She wanted me to play with her. I was mopping with her little toy mop and she pointed to a spot on the floor. I followed her command but didn’t get it right. She tried to explain it again. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t mop the way she wanted me to. She became hysterical and then there was nothing I could do.
Twenty minutes later, she got distracted and shifted her focus. It ended a fast as it started. But those twenty minutes were miserable for both of us.
This is typical in the “terrible two’s” stage. They can’t control it yet. They know what they want, but can’t fully communicate it. And they struggle when they can’t get what they want.
You must balance empathy and compassion for this precious little being while avoiding, at all costs, any reinforcement that this behavior is how to get what you want.
This isn’t easy.
My usual reaction, once I’ve failed to prevent the outburst, is to sit calmly with her and let her cry it out. To tell her it’s okay, and once she stops crying we’ll get back to having fun.
Today, I was already at the end of my rope. I let myself slip into anger. I walked away and let her cry it out in the living room because I knew she could feel it, which I’m sure only worsened the problem.
Once we both recovered, we headed upstairs and got back to a joyous evening. I’m glad she’s getting through her terrible two’s, now I just need to get through mine.