First of all, I LOVE my two-year-old! "Terrible" tantrums aside, I've always had good luck dealing with two-year-olds when I remember to keep my own temper in check. It's not always easy but I'd like to think that I learned this from years and YEARS of babysitting.
I started babysitting around 12 or 13 (diaper duty started just around 11 or 12) and when I was 15 I was an after school "nanny" of two elementary aged kids. By my late teens-early twenties I regularly watched multiples, 2-3 kids at a time and at 25 I went on a mini-week long field trip with a younger cousin and was put in charge of six or seven teenage girls! Mostly the "kids" I've watched have always gone along with whatever I've told them. I'm pretty flexible and easy going as long as they follow my "basic" rules like play nice, share, no swearing, no hitting, whatever... That all worked until I had a little red-headed cousin tell me "YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!" It was then that I learned to discipline "softly". There would be no "Because I said so" with that child. No loud talking would be listened to. I learned about getting down to their level and speaking softly. I learned that they are not deliberately being defiant, well not always, but they are trying to be heard, to be understood! When two of my nephews turned two (they are six months apart) I used this approach dutifully and it always worked! I stopped what I was doing, knelt/sat/whatever down and spoke very softly to them. I didn't speak condescendingly or reproachfully, but just a soft tone to find out what it was that I wasn't hearing, what I wasn't understanding. And when things can't be calmed down in this way I revert to my good-old "Let's do something else" tactic!
So, my oldest daughter just turned two and we have been experiencing those all-too-talked-about tantrums and fits. Some of them are actually kind of funny but mostly we just try to calm her down or we take a little time out in her room. Many of these breakdowns happen with regards to the bathroom... My kid loves baths. No, I mean she really loves baths! She loves to wash her hands in the sink, loves to spend ridiculous amounts of times in the bathtub, loves soap, bubbles and shampoo and mostly doesn't even mind the hair washing. The problem is the potty. We have finally gotten to a point where she will actually sit on the potty chair without freaking out. She's gone #1 a couple times and managed a little #2 once. The first time she pooped in the bath, I just chalked it up to first-time parenting. It really does have to happen to us at least once in our lives, right? The second time it happened we decided we were going to put her on the potty chair before every bath. She has gotten better just being on the chair and on days she gets really antsy we just distract her with a book or singing a song or counting. She still isn't making much progress with regards to the "training" part but at least it's progress on progress, right?
Well, we have been having more accidents in the tub over the last couple weeks. We've discussed a few things, thinking maybe it happens on days when she doesn't poop so much and to watch for certain "signs". Well, yesterday she had plenty of "movements" during the day but hubby went ahead and put her on the chair anyway. Still nothing. In the bath she went! And then she "went". Sure, she had been in there a long time. But she likes baths! She's stayed in a bath for over 30 minutes once!!! Now, I don't think Daddy watches her quite the way Mommy does. Daddy brings in his cell phone and does whatever on it. Mommy used to try to bring in her phone or book but it just got too distracting, how can you NOT want to listen to your kid as they play and sing!?! When I'm interacting with her, she hasn't "gone" in the tub. But how do I teach hubby to do that? And does this mean I'm the only one that can give her a bath? Cause I've got a 3-month-old that has other ideas...
Have any of you had problems with this? Any advise to an open-minded momma?
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