No parent looks forward to dealing with terrible twos. We have all heard about it and when it’s time to experience it, you may feel a bit overwhelmed. For those of you who don’t know, this is a developmental stage that can begins sometime in the toddler years. It can begin anytime during your child’s second year, sometimes even before.
You may find your child saying “no” quite often, or even having temper tantrums or frequent mood changes. This is a normal stage in your in your child’s development, so just remember that they are not trying to be defiant or rebellious on purpose. They are just trying to express their growing independence and don’t have the means to express their feelings and needs. This can be the reason that leads them to become easily frustrated which may resort to hitting, biting, or tantrums when they don’t get their way.
Patience is key when dealing with a toddler. Try to keep your calm and offer comfort during a tantrum or just ignore the behavior instead of getting worked up. Try to redirect attention instead of using the word “no”. This is a very trying time for both you as parents and your child as they go through these major social, emotional, intellectual, and motor changes.
Listed below are a few steps to help make it easier to get through this trying time in your child’s developmental stage. Be sure to pick your battles.
- Have a regular routing for meals, naps, bedtime, etc.
- Offer limited choices – give 2 options for them to select from instead of an open ended option. This helps them feel like their making decisions and have some power over things.
- Set limits – don’t be surprised to see your toddler test these limits, but make sure to follow through with discipline by using time outs or taking away privileges or toys.
- DO NOT give in to tantrums
- Provide a safe environment for your child to play in. This lets them explore without getting into trouble for playing with something they’re not supposed to.
Show your child love and respect as they go through this major learning stage in their life. You will definitely help them get through it with confidence.