Approaching the “Terrific Twos!”

Yesterday my baby turned 18 months old.  But truly, she is not my little baby anymore!  Just these past couple of weeks she has started shaking her head “no” when she doesn’t want something.  She can run and walk, and she lets us know what she wants.  She can eat anything that we eat and almost has all of her teeth.  Her many creases in her chubby arms and legs have smoothed and she looks more and more like a little girl.  In no time at all, she will be 2 and, no doubt, talking up a storm.  As she approaches this important time in her life; this time when she will learn that she is independent from mommy and daddy, a time when she is going to exercise her self-will, there is something I’m determined to do.  

I am determined to see the best in her.  

I am determined to speak well of her, to see what she could be and to encourage her potential for good.  This is something I was sure of since the day she was born.  When she was a little baby in my arms, I would whisper to her “you are a good girl…”  “you are my sweet baby…” 

Those seem like innocent phrases enough, but to me they had power behind them.  I resolved, as a mother, to always make sure that my children heard me speaking well of them- to them and in their presence.  I never ever wanted to latch onto an idea that my child was less what they could be, or so many of the things you hear parents call their children.  For example, “Oh, he’s just a trouble maker…” “She’s my little diva, always gets her way…” or “it’s just that age, you know, the terrible twos!”  I have never shared in other parent’s humor at these statements.  I’m learning words have life to them, and children often begin to form their identity around their parent’s perceptions of them.  I think we need to believe the best about our children, no matter what we see in them at the moment, and then encourage them to that end.  

It’s amazing how often this might come up.  A stranger at the store complimented Marlee, but then commented “But I bet she’s a stinker!” To which I politely replied with a smile, “Oh, she’s good!”  But I know there will be time in the near future where she will demand her own way, throw a fit, or any of the other things that toddlers do (and yes she has done) and I will be there not telling her what a bad girl she is (Lord help me if I ever call her a “bad girl!”) but reminding her what a sweet polite girl she is, and helping her to behave that way.  And I know the “terrible two” comments will abound more and more as she reaches that mark.  But what’s so terrible about it?  Attaining independence is a normal part of life.  It is not her job to instinctively  know how to behave in a way that brings honor to her, us and to God (and yes I believe little children can be taught to honor God!) but it is our job as parents.  

I know parenting holds a lot of challenges, but I hope by always seeing the best in my child she will she the best in herself and instead of hoping for it, she will simply walk in it. 





8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jennifer griffith
    Aug 28, 2012 @ 18:18:41

    Once again you have inspired me! I hope to do better at this and will be repenting of the “less than” impressions I’ve made up to this point!


  2. Juliana
    Aug 28, 2012 @ 19:35:44

    I was just thinking about this very thing lately concerning the ‘terrible twos’ as well as the common statements parents make concerning their kids such as “oh he’s a stubborn one or a brat’ etc. Sometimes I have even caught myself saying negative things but on the whole I’m realizing just how important it is to speak life and good over our children. And concerning the ‘twos’, my daughter is just a few months shy of 2 yrs old and I absolutely LOVE this stage!! Yes it has its challenges as does every stage of physical/emotional development but I truly do have a sweet little girl and I do not ever want to put a negative stigma on her, but to speak words of life and love. Thanks again for the reminder!


  3. Booksphotographsandartwork
    Aug 30, 2012 @ 02:24:24

    You are so on the right path! Such a great mom. You do have a great child who will be a great adult because you are laying the right foundation. Bless you.


  4. Liesl
    Sep 02, 2012 @ 22:32:13

    What a great post. Oddly enough, my brother and I were just talking about this last night. We were saying how kids pick up on a lot more than we think they do.
    All my life, my Mother and Grandmother would gush over how beautiful I was but would then turn and say something negative about themselves. It confused me, because I thought they were both beautiful. I think it instilled a little bit of a self-image problem with me. Almost like, ‘even though other people think I’m lovely, I don’t think I am.’
    I told my brother that if I ever have a little girl, I will always do my best to be an example of confidence.

    Best of luck with this new phase of her life. It’ll be great fun, I’m sure. And you seem very conscious of starting her off on a loving, confident path. Which is great. 🙂


    • thegentlehome
      Sep 04, 2012 @ 19:15:36

      Thank you! I really think they do pick up on so much- it’s actually kind of scary! Our attitudes, our comments, what we say about other people shape their opinion of the world. What an awesome privilege and responsibility we have!


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