It may seem like the massive rebellion has struck when your relatively amiable child suddenly becomes someone unfamiliar overnight. Nothing you say or do seems to calm the fire within your little two-year old, and you may be at wits end. While most children do not start exhibiting “terrible two” behavior until around their second birthday, some start earlier and a few even start later. Here are a few key indicators that your child may be in the thick of the terrible two’s.
One of the key indicators of the terrible two’s is tantrum throwing. If you have ever been through the store and see a small child flailing on the ground, chances are he/she is deep in the middle of the terrible two’s. As a parent, one of the worst things you can do when your child throws their first tantrum is give in. Stand your ground and do not let your child manipulate you. If you give in to the fit, you are starting down a long road and showing your child that every time they do not get what they want, a simple fit will solve the problem. Experts suggest that ignoring the child or even turning your back on the child will hasten the fit and keep it from happening again. It takes persistence and consistency though, be careful not to fight sometimes and give in other time.
Physical Aggression Some parents may think it is cute when their toddler strikes at them when asked to do something, or even for no reason. Hitting, kicking and biting are common with toddlers, but should never be acceptable. This is certainly not a funny situation. Toddlers who become aggressive with parents or siblings need immediate correction. Parents need to maintain their cool but act swiftly to diffuse the situation. It is vital to give the child the tools it takes to handle their frustration differently. Some children may require a “time out” which helps them calm down. It may be useful to remind your child to “be kind’” or “use their words,” when they feel like hitting. Reinforcement Reinforcement takes time and a lot of energy, but in the end, it is well worth every effort. Ignoring rebellious behavior when a child is two could lead to serious problems down the road and you are not doing your child any good when you do not give him/her the tools to deal with difficult or stressful situations.
About the Author: Susan Patterson is a mother of three children and has had her fair share of experiences with the “terrible twos.” When not home schooling her girls, Susan can be found writing for a variety of parenting and health sites including Family Cord.