was an angel, she rarely protested and neither objected nor vocally made a scene if she was ever displeased.  Happy to accommodate and go with the flow of life around her, in short she was an absolute pleasure.

Although her determination was clear and strength of character was already shinning out promising a force to be reckoned with.  Nonetheless, it was quite, silent and hidden, Maya was not one to show off her intelligence but rather from her subtle actions, she attempts to give the impression that she is unaware.

Yet when January 1st came her determination and character were no longer hidden, though quite and seriously Wilful, she now screamed it out for all to hear and for mummy to beware!!

At first I was shocked and bewildered for I did not know how to deal with her hysterical screaming that I had never before experienced, and while I searched for reasons and answers as to why she might be acting this way, I continuously blamed myself for perhaps being the cause of this new phase of her life somehow, outside the excuse of just labelling it the terrible twos!

It took many meditations and soul searching sessions and many weeks past before a realisation started to surface clearly through my close observation of Maya.  This was not simply a phase that parents should ignore or tread with care because it’s the terrible twos; I realised that it was way more important and life shaping then that!  The age of two-three is the battle of the wits, yes the toddler will be testing the parent, but let us keep in mind that the toddler is character building, exploring their environment with their own sense of power, pushing the boundaries to see how they can manipulate their environment with all the elements and people within it, yet most importantly they are programming their machine (mind) on the tricks that will work, be effective and allow their desires to materialise.

The toddlers’ point of reference is the role models that represent all males and all females, the mother and father. As they grow this will reflect out to what they will perceive to be an example of how life can be dealt with and how to manipulate people to get what they want based on the treatment and teachings of their parents during the character building age of 2-4.

Maya is a very strong leader personality, a leader personality requires discipline and to understand how to use and work with discipline.  Due to the fact that leader personalities will not listen to others or pay heed, they are leaders, born to lead, born with innate confidence of knowing who they are and where they need to go, knowing that they can have whatever they may desire.  Therefore if a leader personality is not taught discipline and restraint on how to manifest their desires, they will grow stronger with no direction, like a loose cannon about to explode with intense energy that is not focused and has not been taught how to focus.  Such power might be abused for personal agendas and short-sighted entertainment goals, rendering them spoilt and uncontrolled for they are not born to listen or follow but to lead.  If the role models (parents/members of family) of leader personalities toddlers do not match the power, focus and intent of the toddler’s output during the foundation building of their character, it would be too late to make changes later once the character has set with any flaws.

As I realised this I stopped torturing myself that I had done something wrong and began to respond to her based on this theory.  Sure enough as I challenged her strength of character, she came back stronger and stronger each time.  Fearless and her quite determination unwavering, she began testing her Will power and powerful intents against my own, relentlessly and patiently attempting to break me down so she may win her objective.  Each time demanding from me to push her harder and harder back into disciplinary realisations that life will not give you what you want without a fight, a decent fight and one that will test your own endurance.  My message is clear and constant each time, “My dear you will not get far in life throwing tantrums and behaving like a brat, and you will get no where with that behaviour”.  When she eventually gives up and gives in, she looks at me amused and happy with acknowledgement in her eyes that say, “ok mummy I didn’t break you down this time, but I’m going to keep trying!”

I myself do not give up, it is exhausting but each and every time must be exactly the same, I never ignore any of her antics to ensure that she realises I am paying heed and taking care of every action she takes, never give up and never give in, each time the same battle of wits occur between my daughter and I, something beautiful emerges before my eyes.  I notice that my daughters’ character is becoming stronger, more determined, more focused and much more creatively intelligent to try and break me.

There is nothing more beautiful then watching your own child’s character build up stronger and more powerful each day, knowing that you are their sparing partner that will condition your child’s character for the world of tomorrow.

I would not call it the terrible twos, but the character building twos, when your child will challenge the power, focus, intelligence and determination of your own character to build theirs against your own.

If a child grows up a brat due to the parents giving into the child’s whims instead of challenging them to teach them discipline, in such cases every parent knows as much as we love our children and wish to give them everything this world can offer, if we unwittingly spoil them without giving them the tools to deal with people, life and circumstances in the correct manner, we would have condemned them to a life of unhappiness and imbalance.

Join our parent workshop to discuss and design play-groups with other parents that best meets the developmental and growing needs of your child.

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