Having 2 children under 6 years old myself, I would like to share this experience that could benefit a would-be parents or current parrents that still yet to experience this. At least, if you know it, your mind will anticipate it. Be gracious if it’s not as bad, but also be strong and smart if it is worst than what I went through…
For me, the toughest year as parent is when the child is between 1 and 2 years old (12 – 24 months). This is the period when the child start to gain his/her independence: start talking, walking, running and interacting with his/her world.
Before this period, the child is practically 100% dependent to the parent and the interaction will be limited to feeding the milk, carry them around and put them in bed.
On this period, the child starts to develop and explore its curiosity. They want to touch it, they want to hear the sound it’s making and they want to play with it. What make this period a little bit tough is not the curiosity itself, but the limited conversation that can be done with the child.
With the independence of movement and their curiosity as fuel, what a children can do is quite limitless. And actually, the amount that they learn during this period also enourmous. Therefore, what we do or act on what they did become very important as that’s what they will learn about the parents.
What most parents forget is:
the rule and custom as you know it are not embeded into the DNA. They have to be taught and learned by the child.
For example: see the illustration above. That’s a box of tissue being experimented by my 1.5 years old. Imagine what they have in mind, “Oh, cool, a piece of soft paper with nice smell. Let me have one… and oh, there is another one beneath it, let’s take it as well, and another one, and another one… so many… let see where is the bottom of it…”
They don’t know that they supposed to have only 1 piece and leave the box alone. How do they know ? Who teach them? So, screaming and yelling to this little child will not help as they don’t know what’s wrong with it. What they see was that “daddy or mummy often yelling, screaming and say ‘No’ all the time, – almost to all that I did, I don’t know what so specaial about it so that they just say it over and over again”
And the problem for parent is, you cannot really give reasoning and giving lecture to them. What we can do is just to show the correct one. “Monkey see, monkey do” is a good phrase to illustrate it. Try to tell them that that is wrong probably a bit harder. Just try to show the correct one and they will follow you.
Remember, on that age, the child will just follow and mimic anything and everything that they see and hear. So, it is better to reduce that yelling and “No” and show the better way of doing it based on your custom.
Below is some examples of the experimentation done by mine:
- Pouring the whole bag of Doritos (corn chip) all over the carpet. Hmm…imagine the crumbs !
- Turn off the computer while I am on it. Oh, all of those unsaved data…..
- A snake of toilet paper around the home. Yes, I need to roll it back…
- Licking the shoe. Yuck..
- Paste that sticker to TV, computer, wall, table and chair. As long as it stick…
- Pouring that chocolate milk all over the carpet. Lucky I got brown carpet…
- Insert the book into the DVD player. Just like daddy does with the DVD, right?.
Tough, but just laugh it off and give them a lesson of life by showing the correct one, without punishing them.
Enjoy your child, once they pass that period, they will never come back ! Happy parenting !