Goblin has recently started being quite delightful to be around. What I actually mean is, he has passed through a difficult phase which lasted about 6 months, and now he seems to have pretty much come out the other side and we are enjoying his company a lot more, life is easier again.
This got me thinking. There are so many things that kids do, that at the time make you wonder whether there is something seriously wrong or whether you are parenting them badly, but which in time you discover are just a phase. (I acknowledge that in some unfortunate cases there actually is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed, but these cases are the exception and not the rule.)
Most of the time, the behaviour that makes us panic turns out to be a simple developmental phase. The trouble is we tend not to know that these are phases or that the actions are common/normal because they are embarrassing to talk about. We don't want to ask our friends whether our child's tendency to wake up at 3am and scream until 5am is normal, because we are worried that their answer might be "No dude that's weird what is wrong with your child?". Plus most of our friends only have one or two kids, so asking them is asking a very small sample size anyway.
I remember when Goblin was about 14 months old he went through a phase of banging his head HARD if he didn't get his own way. He would actually go and seek out something particularly hard to head bang, like the wooden floor or a cupboard door. In my naïvety I mentioned this in passing to a friend of mine and you should have seen the look on her face. I might as well have said that my son pooped blood or something. She was utterly horrified and obviously thought this was signs of some severe abnormal development. As it turns out it was a very short lived normal phase. And I have later discovered that many many of my friends kids went through the same phase. Maybe not at the same time, and maybe to a lesser degree (or greater, one of my friend's kids used to do it until he drew blood), but it was there, and it passed.
So over time I have developed a bit more trust that the odd things my son does from time to time (like his current obsession with my boobs!) are normal phases that in time will pass (although he is male so maybe the boob thing won't pass!).
Kids change, they grow into some things and out of others, and that goes for behaviour as well as clothes and cartoon character preferences. Patience is hard, but probably the best tool in dealing with those weird behaviours that make you fret.
Tips for a peaceful life with preschoolers ~ In the Playroom