On Friday, I picked up Thatbaby from daycare at the same time another mom was picking up her daughter. As the two kids ran towards the playground laughing and screaming, the other mother turned to me. "I love Thatbaby. He's always so happy."
I laughed. I laughed because I would never describe Thatbaby as "always happy." As if to emphasize my point, Thatboy asked me at dinner that night "How many years do you think it will be where we can have a whole evening without crying?"
Thatbaby is going through the terrible toddlerhood. It starts around 1 and from what I hear continues until.......the terrible teens?
We're in a difficult position to, because discipline isn't entirely effective at this age. And I walk a narrow line between what is normal toddler behavior and not letting my child turn into a spoiled brat who gets whatever he wants.
Two weeks ago we had another parent/teacher conference for Thatbaby. I love these meetings because they reinforce that Thatbaby's behaviors are not only normal, but good. GOOD? Yup. You read that right. The tantrums are listed as positive developmental steps according to the DRDP (Desired Results Developmental Profile). I joke with his educators that the evaluation makes it sound good that our child is a brat. I thought I'd share with you some of the behaviors we typically characterize as negative, and how they're actually positive.
Measure 3: Self Expression
- Pushing away something the teacher offers is a sign of responding to people or things in the environment through action and or sounds.
- Dropping something repeatedly to be picked up, and trying to take a toy from another child is a sign of expressing self by repeating actions that have an effect.
- Holding onto a toy when someone tries to take it and crying and rolling on the floor when very frustrated are signs of asserting self by expressing needs, feelings, or desires through simple actions.
- Reaching and grabbing food on another person's plate is a sign of taking action to get needs or wants met without considering impact on others or self.
- Repeating negative behavior that earlier brought attention is a sign of initiating interactions regularly based on past experiences.
- Playing with the meaning of the word "no" is a sign of using a variety of simple words or gestures to communicate needs, feelings, and interests.
- Pushing things off a table and watching or listening to them fall is trying out behaviors to cause things to happen.
- Trying to paint on self and other surfaces instead of paper is exploring new ways to use familiar materials.
- Putting toys in a basket and then dumping the basket is recognizing that there are different amounts of things.