Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Belly Babbles Book Club: How to Deal with My Two Year Old Edition

Anna is at such a truly special age right now. We have day after day of silly games, gleeful laughter, hugs and kisses. And then we have days where she is a holy effing terror, and I put her to bed two hours early and then pour myself an enormous glass of wine. Or two.

I came to a realization earlier this year that my biggest issue wasn't her behavior. She's two years old. I get it...that's what they do. My issue was how I was reacting. How easily she could push my buttons. How we spent too much time battling, not bonding. I wanted to celebrate her exuberance, her enthusiasm, her curiosity, her energy...not crush her spirits with harsh and ineffective punishments. The time-outs weren't working, except to give me a breather. She wasn't learning from her mistakes, and I was tired of her repeating them. Something about our personalities wasn't meshing, and I wanted to figure it out. If things were this difficult now, what on earth is going to happen when she is a teenager and dealing with much harder things than not being served ice cream for dinner??

I, like any other new mother, have read several parenting books. I have realized that no parenting book is ever a true waste of time, there is always some useful info to glean, but some are going to be more effective than others. Every child is different, and every parent is different - you have to find the ones that *click* with both you and your kiddo.

I finally found a couple of books that truly resonated with me, and they are all thanks to my friend Kirby. After a difficult morning, I remembered something she had posted on Facebook a while ago about spirited children. I googled the phrase and after reading just a few sentences, I bought the following books on my Nook. Do I think Anna fits the full textbook definition of a spirited child? Well, no. But a LOT of it fits. And I think a lot of it fits a 2 year old, just by default!!

For some reason, these books have made a massive difference in how I react to Anna's tantrums. I am more patient, more loving, more focused on teaching. And I can calm her down infinitely faster than I ever could before. I am more confident going out on errands with her and more confident with her by myself in a crowd. These books also helped me realize several key points about MY personality, and helped me recognize when I need to step back and get some space.

Are things perfect now? Haha, no way. But they are SO much better than they were. I feel more connected to my little girl than ever, and although we both make mistakes sometimes, we are growing together. Let's just hope this continues in another 11 years!!!!


Lisa Elaine said...

Thanks! I'm a big fan of Love & Logic

Kirby Lynn said...

Was this me or another Kirby?! Either way, it caught me off guard to see my name in your blog, but glad that the comment sent you looking in the right direction! And thanks for letting us know about these books. I could definitely use some guidance right now, but I don't like to spend time on a book unless it's been recommended to me. Glad things are going a little more smoothly with Anna!