A moment happened today that made me have a thought that I want to remember. So, I figured I'd best write it down before it disappears! Our little Baby 2 seems to be sucking many of my brain cells these days :)
Little Guy has had his voice for quite a while. He isn't afraid to let us know when he really wants something (he signs and says more, more, more), when he really likes something (mmmmmmmm!), or when he really doesn't want something (no, no, no, no with shaking of head and often times his hand or finger as well). I like the fact that he tries hard to let us know what he thinks and the more he learns to communicate the easier it has become to meet his needs and enjoy his antics.
Lately however, he is going beyond the basics in letting us know what he thinks. He is starting to really get upset when he doesn't get his way or when we enforce our expectations. Typically he is a pretty happy kid with a very willing spirit to do what we ask. We really are very fortunate! It is a bit of an adjustment to see him really try and test limits or express such frustration when he is told no. The hands clench, back arches, he makes a stinker face and really lets his voice (scream) be heard.
Today he was 'sharing' one of his frustrations about something I had told him at the table. As he was being upset with me and vocalizing his opinion I had a bit of a revelation. I realized that as challenging as some of the times to come may be and as hard as it is to not get frustrated with him when he gets opinionated I am glad I have a little boy who knows his mind. He has an opinion about things and wants it to be heard and respected. I would rather raise a child who will know his own mind and let it be heard than one who just goes along with the crowd and does whatever his friends think is best. In order to raise him that way, I will have to deal with a toddler who voices his frustrations at me and my opinions. (He gets that strong will from someone, right?) And then a teenager who does the same. Lord help me keep my cool, but in the end he should be a stronger adult for it.
I realize this is probably a bit of a leap, but it sure helped me get a new perspective on his growing independence and how I need to address discipline with him. He has rules to follow and there will be consequences when he doesn't. However, I want to encourage him to have his own opinions, know his own mind, and not be afraid to let others know what he thinks.
And somehow I'll figure out how to do that without going crazy myself, right? Any advice is welcome :)