How many times in a day has your child started crying while rolling over the floor because he/she wants to have something? It has been seen that for the parents while raising a two-year-old toddler; their life transforms from ROFL (Rolling Over Floor Laughing) to ROFC (Rolling Over Floor Crying). For that reason, the term ‘Terrible Two’ has been coined to define the challenges that come at the age of 2 years in most toddlers.
It is true that raising a kid is an exceptional experience and the second year of their life is not all bad. At this point in time; the kids become inquisitive, imaginative, and adorable. You just need to know a few tricks to deal with their tantrums and you are all ready to create some wonderful memory albums.
But before knowing about the tricks; you must understand the whole situation of the terrible two so that you can control them in a better way.
What is Terrible Two?
When your child becomes two years old; you will experience some visible changes in her. She will become more independent and start to express her liking, disliking, and opinion. She may rebel against any sort of boundaries you put her in. Most of the kids at this stage don’t like the restriction as they want to explore everything, so eventually, they show defiant behavior in the form of tantrums.
As a parent, you may find that the outburst occurs all of a sudden. Maybe she seems all happy giggling and playing with you and the next second she starts to scream her lungs out, stomping her feet on the ground and disobeying you without any reason.
Actually, at this age; they are not able to handle their own emotions in a proper way. As a result, the outburst of emotions can turn into tantrums. When the child feels that she does not have control over the situation; she starts to fight for what she wants. Making a compromise can be disappointing for her as she does not get the demanded thing. She gets confused as she does not have an idea how to handle the feeling leading to a conflict.
Terrible Two is an obvious milestone for a 2-year-old kid who is trying to cope with the changing social, intellectual, and emotional development. If you feel frustrated, then you must know that your child’s growth is on the right track.
What are the signs of Terrible Twos?
Once your child starts demonstrating these behaviors, it’s safe to assume that they have entered the notorious “terrible twos” phase:
1. Increases usage of the word “no”
2. Exhibits both clinginess and a desire for independence
3. Struggles with socializing and may resort to aggressive behaviors like pushing and shoving
4. Easily becomes frustrated
5. Throws frequent temper tantrums
6. Experiences rapid mood swings, shifting from happy to angry and back in a flash
7. Tests boundaries to gauge their limits
8. Expresses negative emotions by crying, screaming, hitting, biting, or kicking.
Tips to Deal with Terrible Twos:
Most parents feel stress while handling the stage of their child’s growth journey. Don’t lose hope; we come up with some excellent tips that will help you to get through this challenging time.
1. Set Your Expectation: It is important to set realistic expectations for your two-year-old munchkin. As your child has just learned to walk, talk or feed herself; that does not mean that she can handle complex human emotions.
2. Get a Behaviour: You must know how you should reward the positive behavior of your child. It does not always mean material rewards but you can constantly praise your child when she has done some good. This type of behavior will make the child understand which type of behavior is actually acceptable.
3. Following Routine: To manage the Terrible Twos; it is very important to follow a constant routine. Reducing anxiety and minimizing tantrums can be achieved by establishing predictable routines around daily activities and sleep, as well as consistently responding to unwanted behaviors and providing positive affirmations for good behavior.
4. Give Her Choice: To give the child a sense of authority; you should give her two choices whenever possible. But you should also keep in mind that this should not be a practice every time. They also have to know that the choices are coming from the parents that they have approved first.
5. Calm down her body: As per child psychologists; even a two-year-old kid must be aware of the fact that they can calm down their body by dealing with the current feeling. You can help the child to practice deep breathing which will help her to control her emotional outburst during the situation.
6. Clear Conversation: As a parent, you may be aware of triggering events like going shopping. So whenever you are going to enter a shop; you tell her that she is not allowed to get candy or toys there. If she stays good; then she will get the reward afterward.
7. Don’t Encourage: To avoid the tantrums of the children, many people give them whatever they want. However; this will make things harder next time.
8. Redirect: You can redirect the child when it is necessary. You can show her something interesting so that she can focus on something else.
9. Show affection and reasons: Your child may be small but she may have a great sense of understanding. Without scolding or yelling; you should make her understand affectionately why her demand is unreasonable. Hugs and kisses can help your child to calm down.
When You Should Ask For Help:
The Terrible Two behavior is quite normal for a toddler as it is also a milestone in their growth journey. However, there are certain behaviors that may be a sign that you might need outside help. In case, the child has shown potentially dangerous behavioral habits like head banging, destruction of properties, or hurting others; then it is important to consult with your child’s pediatrician.
Remember that you are not alone in this field. Almost every parent goes through the same situation. And the best part is that just like the childhood of your kid this phase will also pass soon. So, enjoy every bit of it!