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Jul 29, 2010

Terrible 2s, Awesome 2s... The whole toddler package

We are back to a pretty challenging phase with Daniel: terrible 2s in full swing. We had a little bit of Terrible 2s earlier this year. It was quite short and consisted mostly in crying for a certain amount of time before calming down.

The new phase is more complicated. It still involves resistance to actions we ask from Daniel, and includes a lot of crying. The difference is that Daniel is much smarter in the way in tries to get to what he wants. Crying isn't just an outlet for his frustration. It's a thought-out negotiation tactic. If this doesn't work, Daniel tries other things to get our attention, such as hurting himself (or pretending to) on purpose. He also finds a lot of arguments to counter us when he disagrees, such as "cleaning up is too hard for me!" (yeah, right!). The score this time is a lot more even. He definitely knows how to test our limits!

I know it's normal, and we have to stay strong and realize that it will benefit him if we can communicate boundaries clearly. But I find it sometimes so sad that these crisis over-shadow other great experiences with Daniel. Usually, the crying/time-out happens at the end of the day, and it prevents us from finishing an otherwise great day on a positive note. What a pity!

Overall, Daniel is still a lot of fun at this age. He understands and remembers so much, and he makes connections between things we discussed several days ago. He is also very social and plain cute. We recently had quite a few gatherings with friends. He was usually the one sharing his toys first and offering the other kids to play together. He deals really well with his little sister. He always keeps other people in mind and has a lot of empathy. Discussions with him are a lot of fun. So why does he have to sometimes turn around 180 degrees and become this terrible toddler from time to time?

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