Larry and I have been struggling with the terrible twos these days. We’ve been smacked in the face with our own behavior and are quickly realizing we need to nip our actions in the butt because it is affecting our oldest daughter greatly. In this episode of the Making Mommy Moves Show we talk about the power of positive parenting so that we can raise incredible humans.
One thing we forget is that she is only two years old. She acts so mature for her age – speech, learning, her speaking full sentences, it just amazes us that sometimes she emotionally acts the way that she does. Lately, we’ve been noticing she’s been craving more of our attention… so you know what that means she’s doing? Tantrums… Hitting… Bullying… Coming out of her room and nap-time and bedtime… Anything to get a big reaction out of us.
So, something we’ve learned and that we’re starting to implement is that we need to change OUR behavior. She’s learning from us!
Boy, that’s a smack in the face, right?
We need to change our behavior to encourage better learned behavior on her part… So this may look like ignoring a tantrum or hitting someone, and instead praising the good behaviors she does all of the time… It might look like making bed time more enjoyable and a quality-time focused event where we make it enjoyable for her and give her more autonomy so there is less of a power struggle by asking her questions that make her feel like she’s in control. Or giving her the power to say “night night book, instead of just taking it away.”
Demonstrating more emotionally intelligent behavior, speaking to her nicely, and treating her with respect is going to yield a far greater outcome than yelling, spanking, or taking away her toys… You know what that will teach her? To yell, hit when she doesn’t get what she wants, or to take a toy away from another child.
So, this realization came in one of OUR late night talks because it’s been a real problem. And we want to be solution focused, not place blame on one another, and be the best parents we can be for our girls.
Key Practices for Positive Parenting
So, if you are having some difficulties with your kids I want to give you some key practices to work through with your partner… Because you two need to be united in your parenting so that you are consistently providing the same example behavior and encouraging the same good behaviors.
- I want you to write down three behaviors you’ve noticed in your kids that are troublesome.
- Now, I want you to write down three behaviors you are doing that may be teaching them each of those troublesome behaviors.
- Now, talk with your partner about these behaviors you’re demonstrating and how it correlates with the behavior your child is showcasing.
- How are you going to be better today?
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Lyss: So I wanted to bring Larry on to talk about this topic, because this is something that we’ve been going through with our family and our kids. And I think that you guys might benefit from the conversation. We are in the thick of the terrible twos. And I think that it’s a good conversation for you guys. Because you’ll be able to bring your husband’s or your wife or whoever on board so that you guys can listen to this and get on the same page about your parenting. So you want to enlighten everybody a little bit about what we’ve been experiencing with our beautiful little toddler.
Larry: rebellion. She has so many good attributes. Like, she’s so smart. She’s learning every day. And it’s amazing. But she’s also learning how to express herself and is learning to follow and to I guess, be very observant for ceramics. And that’s a very good thing, but not when her example of what to observe isn’t good. So she’s been not listening at school. She’s been pushing, hitting,
Lyss: kicking, holding you name it at home. She is WWE slams her sister on the floor, like, yeah, it’s bad. So we’ve come to realize that we need to be better parents. Like To put it bluntly, we are the example that she’s seeing. So everything that we do, she’s learning. And even though we’re not WWE slamming her sister on the floor, she might see us like, what’s a good example?
Larry: I guess like, just like, general rough housing.
Lyss: Yeah, like, if you’re picking Lila up and throwing her on the couch. Yeah, she’s gonna think that she’s playing with her sister, even though she’s hurting her sister. Yeah. Or if we’re like, if we spank her, she’s gonna think it’s okay to hit somebody else.
Larry: Yeah, well, it’s because she knows that that is, I guess a consequence. But also, like, if she does something, that’s the kind of reaction that she’s like, she’s looking for a big reaction for whatever she’s doing. So she knows, like, if I throw my plate of food for dinner on the floor, probably gonna get spanked. But it’s like she’s seeking attention. And that’s the most the most focused attention.
Lyss: Yeah, well, think about it. We’ve got two girls, we’ve got our businesses. We’re getting emails constantly, we’re on our phones, just because you know, phones are distracting. I’m sure you guys can relate you’re on before you even realize you are. So she’s going to come over and try to get her attention, however way she can. And the quickest way to get her attention and a reaction of us is to do something bad. Yep. So with this in mind, we’ve come to realize that we need to ignore essentially, the bad behavior, or treat it like really gently so that she doesn’t get that reaction that she wants out of us. And instead praise the good behavior. So when she’s being nice, and she’s everyday behaviors that she should be experiencing. That’s the stuff that we need to start praising.
Larry: Yeah, with excitement and get a big reaction when she goes over and she does something nice and gentle, gets a hug, you know, helps whatever we give her that big reaction that, you know, a big hug. Yay, whatever.
Lyss: Oh, my goodness, thank you so much for throwing that in the garbage. Like, yeah, stuff like that.
Larry: Yeah. But then when she does something bad, like push or scratch or something, we just give her a very gentle like, hey, we don’t do that, you know, do a gentle touch. And then, you know, she she gets a much lower reaction for doing something negative. And she gets that. And we’re also trying to incorporate more quality time to
Lyss: Something else is like in the space of toddlerhood, like she’s coming into her own and like wanting to express herself and like, have autonomy. And obviously like she’s too and we’re her parents. So we’re in charge. But she needs to feel like she can make some decisions, too. Despite what we say, yeah. So a way to kind of around that to give her like a false sense of power is for us to give her you know, some stupid decisions like, do you want to put your left shoe on or your right shoe on first? It’s like, either way, you’re putting both your shoes on, but she feels like she has power over which one she could do.
Larry: Yeah. Or like if we’re trying to leave the house and she doesn’t want to leave. It’s like, Alright, do you want to say goodbye to daddy first, or do you want to say goodbye to papa first? So it’s like, either way we’re leaving, but she’s deciding who she gets to say goodbye to first so she still is under the impression that she’s making a decision even though the general decision is that we’re leaving even though she doesn’t want to.
Lyss: Yeah, or let’s say like we need to leave her toy in the house and it’s that of me ripping it out of her hand and throwing it away and that causing a tantrum. It’s like, can we please say bye bye to Teddy bear, and she’ll happily go put teddy bear on her bed say babye teddy bear see you later, instead of like us causing a fight.
Larry: Yeah, it’s about definitely about being as like, de escalated as possible. And making her feel important. Because that’s, yeah, you know, a big deal, especially like you said, she’s trying to be autonomous, and make her own decisions. And she’s growing so quick, mentally, that she realizes, like, I can be defined. And I could not put my shoes on when my mom and dad told me to, like, there’s a little bit of trickery, a little bit. But also, when you have put your shoes on before you leave the house,
Lyss: it’s also giving her the feelings that she needs to feel like and making her feel important. It’s making her feel valued. It’s giving her positive attention, what she’s been craving is like our attention as much of it as possible, especially like with her sister, because you know, it’s a competition essentially, in her eyes that we’re giving ulissi, like all of this positive attention, as opposed to Lila,
Larry: Yeah. And I’m sure that other parents that have a younger and an older kid, it’s a lot easier to be, I guess, I want to say, like more attached, or at least like more physical with your little one, just because you’re constantly holding them giving them bottles, it’s more hands on, it’s more hands on because they’re less autonomous, they rely on you more. So in your older child’s eyes, it sees they see that you’re giving more attention to their younger sibling, and they want that attention. And they are going to do what they feel like they need to do in order to get that attention.
Lyss: Yeah. So in regards to parenting, something that we’ve had to come to realize and have discussions about is how we’re going to move forward with this and be united. He’s not spanking, I’m giving her gentle hug or I’m not spanking and he’s giving her gentle hugs. And it’s like, we’re both on the same page doing the same thing. And she’s getting what she needs.
Larry: Which, you know, being gentle has just got to be better than spanking and stuff, because parents get frustrated. We all do. So that time when she’s fighting, going to sleep, and she’s come out of her room 15 times and wants another drink. And she wants us to read another story. And we for the longest time saw it as her just fighting sleep, and not rebelling and not wanting to go to sleep. And after so many times after an hour and a half of her coming in and out of her room. It gets back earlier down to her don’t get up again. But we’ve come to realize that she just wants us and it’s kind of like duh, like, we should have realized that in the first place. But instead of spending an hour and a half to get her to go to sleep, you sit in a room for 15 minutes, read a handful of books, turn the lights down, snuggle for 15 minutes, and he spent a half an hour total getting to sleep and she’s a lot more calm, and there’s no crying and she’s not upset, she might come out one other time. Maybe. But so far, it’s been a lot easier and
Lyss: Better experience for everybody.
Larry: So definitely being united in whatever you’re going to do. And it feeling right, because it really never feels right to spank your kids or to yell at them or to be angry at them because they’re so impressionable. And you don’t want to have that negative connotation with whatever you’re reprimanding them about. You don’t want to put a negative connotation on that if you’re yelling at them for not eating dinner, or yelling at them for not going to sleep, or for not taking a bath or whatever, they’re going to have negative feelings about that. Because they get yelled at during that time. So they’re not going to want to sit at the dinner table, they’re not going to want to think about they’re not going to want to go to sleep because they know alright, this time of the day means I’m going to get yelled at not that I’m going to spend time with Mommy and Daddy, what we eat dinner, and you get to relax in the bath. And that we get to snuggle before bed, they have all these negative feelings. Yeah, and they’re gonna resist it more. And then it’s, it escalates because they’re resisting it more and then you’re recommending the more and then they fight harder, and then you’re yelling louder, and then it just gets worse and worse. So to bring it all back down, and to be gentle and to even give them that autonomy if they don’t want to sit at the dinner table and eat dinner. Let them sit on the floor. What um, sit at a kiddie table, you know, let them do whatever, as long as they’re eating. And as long as you’re happy. Like, I know that we want structure and we don’t want our kids walking around the house to the bowl of cereal.
Lyss: But you could give them the choice to and say, Okay, we’re gonna sit at your table or we’re gonna sit at the kitchen table, and then they’ll say, Okay, I want to sit at my table, and there’ll be happy and I’ll eat dinner. Yeah, they might even saying, Hey, Mommy, come sit next to me. And why would you want to say no to that? Because you need to have that quality time. And that’s gonna make them happy, and you’re gonna have a good experience.
Larry: That’s something about being a parent, too, is that you can’t let your ego get in the way of being a parent. Because we want to be in charge. We want our word to be final say, but we have to keep in mind that our kids even though they’re two, like he, she’s two and a half, like her feelings. And her opinion matters that she doesn’t want to sit at the table. Like she wants to sit on the floor and whatever. You know, we have to take that into account. And when we do when we recognize that, it gets easier, and the more dinnertime and they’re more relaxed to come bedtime and go to bed easier. bathtime goes smoother. Getting ready for school in the morning goes smoother when you’re not trying to shove them back in their bed. So you can get an extra hour of sleep if you just bring them in bed with you for that last hour in the morning and snuggle like, because they just want to be close to you. They want to be close to you.
Lyss: We had this moment when she was a baby because she was having we were trying to eat dinner together and she was having a fit at dinnertime. It’s like she wanted to sit and eat dinner with us. Yeah, so same thing we’re kind of going through now. It’s like she wants to be around us. She wants to spend time with us. She doesn’t want to lay in her bed for the last hour. She wants to lay with us because she misses us and we’re gonna go to work and she’s not gonna see us.
Larry: What she was saying about like, when she was younger, when she was like, five, six months old, we would put her in the living room, like, in front of the TV, you know, let her play with her toys, whatever. Let me put up a baby gate. And we would sit at the kitchen table and eat dinner. And then she would come up to the gate and green that she wanted to be with us. And we’re like, Why are you yelling? We’re trying to eat dinner? Like, why can’t we sit here and eat a hot meal. And we’re like, Duh, you want to sit here with us? Like we you want to sit in your high chair next to us and be involved. And we’re like, we did that for so long. And it’s like the, our kids want to spend time with us because we’re their entire world, especially, you know, this age.
Lyss: Everybody you know, that has older kids always tells us like, man, like appreciate the stage like so much more because it goes so fast. And they don’t always want to snuggle with mommy and daddy. And they don’t always want to give you hugs, and they don’t always want to eat dinner with you. So we’re really trying to keep that close to heart. And when we feel frustrated, it’s like, give him a title hug because they’re only going to be this little Yeah, this this year, you know, never gonna be this little again.
Larry: When you think about it, you know, to 18 years sounds like a long time, but really the amount of time that they’re cuddly and lovey, and they want to snuggle in bed with you. And, you know, they want to sit at the dinner table with you, it’s only a few years, you know, we only get a handful of years that they are going to wake up in the middle of the night and just want to be held, and that they’re going to want to sit at the dinner table with you and not be running off with their friends or whatever. I know when I was 1213 years old, so you couldn’t find me, I was never home. So I like stopped having family dinners and stuff when I was a 12. So even 12 years, you know, it’s you get 12 summers, you get 12 winters of snow and sledding and stuff like that, it’s like, and when you break it down like that, it’s like you get
Lyss: Like hit in the face, like you need to just do what you need to do to raise good human beings that are kind and intelligent and sweet.
Larry: And just soak up every last second with them. Because you know, your two year old isn’t going to be two for very long, there’ll be three and there’ll be a threenager. And they’ll you’ll have a whole nother set of obstacles and you know, a whole different kid to deal with. But despite how frustrating it can be to deal with a toddler and a little kid. You just gotta love them.
Lyss: This has been such a deep episode.
Larry: Yeah. Well, because it’s a realization that we’re recently coming to that like, wow, we’ve kind of been sucking lately.
Lyss: And you know, you never feel like you have it figured out. And you always feel like you’re learning. And this is something that we learned this week. And, you know, we’re always trying to be better. And I think you guys are too otherwise you wouldn’t be listening to the show. And it’s just how can we be better, better parents that are in a relationship but our business owners better across the board. And this is what it means for us to be a better parent, at least at this stage in our life, and we’re on the same page with it. So we want to encourage you to get on the same page with your partner and your spouse. Whatever problems you’re experiencing in your family with your kids with your parenting. I Identify like maybe what you guys are doing as parents that is, you know, encouraging that behavior in your kids. And for us, it’s we’re not spending enough time, or at least not in the way that they want. So how can we be better about it?
Larry: Your kids actions will tell you a lot about what they want without physically telling you. And reflecting on your own actions will tell you what your kids need. Because if you are the type of parent that you know, works 12 hours a day, and your kid is in daycare from 7am. And they get picked up by a grandparent, and they don’t, you’re not home until seven o’clock at night. And they see you for an hour and they go to sleep. And then, like, six days a week, yeah, it’s like your kid sees you for six hours and a whole week. And I think they miss you. They want to spend more time with you. And it’s like, how do you rectify that? And what can you do to be different? Like to make the change to change that? What can you do to change that?
Lyss: Yeah, or even change the experience that they’re having in that hour that they have with you, so that you’re not like, pissed off? Because you worked all day. And you have to do bedtime and bath time and homework and whatever else? It’s like, how can you make that experience enjoyable and quality time so that they get what they need from your relationship together? Yeah, maybe it’s even just keeping them off an hour later.
Larry: If you push bedtime back an hour or so, so you get, you know, maybe two and a half hours. And that gives you really meaningful, like, time spent eating dinner together reading books that like, really just quality time with your kid. It makes a big difference.
Lyss: I hope that you guys enjoyed this episode today. Yeah, this has been a really powerful one. And we hope that you guys take it away and do something good with your family and your relationships so that you guys can be the best parents that you can be. It’s not easy. It’s really, really not. And it’s hard to have these conversations and realizations. Just like Larry mentioned before, like the ego factor. It’s admitting like you’re not the best person in the world and that you still got learning to do and we’ve never been parents before, so we’re gonna get better at it every day.
Larry: The hardest part is letting your ego go for the sake of your kid. And to be able to sit with your partner and talk like adults, video common goal. You want your kid to be well behaved. You want your kid to be happy. And you guys want to be happy. Do you want to be happy too. So approach it with an open mind and definitely observe what’s going on and reach a resolution.
Lyss: Really powerful. Yeah. Thank you guys for tuning into the show. If you have any questions, please reach out to us like DM us on Instagram, send us an email, check out our website. You can reach us on there. And we’ll see you on the next one. Bye for now.