Steph Claire Smith ‘heartbroken’ by son Harvey’s behaviour

Influencer Steph Claire Smith has opened up about the difficulties of parenting her two-year-old son in an emotional new video.

The model and KIC co-founder, who is currently holidaying in Victoria with her husband Josh Miller, took to her Instagram Stories on Wednesday to ask whether other mums and dads with toddlers were currently going through a hard time.

“Is your toddler currently in a phase where they like one parent more than the other? Or they’re being nice to one parent and then mean to another?” the 29-year-old asked.

“Because at the moment, Josh is absolutely copping it. Harvey doesn’t want a bar of him, and it’s quite horrible to watch. It’s been exhausting this holiday.”

In a follow-up Story, Ms Smith said she was “heartbroken” at her son’s behaviour, having been “so excited to have beautiful family time” over Christmas.

Without wanting to sound “ungrateful” because it had been “super special having all of this time” with Harvey, “at the same time … it’s been hard to deal with”, she admitted.

“I suppose I wanted to share it in case there was any other families that were going through the same thing. You know, holidays aren’t the same anymore,” she said.

“It doesn’t mean that they’re not special. They’re just not the same. They’re different to how they used to be. All toddlers are the same. They’re psychos.”

In a piece for The Conversation, Edith Cowan University adjunct senior lecturer Rochelle Matacz and University of Western Australia adjunct associate professor Lynne Priddis explained what causes the so-called “terrible twos” among children.

The age is “a ‘developmental touchpoint’, where a unique surge in capacities is coupled with behaviour falling apart”, the pair said.

“At this age, children begin to establish independence while simultaneously needing to learn ways of coping with intense feelings such as fear, anger, frustration and sadness,” they said.

“Intense, uncontrolled feelings and defiance are normal at this age. But it can be challenging for parents to support their toddlers through this stage.”

It comes after Smith confessed that Christmas with a two-year-old had been “wonderful but also overwhelming on the parenting front”.

“The morning was probably hardest – trying to get everything ready and prepped whilst Harvey was extra needy, clingy and emotional. We had to sing him/cuddle him to sleep for his nap and every sleep cycle he woke needing to be resettled again,” she wrote in an Instagram Story.

“Thankfully by the time family was around he was distracted by everyone and presents and it was a wonderful afternoon – but Josh and I were absolutely exhausted after a few weeks of late nights and early rises with H.

“Bedtime came and he went down without a peep. But woke two hours later crying out for me and wouldn’t go back to sleep without me. So I said goodnight to everyone and slept with him. I woke at 4:15am and snuck out – and thankfully he woke up at 6am (not in the 5’s for the first time in a few weeks).

“Anyway I just wanted to tell you about all of the above because I’d love to share some pictures from our day that brings a smile to my face, as it really was a lovely afternoon – but not without you knowing the full picture, as I never just want to show a highlight reel.”

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