If I thought life had prepared me for raising a toddler, I was sorely mistaken. The bullying I faced in middle school, is nothing compared to the 18 month old bully who lives in my house. The sweet and smiling baby I used to rock to sleep has morphed into a tiny dictator. When he isn’t screaming to get his point across, he is throwing himself on the floor and flailing as if swarmed by bees. Aidan has taken up the bad habits of biting and head butting when he is mad. When you correct him and let him know his behavior is not appropriate, he laughs in your face. As a mom, I feel as if I am failing about 95% of the time. I’m aware this stage in Aidan’s development is perfectly normal, but I have so much self doubt whether or not my parenting is effective or not. I do not want to raise a child who thinks screaming and biting is the way to get what he wants. Nathan and I realize Aidan is still very young and that changes in his behavior will come with time, especially as he learns to communicate better. Each one of us is still learning how to handle situations, whether we are 18 months old or 27 years old. I am doing my best to remain patient and calm as I teach our child how to correctly respond to his emotions. Easier said than done, right? I think I would rather wrestle an alligator with my hands tied behind my back, than handle my son’s tantrums most days. Now to say my child misbehaves 24/7 would be a falsehood. He has good days and bad days. Most of the time he is a playful and loving child who wants to curl up in your lap to read or dance with you to the radio. Aidan is also very affectionate. He loves to give kisses and hugs, especially when he knows he has done wrong. Aidan participates in our daily prayers and loves to help with chores. He is learning at an alarming rate and as he grows his behavior will continue to improve. This season of challenges will pass. I just have to remember to be patient with him, as well as myself. Nathan and I are still trying to figure out this parenting thing. By the time Finley gets to this stage, hopefully we have some tricks up our sleeve. To all the parents struggling at any stage in your child’s life, remember it is all trial and error. As long as you are a part of their life and are making an effort to teach them right from wrong, you are not a failure. Sometimes we just need a reminder that we are doing a good job as a parent. I know I do!
Love and blessings,