Almost every parent has heard of the term the “terrible twos”. To most, the terrible two’s is seen as the development stage where children experience a rapid shift in mood and behaviors, which causes many challenges for parents. The obvious signs where you can tell a child is in their terrible twos are tantrums, oppositions, and mood swings.
At this age, we must acknowledge that children are undergoing many different changes all at once. This is the time that most children start to develop their sense of self and autonomy, and their imaginations also begin to form. They are fresh off learning how to walk so they just want to take advantage of exploring the world around them.
Here are 7 tips that will help you get through your child’s “Terrible Twos”:
1. Minimize your yelling:
Although some temper tantrums can be extremely frustrating for parents, yelling at your child will not prevent them from constantly throwing fits. Yelling at them will only make them want to push you away even more.
Another negative effect of yelling is that your child will think yelling is the only proper form of communicating with one another. This will result in copycat behavior, and they may start yelling at their other peers because they think that’s the only way to get their point across.
2. Have regular meal and nap times:
As a parent, it’s important to understand that tantrums usually happen because your child’s needs are being unmet. Like infants, toddlers also get irritable when they’re hungry or tired. Make sure to have a consistent schedule of nap and mealtimes and avoid planning any activities around those times.
3. Call them out on their behavior:
Although you should be cautious of yelling, it doesn’t mean that you still can’t call your child out when they’ve done something wrong. For instance, if you see your toddler engaging in violent behavior with one of their classmates, you can stop it by making it clear that these behaviors are not tolerated.
4. Be consistent in disciplining:
If you’re the type of the parent that’s always caving when your child whines about not getting a certain toy, candy, or any object that they want, you’ll only make it harder on your part. You must be consistent with how you always choose to react to your child because it helps your child to understand and to adhere to your expectations. In turn, this should also encourage your child to want to be obedient.
5. Be in tune with your children’s new emotions:
Keep in mind that because their brains are not yet fully developed, most two-year-old’s haven’t fully experienced and don’t understand their new emotional development. Many parents overlook the amount of stress a toddler goes through in their brain and forget that they don’t yet have the logical capacity needed to control all their emotions. It’s important to keep this in mind when parenting your two-year-old, so your child realizes that you understand how they are feeling.
6. Redirect or distract them:
Quite often, children act out solely due to boredom. Instead of trying to discipline them right away, which could only lead to louder tantrums and more tears, come up with a creative way to keep them occupied. Redirect them to read some books, sing a song, paint, play with a new toy, or participate in a sport.
7. Don’t take it personally:
The intensity of your toddler’s terrible twos is not a reflection of your parenting skills. This is a very normal part of their lives. When your child is being disrespectful and defiant, don’t take it personal and remember it is your job to teach them what’s right or wrong.
At Prep Academy, we take pride in treating each of our students children with diligence and patience, particularly our 2-year-olds. We understand that the emotional development and maturity of each child will vary, so we create a customized learning plan for each child that is best suited to their unique needs.