Written by: Nanny Secours
With the advent of the notorious “Terrible Two,” many parents simply cannot understand why two tiny horns have suddenly started to grow off their little angel’s forehead. The following tips and information will help parents with children at this developmental level get through this.
The “Terrible Two” often emerges 18 months after birth. It may occur intermittently or until the age of 4, although each child is unique and develops at his own pace.
It can be identified by the presence of strong emotional reactions... to just about EVERYTHING!
For example, your child,
As mentioned above, each child―with their own set of behaviour challenges―is different; each one has to be dealt with differently. For example, some children will be playing and acting like crocodiles while others will be more inclined to become hysterical and roll around the floor.
A child this age is in search for autonomy; he insists on doing things alone and everything right the first time. Soon enough, he experiences a mix of overwhelming emotions which he cannot identify or control.
From birth on, your child receives everything he needs without having to wait. As a result, we can’t blame him for hardly understanding why he must wait, or worse, take “NO” for an answer. When limits are set, a child must learn how to deal with wait times, and (particularly) anger.
These behaviours are all part of how the child communicates. Lacking sufficient vocabulary to make himself understood, he uses the best means he knows ―VERY effective for the most part―to let you know his needs. For him, simple logic applies: a bite in the arm is what it takes to have a friend let go of his toy truck.
Just remember that teaching valuable life skills is the reason why you’re imposing limits upon your child’s actions. This lesson will help your child:
While we all wish for an easy, trouble-free and enjoyable learning experience, we all realize it’s not always the case. Your job as a parent is neither about ALWAYS pleasing your child, nor it is about ALWAYS doing everything you can to put a smile upon your child's angel face. Nobody is happy all the time, but we sure can learn how to cope with adversity and have faith in the future. In the midst of all that crying and shouting, remember that you are a parent guiding a child through learning experiences. It’s not at all that YOU are the cause of all that crying; rather, it’s the choice HE made and the awareness of the consequences associated with his choice.
Although you make a point of giving your child a choice and taking the time to make sure your rules are clear, if you lack consistency and coherence in your discipline and expectations, the unwanted behaviours you are trying to stamp out will persist. It is essential that your child can anticipate your reaction.
One of the most effective ways to bond with your child is by spending quality time with him. The closer you are to your child, the more he’ll try to please you. The best moments are often the simplest, just like the time you spend playing his favourite game, tickling, tinkering, and cooking, and so on.
Unfortunately, there is no miracle formula to eliminate the “Terrible Two.” Despite your focus on establishing a number of habits, this stage is always a tough time to get through, even for your little angel crowned with horns! You will surely need to be patient and plan time away from the children.
Hélène Fagnan, Family Coach
Founder of Nanny secours