Just like her daddy, Reagan likes to be early. She was early to be born. Early to sleep through the night. Early to count to ten. And here she is six weeks before her second birthday clearly exhibiting the signs of the “terrible twos.” I want to be careful what I write in case she grows up and reads these words, but let me say that she has pushed her Mommy and Daddy really hard in the past week. My little obedient, smiling, affectionate, laughing ball of sunshine has turned into … something else entirely. Screaming “NO!” and hitting and pouting for no good reason–its all a little overwhelming.
So we made the rounds of the usual go-to mentors for parenting advice and received basically the same counsel. (1) Make sure there is no major medical problem, and (2) give quick and effective discipline for failure to obey. I know that sounds odd for some of you to hear about “discipline” and a 2 year old. Don’t worry about it.
The most interesting thing we heard from people who observe my parenting was that I should not give Reagan as many choices. Yeah. Choices. Instead of saying “wanna come sit with Mommy?” Say “Come sit with Mommy.” The reasoning is that my soon-to-be two-year old doesn’t need choices because she doesn’t know what she wants.
Furthermore, it sets a precedent that her opinion is the deciding factor. That should not and cannot be so for many years to come. What are we teaching kids? Do we expect them to make decisions until they are thirteen and then let us choose for them again? I think we all know how hopeless that would be. And the Bible says that we should train our children “in the way they should go.” I have never heard of training that involved choices. Whether it be horses in the ring or recruits in basic training, the word training almost implies “NO CHOICES.” Certainly, that is not to say I should avoid making my daughter happy or trying to please her on occasion. But to pretend that she is capable of knowing or making wise decisions is ridiculous and sets a course of conduct that is scary in its conclusion.
Anyway, I found these links to have some great information on Family Life.