We are never educated about the stages of development we go through in our lives.
Growing up with very limited time with infants and young children, I turned to Dr. Spock’s book Baby and Child Care when I had a question about my first child.
As my career developed (as did my three children) I learned more. I became fascinated by the term “terrible twos.” I discovered this was a time when a child discovered his or her own opinion. A child begins to verbalize or express his or her own thoughts rather than following adult guidance. I was thrilled to discover my children had their own thoughts, preferences and feelings. I did have a goal to raise independent people who could take care of themselves.
It was not always easy when we were in conflict, and I did not always yield to their want, but I did not find it a “terrible” time. They were discovering themselves and we learned ways to be together.
I find this a subject that comes up often with parents seeking help with their children. I encourage them to verbally acknowledge the child’s preference and the existing disagreement. And then, they have to decide the best resolution, which may be the parent’s preference. At least the child is acknowledged. This has been so helpful to many.
If only we were taught more about this in school.