Does anyone have any tips on how I can connect better with my two year old toddler? We are going through the ¨terrible twos¨ making it very difficult to communicate with him. Sometimes I feel frustrated and bad that I am not connecting with him well. Instead of saying ¨no don’t touch that¨ or ¨no, don’t do that¨, what could I say to him instead?
Two things are certain. 1. almost all kids do what you’re describing. 2. Almost all parents get frustrated by it.
Your son is learning. It’s a good thing. Adults are learning too, but you know a lot more than he does. Your challenge is to think of ways to satisfy his curiosity and quest for knowledge in a ways that are constructive and safe. Also, remember that a 2 year old has no concept of adult concepts such as ‘cost’ or ‘expensive’ or ‘antique’. As much as we don’t want to hear it, when a 2 year old breaks something, it’s the adults that are responsible. Take it as a learning/teaching experience.
Sometimes it helps to make dangerous things less ‘interesting’ to a two year old. Closing lower cupboard doors (or even empty for a year if you have the room elsewhere), is a simple example.
Hope this helps….hang in there and know this phase is only temporary. Don’t let frustration harm your relationship. When you do get frustrated, step back and take a moment to think. You’re much much smarter than a two year old. If you can relax for a minute, you can usually think through it.
Ahhhhh! The terrible twos! What a fun but challenging age. I agree with what Boo wrote above that keeping the child safe is the most important thing. I have an alternative idea, though. What if you gave the kid his own cabinet? For example, when my kids were little, I kept some plastic bowls and lids in one lower cabinet they could reach. If they dug through it, no harm was done. They felt like explorers, and I knew that there was nothing in there they could break. I did have to pick up a bunch of bowls, but at least it kept their attention directed somewhere that was safe. Just a thought….