No wonder they call it “Terrible Two”
I am a new parent so I’m still in the process of learning everything about motherhood. I have not much experience in handling kids (taking care of my nieces and nephews for an hour doesn’t count) until I had my own. I’ve also heard a lot of complaints from parents with two-year old kids. Now I know why.
My eldest daughter is two and I must say, she’s really handful. A real test of patience. Our everyday dealings consist with shouting, tantrums, crying, running around, climbing, and endless “No” every time she doesn’t get what she wants. And the hard part is, I can’t understand her especially when she throws a fit. Her language only consists of ABC, 1-2-3 and simple words that conversing with her is NOT even possible.
And worse, she can’t even stay put in a one place (like her :”behave” is just for two seconds followed by nonstop clapping). I have to admit mommies, it’s not very pleasant to my ears and sometimes, I lose my cool. I’m not a believer of spanking or punishing a child this early since I don’t think she’ll understand the concept yet and she end up hating me or getting scared of me.
So I read about “terrible two” and decided to write about it. To all the new moms who’s also struggling with their two-year old, read on. Here are some of the things I discovered in dealing with the Terrible Two stage.
1) Temper tantrums are normal. Yes mommies, apparently tantrums are part of the child’s normal development. The child is still undergoing major changes involving motor, intellectual, social and emotional behavior. Since kids are not able to communicate effectively, they resort to tantrums. Experts also say that the tantrum is a child’s way of saying that they re scared or under stress.
2) Stay calm. Your tot is already throwing a fit so don’t add up to the noise. As a parent, always keep your cool and stay calm. Try to comfort your child at first. But if s/he refuses, wait for your child to calm down because this will ensure that you are not encouraging a bad behavior. I have been doing this with my little girl and I must say that it has been effective. The more I ask her to stop, the more she’ll cry. So I just let her do her thing for a few minutes and once she’s ready to be consoled, that’s the time I’ll step in.
3) Provide reassurance after. Once your child calmed down, make sure to talk to him/her in a calm, relaxed manner. Afterwards, assure your child that you love him/her. Embrace him or her and tell your child that you’re not mad at them. They may not (yet) understand what you’re talking about but the act of hugging and touching is enough assurance for them.
4) Try to anticipate the outbursts. In my experience, my daughter always throws a fit when she’s sleepy. To prevent her from incessant crying, I turn of the TV, turn off the lights and carry her until she falls asleep. I even sing her a song because it helps her calm down.
Pay attention to your child’s reaction on various situations. Give him/her something to eat or play with, provide comfort or use distractions such as toys or books to avoid the outburst.
5) Commend your child for good behavior. Praising your child can make a lot of difference in his/her development. Clap or say “good job” if you noticed that your child was “calm” enough to handle a certain situation.
6) Encourage discipline and independence. Even though kids won’t understand the concept clearly, imposing discipline and independence should not be delayed. Teach your kids the difference between right or wrong or give them options that will make them feel they are in control.
7) Try to make it as positive as possible. Two year old is the time where the child is more curious and observant. Let them explore (with supervision, of course) the world around them and allow them to discover things on their own. And don’t forget to provide support when your child is angry, scared or frustrated. And if you can, teach your kid to have an outlet. In my case, my daughter’s Pooh, her security blanket by the way, helps her calm down.
And mommies, it is important to use positive language when talking to our kids. I noticed that my kid screams every time I say no. Instead of saying “Stop or no running,” I just say “Walk slowly.” Nagkakaintindihan naman kami 🙂
Despite the headache and stress, I still think it is important to savor the moment. Kids will only be kids once and it’s better to pay attention on their milestones rather than stressing out yourself on the “terrible two” stage.
A former law student turned stay-at-home mom of two. Join me and read my adventures as I go through this crazy world called parenting and mommy-hood.