When my son was a baby, he was completely unaware that he was a separate being. But, over time, he developed physical, mental, and emotional skills. As he grows more confident, he’s discovering that he’s his own person (with his own body, thoughts, and feelings). He’ll continually want to do things his way.
And, then, the adventure of self-discovery truly begins. It’s a time of astounding transformation from infancy to toodler independence. As a result, it’s also a period of challenging behavior. But, by understanding the reasons behind my child’s actions can help us all get through this tumultuous and exciting time. He has the physical and mental capacity to wander off on his own.
And, he’s embarking on this whirlwind voyage of mobility with the belief that he rules his world. It’s a bittersweet process–to realize that your baby is growing up. It’s sad, but also cause for celebration. Even if I want to push the “pause” button, and trust me, I so wish I had that option (he is growing up way too fast). Between the ages of 2 and 3, he’ll continue to struggle for independence. He constantly tests his limits.
“I do it”–it’s probably his favorite refrain. His newly discovered autonomy is linked to his sense of self, and he flaunts it in many ways. My son is saying things like: “This mine”. He insists on wearing his purple pajamas for the fifth night in a row, eating only certain foods, and climbing into his car seat by himself, or in my sons case won’t sit in his car seat. This is normal behavior and it may be heightened when he’s craving attention. I know they say that these things are tough for Moms, but they are also pretty tough things for a Dad to do too. I don’t want to see my son sad or cry…