Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston, Texas. Child care Montessori provider in Champions, The Woodlands, Spring Texas Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston
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TODDLER TURMOIL
The “terrible two’s” strikes fear into the heart of every parent. It’s a growing time for both parent and child. The child is changing from a baby to a “kid”. A similar transition happens when the “kid” begins to change into an adult during adolescence. You’ll find yourself reacting very similarly to your child during adolescence as you reacted during toddlerhood. Parents don’t realize that they go through growth phases in their parenting just as their children do in acquiring their personhood. If we accept that it’s a part of our maturing, the passion that accompanies this transition will serve us well.

And our toddlers are passionate! “Yes, I will” and “No, I won’t” expresses the drive for independence. The toddler needs to try out her negative and positive feelings. Without an intensely negative period, a child could be come passive and inwardly conflicted. The parent’s role is to recognize these conflicts as a part of an important process and accept them, as well as help the child manage them. Learning how to exercise self-control and to live with conflict is a long-term process, and these early lessons can be stormy ones.

This is a time for a child to learn about himself and his relations to others. The desire to test one another at this age can go astray. Biting, hair-pulling, scratching, and hitting all surface and get imitated. Often this behavior is aimed at one’s “best friend”. Horrified parents and teachers overreact and punish the apparent aggressor. This overreaction sets the pattern rather than eliminating it. Generally these aggressive behaviors don’t start out that way. They occur at times when the child is overwhelmed and loses control. After they’ve happened, the aggressor is as horrified as the recipient. When parents intervene, guilt sets in. With the next incident, the pattern repeats itself, and adult interference reinforces the behavior. Biting carries the greatest charge. All parents are frightened about this – about their child biting and about her being bitten. What seems to be the most frightening is the loss of control.

When biting happens at the school, we comfort both the biter and the bitten. The biter needs the most reassurance, for he will be frightened by his loss of control, more frightened even than the target of his attack. We talk with the biter about how no one likes to be bitten and about how we can help him when he feels like he needs to bite someone. Sometimes this has to be repeated over and over. The child who was bitten has to be taught to say “NO!” to the child who is attacking and to stay out of a victim’s role. It’s a learning process for all of us. “Easy does it” seems to work best.

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