Thursday, November 19, 2009


It has happened. I didn't think it would happen to me - to our family - but it has.

We have a terrible two in our midst. Truly. Although I think he qualifies more as a terrible three, since he'll be having a birthday in a couple of weeks...but "terrible threes" just doesn't sound quite as catchy.

In the past I've been known to watch a certain show called "Nanny 911," and I confess I've found myself shaking my head and chuckling a little at these "clueless" parents who've let their children get so out of control. Likewise, when I've watched a child throw an absolute scream-at-the-top-of-your-lungs-kicking-and-thrashing fit in public, I've wondered how on earth the parent let it get that far.

Oh, how the Lord is humbling me. Because my sweet, energetic, loving Benito has transformed into a child I'm not really acquainted with, and whom I don't really like at times. This may sound harsh, but I've been praying a lot about it and doing a lot of reading (ahem, The Strong-willed Child by Dr. James Dobson), and I've come to the conclusion that this is normal. Maybe not for every child, but for a lot of them, and especially those who are strong-willed like my son. I love him to pieces and I will forever and ever no matter what, but the Lord knows right now is a time of testing and fire, and frankly it's not much fun for anyone (except Jasper, who's so laid-back and little, it doesn't really matter what's going on - he'll find a way to make lemonade).

We have multiple tantrums and episodes of defiance each day. I am consistent. I keep my voice calm. He faces the same consequences for the same offenses time and time again. We also have a rewards system. We pray together. We talk through our actions. But it's becoming more apparent that this is going to be a long-term investment for building character and respect and order in our home. I'm okay with that, even though it is hard. work. Boy howdy!

I write this to remember what we went through so that if I go through it again with Bennett at some other time down the road, or with another one of my kiddos, I can look back and say, "Been there, done that, and we survived it!"

God give me strength! They weren't kidding - these terrible twos and threes can be pretty terrible at times!