I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. Is it time to ditch the labels and accept that our children are learning?
We all do it don’t we?
First the Terrible Two’s, then the Threenager, the Effing Fours and the Fantastic Fives.
I’ve done it. I’ve written a post about it, but why do we feel the need to label the years of our children?
True, as our children grow and get older we find ourselves dealing with more tantrums. Our children say more hurtful things and sometimes it feels like they pretty much hate us. We will all discuss which is the worst phase and what we have to ‘look forward to’ but in this are we considering what are children are going through? Or what we are teaching them?
It wasn’t so long ago that I wrote a post saying that the ‘threenager has been the hardest year.’
This has been the hardest year but it has also been very rewarding. Reuben’s personality has really started to come through and being able to watch him grow is amazing. Has he changed in the year? Yes, of course he has. But I think the biggest change is probably with me.
I have accepted that sometimes he isn’t going to be an angel.
He will be tired and that means he listens less. He will have feelings that he doesn’t understand and that will make him angry or scared. And there will be times when he is being a little terror. But will it help me shouting at him? Nope. Not one bit. It adds fuel to the fire and so I have tried to adapt the way I approach things. Don’t get me wrong I still shout but I am trying to think about what Reuben is going through and what has been the trigger. Is it late in the afternoon and he needs to rest? Was he up too early? Has something happened?
So, my point is. Should I have then given him the label of a threenager? Just because he is having a ‘bad day’.
Is that fair?
I have bad days. I have days where I am tired and grumpy and get a bit shouty.
Would I be happy to be called a moody cow because of it? No.
Would you think it OK to be given the label of moody cow, or something similar, when you were having a bad day?
How would it make you feel? Worse probably. If you heard it you would probably react to it, and not in a great way. Is that what happens when we shout at our ‘threenager’. We might not call them the name to their face but we shout when they ‘misbehave’ and they react just like we would if the shoe was on the other foot.
So instead of us using labels to describe the phases that our children are going through, shouldn’t we think about how we would feel being given a label for having a bad day? I know that it has helped me be a lot less shouty and in return it has helped Reuben to talk to me more about how he feels. We still have our bad days but they are much less than they used to be.
I would love to know your thoughts below.
Do you use the generic labels or are you against labelling your children’s phases?
The Tale of Mummyhood