Are the Terrible Twos for Real?
What are the Terrible Twos?
You've heard the term terrible twos, but what does it mean? The best way to describe it is that one day, you have an adorable baby who is the delight of your eyes and then suddenly, it's as if an alien body snatcher has taken over your child.
Is it really that bad? It depends on the child. My first two never really went through this stage. Now, you all know what they say about the third time being the charm?
Toddler image by kakisky at morgueFile.
Tantrums in Toddlers
So, why do toddlers act up like this? For starters, for the first time in their lives they no longer have to be content with just observing things.
By the time kids hit the age of two, most are walking, running and climbing, which means they now have the capability of exploring anywhere they want to go.
Unfortunately, toddlers don't yet understand what all is safe and unsafe, so if denied access to where they want to go or what they want to do, they often break down and throw a temper tantrum.
Now, no one wants to listen to what sounds like a screaming hyena for very long. However, caving into your child's demands will only reinforce the behavior.
This is a great time to start teaching repercussions for inappropriate behavior. Time outs are recommended, along with talking to your child about the incident that just took place.
This is not a one time fix the problem solution. This is an ongoing process that requires parents to be consistent.
Of course this doesn't guarantee that the next time you go to the store and your little darling grabs a toy and you say no, that he or she won't dramatically drop to the ground, screaming and crying while flinging all body parts around like someone who just stuck a wet finger in a light socket.
Toddler boy photo by sjs5769 at morgueFile.
Another reason toddlers display destructive behavior such as tantrums, hitting, etc. is out of frustration. A child at this age does not yet have the verbal skills to vocalize their thoughts or feelings. Instead, they act them out.
Although it can be tempting to raise your voice and yell, it is much better to stay calm and talk to your child in a calm voice. Then, you can go into the garage and hit the punching bag.
Child photo by ali110 at morgueFile.
Terrible Twos Behavior
When my third child hit the terrible twos, one thing he liked to do was help. Now, that may sound like a good thing, but there's the difference between good help and bad help. He liked to do the latter.
For example, one day he decided to help with cleaning. He opted to wash fish bowl. Unfortunately, it didn't occur to him to remove the fish first. Those poor fish never stood a chance.
Another time he decided it would be a good idea to clean the bathroom sink. He had seen me soak pots and pans, so he thought it best to soak the sink, first.
He put in a plug, turned the water on, walked out and closed the door. It wasn't until the third room started flooding that I discovered this. The good news? In time, carpeting does dry.
Pouting photo by anitapatteron at morgueFile.
Dealing with Toddlers
Children at this age love to explore and experiment. I know my third child did. He especially liked to explore when I had my back turned.
One time I turned away from him for less than a minute to check my baby in the stroller while visiting Yosemite. When I turned back, he was gone. I finally caught him as he was boarding a tour bus.
At that moment I realized why parents hooked their kids up to safety harnesses like little animals. I saw the light!
At this age he also developed a creative side. You would be amazed at the wonderful artwork a child can create with a poopy diaper. I still have the carpet stains.
The key thing to remember? Patience.
Little girl photo by juditu at morgueFile.
Toddler Throwing a Tantrum
Does this look familiar?
Often toddlers will begin some kind of preschool program. I know how excited my child was on his first day of school.
The teacher and him really hit it off. I remember her telling me how much she enjoyed him, how advanced he was for his age and what a scientific mind he had due to all of his curiosity.
That honeymoon didn't last long.
One day I came to pick him up and she was having a complete meltdown due to him. Tears were literally streaming down her face as she claimed how much she loved him, but didn't know what to do with him. Needless to say, that was his last day at that preschool.
In other words, not all preschools work for all toddlers.
Preschool photo by phaewilk at morgueFile.
Surviving the Terrible Twos
The question on your mind right now might be if you will survive the terrible twos. The answer is with any luck, eventually! I know at age 13, my son will one day be free of those difficult years. Of course, you may pick up a few gray hairs along the way. Thank goodness for Nice & Easy!
Seriously, though. If you think the toddler years can be challenging, wait until you have teenagers!
Happy toddler photo by phaewilk at morgueFile.
Have you survived the terrible twos?
Best Toddler Book
This is a wonderful book that covers everything about toddlers from tantrums, to potty, sleep issues and more. I found it to be so helpful when my kids were this age.
Best Toddler Books
These are on eBay.
As much as we try to watch our kids 24/7, there are times when we need a little break. It could be to do something as simple as go to the bathroom or make a quick phone call.
As toddlers can act up when they're bored, I found that if I put on a fun kids' video for a bit, my kids would be happy and I could get something done.
I love The Wiggles because the music is fun and it gets kids moving and dancing around.
Wiggles Hot Potato
Filed with your favorite Wiggles tunes.
The Angelic Child
Hopefully, one day your terrible two child will go back to the angel he or she really is.
Angel image courtesy of WPClipart.
Child Safety Harness
If you have concerns about your toddler taking off on you, you might consider a child safety harness when you go out in public. I can't tell you how handy this came in for me.
In case you need anything for your toddler today.