To be honest, I’ve been struggling to deal with my two year old. I’m not ashamed to admit it because everyone with children encounters this many times throughout life. It’s part of growing up– for both of us. That fact doesn’t make it any easier, but it makes it possible to persevere with confidence.

I’m dealing with a child who fights naps and bedtime, throws books, toys, food and anything else he can get his hands on, and does the exact thing I ask him not to do. Sometimes he even laughs in my face when I tell him no. His little mind is learning a great deal and testing boundaries. He wants what he wants and he doesn’t understand that’s not how life works.

It’s so easy to get pulled down into the spiral of tantrums and defiance. I often snap before I’ve given myself time to think. I often sink to his level. I’m sure we all fall into this. But in my failing and rising, I have learned that the key to his tantrums is patience, adjustment, and a whole lot of grace.

There is never only one way to do something. This goes for everything in life. In my case, it’s discipline. There are several approaches, and I have to keep trying different ones until I learn what works best for my child. When something doesn’t work I have to resist giving up.

Imagine the college student who spent the weekend studying and still did poorly on the test. Suddenly, they’re convinced they’re unintelligent. More than likely they just need to adjust their approach. We are all students. This mentality changes the course of our lives. Someone who is always ready to adjust and persevere is someone who is going to be successful.

In all the challenges of life, we are called to learn, adjust, and reapproach the situation. This is what makes life interesting. I believe wholeheartedly that those who develop a love of learning are happier, stronger, and more resilient. We can train ourselves to see a challenge as an opportunity. We can rise above the two-year-old tantrums and become better mothers, fathers, and people because of it.

To be always learning is to fight the good fight, to resist complacency, and to take responsibility. We were born to continually aspire to more. As parents, we are given endless opportunities to do so. My two-year-old is teaching me so much about myself and single-handedly showing me all the places I need to work on. It’s a great challenge, but also a great blessing.

Let us continually work to “develop the minds and improve the hearts” of our children and ourselves (Hillsdale College).

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