How did you survive the terrible twos?
My daughter is now two years old and she certainly does not like the word no and her temper tantrums are suddenly out of control; her screech is ear piercing and bone wattling, she yanks and pulls on me, and she pulls my pants down, and throws herself on the floor, kicking and screaming, and throwing a fit until she is about to throw up. Do you have any advice on how to keep your sanity through this stage of life? Do you have any advice on how to deal, discipline, and/or reverse this terrible behavior?
You are making me remember how patient I used to be! My daughter started being very expressive of her dislikes at 8 months old! I just wrote a hub question about my kids' behavior, and I was reminded of key things I used to do so well with my daughter when she was younger, especially when she was two.
My daughter threw tantrums and cried and screamed when she was two also. She, I knew/know because of my child development and education background, was just trying to figure out how to express her dislikes and feelings. Yes, some precious angels have more demanding personalities than others. But they all need their parents' guidance and care.
Your daughter needs more now than ever for you to be consistent, stern, reliable, and patient. Kids really need routines and clear boundaries and rules. They need consequences they know you'll stick to and to be allowed to experience natural consequences. If she kicks uncontrollably she may bump her leg, or if she behaves that way in public you all will leave and she definitely won't get what it is she is trying to demand. It gets hard to say what you mean and mean what you say sometimes because she's so young... and so cute, but you have to! Start to explain to her (after you've both calmed down) how her behaviors make you feel. Explain your expectations. She may not seem to be listening sometimes, but she hears you; my daughter who is 4 now did. Explain how she should act in the store on the way there; incorporate things she likes to do into the outing, telling her what you can do when she behaves at the store. That's one great/fun way to positively reinforce the behaviors you desire and to do something other than fuss or punish! It really makes her feel loved and acknowledged and secure. She is searching for independence at this stage and needs to be able to trust you have her in mind.
I spent a lot of time redirecting my daughter. I would distract her by asking her what kind of cereal we should get, for example. Give her a job to do in the store; you could explain that job to her in the car during your talk before you all get there.
I have developed behavior charts for my kids and a rewards system that they enjoy. They can get to do something they like or get something (try to avoid getting your daughter stuff every time you go to the store; that will create a monster). You don't have to reward her every time she makes good choices either! Encourage her to "make good choices", and keep your cool always!
Wow awesome answer. Thank you for all your tips, advice, and ideas. I really appreciate it! It reassures me that I am doing all the right things, I just need to be patient for her to discover, learn and grow. Thank you so much for your sound advice!
You can give her 5 minutes of time-out. She's not too young for consequences, & she will begin to understand. Avoid saying no; they learn that word way too quickly, & we don't help because we use it (it's an easy word)! Avoid saying don't &am
I had a great mother who spared my life during those hard times!
I used to teach all the early childhood development courses. The twos are her time to assert herself, and can seem endless to parents! My own granddaughter was a prime example. She had the world's worst scream of rage if anything went against her wishes. Now she is an adult, and absolutely lovely, so it does change! You can say calmly, "I can't let you do that. Hitting hurts", if she physically attacks you. You can hold her hands if she does this. But best of all is to ignore the behaviour and go about your own business. You are rewarding bad behaviour if you react to it. This includes her behaviour in public places.! Instead, note her good behaviour. This consistency on your part will stop her not-so-nice behaviour and build trust in your relationship. Good luck!
I have 5 kids and all of them went through various tantrum stages! One thing I would encourage you with is that the internal frustration which causes these tantrums to be so extreme and often about unreasonable things is very much age related and as development matures, the tantrums will get better. However, we've all seen older children (and adults!) who still tantrum, so it is important to follow the advice others have offered to help your child to grow intellectually and emotionally so that they don't remain stuck in this behavior.
In addition to what others have said, I'd suggest:
1. Ignoring the behavior and not trying to deal with the child or reason with them during the tantrum. Just go away and do something else. Lock yourself in the bathroom if you must! Some kids need some time to cry it all out and then recover without having to deal with the additional stress of relating to a parent. The emotion is internal and they need to feel it. It is all right to be angry sometimes. Kids emotions are not regulated well and tend to be off and on. Some kids just do better if they are left alone to recover and then rather than going back to the tantrum, you just ignore it and go on.
2. Hold the child. Some kids feel very frightened about being out of control and need your assurance that they are ok and that you are not scared too (even if you are!). Some kids will like being held tightly and even perhaps restrained a bit from hurting themselves with a tantrum. This will not work with all kids. If your child really resists it, then this is not a good technique for them, at least at that time.
3. Strong, Firm, Discipline when child gets past age of tantrum: I let my son continue to tantrum until he was almost 4. His tantrums were very difficult and I finally realized that I had let his tantrums control me and I was afraid of them. At 4, he was being willful and not just frustrated like at 2.So, I finally decided to put him in time out every time he disobeyed and tantrumed. I was not a spanking mom, but I decided if he wouldn't go to time out I would spank. I thought it would take a few weeks for this to work. It took less than one day. I had to spank him about 7 times to get him to obey the first time, but after that I never had to do a spanking more than once, and in total there were only about six times I spanked him at all. In two weeks, the tantrum behavior was completely gone. It was like a miracle. He is 15 now and a terrific kid.
Yes! I ignored tantrums a lot. Yesterday I mentioned not trying to address the tantrum because a child is at a completely irrational place at that moment. Give the tantrum "zero" power. Giving it attention will reinforce it which you don't want.
Distraction, remaining calm, asking her to use her words instead of whining, telling her I was going to put her down in a chair until she felt better, giving her a cuddle and being sympathetic, asking her what she wanted and offering alternatives.
I used to hug her sometimes too until she was calm. These are all such great comments. Each one reminds me of other things I did. It certainly was a challenge and took a lot of ideas and approaches. She got popped sometimes too when overly disresp.
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