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A day in the life of a two-year-old: "I am 2. I am not terrible"

Kinderling News & Features

When US mum-of-four Dejah Roman shared an update about toddlers on Facebook a couple of years ago, she couldn’t have known that it was on a slow burn to go viral, and that’s what has happened two years after the fact.

“I am 2. I am not terrible.”

Mary Katherine Backstrom, another mum in the trenches, re-shared Dejah’s compassionate post about stereotyped “terrible” two-year-olds and it’s caught the eye of tens of thousands of other parents.

Dejah’s post was written from the point of view of a misunderstood toddler, and reminds us of how powerless small children can feel.

“I wanted it to sound as if a 2-year-old could say this, this is what they would say,” she told Good Morning America.

“Our toddlers have no choice and no voice. We just shift them around. If there was an adult [who] touched me without asking, talking while I was crying … I would get upset too.”

“They’re much more capable than we think and we are actually pretty disrespectful to them. We do things to keep them safe, but a lot of it isn’t necessary.”

No, no, NO!

“Today I woke up and wanted to get dressed by myself but was told ‘No, we don’t have time, let me do it.’ This made me sad,” Dejah’s piece reads.

“I wanted to feed myself for breakfast but was told, ‘No, you’re too messy, let me do it for you.’ This made me feel frustrated”

It continues on in this vein, detailing what might just be the innermost thoughts of a two-year-old. It’s really helpful to consider their experience.

Children are still working hard at mastering emotional self-regulation at this age and things that seem inconsequential to us are often the big things for toddlers.

Being more aware of their feelings and ’emotion coaching’ them through challenging situations can help defuse tantrums and give them the tools to cope better, down the track. Dejah’s writing is reminding thousands of parents to do just that.

Reframing toddler behaviour

Mary Katherine Backstrom – the mum who resurfaced this now viral Facebook post a couple of weeks ago – says Dejah’s words were a turning point for her.

“It changed my perspective,” she told Good Morning America. “I was able to look at the developmental milestones that a toddler has and take away that their negative behaviours are not personal.”

“Kids are not giving you a hard time, they are having a hard time. Once I got that concept, it really helped me with my kids,” Mary Katherine said.

Here’s the post that’s striking a chord with so many, with thanks to Dejah.

This post originally appeared on Babyology