I never thought that parenting can really get this stressful.
At 20 months and the so-called nearing Terrible Two stage, Asher is at the phase when hitting, biting and kicking are his ways to address his aggression or when he simply demands attention. I know that he doesn’t intend any harm because it’s just his cognitive ways to express his emotions. After all, he’s just a toddler whose emotional development is immensely a work in progress then his inability to speak yet aggravates the frustration. It’s just sad that some people do not understand that this is ‘normal’ in toddlers and that boys tend to be more aggressive than girls, and that this aggression is probably more an indicator of age than of future personality and that every child is different. Sadly, some take his hitting personally labeling him as salbahe. Of course, this behavior should never be tolerated (and provoked) but there are proper approach to do so. More over, I treat this as an opportunity to help him about his ’emotions’ by saying authoritatively yet calm that it’s okay to get angry but hitting hurts and should not be done.
Tough as it is, I really do try to be level-headed and control myself to just keep cool (with an aircon or a ceiling fan will do..hehe). I refrain from hitting him even when I’m at my boiling point because by doing so, it only shows my own lack of ability to stay in control. Not only it will hurt him but it will confuse him the message I am trying to convey about not hitting. Further, I never taught him how to make “palo” nor hit the things that accidentally cause pain just to appease him like when he stumbles or trips down the floor, get bumps, etc. Aside from teaching him the idea of revenge, it’s as if he’s oriented that hitting is just okay. And that’s where I get the additional stress because I can not 100% control the environment he’s in. Partly, aside from being normal that he undergoes this stage, he absorbed the idea of hitting further from his environment. He’s overly observant, inquisitive and a sponge-like mind, that’s why.
Nevertheless, I’m confident that he will outgrow this stage. I’m not claiming that I’m an expert in parenting but my common sense and moral dictates and recognizes what is obviously just right and wrong in dealing with this.
Patience…an enormous level of it is what I need right now.