Sunday, December 2, 2012

2 year old no longer being "gentle and loving"

I have lost what was a very gentle loving 2 yr old and has been replaced with a screaming strung out little girl , she shouts alot, hits ,bites the sofa ,spits,throws her food across the table and so much more how can I re balance her and calm her ways?

2 years old is a difficult age as they have observed and experienced quite a bit and want to take life up a notch, but its frustrating for them as they just don’t know how to. Although its often known as a “no” stage, it can sometimes come from us saying “no” almost as often as them, as they experiment and explore on a totally different level, resulting in things they just can’t do. Therefore a cycle of frustration can be created, which is like a ball of energy bouncing between us and our children. Since it is coming from a place where for 2 years we’ve been their safety net, their grounding place and security in being, it can be a shock when we start to say no more frequently, so more of the behavior we are saying no to is given.
Her behaviour is a reaction to her new position . She’s feeling disconnected from who she knows she is and then by presenting off behaviour , you in turn see her differently and she feels less like herself. So, like you ask, how to find rebalance and help her connect? You don’t have to calm her ways, that will happen when she’s connected and feeling herself again.
I wish I knew more about her. For instance, is she talking? How is her comprehension? Does she appear like she wants to be treated older? I know by 2, our eldest girl was eager to be seen as a member of the household. She wanted to help around the place, she would talk about what to have for dinner, and make choices about what she wanted to wear and what story she wanted read to her. She begged for feeling empowered and to help make decisions about things that effected her. This way really important on helping with her connection. If she felt powerless, she felt disconnected and less like herself. To this day, 8 years later, she is responsible and likes to help out with decisions. She’s a great leader with friends and family as well. Don’t be afraid to ask your daughter what she wants, needs or likes. She might be trying to get your attention.
As we are positive beings at our core, connection comes when we feel happy and joyful. What I would suggest is to set aside sometime to live in your daughter’s world. Take the phone off the hook, turn off the computer and get down on the floor with her. Play a puzzle together, play dolls together, see what interests her and take her lead. Let her show you how to play her way. Talk about things with her, even if she’s just listening. Put on music and dance, letting her choose her own way of dancing.
Also, its an exciting time as she is looking for new explorations. At 2 she’s probably getting fed up and she might need to have wonders brought to her attention. So point out birds flying past, cows in a field, or even rainbows made by a glass. Get her to help with small jobs, watering plants, sweeping up, pulling the plug out of the bathtub. She’ll feel more part of the action and it offers things to talk to her about, for she might want to understand why you are doing what you are doing. I’m a big one for the art of distraction, if she offers negative behaviour, don’t let her set the tone for how you feel. Simply set the calm feeling space and ask if she would like to help you, if she needs a hug, if she’s hungry, or downright look outside and notice something and ask her if she would like to check it out. She will want to feel better! We always want to feel better. If you can find her something to shift her focus to, then she will jump on board, unless what’s bothering her is really that more important.
This is one of the hardest times of year for our children. Suddenly the feeling of everywhere shifts as Christmas approaches and people act differently. For a 2 year old its really confusing, so they react badly. I always try to avoid talking too much about Christmas, as it makes it too big of deal about something they don’t understand. (I always find children flip out a lot more as of November, merely the sight of santa in stores makes them feel off). Try to keep her focus on things in front of her. By two you can even start making lists of appreciation with her before bed as a part of the bedtime ritual. (This can even be done as “Thank you’s” depending on your belief structure, or “I love” lists if you’d like a more universal approach). Drawing simple attention to the good things in her life reminds her they are there, and will shift the energy.
One last thing. Often it is us who set the tone for the house and when we see something in our children that throws us off we have to find the connection within ourselves first, to provide the example, action rather than reaction and a sense of security in a crazy world. Take sometime to shift focus away from your daughter’s behaviour. See her as the sweet, gentle girl, you know her to be,even if you have to do it away from her. Take some time to appreciate things in your life, to spend sometime in your inner world and create the calm energy you wish for her, within yourself. Even if it means taking a few moments before bed. When we find our own connection,and then offer up an issue we are having, we can shift perspective and see the solution, once we’ve stopped looking directly in the problem.

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