I'm a babysitter. I watch an 18-month-old little girl 3 days a week. She watches and listens to everything I do and say. She gets frustrated when she isn't allowed to do something on her own. She laughs hysterically at just about anything and everything. She's into EVERYTHING because she's so curious. She puts random buckets on her head. She's a toddler.
In the 5-6 years that I've been babysitting, I've been able to watch the little ones grow. I've been able to watch them learn. They start to notice more and more. They start to say their letters and numbers. One thing that is always the same is how frustrated they get when they aren't allowed to do something on their own. You make them mind, and they get in trouble if they don't. You make them eat, and they get in trouble if they don't. You make them sleep, and they get in trouble if they don't. They always get very frustrated about these things.
This little girl is always watching me. She tries to mimic everything I do. She tries her best to be my identical. She will try and repeat everything that I say. Therefore, I have to be careful. I have to be careful in what I do, so she doesn't try and do the same and wind up injured. I have to be careful in what I say so she doesn't here something bad and repeat it for the rest of her life. I have to watch the little things because I have no right to punish her for doing or saying something she saw me do or say.
As adults, were used to a fast-paced lifestyle. We've already learned how to talk. We know what a Christmas tree is and why we don't pull the ornaments off. We know we have to eat to stay healthy. We know we need sleep in order to function. What we don't know is what is happening in the little minds of those precious babies. We don't know what they're thinking when they don't want the food we give them. Maybe it looks gross, maybe the texture is weird, maybe they aren't hungry, maybe they're even sick. We don't know, because most of them can't tell us yet. They may not go to sleep immediately because they aren't tired, or something hurting, or they're afraid they'll miss out.
Who knows why Christmas trees fascinate them.
Who knows why they put random buckets on their heads and call them hats.
We as adults don't know.
What I do know is that these little ones are learning and they're curious. When you stop them from doing something that doesn't hurt them, you're stopping them from learning something. When you make them sit still, you're preventing them from getting the exercise they may need. Life's frustrating for them. Try and understand what they're going through and realize that sometimes it's ok to take it slow, or even, just sit back and watch.