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The Terrible Twos--How to Survive Them
Read More About My Kids' Antics and Shenanigan's Here:
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"I am stomping my feet!!" Yes this was my almost 2 year old (Lily) screaming in the middle of a temper tantrum. She apparently was upset that I was not allowing her to stay on my bed, which happens to be far way off from the floor if she were to fall. So she stood in the doorway to the bathroom while I was now brushing my teeth and proceeded to tell me the first phrase of this article. Now to be honest my first reaction was to laugh, because coming out of her little mouth it was kind of funny, but she was definitely angry, frustrated and in the middle of having a temper tantrum.
I have heard from the masses that the "terrible twos" are rearing their ugly head here. By the way she was my calm, mellow baby/infant and now that she is a toddler she seems to have more of what I call these "beastly moments"! And I do think those in the know are onto something with the "terrible twos". But how do you go from the "terrible twos" to the "terrific threes". Yes I came up with that one myself, but seriously after all the tantrums, screaming and crying, one can dream can't they??
Well, first off I have a three year old now too (yes my girls are 16 months apart and I am the mom of Irish Twins) and can tell you that something definitely does happen between the years two and three to make your toddler emotionally grow just a bit. A three year old has what I like to call the capacity to use a bit more of reasoning than a two year old (just a bit!). A year at this age does make a huge difference in my experience.
So how does one handle these temper tantrums (for the child and for yourself too) while they are indeed occurring. Stay tuned, because I am going to share some of my wisdom with you (Ok, I don't mean to sound like I know it all (believe me I don't), but having two in this age group and being a stay at home mom gives me a bit of edge on this.
1. Time Outs
I correspond the amount of time that a time out lasts by how old the child is. Meaning my 2 year old (Lily) would sit in a time out for 2 minutes. Yes, that would mean my 3 year old, Emma would sit for 3 minutes. It is seriously that straight forward and that simple. Kids at this age don't have a long attention span so you don't have to drag out the time out just make them sit long enough to get the concept that they did something wrong and use it as a cool down period.
2. Make Them Learn to Say Sorry
Trust me this is so important. They are never too young to learn this lesson. Kids at this age are wired not to want to say this, but if you ingrain this in them when they are young enough, you have half a shot of getting them to learn to say it and mean it hopefully. You can get them to do this while they are sitting in the time out (trust me it makes that time go a bit quicker for them). Both my girls have said, "I'm sorry" from the time they both started to learn to talk.
3. Let Them Know the Behavior Is Not Acceptable
I also do this during the time out. I simply explain exactly what they did was wrong and if they do it again I will put them back in a time out. After Lily threw that recent temper tantrum, I did just this and she hasn't repeated her phrase about stomping her little feet again in the last few days. So I would say this was a success. Trust me it doesn't mean she won't throw another temper tantrum ever, but at least she won't be saying, "I am stomping my feet" again. Once again the time out isn't long and drawn out, because we are doing something constructive during it.
4. Have a Sense of Humor/Put the Behavior in Proper Perspective
Ok, so this one is more for the parent, but seriously with little kids this is so important and key. I have to tell you that as much as what Lily did was wrong, as I said earlier I couldn't help but want to laugh. Of course I wouldn't laugh or let her think I thought it was funny to her face. Still she was as I put it being a beast, but this little voice saying "I am stomping my feet" was just slightly amusing. So sometimes I have to put the bad behavior in proper perspective and see that she is only two years old and was showing her frustrations about being told no. I mean at this age she does get told no more times than not pretty much for her own good, but she doesn't get that at 2 years old. Again this goes back to being able to reason and be logical. Again at this age, she and most kids are not either of these things. So even though the behavior was wrong and inappropriate, I can see where she was coming from. So I try to pick my battles with my kids, because again if you were told no all the time, you too would probably get frustrated and yell or scream too!!
5. Realize that 2 Years Old Only Lasts for One Year
Yet another one more for the parents, but if all else fails remember this! I have been told again on more than one occasion that they are only this small and this age for so long. So as a stay at home mom, when things do get out of hand a bit and temper tantrums do occur, I tell myself this over and over. I have to say that it usually does work, because I look at them and remember they are still my babies and how much I love them, even if they are being "little beasts!" Usually my girls are a pleasure, but for those moments when they are not this is what is important by remembering that before I know it they will be all grown up and I will be wanting these days back. And even sooner and before I know it Lily will be three and the "terrible twos" will be a thing of the past and behind me.
Learn More About Lily on This Cute Recipe Inspired By Her:
- Mini Mexican Pizzas--Kid Approved by The Lily Test
This hub article is a recipe for a simple, easy and inexpensive recipe is also kid approved by my own picky eater, Lily not quite 2 years old. The recipe is for Mini Mexican Pizzas that has been stamped with the seal of approval from my Lily!!
Summing It Up...
By the way for every "beastly" behavior, temper tantrums included there are about 10 adorable and cute things that they do that makes me just melt, because quite simply they are mine. Like about 10 minutes after Lily's temper tantrum was over, my girls were watching Nick Jr's Fresh Beat Band, when a commercial for Barbie's new video came on the TV. Lily ran to the TV screaming in delight, "Barbie, I love you!" No joke I can't make this stuff up and these are the times that make it all worth it!!
About the Author...
Janine is a freelance writer and mom of two. She is known for being a stay at home mom to two beautiful little girls right now. Life can totally get hectic and has learned to perfect and improvise all day and night too, because of this. You can checkout her profile and more of her family related articles here.
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© 2012 Janine Huldie