Not-So-Terrible Twos


My son (not pictured) is “two half,” as he puts it. Silly boy doesn’t realize he’s actually closer to three.

Not too long ago, we found ourselves deep in the throes of the Terrible Twos, that mythical point in post-infancy when, despite having perfect parents, a child is just out of control. I didn’t realize how much of a universal truth this is until I started telling people his age. “Ah, Terrible Twos,” they utter almost automatically.

My first instinct is to backhand the speaker, often a stranger. “Who you callin’ terrible?” But then I take a breath and reflect on how much better a parent I must be than this poor slob. Or at least how much better my child is.

So here we are last month, in a foreign country, and my son is having one complete meltdown after another, losing his ish at seemingly the minorest of details.

Took me a little while to catch my breath with this one. But when I did, the message came through louder than a bomb: My dude is evolving at breakneck speed. Couple years back, he couldn’t even burp without our help, much less sit up or eat. Nowadays, homie rides a bike. He speaks in paragraphs, in multiple languages!

We adults, on the other hand, don’t like change. We adapt really slowly, and sometimes not at all. And we usually don’t like it. What’s “terrible” in this equation is how out of sync we are with our son.

So what’s the lesson here for you, dear reader? As my main man Stephen R. Covey puts it, “As long as you think the problem is out there, that very thought is the problem.”

How are you doing this in your work?

  • Have you branded the Gen Y among your staff as entitled, lazy, ADD, and all of the other bullshit you read in the literature about generation gaps in the workplace?
  • Are your customers spoiled? Or maybe you’re in the entertainment business and have accepted the idea that customers are just pirates who would steal the shirt off your back if only they could download it.

Regardless of how much truth there may be in those generalizations, somebody else in your business is on the way to being more successful than you by figuring out how to adapt his own behavior.

By the way, since we realized what was going on and changed our behavior (including eliminating all TV watching from his daily routine), Justin’s behavior has improved dramatically. He thinks the TV is broken and has offered to fix it using his plastic hammer.



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