Surviving the Terrible Twos

Has your normally sweet and loving toddler become wild-eyed, tearful, and uncontrollable overnight? Do you suddenly feel likeTerrible Twos you’re raising an irritable chimpanzee? If so, you may be in dire need of some tips on surviving the terrible twos. For some reason, most kids between eighteen months and three years of age undergo a period of temporary insanity. It is inevitable! They will throw the cracker they just begged for in your face. They will take off their clothes while kicking and screaming on the kitchen floor. There is nothing you as a parent can do about that but sit back, buckle up, and try to enjoy the crazy ride. While you can’t change their irrational behavior, you can make the difficult toddler years easier for you and your child. Surviving the terrible twos is possible. All that’s required is acceptance of things you cannot change, willingness to learn a few stress-diffusing techniques, and a few good ideas about how to occupy the long hours.

Coping With the Terrible Twos:

When your toddler has been inexplicably weeping for half-an-hour, the natural instinct is to yell, cajole, bully, or simply indulge in your own sob-fest. Unfortunately, the relief gained from these forms of emotional expression is only temporary. Rather than pulling your hair out, try these simple ways to calm down:

Leave the room. Step out, get some fresh air, remove yourself from the situation long enough to collect your thoughts. Five minutes of alone time is usually enough to slow your heart rate and compose yourself. Do ten jumping jacks to rid your body of aggressive energy.  You will be able to make better decisions after dealing with that pesky adrenaline rush.

  1. Before acting or reacting to overwhelming behavior shut your eyes and count backwards from twenty. Distracting your mind will help you avoid losing your cool. Diverting your thoughts for even a few seconds can prevent you from dealing out impulsive punishments or unkind words.
  2. Take a deep breath! If you are at home, lie down on the floor with your hand on your stomach, draw in some air, and feel your abdomen rise and fall. Keep doing this until you feel able to respond appropriately. If out in public and don’t want to look like a lunatic, stop what you’re doing, take a deep breath, and see how long you can expel the air in your lungs. Repeat this action as often as necessary.

How to Make the Terrible Twos Terrific:

It may not seem like it now, but someday you will look back on your child’s early years with nostalgia. Toddlers can be terrible at
terrible twos (2)times, but deep down they are still their sweet, funny, loving little selves. What they need far more than time-outs or spankings are
parents who can exercise a little patience and understanding. So, in between temper tantrums and diaper disasters and hunger strikes, enjoy your child. Tickle them. Color with them. Make long Play-Doh snakes and sing the ABCs and run around at the park. Snuggle. Take pleasure in your toddler’s lisping voice and chubby fingers. These moments won’t last forever. Today you’re cleaning crayon off the wall and contemplating a move to Antarctica, but tomorrow you’ll be wiping a tear away as you drive her to the prom. Childhood memories and experiences enlighten a person’s worldview, so take the initiative to give your little one a happy foundation for their life.

How to Entertain a Terrible Two:

Getting through the terrible twos is as simple as knowing how best to entertain a small child. Sometimes, just adding a little

unscripted fun to a boring or difficult situation can be enough to prevent meltdowns. For example:

  1. Riding around in a car all day is often very tedious to a small child. By playing a variety of popular car games during your
    daily errands, you can stave off irritation and help the time fly by.
  2. Many parents rely on the television to keep their little ones occupied and out of trouble. Entertaining Terrible Twos However, there are lots of ways to provide educational entertainment that also keep your toddler physically active and mentally engaged.
  3. If it’s too cold or wet to go outside, a blank piece of computer paper and a few crayons can provide hours of imaginative fun.
  4. Most children like to “help” make cookie dough (or even homemade Play-Doh)!
  5. Try keeping your little one busy during the long, unstructured days of summer with some great summer games and crafts. You can always quickly pass the hours with swimming lessons and art classes at your local community center. Or why not simply start an impromptu water balloon fight? 

Children are entertained by anything that is novel, creative, or just plain fun. Never underestimate the importance of togetherness! The experience of laughing and learning with you is what your toddler will take out of his childhood.

These years between 1 and 3 don’t have to be stressful and unpleasant. With a sense of humor and a few coping strategies, your child’s toddler-hood can result in some of the happiest, proudest parenting moments you will ever experience. Don’t focus on merely surviving the terrible twos. Adjust your point-of-view a bit, and you will see that your toddler’s stubbornness is really a sign of her strong character, her impetuous attitude actually speaks of a creative mind, and her mischievous ways result from a wonderful sense of humor. Stop, relax, and take pleasure in the small things. Cherish these moments – all of them.







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