Turning Terrible Twos into Terrific!

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We have all been there 

We have all heard the term “Terrible Twos” referring to an extremely difficult time. Your toddler has temper tantrums, says no often and is not listening. You dread this time in your pregnancy as you hear stories from other Mothers who have experienced these behaviors. As your own child gets closer to the dreaded terrible twos you attempt to make a plan. You wonder wonder if your child will be like others and if so how will you deal with it. Anticipation is building up as you await the first signs of this phase to reveal itself.  

I am guilty of losing it

There are many different styles to managing the behaviors that come with managing the “terrible twos”. The phase where your child seeks independence, is not vocal enough to express what they want and is not doesn’t like the word no even if they say it to you countless times. Its a stage that seeks understanding, patience, and affection. This is easier said then done. I have been guilty of “losing it” with my two year old. Most recently leaving swim class , when my son did not want to leave. After carrying him out kicking and screaming, his milk being thrown all over the car, screaming for 10 minutes, I found myself yelling “STOP IT” several times. This lead to feelings of guilt for days, much longer then my toddler most likely remembered.   

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Insight and suggestions 

Are the terrible two’s so terrible? it all depends on your approach to the behaviors. On the few occasions when I have yelled at my toddler I  had such extreme guilt and remorse that I made the decision to change my approach. Research tells us that children who are punished in a physical manner may grow up to have anger issues, children who face no consequence for their behaviors may have difficulty with authority later in life and respect for others. As Mothers what do we do then? whats the best choice for the best outcome.  

          Suggestions 

  1. Take a deep breath and don’t get emotional.
  2. Know what triggers your child and make an effort to avoid what can potentially cause a tantrum.
  3. Pick your battles. If  your always saying no to your child your child will begin to tune you out which can cause both of you to have a tantrum.
  4. Be consistent with your response to your child’s behavior, whatever your choice of response is be consistent.
  5. discussing with your child that its not ok to hit, mentioning mommy doesn’t hit you, that hurt mommy will help your toddler understand how his behavior is hurting others. 
  6. Keep your responses short and simple without reasoning involved, this will allow your child to know what to expect.
  7. Stay positive, easier said then done however your child will learn to see you in a negative view rather then a role model.
  8. Finally, remember to take a deep breath when you feel like “losing it” the benefits for your child far out weigh a negative reaction.

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So how do we turn terrible twos into terrible twos, well mama’s the end is near. Embrace this phase, use suggested tips above, take deep breaths when you feel like “losing it” and remember all phases are exactly that phases, this to shall pass.

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