We usually hear the term terrible twos from parents who are nearly losing patience from their toddlers. This is the period in a child’s early social development associated with rebellious behavior. Usually, this happens when the kid is around the age of two years old, thus the term terrible twos.
Psychologists state that the terrible twos is a normal stage in a toddler’s life. The child feels easily frustrated for not being able to successfully communicate his needs. As he struggles to be dependent on his parents, he also wants to feel his own independence. Sadly, he has limitations to fully show his individuality, thus leads to his frustration and tantrums.
As the child loses patience, the parent may fail to keep his patience, too. It is at this stage that a guardian should be most enduring. PSST.ph shares a few pointers to easily manage terrible twos.
Teach the acceptable behavior
It is at this stage that a toddler learns to say “no.” Perhaps, he hears this word from their guardians a lot of times. Be an advocate of positivity and instead of uttering “no,” positively shift his actions while teaching him what an acceptable behavior is. If for example, he does not want to stop playing “throw that ball,” invite him to play outside the house instead. Then orient him that playing “throw your ball” is an outdoor game.
Positively shift behavior
A two-year-old may find it too difficult to understand why the need to leave the park too soon. He is still enjoying and leaving the park means no more fun. Explain to the little kiddo that he is experiencing frustration. Mention that you, too, are feeling upset, but you need to leave because you have to eat dinner. The mere mention of dinner may brighten his disposition. State a new activity that he would surely love to hear, but be sure it is what you would do next. Do not give him false hopes as it would surely make him more frustrated. Also, it is prudent to affirm his emotions and disclose, too, that you’re feeling the same mood.
Ignore the drama
Witnessing a meltdown can be irritating. You might even hurt the child if you can’t even control yourself and realize he is just kid. The trick here is to not give the child the attention he seeks. The more invested and upset you get, the more you encourage him to continue. This is because he thinks it is all a game. Come near the child but be totally engrossed in playing with his train perhaps or his bear. Playfully tease him what you are doing, and in no time, he will forget about his drama and will join you.
Deal with compassion
Look at the tantrum from your child’s perspective. Often, he will not act uncannily just because he prefers so. There will always be a reason – hungry, sleepy or tired. If you are walking for about 30 minutes already, he may most probably be tired and wanted to be carried. He cries not to create inconvenience, but because he is tired. As we see things from our child’s perspective, we are more likely to act with compassion.
How to easily manage terrible twos?
The terrible twos stage wouldn’t last long. The child would soon show signs of maturity as he begins to properly communicate his wants. Time will come as well he will understand the rules and recognize the right from wrong. The important thing is, a parent should be consistent in dealing with the toddler’s misbehavior. Each member of the family should have the same stance as everyone else. This will not only avoid confusion but merits respect for the elders.
Again, the terrible twos is normal. Pediatricians describe it as an essential phase of any child’s development. It is during that phase he gets to experience different emotions. With proper guidance from his elders, he gets to be acquainted with those feelings. It is also at that stage your patience as a parent is tested. Do not join your little tot as he shouts or cries. Being angry yourself will all the more worsen the situation. Show maturity over the situation by being a parent and not another toddler. Consider your options but do not include spanking, shouting, and being angry. The best choice maybe is a warm hug, a kiss or patience.