consistent parenting advice
consistent parenting advice

Terrible Twos

In toddler development, Terrible Twos behaviour is natural behaviour
for growing toddlers - it has nothing to do with good or bad children.

terrible twos
It's completely natural for your toddler to start saying NO!

This behaviour can begin some time during your child's second year, so expect it anytime after his/her first birthday.

Yes, terrible twos behaviour happens with one year olds as well!

Your toddler may have frequent temper tantrums and mood changes, become quite negative and constantly say no!

Terrible Twos sudden mood changes are shown here in these three photographs all taken within seconds of each other!

Terrible Twos - Testing Boundaries

terrible twos Terrible Twos behaviour is about testing boundaries and finding limits.

There is no other way a child can learn for himself what limits and boundaries are unless they are pushed against, tried and experimented with.

Toddlers need firm, clear, patient, consistent parents who can set age appropriate boundaries and create safety for their toddler's exploration.

A toddler's natural curiosity encourages him to explore through look, touch, taste and feel. This may mean child proofing a room or two and child proofing outdoor play areas. Your toddler needs you to make it a safe environment for him to play in and explore. Otherwise he continually gets into trouble for touching things that you have left in his way.

It helps to know that this is a normal stage in your child's development. Your child isn't purposely being defiant, rebellious or getting at you with this behaviour.

He just doesn't have the language skills to express his wants and needs while experiencing his growing independence.

This lack in language and communication skills can also often explain why your toddler's frequent frustration leads to tantrums and he begins hitting and biting when he doesn't get what he wants.
terrible twos, toddler temper tantrums

It becomes doubly important during this feisty stage of toddler development to be clear, firm and consistent in both your routines and in your approach.

A consistent environment is a safe haven for a tempestuous two year.

When he feels out of control, at least he learns he can trust in you as his parents to maintain control for him.

Be clear about setting limits and don't give in to his temper tantrums when he sets out to test these limits. That doesn't help your child at all!!

Terrible Twos - It's OK To Ask Questions!

consistent parenting advice I think all parents of young children should write this out in large letters and then pin it to the wall.

It's OK to ask questions!
Yes, I know how tough it is when the questions go on and on!

A child's basic curiosity becomes the basis of his risk taking in the future.

Don't teach him to fear new experiences by giving him negative feedback for his boundless natural curiosity. Heaps of patience from you is invaluable for his learning.

If his constant questions are handled with respect and patience then your toddler learns confidence, esteem, and acceptance as well as gaining new knowledge as you answer his questions.

The wonderful thing about terrible twos is that they turn into terrific threes!!

Terrible Twos - It's Mine!

terrible twos When toddlers say "It's mine", they are learning what is theirs in order to know what belongs to someone else. This is a valuable step in learning how to share.

Once a toddler knows his ownership of a possession, he is often able to share more readily because he can trust in the knowledge that it is his. Parents constantly reprimand their toddler for not sharing, when often the toddler has no understanding of this.

Some toddlers easily give away their toys and share their food, while for others it is a much harder lesson to learn.

If your terible twos child is struggling with sharing, try allowing him ownership first by allowing him to know "it's mine".

Rather than seeming selfish, sharing often comes from experience of ownership.

Terrible Twos - How To Cope!

  • Be Consistent
  • Be clear, firm and consistent in the way you deal with your toddler. This way he has clear emotional boundaries around him.
  • Take Care of Yourself
  • It's important work raising a toddler and takes enormous amounts of energy to keep on top of their frequent emotional demands. Be aware of your own needs for food, water and sleep and take care.
  • Ask For Help
  • It's not feasible to think that you can be full on for 24 hours, 7 days a week- do ask for support from family and friends and have some time out for yourself. You will be able to be more patient and loving with your terrible twos toddler then.

More Help:

Aggression in Children
Aggression in children is part of their normal pattern of development. Young children can act aggressively when things don't go their way - they lash out, bite, kick, hit and punch - all highly embarrassing to their parents!

Toddler Behavior - Anger - Many parents are greatly surprised by their child's behavior when he/she displays anger. A little one's anger can seem so powerful and at times so personally directed, that it is hard not to react powerfully back. Parents can then be taken by surprise at the intensity behind their own emotions and experience considerable shame in the way they are confronted by their tot's aggression, tantrums and out right rage.

Biting can also be a problem. When your child bites, he is telling you in the only way he knows, that something is bothering him. It may be that he's overexcited or tired, bored or frustrated, confused or hungry.

Free Printable Behavior Charts
Free printable behavior, chore, potty charts and more with lots of helpful parenting tips and information!

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