When you have your first kid, you hear all the horror stories about the Terrible Two’s. You think that you are prepared when you child turns two, but they inevitably through something at you that you are not prepared for!
Being 2 is a tough age for kids because they are more independent, but don’t always have the words to explain their feelings. This usually leads to tantrums and acting out. It’s a part of growing up, but there are steps that we can take to ease the frustration for both you and your toddler.
5 Ways to Survive the Terrible Two’s
1.Ignore the Tantrums – While this one may sound simple, it can be rather challenging. If your little one is throwing a tantrum for whatever reason, ignore it. Do not engage with them, try to calm them, or reason with them. All of these actions on your part will give your toddler the validation that when they throw a fit, they will get your attention and help them to get their way.
When either of my girls throw a fit at home, I just walk away and go to a different room. It usually makes the tantrum worse at first, but once they realize that they are not getting to me or getting what they want, they will calm down. Now, when they throw a fit out in public, I pick them up and we leave immediately. I let them throw their tantrum in the car on the way home, still not engaging with them.
The goal here is to not give your toddler the power to control you. You are the parent and you are in charge. They need to know that, and honestly, they will feel more secure knowing that.
2.Praise Good Behavior – This is a big one! When the tantrums will happen, so will good behavior. When they do something good, praise the heck out of them. Tell them what a good helper they are, or how proud you are of them. They will love it and it will make you feel better, too.
3.Create a Routine…and Stick To It! – Young children thrive on schedules and routines. They like to know what to expect from their day and when something major changes, it often prompts a tantrum because they don’t have the words to explain or understand why they are frustrated. I know that life happens, and routines are not always an option, but as best you can, I suggest keeping a schedule for your little ones.
4.Discipline Needs to Be Immediate – When your toddler does act out, you need to be address the issue immediately. Whether that means leaving where ever you are, putting your toddler on a timeout at home, or whatever form of discipline you choose, it needs to be done immediately after the issue happens. Toddlers have a very short attention span, so you need to discipline them when they misbehave so that they remember and understand what they are getting in trouble for.
5.Be consistent – Consistency is key! If you aren’t consistent in your reactions and discipline to all things Terrible Two related, you will be telling your toddler that you aren’t serious and that they tantrums and actions are, in fact, ok to do and in turn they will continue to act out.
While there may not be anything that you can do to completely avoid the Terrible Two’s, but with these 5 techniques, you can hopefully minimize the effect of the Terrible Two’s on your family.
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