body erect, their brain can balance the whole body on two little pads called feet. All this is a major attainment for the biology, and along with that, the baby’s psychology now sees itself as more equal to the adult. It has been watching people walk while it crawls , it has been seeing people pick up anything they want from all heights, and it figures that now it can do the same.
Physically, a child’s nervous system needs to be more finely tuned to walk. Their adrenal system is more active than with crawling. This means they can be more on edge for a while – hyper sensitive to little things which may not previously have fazed them. It would be similar to the experience we adults would have if we had to spend several months learning to walk a tightrope. Initially, to follow us around, they are not sure whether to crawl fast, walk, or run and stumble. They have gone from competent crawlers to incompetent walkers. With all this happening, it is understandable that a child may regress emotionally for some time. In fact we should expect major upheavals in their temperament for a while. That is often the pattern when energy and consciousness take a leap.
To attain the higher evolutionary state of walking, in the preceding months all the chakras have increasingly awakened, and with full verticality, all of them are learning better co-ordination and integration. This can be a psychically unsettling time. Much higher energy is required to support the 6 chakras in their standing state, and this is undoubtedly what we see happening during this period. Of them all, the chakras which most control their new found walking are Mooladhara (their basic life force, the one which pushes the shakti up the spine, and which motivates the legs); Manipura Chakra (the abdominal, ego and power centre, which has to hold the trunk erect); and Ajna Chakra (the frontal cortex of the brain, the higher consciousness centre which becomes the boss when the 6 chakras are vertical). In other words, all their power suddenly goes to their head!
As a result, all range of new behaviours become possible. Of course they don’t understand that many of these are unacceptable to you! They are just being a normal walking being – like you! But they are a baby, right? So you react to remind them of that and then the problems arise because you have (seemingly unfairly) challenged their newly awakened state of self confidence. So how can this be better understood and managed than the usual clash which typifies the Terrible Twos?
Firstly, most of the behavioural foundations and parental guidelines should have already been laid down, as discussed previously.
Secondly, the still appropriate ones must now be adhered to even more consistently – by you and them.
Thirdly, the parents must not think in terms of “behaviours” but in terms of the energy needs, the energy expressions, of the child. Parents are used to a little crawler, a little squatter, a little one dependent on having their hand held to take a few steps. During the early walking phase, parents often try to impose crawler mindsets upon a toddler. Whilst the child has made an evolutionary jump, it is often the parents who have not. The walking child needs to express themselves in new ways, and it is up to the parents to accommodate much more of the child’s self expression. Yes, it is far more demanding. Yes, it requires more creative input from you. Yes, it produces more conflict than previously. That is just the nature of this stage. But have faith – things will gradually level out if, if, you manage this stage well and the child grows through it rather than gets stuck in it due to either repressive parenting or else throwing in the towel and thinking “he’ll grow out of it”. They don’t, they won’t, unless specifically helped to.
The most beneficial thing a toddler can have is lots of (safe) space. Restricting them to strollers, the car, or pokey rooms in the house for long periods of time is repressing their abundant energy. Try to adapt as much of your life to your child’s needs as is possible. As an antidote to the above examples, (i) let them walk with you, (ii) break journeys somewhere for a run in the park, (iii) create an interesting and safe backyard, or use the public spaces in your neighbourhood as often as possible – several times a day is best. If your children see you enjoying time outside in energetic ways they will follow suit.
When the mental energy of one person clashes with the mental energy of another, unless it can be diffused early on, the level of that exchange escalates, and out of that is born the raging argument. In the realms of the desirous and newly-verbal toddler, this is called The Tantrum. For parents to say that tantrums start at about 2 years old, and to blame this particular stage of early childhood development – as if they had nothing to do with it nor can do anything about it – is nothing but a cop-out.