Spoiler Alert!!! I actually don’t have the all seeing answer for you. Sorry. I am a just a mortal father. I have two children that did make it past two...alive...and healthy! My third is on his way, so I am gearing up and trying to remember. This is what I came up with.
1. Commitment. Stay the course. What you are doing is right….even when you don’t think it is. You are the adult in charge……well as in charge as you can be when they are throwing themselves on the floor, or making THAT SOUND…you know the one that grates your nerves to no end because they can’t ACTUALLY tell you what they want or need. We are in charge and need to stay committed to being the parent we WANT to be and the parent we HAVE to be. When we are asking ourselves if we can make it, remember that you CAN and you WILL if you keep the eye on the prize and not dwell in the present craziness that comes with the love of our lives! They are still going to love you, and later will love you more because you kept it real for them!
2. Consistency. Alongside the vision of the parent we hope to be, comes the need for a child to live in a consistent environment. When I look in that darned mirror, I realize that when he is breaking down, it is probably my fault....somewhere I wasn't consistent. They are so damn cute, that we often laugh at behavior we would be appalled at in just a short time (i.e. look how CUTE they are when they throw their food across the room and then give you that SMILE!). They live for your attention….good attention and bad attention, so remember, although cute, whatever we back away from now, and allow, will come back to haunt us….at the most inopportune times….like in front of that perfect kids parents from down the street who seem to NEVER have issues with their kid...which is a facade...you are only seeing their Facebook/Instagram self....they are having issues too....don't worry!!
3. Compassion. Have you ever been to a foreign country…where they don’t speak your language…and you only learned enough to find the bathroom, even though you know everything you want to say??? Our toddlers live in a world where they understand EVERYTHING and can’t communicate ANYTHING the way they want to. Remember that annoying sound….they are just practicing until they get it right. Through the toughness of consistent and committed environments, sometimes they just ACTUALLY need to be picked up…cause they can both receive AND give hugs equally….and maybe a slobbery kiss to your cheek to accompany that hug too!!
4. Cheerios. Seriously…sometimes our tank is empty…and cheerios are the way to every kid's heart. Plus when they are eating, it is much harder to make THAT SOUND!!
Thanks for stopping by. These are musings on how I see leadership in the world and how I continue to try and grow through my lens.