How do I know?
They whine. They cry. They throw themselves on the floor. They run away.
They get what they want. Because it is easier that way.
I don't know how it got like this. We were doing really well. Then, it seemed like overnight our pleasant Twinsies turned into mean talking, hitting, whining, and generally unpleasant 2 year-olds.
Daddy and I have started to sound like the parents we never wanted to be. We yell, we threaten, we use time-out as a punishment instead of a time to step back. Everything is a battle and we are weary.
Just like with everything else in our lives, we know what we are supposed to do, we know what we are supposed to say and yet, we don't. Why is that? John Rosemond, in his book, Making the Terrible Twos Terrific, says that the battle we do now to establish our role as the parents and the Twinsies role as the children will have long lasting effects. In fact, he says that if we don't establish our role as the "alpha dog", if you will, then the Twinsies' teenage years will be the most horrific of experiences. He isn't talking about us beating them down to always do our will because they are scared of us. Rather, he is talking about them doing what we ask, behaving as we ask, because they know it is what they are expected to do.
So, I sit here now, weary, heartsick, and feeling beaten. Why does this have to be such a battle? Why can't they be good listeners? Why can't I find the right words to inspire them to listen to me? Why do I have to fail at every turn?
Because really, they aren't winning. We are all losing.