Tips For Coping With The Terrible Twos

You’ve just experienced a miraculous transformation. Your sweet little baby has all of a sudden turned into a raging monster who screams, kicks and knocks down everything within reach. Welcome to the terrible twos. If you’re wondering how to cope, here are some tips that will help.

RELATED: Can You Prevent Toddler Tantrums?

It’s not your fault!

We, mums, often tend to look for faults within ourselves where there is none. When my first child started chucking daily tantrums, I analysed every situation to see what I could have done differently, I tried numerous different approaches and nothing worked. As much as I wanted to help him (and myself), not everything was within my power. Our children are learning and experiencing more that they know how to express and it’s a gap that they need to figure out how to close. While dealing with it on a daily basis can be frustrating, the terrible twos are a normal stage of your child’s development. There’s no reason to add guilt to your challenges.

Have a routine

Routine makes a toddler’s world more predictable and safe. When your child knows what needs to happen and when, it gives him one less thing to try to figure out and to argue about. It also makes it easier for you to know when your little one is hungry, tired or wants to play.

Take time out for yourself

Even when you have full understanding of what your child is going through, it can be tough to stay calm when your patience is tested day after day. It’s important to step away and spend some time by yourself regularly, then you’ll find much deeper appreciation for your time with your child.

Watch out for the good stuff

The terrible twos are not all terrible. It’s also a magical time when children laugh for no reason, say funny words, do strange things and see us, parents, as their heroes. When you’re starting to lose patience, remember that smile your child gave you when she woke up in the morning or the picture she drew of you (even if it didn’t look like you and it didn’t even look like a human). It’s the good things that fill your heart will love and give you the energy to keep on going.

There’s a saying about parenting that “the days go slow, but the years go fast” and this is certainly true about the terrible twos. It may seem now that you’ll never reach the other side, but you will and you’ll look back at the terrible twos with fondness.

Image by FeeLoona via pixabay.com

March 22, 2015

Can You Prevent Toddler Tantrums?

In a flash your sweet happy child turns into a raging strange creature. There’s nothing you can do to stop this creature from wailing, kicking and throwing himself on the floor. Then, just as suddenly, the outburst is over and the child you know is back. What did just happen?

Welcome to the world of toddler tantrums. They are a result of your toddler’s limited ability to deal with the world around them. They see, hear and feel things that they‘re not sure what to do with. At the same time, they can’t put what they’re feeling in words and ask you for help, so the frustration often comes out in ways that both parents and our children find stressful.

Tips to avoid tantrums

Tantrums often happen because of hunger, fatigue or overstimulation. These can be avoided by simply watching your child and making sure his needs are met. A useful tool to minimise tantrums are routines. Most kids feel safer and more in control of their lives when their day is somewhat predictable.

Consistency and clear boundaries also help make the child’s world easier for them to understand.  Have firm rules about crossing the road, watching TV or anything else that you may feel strongly about and your toddler may want to challenge. After a while, your child will come to accept calmly that this is just how things are.

If your toddler throws tantrums when things don’t go his way, it helps to cut down on the need to say ‘no’. Childproof your home, keep lollies and chips out of sight, don’t leave your smart phone lying around.

When you can’t avoid them

No matter what you do, you won’t be able to avoid every single tantrum. There’ll be situation when your child experiences emotions he can’t cope with and he doesn’t have the language skills to tell you about them. So if a tantrum happens in spite of your efforts, the best things you can do is stay calm, keep your child safe and wait for the tantrum to run its course (it gets easier with practice). For some children these emotional tantrums for no obvious reason may be rare, but for others they’re a daily occurrence, so if it happens to you, know that it’s not your fault. Your child is learning to regulate his emotions and tantrums are a part of this natural process.

Image by David Thompson via Flickr.com

By Tatiana Apostolova

July 25, 2014

The Ultimate Parenting Tip: Consistency

Do you have toddlers or kids that have taken over of the household? Do they manage to get what they want by screaming, yelling, tantrums or other negative behaviour? If you want a simple solution to your problem child….this article is for you!

Don’t beat yourself up about what’s happened in the past, because you have the power and opportunity to change things. It doesn’t matter how hopeless you feel the situation has become either. Rather than giving your child the impression they might get what they want by screaming, nagging or tantrums; you need to let them know that they won’t. No matter how bad the behaviour gets, don’t give in. Being consistent with you child is the only way your child will learn, when you say no, you mean it.

So, how do you do it? Obviously, things will take some time to rectify, so don’t start this change in the middle of the shopping centre! The best place to start is in your own home, with smaller things. For example; smaller children often play up at bedtime. Being consistent with their bed time routine is essential. What they want is your attention. Don’t give it to them. Engaging your child each time they call out or are out of bed only reinforces the behaviour.

Once they have been put to bed, unless they need your attention, rather than simply want it; ignore them. Even if they scream, cry, hurl things across the room; whatever. Sit against the bedroom door if you have to so they can’t get out or hurt themselves. Be prepared for a full blown episode on the first and possible second or third occasion. An hour or two to start is not unusual. Within a week, they will get the idea that there is no point in getting up and down and when they go to bed, they will stay there. This is the foundation of consistency for your child.

Whatever the situation is, consistency should be your number one objective. If you go to the supermarket, don’t give in on that one or two occasions at the checkout, unless you are prepared to do it each time you visit. If you tell you child you are leaving the park, don’t give into their demands when they want to stay, unless you are prepared to deal with their negative behaviour each time you leave.

Being consistent will also provide valuable boundaries which every child craves, plus teach them essential life skills. As they get older you won’t have children who run your home, abuse you or use other methods of manipulation to get their way. Remember, your child will get older and giving into small demands when they are young will turn into more extravagant demands in years to come! 

By Kim Chartres

June 12, 2014