Some might say it’s an odd thing to be proud of. But when my two year old recently went wild in a fit of temper because I wouldn’t let him play with ‘the water toys’ I sighed a strange relief.
It’s exactly the sort of thing that I would have done as a child too. Heck, child – it’s what I’d do as an adult!
It seems my son has inherited my spirited temper, or ‘Mediterranean genes’ as my long suffering husband puts it!
The unforgiving streak of rage is in him, but this means he can express himself, and for me that’s important.
My brother is the polar opposite of me. He bottles things up and it east him up inside. Fortunately, people seem him as calm and composed, as opposed to ‘lively’ like me.
But, I’ll take that if it means I get it out of my system.
As parents we are all guilty of ‘controlling’ our children. Think about it, we want them to sit quietly on trains, to eat without fuss in restaurants, to behave nicely in front of our friends. It’s all well and good, but think about what it means to be a child, and its to be curious and ungoverned by rules. Part of me believes we should roll with that a bit more.
There’s a parenting website that I’m a big fan of, run by a child psychologist Dr Laura Markham, called Aha Parenting (nothing to do with Steve Coogan, I assure you!). In a feature on dealing with two-year olds, she offers some helpful advice for parents, including this…
“Giving up some control so he can develop some mastery over his world.”
That can be taken in many ways, whether it’s letting them help themselves, or giving them the freedom to explore. But either way it resonates with me.
There’s a fine line between curbing a screaming toddler having a meltdown in Tesco’s and your child having a hissyfit for being told to behave. I still haven’t mastered the balance yet or getting my child to be happy all the time, but I am trying to understand that just like me, he likes to express himself, and you know what – that’s not so bad!