Toddlers…agghh!

Oh boy, toddlerhood has arrived. The twins will be 2 next week and all of a sudden we have seen a massive shift in their behavior, or truly, their inability to even realize that they are massivly misbehaving. I had my first real “public” experience this past weekend and I would love some advice from those of you that have gone before me. So, my partner and I head to the Farmers Market in downtown LB on Sunday morning. We get the kids out of the car and they’re excited, it’s warm and beautiful and they want to see the ocean after we shop. Immediately, my daughter throws herself into that flat as a board, I don’t bend position as we’re trying to put her into the stroller. She wants to walk. Now, if we only had one child, that would be lovely. But with two, and shopping, and paying and carrying bags, it’s just very difficult. So, I let her walk and then of course what happens next (the inevitable twin factor), my son wants OUT NOW and wants to walk. Ok, by this point, we’re in the middle of the market. So here we are, I am pushing an EMPTY stoller, walking hand in hand with my daughter and my partner takes my son and they walk up ahead. Needless to say we managed, but at some point I had to put my daughter back into the stoller for her safety and my sanity. (It was crazy busy) She threw a nice little fit (which she has become fond of lately) using her entire body and flipping herself onto the ground. Oh boy, I am now one of “those” parents. People stared, gasped, made comments, etc…To be honest, I was embarrased and I just wanted to leave. As we reached the car, I began to cry as I held her tight. She and I just stood there and cried together. I wasn’t sure of the best way to handle that situation and then with everyone looking and commenting, it made me feel really unsure of myself. Anyone have any tips? I know this is normal parenthood, but it was my first experience in a public setting. FUN TIMES ahead! Go toddlerhood!

5 thoughts on “Toddlers…agghh!

  • June 23, 2008 at 4:03 pm
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    Thank you for the advice…I appreciate it. Do you have twins?

  • June 21, 2008 at 12:33 pm
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    I do sympathise with you, I honestly do BUT you must think “Action…Consequence” all the time when you are dealing with kids of that age. (Any age)
    When they were babies you had to constantly think ahead, plan ahead making sure you had kit for all eventualities. Well that essentially doesn’t change, you still must constantly think ahead but now it’s “If i do / say this to my daughter/son what will be the next thing down the line?”
    You could have (and I offer this trying to help you not attack you) used the ocean as a “nice thing to do” after we have all done the shopping together. Twins staying in their stroller while mummy and daddy shop.(talking to them all the time and asking which one of these do you want etc…) Involving them as much as you can but keeping them in their stroller so that they feel included but easier for you to handle. Their reward is then going to the ocean.

    You must try, try, try to stick to your guns on these types of things and if things do go pear-shaped (english for down the pan) then as a last resort you tell them if they can’t behave and stay in their stroller then they will be taken back to the car. Give them the chance to be quiet and good but if they persist then actually take them back to the car and your partner can sit with them whilst you finish the shopping. You have certain day-to-day things to achieve and you may feel out-numbered by the twins but you are the adult and YOU are incharge.
    I understand how a tantrum in the supermarket is upsetting for both of you but standing in the car park hugging and crying just sends the wrong messages to your daughter. She now knows that if she pulls that tantrum trick again then she gets lots and lots of attention from mummy ending in hugs and kisses. Is that really what you want her to learn?
    I know it sounds easy in theory; these things are difficult to start with but they do become easier as you think more clearly about them, follow through on any discipline and reap the rewards with children who know what the boundaries are and understand that there are consequences to THEIR actions.
    And people looking on in the carpark were simply thinking ‘thank god that’s not me’ but had you handled it differently; been more confident about your status with your kids then those on-lookers would have been thinking – ‘wow, she’s a good mum.’
    Things don’t always go according to plan in these situations but you can really help yourself and your twins (with you partners help of course) by putting in the effort with actions that can have really good consequences.

  • June 23, 2008 at 10:35 pm
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    You know, I want to share my thoughts, as I think it’s important for all bloggers. I asked for advice, yes I did, but I also decided to risk and share a vulnerable part of myself with regard to the challenges of parenthood. Not all of us have it all figured out and some of us are learning as we go along. We also all have different parenting styles and I think that we have to be careful in how we share our thoughts with others with regard to our own experiences.

    We all have our own views on discipline, consequences, etc…and I am one that actually has very strong boundaries and believes in people being accountable for their actions. I teach my children that and model it, however I don’t feel I have to assert my “being in charge” in order for them to behave. I also involve my toddlers VERY much and ask for their help, participation and thought process, as they are people with feelings too. I also plan and think ahead, I HAVE to with twins, it’s required….but sometimes, we fly by the seat of our pants when put in a new situation for the first time.

    I don’t agree with you that my daughter received such a message that day (throw tantrums and gets lots of attentions ending in hugs and kisses) I actually believe that my daughter received a different message that day…you see, I am real and raw and honest about my short comings…I have a hard time in big crowds sometimes and so I related to her in her difficulty that day…I also felt her sadness and her frustration and there is nothing wrong with feeling that in my daughter’s presence, along side her…I can relate to her in our own humanity, rather than shun her and separate her from our presence if she does not obey me. In fact I believe that I am showing courage, by being real and sharing that with her, rather than having to assert my authority over her. She and I talk about the tantrums and we talk about the effects on us, on others and on our situation.

    I just think you and I have a different style and may handle things a bit differently, but I am very confident with my kids and it’s my journey with them. I am responsible for them and I think I just need not care what “on-lookers” think. Thanks and best wishes to you, I just think we have a different way of parenting.

  • June 23, 2008 at 8:04 pm
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    I have two children – I am a single mother. Their ages are 4 and 34 and I am the only adult in the house !

    As you can probably tell – today is not a good day. My partner is possibly the laziest git ever and has absolutely no awareness for what needs doing around him. I, on the other hand, am so NOT domesticated – I’d much rather be IT Project Managing, designing websites and choosing a new handbag to go with my city suit but instead I find myself doing endless laundry, cleaning, cooking, school runs, shopping AND HE WANTS ANOTHER BABY !

    HELP !

  • July 15, 2008 at 3:10 pm
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    I read the comments made by “Adults … Aaagghhhh.” Granted I don’t have the emotional attachment that you have for this situation (I’m sure my day will come!), but I felt that she was just giving advice, which you asked to receive. Take it for what it’s worth. I actually felt more uncomfortable reading your reply back to her. I thought you were a bit defensive.

    As for the situation of crying together…who knows what your daughter was really feeling. Stepping back from the emotion of the event, I tend to agree with her comments that you reacted emotionally (in front of your daughter), and combined with the hugs and kisses you sent a mixed message of reaction and reward. You even stated, “I wasn’t sure of the best way to handle that situation and then with everyone looking and commenting, it made me feel really unsure of myself.” Just my opinion and insight based only on what you described. With that said, I do not claim to be an expert, just a parent. Likewise, I have no idea what either of you were feeling, what happened that day, etc. So take my comments…as just comments.

    As for advice…I think your feelings, your reaction, your raw emotion were all normal. Was your reaction the right thing? Who knows… Will it upset the parent/child dynamic? No. Did you cause harm? No. Here is what I tell myself when I feel like I am a bad parent… be patient with yourself.

    Thanks for sharing.

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