Now that Kennedy is two, we are facing the extreme challenge that this phase brings. The tantrums, the testing and pushing of boundaries, the stubbornness, the random tears, and the opinions that are coming out of nowhere regarding clothes, food, books, and even parental preferences.
My first instinct is to just give her whatever she wants so she will:
- Stop crying
- Stop screaming
- Smile and be happy
- Love me best
But then I flash forward to when she is 16 and realize that whatever I do now will influence who she is in the years to come. Now is when she is learning her boundaries, determining what she can and cannot do, and how consistent the answer(s) is to her behavior.
Right now, she is figuring out her world, learning the rules and attitudes we practice in this particular house, discovering what she can count on time after time, and determining her likes, dislikes, preferences, and individual personality.
If I give in to her simply because it is easier, I will have a long road to travel when those tantrums and demands go from toys and videos to playdates and school…from pizza and French fries to makeup and low-rise jeans…from circles of friends and dating to drinking and drugs.
See, I believe everything builds on what we do today. Give in even two out of five times and she will always push, thinking that THIS time may be one of the two times.
Don’t teach her consequences today, and tomorrow she will lead a consequence-free life, which we all know is the farthest thing from the truth.
Better to teach her that hitting equals no Jungle Book, then have her discover that drinking at 14 leads to risky decisions, getting arrested, or, God forbid, worse.
Lest you think I’m overexaggerating the point, think of a 16-year-old you know that is an asshole. Did they wake up that way? Did you know them at 10? How were they then? How about at 6? Or 4? Now picture them at two.
Tantrums and sass at two is darling…but at 16? An asshole.
Yes, it would be so much easier to raise an asshole…but we already have too many of them in the world as it is. I’ll stick to discipline, consequences, snuggles, and creating a safe, consistent home Kennedy can count on.