So terrible twos are upon us. It's mostly garden variety oppositional behavior, only delayed and exaggerated. Delayed because the onset is at almost age 3, and exaggerated because he's so very rigid. For example, often Brad will get into a snit just because Jeremy speaks. Or dances. "No, no, no!!!" he wails.
So why am I a bad mom? It's the limit setting. With Jeremy at this age, I was a model parent, setting limits firmly and consistently, using timeouts as needed.
With Brad, the limit setting isn't going so smooth. I'm neither firm nor consistent. I've identified five reasons:
1) I'm a softie. I just don't like to see Brad upset.
2) He's my baby. We're done having kids, and I cherish...I dunno...mommying him.
3) He's so far beyond reason. Even the action/consequence reasoning which provides the basis for time-outs doesn't seem to work. I can give him a time-out 20 times for the same thing and it doesn't resonate.
4) He's stingy with the sugar. Until about 3 months ago, he didn't hug or give me any sort of affection. So when he gets upset and he turns to me for comfort, I want to give it to him, even if he's completely in the wrong. I'm just so happy that he's in touch with his emotions and I can comfort him.
5) The frowny face. Brad has got the saddest little frowny face. And he often internalizes when he has a tantrum, quietly crying with a frowny face. I can't be firm to frowny face.
But I can't indulge the rigidity because so much of his unreasonableness is aimed at Jeremy, and that's not fair. Any advice?