"You will be a better mom because you are a theologian, and a better theologian because you are a mom."

Is it true? In this blog, I explore the interplay and intersection of motherhood and theologianhood.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bring on the Terrible Twos!

Well, it's started. Eva can now shake her head "NO." She's kind of done it before, but tonight at the dinner table I asked her if she wanted her sippy cup and she shook her head, no, no, no. It was so great that we all clapped and then had her do it several more times, one of which I captured on the camera.

In my baby sign language book, the author tells readers that sign language can cut out a lot of the "terrible twos." The theory is that two-year olds get frustrated with their inability to communicate verbally. If they just know how to sign, they can communicate the basic things they want to tell you.

My book uses the example of your baby is crying and you ask what he wants. He signs juice, you give him juice, and you've avoided the tantrum. Great, right? Well, but what if he's not supposed to drink juice (my pediatrician friend says no, no, no to juice for babies/toddlers)? You acknowledge his communication and tell him no. He throws a tantrum. In this case, the problem is not communication, but the fact that the baby can't have what he wants. And if you ask me, much of "the terrible twos" is the child realizing that she can't get what she wants and using every possible way to try to get her way.

So anyway, bring on the conflict! Eva can now communicate "NO!" which is a big part of any toddler's life (just ask Maia). The head shake is just in time for her first birthday this Sunday.


Jana Bennett said...

I do think it is possible to reduce tantrums by acknowledging that [thing they really wanted to have/do that is bad] IS in fact, something they really wanted to have or do. And then to redirect attention to something.

Not saying it works all the time - with L. or with my nephew and other assorted 2 year olds, just saying I guess they like their feelings acknowledged just like adults do.

Theologian Mom said...

Well, I do usually try to emphasize that I did understand what my child was saying. But - at least with Maia - this did not work so well. Redirecting Maia's attention is extremely difficult. She's very persistent! But here's hoping Eva will have a more easy-going disposition on these things!

Theologian Mom said...

But anyway, what I meant to say was, yes, I think you're right!