When two turns terrible
One moment you’re giggling with your two-year-old at the grocery store, when suddenly she falls to the ground in a temper tantrum while every other shopper in the store turns to stare! OMG! It is the stuff of parental infamy; it’s what happens when the twos turn terrible.
Developmental experts will tell you that the toddler years are a time of rapid growth – physically, mentally and socially, when your toddler begins to develop her sense of self and want to be more autonomous. Parents will tell you that it is a huge test on their patience.
There's no avoiding it. Your toddler will likely experience some form of terrible two-ism over the course of her development.
Here are a few ideas that can help you manage her behaviour and your stress... ; )
Respect the nap. When planning outings or errands, consider naptime and go out when your tyke is less likely to feel irritable.
Stick to a schedule with meals. Plan outings at times when she won’t be hungry. For longer trips, pack a snack or drink to keep her going.
Talk through triggers ahead of time. Talk to your tot before entering a store. For example, let her know that she is not allowed to have a candy bar, but that maybe she can help choose the cereal.
Don’t cave in. If you give in when your munchkin throws a tantrum, it will only be harder next time. Stand firm. You are a parent – you can do it.
Cure boredom. Sometimes a child who is acting up is just bored. Try to keep her occupied. In case of tantrum – have a favourite toy ready to bring out in a pinch.
Be consistent and calm. At home, it’s best to just let your tot work through her tantrum. In public, take a deep breath (you've got this), respond calmly and do your best not to give in to demands.
Redirect when necessary. We know, it's tempting to explain why the misbehaviour isn’t okay. In reality, junior is likely not yet ready to understand your point, which can be frustrating for you. Instead, simply try to redirect her energy and help her focus on something else.
Every parent has been through this challenging time in their child’s development. It's OK. Your child is normal and, as annoying as a tantrum may be, no one is judging either of you for it. As with every phase, kiddo will get through it eventually. Getting through the terrible twos is like a parenting badge of honour. Wear your badge with pride – you’ve got this!