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Motherhood: How to survive the terrible twos.

Updated on March 11, 2014

There is a reason why every parent fears their babies becoming toddlers, one of those reasons is the Terrible Twos. The crankiness, the tantrums, the headaches, the toy throwing, it's all coming and it's not pleasant.

Even though this is the time when parents' should be spending quality time with their toddlers, there is also the terrible twos. This phase, comes on when a toddler turns two years old, and quickly starts to develop bad habits. One of the biggest and perhaps most annoying habits that too many parents have to deal with is the tantrums. Some of the most noticeable signs that a toddler or baby is going through the terrible twos, or an early sign of it is when they baby starts to scream, or throw things around the room, or the house.

There is no easy way to handle the terrible twos as every mother has a different threshold for handling any stressful situation, but there are ways to get through this problem, and perhaps even make it somewhat pleasurable for parents.

What parents need to know.

First of all, it's important to know and understand that in the majority of cases, the terrible twos is just a phase. This means that with time, toddlers will eventually grow out of it. Parents often freak out, or freeze in the moment because they do not understand why their precious babies are throwing tantrums.

Parents need to understand that this is the time when they need to set the ground rules for their toddlers, and learn how to discipline them whenever their children are acting up. The terrible twos are marked by a few distinctive features:

  • The way the child acts when he or she doesn't get their way
  • The way that they scream or move around when they want to get attention.
  • How they let their feelings be known to their parents when they are sad or upset.

Even though each case is different, the majority of children act out because they begin to learn how to share their feelings with their parents, but they don't yet know how to control their feelings or desire to want something that they can't have.

What can parents do.

Years ago, it was believed that the terrible twos were not just a phase, but it was the result of parents not being able to discipline their children. Today, its known that the terrible twos is just a phase, and that parents can easily get through them with a little bit of patience, and with time. 

If parents want to get through the terrible twos alive, then they should follow a few rules.

  1. Do not give into your child's tantrum. Many parents believe that if they just play with their children or if they just hold their child when their baby wants to be held, that they will avoid a tantrum. Well, it might work for the moment, but this only teaches the child that they will get their way if they throw a tantrum. 
  2. Stand your ground, anywhere. Even if you are in the store, church, or a party, children will still throw tantrums. So, what do you do? For one, you do not give into your child's tantrum. The constants: I WANT, I WANT, I WANT they will go away. As parents it can be hard to find a way to discipline your children when they are younger, but there are ways to do it. A simple time out, or looking at your child straight in the eye while explaining what they are doing wrong can work. 
  3. Ask you children why they are throwing the tantrum. You think a two year old can't understand you? Think again. There are many parents who think that they can't communicate with their children because they are too young, when in reality their children communicate with them all the time. This is also the time when children learn how to talk the fastest and learn what's acceptable, and what isn't. 
  4. Be more caring. Sometimes children just need more attention. The problem can be as simple as that. Just spend more time getting to know your toddler. Sometimes toddlers go through so many changes that parents simply do not see, but they should. This prompts the toddler to act out wanting the attention that he or she is not getting. Its normal, but parents should take the time to talk to them and see what new things their children are learning.
Every tantrum will be different, and every problem will be different too. But there are ways to fix it or get through them. The most important part to remember is to just relax and take things one step at a time.


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    • MarkLim81 profile image


      6 years ago from Malaysia

      From an Early Years Practitioner's point, seemingly random tantrums are also an indication that the child may not be feeling well. :)

    • Jessi10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jessica Rangel 

      7 years ago from Lancaster, CA

      Thank you! I hope so too!

    • Ardie profile image


      7 years ago from Neverland

      I do NOT miss the terrible two's OR the even worse threes hahah You have some great advice for parents going through these difficult years. Hopefully many will read this and practice patience with these little darlings.

    • Jessi10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jessica Rangel 

      7 years ago from Lancaster, CA

      Oh goodness!! Thank you for that! LOL I'm looking forward to everything!

    • Kim Cantrell profile image

      Kim Cantrell 

      7 years ago from Deep In The Pages of a Book

      I'm on my fourth round of the terrible twos and just entered into the terrifying threes, so I so feel your pain. Trust me when I say, though, enjoy the terrible twos because the teenage years are much, much worse. lol

    • Jessi10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jessica Rangel 

      7 years ago from Lancaster, CA

      LOL thank you so much for reading!

      I am going through this as we speak, and I can't tell you right now, that its definitely a learning experience for me!

    • molometer profile image


      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Been there, done that, got the memories too. It can be a very fraught experience. SHARING


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