Surviving a Two-Year-Old

Having a child is a huge blessing in anyone’s life.  There are many different stages in childhood, starting with the baby stage.  As you move from that stage into the toddler stage, you might hit what many people call “the terrible twos.”  This stage can indeed be terrible at times, but you can also make it into something wonderful, depending on how you handle the situations.  Any two-year-old will throw tantrums and fits on occasions, but if you are prepared, they do not have to ruin the whole year.  Here is some advice to help you through the stage that is sometimes labeled “the terrible twos.”

First, take advice you get from others with a grain of salt.  No matter where you are, people will stop you, ask the age of your child, and then give you advice based on their children when they were that age.  This advice can come in handy, but you should never feel like you have to try it.  What works for one parent and their child may not work for you.  You have to do what works best for you and your particular child.  You may wonder how you figure out what works best.  The answer is painstaking, but inevitable.  Simple trial and error.  When your child throws a tantrum, you will have to devise a plan on how to best handle it.  If your first round does not work, try something else when it happens again until you figure out what works best for you and your child.

Second, keep in mind that if you tell your child to do something, she may or may not listen, but if you do it yourself, she will likely repeat it.  If you want your child to grow up with good manners, use the phrases “please” and “thank you” a lot when you speak to her.  If you want her to deal with her frustrations in a certain way, you have to model that way when you get frustrated yourself.  Any parent who uses the “do as I say and not as I do” method will likely lose every battle.  Your child idolizes you at this stage in his life.  He wants to be just like you.  If he does something you do not like, ask yourself if he could have possibly gotten the behavior from you and then show him how you want him to do it.

Third, you will need to have plenty of patience with you at all times.  There is nothing easier than screaming at a two-year-old who is having a meltdown, but does it really make the situation any better?  In fact, in many instances, it can make it worse.  Plus, it then shows the toddler that screaming is what you do when you get mad.  He will then think it is what he should do as well.  Keeping your cool when a two-year-old is freaking out is one of the hardest things in the world to do, but it pays off in the long run.  If you really need to lost it, leave the toddler alone in a safe room for a few minutes and scream in your closet where you cannot be heard.  When you are ready, return to him to deal with the situation at hand.

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