Diary of a two year old
Today I wanted to share this diary of a two year old. It’s not mine, I didn’t write it. As far as I know the author is still unknown. But it’s a great reminder for those with toddlers, and at times even those with learning differences (even at an older age).
How often are we saying “no” each day? How often are our children hearing “no”. How do we feel as adults if we always hear “no”? Does it get frustrating. Darn right it does! Get the picture? I’m simply putting it here as a reminder. For me and how I relate to my children too, because life can get busy sometimes, and we just need to slow down and be more in the moment.
Here is a two-year-old’s diary
Today I woke up and wanted to get dressed by myself but was told “No, we don’t have time, let me do it.”
This made me sad. I wanted to feed myself for breakfast but was told “No, you’re too messy, let me do it for you.” This made me feel frustrated.
I wanted to walk to the car and get in on my own but was told, “No, we need to get going, we don’t have time. Let me do it.” This made me cry.
I wanted to get out of the car on my own but was told “No, we don’t have time, let me do it.” This made me want to run away.
Later I wanted to play with blocks but was told “no, not like that, like this…” I decided I didn’t want to play with blocks any more. I wanted to play with a doll that someone else had, so I took it, I was told “no, don’t do that, you have to share.”
I’m not sure what I did, but it made me sad. So I cried. I wanted a hug but was told “no, you’re fine, go play”.
I’m being told it’s time to pick up, I know this because someone keeps saying, “Go pick up your toys.” I am not sure what to do, I am waiting for someone to show me….”What are you doing, why are you just standing there, pick up your toys…Now.” I was not allowed to dress myself or move my own body to get to where I needed to go, but now I am being asked to pick things up.
I’m not sure what to do. Is someone supposed to show me how to do this? Where do I start? Where do these things go? I am hearing a lot of words but I do not understand what is being asked of me. I am scared and do not move. I lay down on the floor and cry.
When it was time to eat I wanted to get my own food but was told “no, you’re too little, let me do it.” This made me feel small. I tried to eat the food in front of me but I did not put it there and someone keeps saying “here, try this, eat this…” and putting things in my face. I didn’t want to eat anymore. This made me want to throw things and cry.
I can’t get down from the table because no one will let me…because I’m too small and I can’t. They keep saying I have to take a bite. This makes me cry more. I’m hungry and frustrated and sad. I’m tired and I need someone to hold me. I do not feel safe or in control. This makes me scared. I cry even more.
I am two. No one will let me dress myself, no one will let me move my own body where it needs to go, no one will let me attend to my own needs.
However, I am expected to know how to share, “listen”, or “wait a minute”. I am expected to know what to say and how to act or handle my emotions. I am expected to sit still or know that if I throw something it might break….But, I do NOT know these things.
I am not allowed to practice my skills of walking, pushing, pulling, zipping, buttoning, pouring, serving, climbing, running, throwing or doing things that I know I can do. Things that interest me and make me curious, these are the things I am NOT allowed to do.
I am two. I am not terrible…I am frustrated. I am nervous, stressed out, overwhelmed, and confused. I need a hug.
So how can we can change this day?
1. Be aware of how we learn – we all need to be shown how to do something, very few of us learn via osmosis.
2. Slow down. Life gets busy, but can the dishes wait? Do you really need to be in a hurry? Remember that saying “stop and smell the roses” well, toddlers LOVE stopping to smell roses and jump in puddles and watch diggers or caterpillars or that snail on the footpath. Buy into their wonder and use it as an opportunity to just be (that’s #mindfulness).
3. Try and keep the “No’s” to when safety is involved. There will still be a lot of “Nos” in your day with toddlers. Because boundaries are important. More so at this age than at any other (this is true for those with learning differences too – boundaries often mean safety).
4. Tell them what they can do, vs what they can’t. Don’t worry, “No” will likely still be your most common go-to word (see above), but instead, focus on the good behaviour you’d like to see as much as possible. Instead of “don’t run” or “no running” how about “walk please”. Instead of “No jumping on the couch” try “the couch is for sitting on nicely, please get down”…
the trick here is forethought. Think about what you are saying no to most often, and then think if there is a way you can rephrase it to help them learn what is expected, without saying no. Give it a go. I’d love to hear some of your suggestions! Tell them what they can do, not what they can’t.
5. Remember tomorrow is another day. Parenting is HARD people! We are not infallible and we will have bad days. But there is ALWAYS a chance to do over. Whether that be in 5-10 minutes when things have calmed down, or tomorrow. A new day means a new start. You and your child can always start over.
Oh, and don’t forget that hug!
“Today is called the present, because it is a gift”
(also not my quote, but a good one).
I’m a parent who has learnt some things the hard way. And even though my children are older now, I can still say parenting is not easy (especially the one with dyslexia, ADHD and anxiety). My specialty is sleep, but this ties in closely with development (I get to use that psychology degree). And sometimes I like to throw something non-sleep related out there. I’m on Facebook and Insta and would love to help you if you have any sleep issues. I work with children of all ages, and adults too! Book in a free initial call with me if you’d like to know more.