Toddlers, Ipad-parenting & all the emotions
Oakley is 2 years and 7 months, terrible twos you say? Well after the 2 year milestone I expected things to change a little, I was forever hearing 'the fun starts now' and although I didn't expect an over night change I just assumed that he would have some kind of growth spurt and the hormones would come with it. Hes had the growth spurt (age 3-4 clothing people, whats that about?) but the crazy emotions are only just starting to rear they're ugly head. Toddlers have tantrums, its not breaking news and Its nothing to be ashamed off.
I would say we have been pretty lucky in terms of Oakley's behavior, hes always been gentle with Olive, understanding when we say no and he has his dads laid back gene but just recently hes taken a turn and in the past month he is testing us to new limits. It hasn't been a gradual change in his character and although its not every day when he has these 'moments' they are intense and very hard to deal with. Now I'm not saying that this is a problem, nor am I saying its unusual I'm pretty sure he is not alone in this but why do I feel like I am? I'm holding my hands up, for those few minutes I have no idea what I'm doing and for the first time in a long time I feel useless as a mother. I cant control him, I cant reassure him, I cant settle him and almost every time he wants his dad and not me. THAT for me is a really hard aspect to accept, I am his mama and the one that spends the most time with him yet in these moments that he is extremely upset and confused his comfort always lies with daddy. Sometimes I want to shake myself, hes just a baby really and I should not take it personally, 10 minutes later normality is restored and he is happy to be with me but those 'moments' (I have no idea what else to call them) I am filled with self doubt. I know even now as a fully functioning (most of the time) 28 year old I can still have periods of time where my emotions get the better of me, I think sometimes I forget that Oakley may be experiencing this but on a smaller scale obviously, he can get overwhelmed or confused when making decisions and although choosing what colour straw to use or what pajamas to wear to bed isn't first world problems, I guess to his mini mind they are big things in his world.
I worry that he's hearing the word NO all to often, that I'm the one trying (and failing may I add) to discipline him correctly. How do you get that firm but friendly balance?! I want to be strict but not strict enough that I'm cruel, just enough so that he will be respectful to adults in general, not just me. I have no idea how to discipline him successfully as his understanding (although improved) isn't at the point that he understands the naughty step nor does he listen to me well when I really need to explain something is wrong to him. All I can do is wait until he does understand and hopefully time out/reflective step (going to try and steer away from the term naughty) will start to work.
Like I said these crazy moments don't happen all that often but when they do its the lack of control on my part that I find hard, one way I have learned to get my Oakley back is the Ipad. Yep, not ideal but I'm just going to put it out there LIFESAVER! Its for us been an amazing way for Oakley to have 'relaxing' time, he is one wild 'wrecking ball' as we like to call him (in the nicest way possible) and we have never ever and I mean never seen him concentrate, sit still or remain so calm before the Ipad was introduced. Granted Oaks is watching clips that are educational then we have been allowing him a little time on it when we need him entertained but also when hes upset. This is where I have a problem, I have always been bought up knowing that bad behavior is not rewarded, to me the Ipad is a reward so where is the line drawn. Pick your battles and anything for an easy life is usually my fortay because life is too short to spend so much time pent up with 2 children, plus lets be honest If we didn't take that approach then we would spend the majority of the time putting the toddlers on the naughty/reflection step.
God parenting is hard!!
So I guess my question is what disciplining techniques do you use? How often do you let your little ones watch the Ipad or computer?