Toddlers

What makes your darling 2 year old want to be BAD?

My Little P who is actually a darling little boy suddenly had a personality tweak when he turned two. Almost miraculously, as though there was a switch inside his head that was turned on, he became “difficult” when he turned two. Suddenly, his favourite word became NO and every job became a major battlefield of negotiation and cajoling, often ending in tears when we couldn’t understand how his new shoes that were a size big for him were actually “tight” !

What makes your darling 2 year old want to be bad?

I am a bad girl

Dina, Little P’s school mate who is a mild girl, normally happy suddenly became moody and withdrawn. She became reluctant to come to school and would cling on to her grandmother who came to drop her off. The reason for this behaviour was the arrival of her baby brother. Bewilderment, jealousy and a feeling of abandonment were uppermost in her mind. Overnight, from being the adored little one, she was pushed to the role of the “Big Sister” who had to take care of her baby brother and be good to him.

Being good was like a red flag and she decided that she wanted to be bad. After all, as a “Bad Girl” she could behave badly – she could smack the little fellow, have a tantrum at will, hurl her food at the table and basically do all the things that she normally wouldn’t have, simply because this was a means for her to express her feelings of being lost.

Tackling the bad girl

For a whole week, she went on telling everybody that she was a “bad girl” almost revelling in her status of being obnoxious. Luckily for her, the teachers at school were used to such behavioural changes and calmed her down with extra hugs and attention. Slowly, she realised that she was not actually a bad girl but a good little girl who was grappling with strange emotions.

So when Little P began expressing the same sentiment of being a bad boy when his little brother arrived on the scene, we were prepared for his personality change and realised that instead of getting angry, the best way to counter this kind of ‘aberrant’ behaviour is with TLC.

It’s tough no doubt to be patient with a toddler who is dawdling over his food, being adamant about not wearing the clothes you’ve taken out for him and finally rough housing with an infant who can’t even lift up his hand but you’ve got to understand the turmoil this little fellow is going through. When he grabs at his baby brother it is a call for attention, so don’t yell at him but give him an extra special hug.

When he refuses to wear the clothes you’ve chosen for him, accept is as his way of expressing his own choice – allow him to wear what he wants even if his style quotient is at odds with yours. He is asserting his own independent thought and should be encouraged to do so.

So remember your 2 year old darling doesn’t really want to be bad – it is just his way of saying

LOOK AT ME

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