You know that you are in trouble when you start to have shouting matches with the little one, trying to persuade her to finish her meal, poo-poo, nap, sleep, shower, get ready for childcare, etc.
I have come to the realisation that I am going through what many others have gone through - the Terrible Twos.
Goodness me! I thought that by use of reasoning and adult speech, I could get through. But things do not always go the way you want it. Little ones do not always respond in a textbook manner.
So what did I do? Sigh... I started reading a textbook!
This is the first set of tips that I came across in the book (mind you, I am still at Chapter One, I think...). These tips were on the topic of helping children to deal with their feelings.
The underlying concept is that children need to have their feelings accepted and respected. As such, here are the quick reminders for all of us:-
(1) You can listen quietly and attentively.
(2) You can acknowledge their feelings with a word (eg. "Oh.", "mmm", "I see...")
(3) You can give the feeling a name (eg. "That sounds frustrating!")
(4) You can give the child his wishes in fantasy (eg. "I wish I could make the banana ripe for you right now!") - this tip is so relevant to me. Princess always wants to eat the banana NOW. She can tell you that the banana is still green (Da commented recently that she can recognise colours, so she is not colour-blind. Phew!) and that bananas can only be eaten when they turn yellow. But when it comes to satisfying her want for the banana, all reasoning gets thrown out of the window and she wants to eat the banana NOW.
Another tip from that chapter? All feelings can be accepted. Certain actions must be limited. For example, "I can see how angry you are at your brother. Tell him what you want with words, not fists."
I have been trying out the tips for the past 2 days and I have failed miserably.
Oh well... as GP says, it is all about trial and error. Tomorrow brings forth continued effort on my part. Wish me luck!