Rebecca Romijn Tackles the Terrible Twos

02/22/2011 at 04:00 PM ET
Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Not even her on-screen scrapes with Wolverine could have prepared Rebecca Romjin for the fight she was to face when her twin daughters hit that age that strikes fear into parents across the land.

“It’s equal parts absolutely adorable and absolutely horrible!” the model-turned-actress, 38, tells PEOPLE of Dolly and Charlie, who celebrated their second birthdays in December.

“I’m just trying to get them to bed at night, but they’re two! That’s what being two is all about.”

It’s hard to imagine such sweet sisters causing a fuss, but as far as Romijn is concerned, this is a matter of nurture getting steamrolled by the nature of the terrible twos.

“Right now, I think the whole job of being a 2-year-old is just trying to get as sick as often as possible to build up your immune system,” she joked while attending the Global Action Forum Gala in Beverly Hills. “It’s been three months of fevers, colds and vomiting.”

While some would consider such activities as de rigueur during award season, Romijn is quick to echo the sentiments of parents around the globe.

“There have been so many sleepless nights for my husband [Jerry O’Connell] and I,” she says. “If I can just get them to stay in their beds and shut up at night, I’d be happy.”

— Reagan Alexander

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , Multiples , News , Parenting

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Allison J on

Rebecca looks amazing in this photo! I think her two girls are two of the cutest, most “squeezable-looking,” most adorable children ever!

I feel her pain with the terrible twos – and with twins. Ouch. In my house, my son’s terrible twos lasted for 6 months, then he was back to his smiley, happy self. But it was a rough 6 months. Best of luck to Rebecca and Jerry with their two cutie-pies.

Jenn on

Wow, love Rebecca and Jerry, but those girls must really be giving them a hard time. I’ve never heard of any celeb commenting in the press about how bad their kids are as much as they do.

Chelsey on

I totally understand. My baby girl will be 2 on Friday. I feel your pain sister!!!

Alison on

Jenn, I always love Rebecca and Jerry’s stories because they keep it so real. Parenthood isn’t all rainbows and sunshine, and I love that they’re so relatable.

Anonymous on

The two’s are a breeze compared to the three’s!

Anonymous on

Wow – I don’t think I have ever heard a parent describe trying to get their kids quite as trying to get them to “shut up”…..

Amy on

Terrible twos?! you mean terrific twos…my twins are in their terrible teens.

Jenny on

Two’s are terrible, but I hate to break it to you….three’s are way worse!! lol
I have 2 kids and my youngest is going to be 3 in a week and we started the terrible 3’s about 4 months ago, I thought that 2’s were bad but man 3’s are way worse!! Of course, my son is worse than my daughter was…interesting. Well good luck to all you mommy’s out there!! its never easy no matter what their ages! But so worth it huh? 🙂

Kristine on

Wish we could get Rebecca to shut up…how nasty to say about your kids.

Christine on

I have a friend who once said: “Two is nothing. It’s the terrible 3’s and the freaking (edited from swear word) 4s.” And have to say that 2 was easy compared to negotiating with a 3-year old who seems to have my husband’s skill at persuasion.

Mary on

I love how honest Rebecca and Jerry are about parenting-it is not all sunshine and rainbows, and you do lose tons of sleep so you better be prepared to be exhausted, while trying to maintain patience! However, this too shall pass, and these times with little ones goes so very fast-try to live in the moment and enjoy each day, and don’t wish any phase away…believe me, as a mother whose kids are grown, you will miss it when it is over! These are simple, innocent, wonderful times…enjoy it while you can!

Beth on

I love them and their girls are adorable BUT it seems they always complain in the press about them. And “shut up”??? really??? I understand, but “shut up” seems mean and a poor phrase choice.

Laura on

I’m sure the “shut up” thing was a joke. That is how I took it at least!

Kristen on

Stop the lambasting! Two’s are difficult, as are 3, 4, 5, etc. As a mom of five, I appreciate her honesty that parenthood is challenging. In my opinion, criticism should be aimed at those who pretend this adventure (parenting) is a smooth path. The road is bumpy, very fun granted, but bumpy nonetheless.

Rach on

I just hope their nannies are paid well. I’m sure Rebecca and her husband get a full 8 hrs sleep, it’s their nannies that suffer the sleepless nights. But I’m sure they are paid well.

Toya L. on

@Amy Ha!Ha! Aint that the truth!!!

I have a 2 year old & he couldn’t possibly get any worse = ) but I love him and wouldn’t change his personality for anything in the world! As I’m sure they feel the same way about their beautiful babies.

Sam on

I am glad to see celebrities talking about the “normal” things that everyone goes thru. My son started the terrible 2’s at 18 months old and he hasn’t stopped (he is 3)!

Dee on

C’mon, some of you are taking her to task for using the words, “shut up”? Anonymous says “Wow – I don’t think I have ever heard a parent describe trying to get their kids quite as trying to get them to “shut up”….” Really? What planet do you live on? Yes, it may not be the best choice of words, but what frustrated parent hasn’t used them? Get over it…until we’re in their shoes, we have no idea what they’re going thru.

peace on

Just wait till the teen years. You will be begging for the two’s

Margaret Ellen on

To hear someone say if I could just keep them in there beds and to SHUT UP…you should feel BLESSED you have them and to be able to hear there voices rather than want them to SHUT UP !!!! I hope that was not what you really thought….Some women never get to hear that.

showbizmom on

Come on now, who hasn’t wanted their kids to shut up and sit down!? I love the open honesty, I never will understand those that think that Parenthood is always great. It’s hard, it gets ugly, and sometimes you want to run out the house screaming. I don’t have twins, but I have two girls close in age, and agree, two’s were nothing. It was three and four that kicked our butts! And to the Mom who mentioned, Teens, Oh, Lord! I don’t even want to think that far ahead. It’s scary…..

Roeboat on

She didn’t tell them to shut up, she just wishes they would.

meme on

I think the whole “shut up” was a joke…..geeze, some of you people need to LIGHTEN up!!! Good god.

Mommy of 2 on

she has no idea….it is the threes that are WAY worse!!!!

Beth on

Agreed on the lightening up! Come on people, I am not a parent myself yet (Though I am a kindergarten teacher which I consider to be parenting bootcamp) and EVERYONE has days when you just wish you could yell ‘shut up!’ whether they are yours or just yours for 8 hours a day! I love my job, I love my kids in my class but I certainly have those driving-home-with-the-radio-off-I-need-complete-silence days.

And to the person who said about their nannies, I won’t pretend to know 100% for sure, but I am pretty certain that the O’Connell’s do not do the nanny thing. Can anyone confirm that?

Krystal on

It’s refreshing in a way to hear that not everyone has it easy as a parent.

Jen DC on

Really, you haven’t heard a parent wish that their kid would sit down somewhere and shut up? Or wished it silently yourself? It’s not like she’s in the twins’ bedroom, leaning over their beds TELLING THEM to shut up – she’s just expressing the exasperated desire that it would happen. Which isn’t serious, abusive or surprising. She’s got double the baby back talk and chatter to deal with… I’m sure it’s very trying.

As far as “constantly complaining” usually these two are telling hilarious stories about their girls. The last one I remember was Jerry O’Connell discussing the twins learning the word “clock” or something similar with humorous results – not complaining about the girls, more laughing at their failure to get that “l” in.

Anonymous on

Ohhhh, I agree, two’s were nothing compared to three’s! And lol that she said she wished her kids would shut up! I can relate and I only have one! It’s exhausting – they are honest and feel the pain sans nannies like other celebrities. Good fort them!

Victoria on

Why is everyone so judgmental? Geez! The 2’s are horrible but the 3’s are even worse. During the 2’s it was hard for my goddaughter to communicate why she was falling out in the middle of Target. Now that she’s 3 and has had a vocabulary explosion in her brain, she can now fall out on the floor and verbally explain why she’s doing it at the top of the her lungs in the middle of Target. So, yes, I understand the need to want them to shut up. Everyone who is being so judgmental obviously has perfect kids and simply cannot relate.

Jeannine on

I agree with all those parents out there that need a break from there kids at night, regardless of age. I relish those few hours when my 3 are tucked away, it’s really the only alone time some of us have. I love Rebecca & Jerry & laughed and sympathized with what she said. So normal!!

jenn on

Ya’ll need to give her a break. Not all of us feel like shouting from the rooftops about the “blessings” of motherhood. I had one, realized I couldn’t handle any more than that and sent my husband in to get fixed. Quit judging you don’t know what she’s been through.

Mom Of Twinz on

I found my twins turning 2 years old, was no different dealing with them at any age. As a parent you set your limits and stick to your principals. You can’t start at age 2, trying to teach them right from wrong. I’ve always had a set time for my kids to go to bed, they may not have gone right to sleep, but I refuse to be bumping into toddler walking around at 9 or 10 o’clock at night. Parents set you limits/rules and stick to them. My parents did it for me and my 4 brothers, and now that we’re parents we understand why and we thank them for doing so. THANKS MOM & DAD, FOR ALL YOUR GUIDENCE AND WISDOM

mochababe73 on

I have a 12 year-old that will be 13 in March. The middle school years are HARD!

Anyway, I think that you all are taking this waaaay too seriously with the whole “shut up” thing. When my two boys are fighting, I am thinking the same thing. I wish that they would shut up and stop talking. Now, do I say that to them? No. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t think it. You all are acting as though she’s telling her girls to shut up.

Stef on

I like this post. She’s honest and I appreciate that. So many of the other celebrities paint such a perfect picture of parenthood but that’s not how it is in real life. It’s about the sickness and sleepless nights and it’s not easy. You can tell that Rebecca and Jerry are very hands-on parents. And as for the shut up comment, I think it’s perfectly fine. Most mothers and fathers out there have probably said that about their kids. It’s not like she was saying it to them.

PS- Threes are the worst.

Shannon on

LOL! Wait until the tween years!

Melly on

To the people who are commenting about how horrible she is for saying she would like to gets her kids to “shut up”… Have you NEVER had that moment where you think to yourself “please just shut up for 5 minutes”… It doesn’t make you a bad parent. They are going through the terrible two’s times 2!!

Tee on

Wow, I’m kind of surprised at all the negative comments here. Yes, in hindsight, Rebecca could have maybe chosen a better phrase than “shut up.” However, she didn’t say that to her daughters! She simply said in an interview what just about every parent has thought at some point.

Margaret Ellen, I understand where you’re coming from. I’m infertile aand all I’ve ever wanted is to be a Mom. But I don’t think Rebecca said anything wrong.

jordyn on

lol I get a laugh out of you guys sometimes! When a celeb talks about how perfect parenthood is all you hear on the message board is how they need a reality check. When a celeb complains, all you hear about how cruel and disrespectful they are…..

Grace on

Ugh, there is nothing more annoying than a parent who says, “You think this is hard? Wait until this!”. Seriously, once parents are past a stage it’s easy to forget how hard it was.

I have 2-year-old twins and a 3-year-old, and while neither are easy, the 2-year-olds are far harder because they have little ability of following directions and obeying instructions and are so self oriented. It’s like trying to reason daily with the unreasonable.

I’m sure the tweens and teens will have their challenges too, but in my mind I think, hey – at least they will be in school, will be able to go to the toilet themselves, can make their own snacks, will not be reliant on me every second of every day.

Oh, and I love this couple’s honesty. So refreshing.

Lilianne on

Reading this reminds me of that old phrase…”Parents spend the first 2 years of their child’s life wishing and waiting for them to walk and talk and the next 16 years wishing and waiting for them to sit down and be quiet!! Lol. And I agree…the teen years are WAY worse than the toddler years..especially with girls!

Candice on

@Victoria…LMAO! As a mom of four, that has happened to the middle of Target! 😉

momof2 on

I have to laugh, for those that judge Rebecca about using the term “shut-up” are either not parents or have infants that are still too young yet to test your patience!

Yeah, she is just keeping it real and being honest about those frustrating moments we all have as parents with our kids that are sandwiched in between the melt your heart moments & good times:-)

Murphy on

2,12 or 16; kids are tricky and not always easy. The hope is that no matter how difficult they can be it is worth it in the end. I find her honesty refreshing that everything is not always “perfect” even when you are a celebrity.

Cecelia on

Yet another post that gets twisted out of context. Her last comment was making a joke of the situation. No need to get your panties in a bunch.

I feel sorry for so many of these posters as it seems like they have no idea what sarcasm or humor is.

Karen on

My first child was a breeze to the point that my friend called him a Stepford Child! I thought parents who had bratty kids couldn’t control their kids. Then, God have us our second!! He would throw himself on the floor and scream until his lips turned purple. He would make eye contact with me as he threw his food from his highchair. He would arch his back and throw fits! It gets better, I promise! He’s a precious 11 year old now!!

Georgina on

I took it as because the girls share a room, its hard to get them not to talk to one another when you put them to bed. As in they have endless conversations when they should be pipeing down! Myself and my sister shared a room our whole lives, whilst we were living at home, and that was the problem our parents had! Theyd put us to be and tell us to stay put and be quiet because we would generally be having convos or switching beds. Its fun having a roomie!

sarah on

Its nice to see celebrities who actually raise their own kids. Many have nannies and other people to take care of them for them. That is why some celebs don’t complain and keep adopting and having more.

adrienne resnick on

My 4 sons are all adults today. None of them went through terrible 2s or 3s. I guess we were lucky. They are all nice men. I am the proud grandmother of 3 granddaughters and 2 grandsons. I don’t know if they ever had the problem, but, as they say. this shall pass.

Lauren on

Agreed! Three’s are the worst!

LeighAnn on

I don’t care if she is kidding or not, “try to get them to shut up and stay in their bed?” Are you serious??? What a lousy excuse for a mother. If you didn’t want to go through the terrible twos (by the way, are NOTHING compared to the threes) then you shouldn’t have had kids. I have 4, 16, 14, 9 and 4. And let me tell you, i’ll take the toddler years over the teen years ANY DAY! Grow up Rebecca, and why don’t you shut up, PLEASE!

KG on

Wow. I find it incredibly amazing that one little statement all of a sudden makes Rebecca a “lousy excuse for a mother”. Come on really? I have a two year old, and while I really haven’t had to experience the all out “terrible twos” I do have my moments where it’s like, “Oh my goodness…stop!”. Does that make me a bad mom? Because all I want is 5 minutes of quiet?

From what it seems Rebecca and Jerry are good parents with very real experiences with their toddler girls. And because the public has an interest in EVERY celebrity parents experiences, they aren’t holding back. You want to know? Well there ya go. Take the good with the bad.

I just love that a good chunk of the posters can find ANYTHING to pass judgement on. A simple statement can be spun so ridiculously. Celebrities are hated on for either being “too real” or not real enough. Make up your minds!

Megan on

I agree. She had a full-on joking tone. People can take every little word so seriously. If anyone can understand what she’s saying, it’s another mother! Let’s support and not judge!!!! For ONCE!!

Anonymous on

haha wait until they hit 3. Its 10x worse!!!!

kristie on

Oh please give the woman a break. ANY parent has had moments of wanting their kids to go to bed and be quiet especially at the end of the day. Just because she thinks it doesn’t mean she is a bad parent or doesn’t love her kids. It’s nice to hear a celebrity parent be honest and real about parenting duties.

Yes 2’s are tough, 3’s, teens, etc. and each stage has it’s ups and downs. I hate when people say wait until X years. REALLY, I’m just trying to get through this stage.

KEB on

>>I just hope their nannies are paid well. I’m sure Rebecca and her husband get a full 8 hrs sleep, it’s their nannies that suffer the sleepless nights. But I’m sure they are paid well.

– Rach on February 22nd, 2011<<

Rach, actually, they don't have nannies. Not a even one. Jerry has mentioned in countless interviews that he and Rebecca decided they wanted one of them to be home with the kids at all times. The first year of their lives, she worked and he was a stay-at-home day. The second year, he went back to work and she stays home. He has said that they do sneak away for a weekend or for a night out and have FAMILY watch the kids, but other than that, it's all them. No nannies.

mary on

Sarcasm and a sense of humor is what saved me from going insane.On multiple occasions. Having four kids we knew if one got sick it was only a matter of time before all got it. I remember laughing so hard in the hallway with my husband dripping in someones sickness I couldnt even help him and as I turned around another one of kids was standing there in silence and as if on cue I was covered in that childs sickness. We had two crying children and two hysterical parents covered. You have to have humor mixed with a little sarcasm. At least that’s the motto we live by. Her story was funny and I think most can relate.

Scooby on

I laughed. You spend the first year of their lives getting them to walk and talk, and you spend the rest of their lives getting them to sit down and shut up. Rebecca, I applaud your candor. And I have a two year old. Only one, but trust me, I empathize!

Deanne on

Rebecca and Jerry are nearly the only celebrities I’ve heard to admit that raising children can be a chore and a blessing; instead of only spouting superlatives about their angelic children all the time!

showbizmom on

Okay really, tween and teenage years really that bad!?

mary on

showbizmom, our kids ages are 18, 16, 10 and 6. The 18 yr old is a female along with the 6yr old. its not so bad now anymore but I have had on occasion the older one with a melt down and the younger one with a melt down at the same time. I would turn to my husband and tell him I need a calgon moment. Lol the joke here is just when the older one is about to have kids we will still have a teen in the house so I could potentially be in the same position as I am now EXCEPT I can give that one child back! The key is to laugh, be sarcastic once in awhile and have someone to talk too. A good cry once in awhile doesn’t hurt either. Oh and remember you are the parent, not a friend. That’s a hard one but one that I follow non the less.

CelebBabyLover on

jordyn- Exactly! Celebs can’t win no matter what they do!

Kathy on

Lighten up people! She was making a joke! Get over it!

KikiOttawa on

I have a 8 year old and a 22 year old, and I can say with confident experience that EVERY age has its challenges AND its rewards.

I created my family in such a way that I was dealing with my son’s 2 year tantrums and my daughter’s teenage tantrums at the same time.

It seems like forever when you are dealing with the challenges, but trust me when they are grown and you look back it will seem like it passed in the blink of an eye.

JM on

deanne i agree that it is nice when people are honest about raising children but to be honest the double standard on this site would mean that it doesn’t matter. you see if another celeb were to say that it can be tough raising children some people would be all over him or her saying they have no right to complain because it is nowhere near as tough as for celebs and rich people. they would make snide comments about how it must be SO tough to have four nannies and countless other domestic staff at your service. and that a celeb complaining just makes trivialises what “real” people have to go through.

some celebs on this site just can’t win. and i guess some always can.

molly on

Seriously? People definitely need to lighten up! I mean, those parents (especially moms) out there that act like other parents shouldn’t be exhausted and overwhelmed or whatever by their kids at times need to come down from their ivory towers for a change.

I think Rebecca R. was being sarcastic and showing a “real” side of parenting. By her not saying sugary sweet things from time to time about her children in no way means she doesn’t love and cherish them! She is simply telling it how it is…and thank goodness, so that for the rest of us who go through it too, we don’t feel so awful and alone in the GOOD and BAD of this thing called life and kids!

Brooke on

Leighann~What a rotten thing to say! I hope all of your children are terrible today, draw on your walls, pour dishsoap on your couch, bleach on your carpet, run their bike into your car and leave a big scratch in the paint, and I hope that you grow some understanding. With all of those kids I highly doubt that there hasn’t been a moment when you thought “Gee, Calgon take me away”. The only rotten excuse for a mother I see is you, your probably hard to make happy and your kids constantly hear you nag them for not being good enough. If you can’t understand one mothers desire for peace and quiet you’re probably a real tough cookie to deal with. God help your family. I know i’m lucky to have my child, I have to reach deep some days to make myself remember that fact. They can do terrible, awful things at every age, parenting is no walk in the park. It does NOT help to have overly critical people like you bashing us for not being perfectly blissful about it 100% of the time. If your life as a mother has been all “rainbows and sunshine” as they have been saying then I want to take whatever meds you’re on so I can be the wonderfully adequate, no~fail, perfect mother you pretend to be too. Wait, I take that back, i wouldn’t want to be the judgmental wench you are.

Jenn on

Good for her for being an honest mommy!

JMO on

Wow people are so overly sensitive. She didn’t literally say sit down and shut up to her kids she said she wish they would! I am not a mom yet but have nieces and nephews and yes I have told them to shut up and be quiet before! I don’t believe it’s the best choice of words esp. when they then turn around and say it to their sibling or better yet mom and dad! However there are moments they are all being loud and obnoxious and you tell them 2, 3, 4 time to sit quietly and play and by the 5th time the patients is lost and you find yourself shouting out them to sit down and shut up! I know I’m a horrible bad aunt who should never have them left in my care! Get over it!!

I love Jerry’s stories. He’s a comedic actor so he just tries to tell funny stories w/out being serious. If this was Tina Fey talking about Alice nobody would probably have anything to say about it.

Lisa01 on

What a refreshing story. I’m happy she isn’t sugarcoating it as all rainbows and unicorns because that is NOT reality. The truth is ALL parents go through tough stages with kids. I have a 4.5 and 2.5 year old. I can say that the 2s, 3s and 4s are challenging. All the other people taking her comments and then saying she’s a bad mom, why don’t you SHUT UP.

Shannon on

I’m sure she doesn’t say shut up to the girls.

mum2threetoddlers on

If you’ve got multiples you’ll understand!

Comparing two toddlers of different ages,and comparing twins is NOT the same! I have 2 year old twins and a 3 year old,and twins are beyond naughty,they test boundries constantly! They fight with their ig sister,but the fights between the two of them are crazy!

It’s hard work,and i don’t think there a parent who has twins out there who pretends is all easy and great all the time.

My girls were up from 2am until 4am just chatting and laughing histerically!

JM on

mum2threetoddlers i have twins too. although having two babies at the same time was a lot of work i wouldn’t say that they were (are) necessarily any more difficult than my other three kids. and they certainly don’t fight any more with each other than they do with their two brothers or sister. i think it just depends on the twins, as with all kids each one is different. my twins have really really different personalities but they are also quite protective of each other and always anxious to make sure that other people don’t misunderstand the other one. in fact they often defend each other.
all kids are different and all kids’ relationships with their siblings is different.

Sat on

Their girls are so cute, what a good looking family.

MiB on

I too see twins as the individuals they are, with different temperaments and quirks, but in my experience as a nanny and kindergarten teacher, twins do often have a special way of reeling each other up, not to mention copying each other that I have hardly ever seen with siblings of different ages (off course they reel each other up, but not in the same way). I even had two two year olds throwing tantrums at the same time once. One I could understand, because I had just taken a toy that he was not supposed to have away from him, but I just couldn’t understand why his brother was throwing one. So when it had all calmed down, I asked the other twin why he had thrown a tantrum, and the answer was basically that he didn’t know, but his brother was throwing a tantrum, so he did that too! I’m not saying that all multiples do that, but most I have met have a tendency towards it at times, especially when they are getting tired.

And yes, even I, as a professional, have had moments where I have just wished that they would all just shut up for five minutes. I have never told them that in so many words off course, but I sure have thought it.

Me on

While I agree that kids can be tough, these two need to back off on the negative talk about their girls. I’ve not seen an interview with them (recently) where they haven’t mentioned how strained they are.

crystal on

OMG!!!! Please people like none of you ever wanted your kids to go to bed and be quite. mine are 20,17,12 and i still want them to be quite and go to bed. so please be quite we now what she meant.

CelebBabyLover on

Me- What’s wrong with telling it like it is?

Penny on

I will take the “Terrible 2s” any day over 14!!

KellyP on

To everyone that got all worked up and their panties in a wad over Rebecca’s comment….I feel bad for your family. If you can’t get through the difficult times in life with a little humor, your home must be a very difficult place to live. Being able to joke and laugh about how difficult parenting can be at times is what allows you to let go of the stress and enjoy your life and children. I’m glad I don’t know you because I’m sure you would have called the police on me when I, jokingly, told my teenager I was going to sell her to the circus if she didn’t get her room clean!!!

Danielle on

As a mother to 23 month old twin girls….people need to relax and walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before making judgement. Now, do I think that saying “shut up” is the most tactful way of saying there are moments of frusteration….any parent will say they have frusterating moments.

My twins are identical-but have very different personalities. They will test limits and fight with their big brother….but between the two of them is a different level. They speak in twin speak and are the one that can make the other one lose it soooo fast.

At that same regard, the protect eachother from their older brother and are the best of friends.

Karen on

I find it reprehensible that anyone refer to any period of their childrens lives as “terrible”. Turning two is a wonderful, joyous, exciting time in a childs life. It is when they really begin to “become” who they are going to be. Just beginning to be independant and think for themselves. Any parent that looks at this as a negative thing is selfish and focused on the effect on them instead of the wonderfulness of this part of a child’s life. Our society’s obcession with victimizing everything that happens to us is yet again reflected in the phenomena of calling this “the terrible twos”. It sickens me, and it should sicken anyone who truely loves life and the beauty of every mental and physical growth process.