I am pretty certain and hoping that I am not alone in my thoughts here. I am scared for the toddler years. It probably sounds ridiculous but for some reason over the last few weeks I have started to think about what is to come and worry if the way we decide to tackle certain things will be the best or right way to do it.
Again, I know this probably sounds ridiculous. Of course I am excited too and I cannot wait to see how Amelia develops over the coming months and years. It has been on my mind for a few months now and I hate myself for doing it as I feel that I am wasting the precious time that I know goes past so quickly.
Over the past couple of weeks on the odd occasion Amelia has started to tap/hit whatever you want to call it. It isn't all the time but it has happened. It is never in an angry way but mostly when somebody is in her way, has a toy that she wants or was playing with. Other examples are when she gets a bit over excited and playfully does it. Still not great and we are already taking steps to either prevent this from happening or when she does do it make sure she knows that this isn't nice or the right thing to do. (Lot's of gentle hands!). I know this is something that is perfectly normal for a child of her age as many people have already told me and that she is far to young to understand consequences of her actions. This however doesn't stop me from feeling a little rubbish, like I want to cry and why does it only seem to be my child that does it.
There is nothing more mortifying than when you are out with friends or in a public place and you seem to be surrounded by super good children who aren't doing this. Again this isn't all of the time and the majority of the time she plays so nicely. It is just when she does my heart sinks and I just want the ground to cave in and swallow me up.
So far we have taken the action when it does happen that we take her away from the situation, sit her down and tell her 'Amelia, we don't hit'. We then leave her for a few minutes, keeping her in eyesight. After a few minutes she will either go off and play or we will go to her and continue to play with her. It is an early version of 'Time out' I guess. My sister suggested this as she had a similar thing with her little girl. At 19 months she is too young to understand the consequences of her actions but the hope is that she will start to understand what we mean when we take her away from the situation.
I think I do worry too much about us getting this type of thing right. I know there are going to be many occasions where we will experience this type of thing and where we may have to go 'Super Nanny' style with a possible 'naughty step' but my main worry is getting it right.
I read a post recently by Jade at Raw Childhood 'Please don't call them the terrible two's'. This made me feel so differently about things and the next few years. Jade talked about how we should embrace the toddler years and look at them as the years where our little ones are learning and thriving. She even went as far as suggesting that we rename them as 'The Terrific Two's' or 'The Transformation Two's'. I loved this and it made me think much more positively about what we will all be learning over the next few years.
Of course I still have my fears over the ways that we will manage things but it made me realise that I need to start to feel more confident in that whatever way we deal with things will be the best way for us. Similar to the past 19 months. We have done things a certain way and this has got us through so far.
In an effort to ease my worries a little bit I started to read Super Nanny herself, Jo Frost 'Confident Toddler Care'. A friend at work was getting rid of some books that she no longer needs and I thought this one looked quite interesting. I don't know if I will follow it page by page by it may be useful for some tips on certain things over the next few years. The book covers different things such as explaining why children have tantrums and the different ways to manage these.
I don't want to waste my time worrying about this types of things when I should be enjoying this time. Already 19 months has gone past so quickly and we are already heading towards the other end of this year. I know how quickly time can go past so I need to focus on each day and enjoying that rather than worrying.
I would love to hear from others and their thoughts and experiences as they approach the toddler years. Please tell me I am not alone being a worrier!