Early in January we discovered the truth of the terrible two’s phase. You’ve heard of that right?
Terrible twos refer to the stage kids enter about the time they turn two years old.
What’s the big deal? Why do they call them the terrible twos? It is because like it sounds, this period of time can be terrible. This is the moment when your little sweet baby turns into a little devil –momentarily.
This stage, the terrible twos can be challenging so I will give you some terrible twos advice later on. But we have to remember that this is just a stage of development.
This is phase is critical to their development. Kids are just discovering that they can do things for themselves. They are not quite skilled at doing anything and this gets them frustrated. They learn fast, but their brains are way ahead of their dexterity.
They feel like their hands and legs should let them do so many things that they see other people doing without effort. But they can’t. So they get really frustrated.
Same thing happens with their speech. The’ve been babbling for almost a year now but they can’t quite say the words. They understand what you’re telling them (for the most part). They even respond in action, or by grunts, whines or other noisy reactions.
But they can’t articulate full sentences. They can’t talk well, and this is frustrating. This is where the terrible twos come from. Frustration.
No, no, no and no.
As they learn to talk and begin expressing their concerns, and talking about their life experience and what’s going on, they learn new words. Like “no” and boy do they learn that word!
It can be extremely frustrating as a parent to hear No, every time you ask a question. For almost 16 months, when you asked something you’d get a smile, or a nod and everything was good. But that is no gone when they reach two years old.
This phase breaks many parents, and we’ve been on the verge of losing our sanity, but I did some research and found out pretty much what I’m telling you. This phase is normal, this phase goes come and go and we will see better days. So in the meantime, if you’re going through this remember this: it’s all going to be okay.
Be assured that your kid isn’t defying you, they’re not challenging your authority. They are simply exercising their power to control their lives. They have no understanding of the deeper meaning of “no” and “yes.”
Here are some tips that have helped me and my wife in these tough times.
- Take a deep breath, it does get better.
- Don’t take tantrums and no-showers personally. I have had Claire in the car telling me “no, no, no…” non-stop for 20 minutes as we go somewhere.
- Don’t yell, don’t get mad, don’t threaten. These actions will only make your child close up and feel isolated.
- Embrace your child when a tantrum comes up, acknowledge them and try to soothe them instead of punishing them.
- Don’t ask questions present choices.
That last tip is my most effective one.
For example, if it’s cold outside and we’re going out she needs to wear a sweatshirt or sweater. But she’ll refuse it if I just bring it out or ask her to come over so I can put it on her.
Instead I bring out a sweater and a sweatshirt and I let her pick one. This works better than if I just ask her to put the one sweatshirt I picked out for her. This works for shoes, socks and many times this even works with food.