Ever since I got pregnant with my first kid, I was bombarded with warnings about the upcoming age challenges. The biggest, most popular age challenge myth is the dreaded terrible twos. I say myth because I grew up in a family where you weren’t allowed to be terrible, no matter how old you were. I have also seen my siblings offspring behave like normal human beings at age 2, so I know it’s not all children. As my sweet Chloe got older, the more I prided myself on knowing that she was the sweet one among her friends. She has always been well behaved, and she knows to obey without me having to go berserk on her. Now, I didn’t do it all on my own! But it doesn’t take an army to train your child. However, I will say that when Chloe turned two, there was a definite change.
It was as if someone took my sweet little girl and replaced her with a replica made out of a ball of emotions! I quickly realized why people called it terrible twos. But, I saw it in a different light (thank you mom), which gave me the opportunity to deal with it in a way that helped her cope with all of her new feelings. I don’t call it “terrible twos”, I prefer to call it the “troubled twos”. I say this because these poor toddlers aren’t trying to be bad. There’s not a “demon spawn” switch that was flipped on their 2nd birthday. They simply are misunderstood. They can finally, physically and mentally, do all of these new things; climb, jump, draw, talk, run, etc. But they are constantly being told not to do these new things and they don’t understand why. I believe that one of the biggest issues is that parents aren’t explaining enough to their kids, so the child is just frustrated which leads to acting out. Now, I’m not saying that there won’t be days where your child appears to have jumped out of a horror movie, but the way you handle them will make a huge difference.
This is also the stage where you HAVE to be firm with your discipline and make sure that you win every battle. They are testing the waters to see just how much they can get away with, and if you let “little” issues go, then when the big problems arise, they will think that they can get away with it. If you are firm from the beginning, then by the time they’re 2-2 1/2, the attitude might be the same, but you will be able to give a simple command, and they will be quicker to respond.
2 year olds are simply just not understood. Imagine if you got a brand new car, and you were super excited to drive it, but every time you took it out, you got pulled over? It’s the same thing! They have all of these new abilities, but they don’t know the rules and limits that come with them. So, instead of getting angry at your toddler for getting into something or making a mess, simply explain why they can’t do that. They aren’t being troublesome to just piss you off….yet… They just need some love 🙂
So before you bite off your child’s head for spilling their milk for the umpteenth time, just remember that they are still learning, and when they throw themselves on the floor in a fit, calm discipline and a little love is what they need. Not to be yelled at, guilt tripped, or shamed.
To make things easier for you, remember the times when they aren’t driving you nuts 🙂