I commented to a friend the other day that I felt I was a really great mom 0-2, and not as much so far 2-3. Which got me to thinking about why that is.
With Max I'm more patient, more flexible, more compassionate and understanding. And I used to be with Jackson too. But now I too often find myself thinking You know better! which is what leads to impatience, rigidity, and indifference. But does he? And does it matter?
As he has become more capable, my expectations have risen higher, and with them my intolerance for the times when he inevitably falls short.
I know development isn't linear. I know that the fact that he did something yesterday does not mean he's capable of the same today. But still I struggle to adjust my expectations.
And that adjustment is really what it comes down to. Sometimes he really doesn't know better. Sometimes he does, but has the impulse control of a child. Sometimes he does and he's making a last ditch effort to get my attention after his loving and respectful attempts landed on deaf ears and blind eyes. Sometimes it's just the only way he knows how to show me how he feels and what he needs.
But whatever the case, my expectation should be that he is always behaving in a way that is "right." Because "right" when you're two means being connected to your needs and feelings and doing your best to make them known, especially when you need help with them.
He's communicating important things with me through these behaviors that push my buttons, and I only need to change the way I'm interpreting them for it to become positive for both of us.
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10 months ago