Miles recently moved into the two-year-old class at daycare, a major transition to be sure. Even in the days leading up to the move, he was already talking about his new room, the other kids in the class, and his new teacher.
While he’s a bit sheepish about the new environment each morning at drop-off, he’s clearly enjoying himself given his mood at the end of the day. But sadly, not all days are destined for greatness.
He got a bad report this afternoon when Jaclyn picked him up. REALLY bad. A real “I’ve never seen him like this before” kind of report. He spent much of the day hitting peer and adult alike and was sent to time-out numerous times.
While it’s always disappointing to hear that your kid is behaving in such an undesirable way, it’s also important to recognize that any two-year-old is just starting to navigate the waters of acceptable social interactions, all while developing more complex feelings. As much as they’re learning to engage with others, they’re also learning to adapt to themselves.
One thing that is clear is that Miles understands when he’s done something wrong. This gives us something to build on. Punishment is for pointing out bad behavior and making sure it doesn’t go unrecognized; growth is about encouragement and positivity. After any bad day, when Miles doesn’t want to lift his head or make eye contact, I tell him the same thing: “Everything that happened before is done. There’s no changing it. But you can make today better.”