My one year old has the Terrible Twos
It's official, Z has completely discovered, grasped, and is now fully exploiting the word "no." My wife Mo saw this coming, and had been warning me for weeks now. I've been in denial, saying "Nonsense, he's clearly saying 'neh.'" At this, my wife sadly shook her head at her husband.
This morning I tried to take a pen away from Z and was greeted with "No!" as clear as a bell, following by what I can only describe as a scampering away.
My one year old is getting into his Terrible Twos. He wants everything. He's also exploded with regard to sign language. Now he not only wants, but he knows what he wants and tells us constantly.
Given my extraordinarily vast parenting experience - goodness, nearly a year of it - I've planned on The Principle of Benign Deprivation. I figure I'll give Z everything he needs, and maybe 10% of what he wants. I know folks who can't go into a Target or Wallmart for milk without also coming out with the latest GIJoe action figure or My Little Pony. I figure that Quaker Oats containers and cardboard boxes were good enough for me, they'll be good enough for Z.
Folks are currently taking bets on how long this attitude of mine is going to last. I believe the latest Vegas odds are 4:1 against, within the next six months.
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
Keep it up!
As far as toys - she has SO many at home (and we live in a pretty small apartment) - she certainly doesn't need any more! (My wife is an only child, and there aren't a lot of little ones on her side of the family - so they give us TONS!)
I am pretty good about holding my grounds but she has this face that just melts me and sometimes I give in...
I am learning to look away....
When my kids (2 & 4) say they want something that I don't want them to have, my answer is a quick, decisive "nope!" -- usually with a brief reason why. You can do whatever you like from that point on (distraction, misdirection, the usual methods), as long as it doesn't end up with you caving in. Your "no"s have to have the sound of inevitability.
Keep it up Scott. I wish more people realised that getting everything you want is the worst education you can give to a child.
Here's a tip that might work for you: try redirection. When he wants something you don't want to give him, distract him and redirect him to something else. Kids are highly suggestive at this stage. It's actually kind of fun -- makes you feel like a jedi -- "These aren't the droids you're looking for."
And yes, I agree with Matt. Wait til the tantrums!
I figure you approach will work until Z starts "hanging out" with other kids who have tons of G.I. Joe's etc.
With all the stimulation that you and your wife provide, by that time Z will be able to FULLY communicate what he wants, and where you will be able to pick it up for him.
Don't show him Amazon or eBay anytime soon or you'll have UPS delivering all sorts of stuff to the house!
It's tough for parents with kids this age. I've been there, but now with mine in his teens and after raising him in a similar way, he has a much better appreciation for the things he is given that he wants. And there is so much more respect for things and people.
One thing that will happen: feelings of guilt. You love them soooo much and you start to feel those pangs of guilt because you aren't giving him what he wants all of the time. I bet if you asked your parents about these feelings I'm sure they will tell you they have felt those guilt feelings somewhere in your upbringing.
Good luck and hang in there! It's a long, wonderful road this thing called raising children.
I'll let you know what age mine adjust. It's not before 7 and 5, that's for sure. Come to think of it, my wife's 44 and she still says the "n" word when she means the "w" one...
Enjoy the time it passes so quickly, before long they are off to school!
- Marko 'The Pollo'
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Oh, and the thing about coming out of Target w/o a toy? There's a very easy way to do that - don't go by the toy department. Simple :)