The “terrible twos,” as some call the toddler years, are a time of incredible development for a child. Personalities or attitudes begin to take shape and children begin to discover their independence. The toddler years can be taxing for parents, but a viral post is asking parents to empathize a bit more with their tiny tikes by taking a walk in their toddler’s shoes.
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While parents of toddlers struggle to stay patient and calm at all times, it’s important to consider what their kids might be going through. After all, they’re constantly being corrected and being told, “no.” That can’t be much fun, can it?
Walk a mile in a toddler’s shoes.
An anonymous writer is asking parents to pause and take a moment to consider what it must be like for a toddler to deal with their emotions. The post has now gone viral across social media. It reads like a ‘diary of a 2-year-old’ with an entry that starts the day.
“Today I woke up and wanted to get dressed by myself but was told ‘No, we don’t have time, let me do it.’ This made me sad,” the diary reads. “I wanted to feed myself for breakfast but was told ‘No, you’re too messy, let me do it for you.’ This made me feel frustrated.”
The diary continues focusing on a toddler’s desire for independence.
The next hurdle in the toddler’s day occurred when he tried to get in the car by himself, but was told, “No, we need to get going, we don’t have time. Let me do it.” This made the toddler cry but, he was determined to exit the car by himself when they arrived at daycare. The toddler was told, “No, we don’t have time, let me do it,” which made the toddler want to run away.
After an unsuccessful attempt at playing with blocks, the toddler tried to play with someone else’s doll. “I took it, I was told ‘no, don’t do that, you have to share.’ I’m not sure what I did, but it made me sad,” the diary continues. “So I cried. I wanted a hug but was told ‘no, you’re fine, go play.'”
The toddler can’t seem to figure out what the adults want while he’s waiting to be picked up from daycare.
“I am waiting for someone to show me … ‘What are you doing, why are you just standing there, pick up your toys … Now,'” the diary says. “I was not allowed to dress myself or move my own body to get to where I needed to go, but now I am being asked to pick things up.”
The very overwhelmed toddler just can’t seem to understand the expectations made of him. “When it was time to eat I wanted to get my own food but was told ‘no, you’re too little, let me do it.’ This made me feel small,” the diary says.
“I tried to eat the food in front of me but I did not put it there and someone keeps saying ‘here, try this, eat this…’ and putting things in my face. I didn’t want to eat anymore. This made me want to throw things and cry.”
A very confused boy takes stock of the day.
The diary continues with the toddler trying to make sense of adults.
“I am 2. No one will let me dress myself, no one will let me move my own body where it needs to go, no one will let me attend to my own needs.
However, I am expected to know how to share, ‘listen’ or ‘wait a minute.’ I am expected to know what to say and how to act or handle my emotions. I am expected to sit still or know that if I throw something it might break …. But, I do NOT know these things.
I am not allowed to practice my skills of walking, pushing, pulling, zipping, buttoning, pouring, serving, climbing, running, throwing or doing things that I know I can do. Things that interest me and make me curious, these are the things I am NOT allowed to do.
I am 2. I am not terrible … I am frustrated. I am nervous, stressed out, overwhelmed, and confused. I need a hug.”
So, parents, the next time you want to rip your hair out, just remember your toddler is probably having a more difficult time than you are. And, unlike adults, your toddler doesn’t yet have the ability to successfully “manage” their emotions.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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