5 Giggle-Worthy Ways Your Toddlers Learn to be Social
I had an amusing conversation with a good, good friend the other day over a cute comic strip about sibling fight. In the comic strip, the duck character, a self-described neurotic dad, mused in distress as he watched his children fought incessantly about being touched (or looked at) by the other. In his mind, he was mulling over the fact that HE actually suggested to having more than one children for he thought it would make parenting easier, but what happened was the other way around. Anyway, you could see the original artwork here. The artist is accepting donation for his work, btw. He's a funny and talented comic artist, so if you would like to see him create more of this wonderful comic strip, please head over to Fowl Language and support him.
To cut the long story short, we kind of agreed that the younger one was often the source of aggravation in the older sibling. To put it simply, the source of the older sibling's frustration often stems from the younger one's reaction, or perhaps the lack of it. And this ignorance eventually pushes the elder's buttons which might escalate to frustrated cry or screaming contest (well, you know...tit for tat - the older one is sometimes not without blame as well).
I don't know about you, but I find this phase quite fascinating albeit a little bit stressful as well. I recognise that it's a very much needed phase. As the younger one will move forward to learn her position in a social setting, the siblings will also learn many skills needed in order to co-exist with many different people who might not even like them (gasp!) So being siblings is definitely a great place to start increasing your social intelligence...
But that's not the only thing that I want to share with you today. This comics was born as a result of the many giggle-worthy antics that my youngest has so unwittingly committed in her attempt to engage her older sister. At this stage I have witnessed and deliberately allowed many fights between my two girls. The key is to let the noise in one ear, and then out the other way, people. And also be ready to intervene when things become rather violent.
Anyway, without further ado, here is the 5 hilarious ways your toddlers learn to be social:
- That blank look they gave their older sibling when the other one was trying very hard to explain the rules of the 'game'? Priceless.
Remember the glassy look in your classmates' eyes when they are listening to a very boring lecture? Yep, something like that. These little toddlers barely listen to their older brother/sister chattering away. The only thing they listen to is their brains trying to tell them to focus on the immediate task on hand: get to the toys before other kids do!
- Speaking of toys, they only want the ultimate and the COOLEST toy - that is, whatever the other one is having at that moment.
Ever wonder why oh why they're only interested in whatever the other one is holding? Probably not because you might be busy preventing your older child from manhandling the younger one, although you secretly might think they do deserve the treatment. But toddlers learn from example, and perhaps that is the cause of their trespassing. After all, at that age older sibling looks like God and they do want to emulate whatever the older and the wiser is doing.
- And when they got it, they defend it with their life, even though the item is not truly theirs in the first place.
"It's MIIIINNEEEE!!!!" Sound familiar? When I first heard the phrase from my usually sweet gentle baby, I was quite shocked! Little did I know that the phrase is commonly adopted by toddlers everywhere. Defence may include pushing, hitting, biting, and even hair pulling (which isn't cute anymore when it reaches that stage. Reminder to oneself: observe with a dose of common sense - separate before it's too late). The good thing? They start to understand about the meaning of possession.
- The older sibling would finally give in and move away to play with a different toy, but the younger one follows. And number 2 and 3 happen all over again.
This might be the origin of the 'Don't touch me/my things/don't look at me' fights. But toddlers learn from repetition, so brace yourself.
- And when they finally drive the older sibling away, they realise that playing by themselves is rather lonesome, after all.
...and hopefully they truly learn from their mistakes the next time their older sibling agrees to play with them again. But meanwhile, they've already set their eyes on their next convenient victim, US! *running away on cue*
This comic is also dedicated to all the fathers out there, especially in Australia, as we're going to celebrate our very own father's day next week on the 6th of September. Us girls are nothing without our fathers!
What about you? Do you remember how your children interact? Or do you remember yourself as a sister/brother? Share your experience below!
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