I’m not sure if they call it the terrible twos because the parents notice changes in the behaviours of their two year olds or because the kids’ tantrums start at this age and never end. While I just realized that I’ve passed this period twice and did not feel, even once, that it was a ‘terrible’ time, I’ll give you a few ideas on how you could handle this phase smoothly. It’s not a cake walk but it’s not like walking on a bed of thorns either.
This chapter could last anywhere from 18 to 36 months. During this time, our kids totally adore us, whether they show it or not, and being there with them is the only thing they need. Their eyes have both, mischief and cuteness, overloaded in them and as per my experience; you just need to find time to get involved with both qualities smartly.
Let me know if you have any other ideas besides the ones
I’ve listed below.
START YOUNG : I found that spending time and talking to your kids on a daily basis (whether they understand your language or not) is a good way to get them to learn to pay attention to you while you speak to them. Talking to them while washing the utensils and hanging the clothes to dry aren’t going to help much, so, look them in the eye and, gradually, they will understand where you’re coming from.
TANTRUMS : Firstly, we, as parents, need to stay calm only then can we handle tantrums effectively. Ignore the yelling and let them calm down before you speak to them kindly right after the strenuous episode. Ask them what they were feeling while behaving like that earlier. My two year old son would tell me that he would feel angry so I would rub his chest until he said he felt better. He throws fewer things now at 3.5 years.
FOUL LANGUAGE : I have seen toddlers use horrible language outside their homes and it makes me wonder about their upbringing. As a parent, I know that kids come home with new words every single day and it is my duty, ultimately, to let them know the meaning and make sure they don’t use words that could upset another individual (or child) even slightly.
PUNISH WHEN REQUIRED : I ain’t talkin about beating them up black and blue, but preventing them from getting what they want easily instead. Like for eg. If my kids misbehaved, I would cancel TV time or mall day until they realized what they did wrong. Sometimes, a whack on the bum is required when they are small. Along with being well-behaved in public, it helps them get a little tough too.
SIBLING RIVALRY : Of course, if your child has a sibling, there are going to be many times when the older one tries to bully the younger one or the younger one troubles the elder one. While you protect the younger one, also make sure that you sit them both down and explain to them what shouldn’t and should have been done. This is how they understand to care for each other. Though she sometimes gets pissed off with her little brother when he troubles her, I repeatedly tell my daughter to treat him how she wants him to treat her when he’s older. Then, I sternly spoke to my son and made sure he understood that pulling his sister’s hair, and similar acts like these, weren’t going to be taken lightly. He is still a tiny little devil at times but he slowly understands how to behave like a good boy. More on how to control sibling rivalry here.
Besides implementing the above, there are a few other things I do so my kids have a better understanding of how to behave in general. I keep reminding my son that he cannot break things in the shop or that would be the last day he was accompanying us while shopping. I keep encouraging him to walk so that his legs get stronger. I avoid giving them junk so that they eat their fruits and food on time, without any fuss. I let them sleep as much as possible without waking them up except for school because I truly believe that resting is very important for our well-being and theirs.
Also, a boo-boo is never ignored at home, so kissing the boo-boo is a must in order to let the wounded lambs feel better. In return, my boo-boos are also well taken care of. While being naughty is cute, being aggressive can be equally intimidating. You have to make sure that your toddler’s bad behaviour is avoided in public, by correcting them while they are at home.
Do try these ideas out and let me know how you managed/are managing the so-called ‘terrible twos’ time.
Cindy D'Silva, a belly dancer, writer and artist, besides being a mother of two. She loves partying, bowling and eating sushi. There is more about her on the ABOUT ME page. Do check it out! :)
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