10 Things You Need to Know About the 'Terrible Twos'

Everyone dreads the "Terrible Twos"-  a time of temper tantrums and time outs. Why does it happen? And how do we cope? Check out these ten things you need to know if you're going to be dealing with the terrible twos.





  1.  It's normal. It can be mortifying when your two year old has a major meltdown on aisle twelve, but your kid is not the first to do this, nor will they be the last. Two year olds have tantrums because they do not have the skills to control or express their feelings. It is all perfectly normal behavior.
  2. Remain Calm. It is so easy to get frustrated when your child is losing their ever loving mind, but toddlers are wired to mimic behavior. Getting frustrated will only increase the tension. Do your best to remain calm and speak firm, but soothingly. If you need to give yourself a time out to control your own frustrations, go for it.

  3. Find the source.  Terrible two temper tantrums often occur when their emotions are already in a compromised state. Are they hungry? Tired? Over stimulated? Under stimulated? Figuring out the source of the toddler's frustrations can help you to gain understanding into why they are acting the way they are and find a solution. By trying to meet some of these needs before they become urgent, some tantrums can be prevented.
  4. They're "terrible" because they're learning. Two year olds are just starting to figure out their world, and they are finally gaining a semblance of independence to figure it out with. So, when your two year old pushes the boundaries again and again and again, it's normal. Just lay out firm guidelines and stick to the boundaries you set. It's repetitive and frustrating, but it's how they learn.
  5. Give them choices. With this newfound sense of independence, two year olds want control. Giving them two or three options can help them feel in control and prevent tantrums. For instance, letting them choose between two different outfits for the day. Too many choices would be overwhelming and open ended questions ("What do you want to wear today?") could cause more frustration.
  6. Let them help. Along the same lines of wanting control, two year olds want to and are capable of helping with some things. Give them responsibilities, like picking up toys before bed or helping wipe down the table after dinner. It may be time consuming to have them help vs just doing it yourself, but you are fulfilling a desire in them and teaching them valuable responsibilities.
  7. Positive Reinforcement. Discipline can be challenging at this age. Two year olds have limited reasoning abilities. Whenever they do something good whether it's listen to something you said or something they do on their own accord, offer the highest praise. Be excited, be proud, and make sure they know it. Positive reinforcement will really resonate with them at this age.
  8. It's okay to take a break. As parents, we cannot pour from an empty cup. We have to take care of ourselves as well. Kids are hard at any stage. It's okay to take a break. Whether that's sending them to grandma's for the weekend, or locking ourselves in the bathroom for 5 minutes. Try to find time to take care of yourself, and don't for an instant feel guilty about it.

  9. Give them words for their feelings. One of the reasons the terrible twos are so difficult is that these toddlers are having big emotions in little bodies. They do not know how to control or express what they are feeling. So, we can ease that some by helping them to express themselves. Soothingly tell them, "I know you're feeling angry right now that you can't have xyz, but it's not okay to scream about it. Lets do such-and-such instead."
  10. It's only a phase. The days are long, but the years are short. For some toddlers, the terrible twos can be a particularly trying time. But take a deep breath, have that glass of wine and know that it won't be like this forever.









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About Maddi Casey

Maddi Casey is a muscle car driving, hard working mama who is obsessed with football and good beer. She has two beautiful baby girls and loving husband. Writing is a passion, hobby and sometimes career of hers at coffeeandwinemom.com. She is also passionate about animals, nature and entrepreneurship.
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