Watching your baby grow from a newborn to a toddler can be very exciting. You have watched her as she learned to walk and talk and saw her unique personality begin to show. Now that your baby has turned two, you may see an entirely different little person around your home. While developing her own unique personality, your sweet little angel has picked up a very stubborn and independent streak. Welcome to the Terrible Twos. This is the phase where your child goes from doing everything to please you to doing everything in the world to try your last nerve.
There are ways that you can deal with the Terrible Twos. You made it through infancy just fine and you will make it through this phase as well. Learning ways to deal with your two year old will help you to avoid frustrating situations and help your toddler to grow as well. One thing that you can do is assist your child with his speech development. Most two year olds act out simply because they are frustrated. They are trying to communicate with you as best they can. They simply do not have the communication skills yet that they need. Helping them with their communication skills is a good start. Teach them words such as “help, drink, eat, more”, etc. that will help them to communicate better with you.
Begin giving your child choices instead of making their decisions for them. Instead of automatically offering oatmeal for breakfast, as her what she would prefer between oatmeal and cold cereal. Make sure that your choices are limited otherwise you may never get an answer. You can also allow your child to begin dressing herself. Again, give her limited choices. For instance, as her if she prefers to wear her pretty pink dress or her yellow one. Offer only one or two choices at a time to ensure that you do not overwhelm the child.
Offering praise is always good. When your child does something that you want him to do, praise him for his good behavior. Offer small chores for them to do such as putting their clothes in a hamper or picking up their toys. When your child does as you ask, praise them. Make a big deal of how good they have been or what a great helper they were to you. Praise goes a long way in teaching a child good behavior.
Temper tantrums are the epitome of the Terrible Twos and you should avoid them at all costs. These are perfectly normal, but you should steer clear of them. Make sure that you tell the child that you know why he or she is upset but do not coddle or argue with them. If your child is upset because he cannot play outdoors in the rain simply say “I know you are upset because you want to play outside. When you stop crying, we will find something fun to do indoors until the rain stops”. Once you have made your statement, leave him alone and allow him to finish his tantrum. Try not to get angry or otherwise involved. Once he knows that he has your attention, the tantrum can go on for a long time. Just remind yourself that a tantrum is normal and it will pass.
Routines will be a big help during this phase. Stick to your bedtime routine, bath routines and mealtimes. This will help to keep tantrums down and will be much less stressful for you. Simply cherish your child and enjoy this newfound independence. The Terrible Twos do not have to be the most difficult time in your child’s life and can be handled very easily if you remember that your child loves you. He or she is simply learning how to exist in this newly found independent stage.