Isn’t it crazy a parent has to even write about this? Unfortunately, it happens too often with almost every parent. Their child (specifically toddler) is criticized and judged by other adults. I can’t wrap my head around how full grown human adults judge and point out “wrongs” in a child who can barely make sentences and freely express their feelings/emotions.
One example from personal experience with Rudeena (who’s 2 yo) was told she’s “a hard headed child, she’ll turn out even more hard headed as an adult,” as they shook their head. She’s a bit delayed in speech, which we were told is completely normal and expected in a household where children hear 3 different languages. So, she has a hard time communicating what she needs or wants. A child isn’t hard headed when they scream and cry for something and you don’t understand what they’re trying to say or explain. Let me clarify. A child who has no vocabulary cannot tell you what they want. So we have to explore until we understand what it is they want. Telling a toddler to be quiet, you’re too hard headed, will only make them more frustrated.
Also, toddlers always have to have what they want. They might understand what no means, but they don’t understand that no means no. I can give Rudeena chocolate after lunch time if she wants it but not early in the morning before breakfast on an empty tummy. She understands what no means but does she doesn’t understand that “it’s too early and you haven’t had breakfast so you can’t have chocolate” no.
So, please, don’t criticize my child and tell them and I they are going to be bad as an adult. Maybe be more open minded and understand that toddlers will not listen most of the time and that learning to listen is exactly that, something they learn to do as they get older. It’s sad that I have to explain this to adults who HAVE HAD kids.
So, how do we react to people criticizing our child? I could’ve easily went off on these people but thought, hey, maybe they don’t understand how to raise a kid. So let’s always be a teacher. “You don’t understand what Rudeena wants which resulted in her frustration. She is not hard-headed, she’s a toddler. She was asking for water in gibberish but you didn’t understand her needs.” Teach the parent that their thinking is very wrong. “Let’s ask a child what they need while pointing at it and naming it. When they settle down, you’ve found what they need! Voila!”
I can’t believe some parents don’t understand this. How did they react whenever their toddler cried for something? Did they tell them to stop being hard headed? Poor kid!
All-in-all, a frustrated toddler can be very stressful for a parent. Instead of adding to that stress, it wouldn’t hurt to be helpful instead of being critical. Any person who judges a child because of their actions is not a very smart person in my eyes. Experiences like these have encouraged me to be a teacher not only to my kids, but people in general.