Nothing Tests Your Patience Like A Toddler

My sweet little Kender is now three years old. He’s potty trained, no longer uses a binky, and is even weaning off of his security blanket. He knows his ABC’s, can count to 20, and loves to tell stories. His favorite phrases are, “Mommy, want to play with me?” and “Mom are you done yet?”

He likes those phrases so much in fact, that he repeats them about 40 times until I’m ready to pull my hair out. Hopefully I’m not the only one who experiences that feeling.

I’ve noticed that my precious Kender tends to be more “annoying” when I’m busy focusing on other things and I’m not giving him much attention. He tends to do things he’s not supposed to because he knows I will give him attention (in the form of scolding him, but he doesn’t seem to mind; he’s just happy I’m talking to him). In contrast, when I’m actively working to praise him when he is good and spend quality time with him between tasks and chores, he is a very well behaved little boy.

It is incredible to me that his behavior relies so heavily on my own behavior. When I am distracted and distant, he is such a trouble-maker. When I am present and aware, he is an angel. I may be a mother of two, but I’m a first time toddler mom and this is all new to me: it’s fascinating. He is a sponge. He learns by watching me. What better reason is there to try my hardest to be my best self?

So here is what I think:

When Kender is being annoying, I need to stop and re-prioritize. Am I spending quality time with him, or am I distracted when we are talking and playing? Am I praising him when he is good, or am I only scolding him when he is bad? The conclusion that I’ve come to is that I need to focus on giving him more positive attention so he won’t feel the need to provoke me into giving him any kind of attention, good or bad. Also, I’m sure it couldn’t hurt to get him into sports to burn off some of that never-ending energy he has.

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