A wise woman once told me: Children often find a way to balance out the dynamic in a household.
Meaning, I’m pretty much screwed if I think my children are going to grow out of “phases” and all will be magically become unicorns and rainbows.
The past three years (with our now 4.5-year-old) have been — what I consider to be — very difficult and trying on our patience. Recently, we started to see huge improvements with his behaviors, communication skills and comprehension (with some help from occupational and behavioral therapy, of course). And now our 2.5-year-old is picking up the slack.
Sure we can blame it on the “two’s” and parts of it probably is his age, but it’s clear there is more to it. The social interactions and the dynamic of our house has been so used to the increased behaviors, now that one child is improving in a positive way, the other (and sometimes others, in our case) is naturally picking up the lost behaviors or trying to find that previous balance to compensate – basically in an attempt to create the balance everyone has been so accustomed to for so long.
It’s often called a dance in child development — and there’s a dance in every relationship… In a family unit, between mother and child, between father and child or mother and father. The “dancers” test their boundaries, limits, steps and plan their next move to figure out how to coexist with each other. Sometimes it’s calculated, other times it’s not. With our two-year-old, it’s obviously less calculated and more of a growth and balancing act because he’s two. In the end, everything turns out fine, but it doesn’t make it any easier when you’re living it. It’s just like most things in parenting. Just when you think you have things figured out, there’s something or someone there to let you know that there’s more work to be done.
In this case, it’s a toddler.