Tantrum after Tantrum – dealing with the terrible twos
I didn’t think it would happen to us, Daughter 2 was such a perfect baby. She slept through the night from a really young age, never cried when we went out and was an all round good baby in my eyes. But recently something has changed….
We went out yesterday to Gungahlin because I needed to pick up a few supplies before I leave for work in a couple of weeks. Let me start by saying, sometimes I can be short on patience and yesterday was one of those days.
Walking through the shops Daughter 2 was okay, I went to get a trolley and both Daughter 1 & 2 jumped in. But that’s when it started, screaming, crying and kicking. Daughter 2 did not want to stay in the trolley, the list of things to buy and I hadn’t even found the first item!
Parenting.com has a post claiming that the Terrible Twos is “an old-fashioned idea and not supported by research,” but I tell you what, if you want research take my daughter to the shops. That will provide enough evidence for any scientist worth their salt.
I absolutely love all my daughters with all my heart and would go to the ends of the world for them but boy oh boy. Daughter 2 has this little cheeky smile when she knows exactly what I am saying “stay with daddy please” but she dips her head and looks up at me. I can tell exactly what she is thinking “I know what he is telling me to do, but I’m my own person and I want to go here”. Independence is a huge thing to toddlers and they are curious, especially at this age about how the world works. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to tell Daughter 2 off for trying to get the pot out of the cupboard to make herself some dinner.
I went looking for some information on what causes the dreaded Terrible Twos and it was actually quite interesting. Kidspot.com.au claims that around age 2 our beautiful little angels go through a change in their brain development, or as they say explosive brain development. Thinking about it logically it’s actually quite easy to understand but it doesn’t remove the embarrassment or frustration out of the equation for us parents.
What can we do to deal with the Terrible Twos?
Thankfully the Terrible Twos isn’t a new phenomenon and even if there isn’t any scientific research to support it there has been considerable unofficial research into how to deal with these dreaded tantrums. Often we will find that the tantrums are caused by a lack of understanding from our toddlers perspective and this is actually quite reasonable as I know I get frustrated when I don’t understand something (why my toddler is having a tantrum for example).
Emotions, every males favourite topic, typically when your toddler is having a tantrum their emotions are running through the roof! But how can we deal with these emotions? Advice I’ve seen, ignore them. As long as they aren’t hurting anyone (or themselves) it may help curb that nasty tantrum that your son/daughter is having in the middle of Kmart. Walking away from the situation may help, not only the toddler, but the parent as the frustration of a screaming toddler could often cloud our judgement and send our emotions into a downward spiral as well.
Your toddlers search for independence can be frustrating for you but another option is giving your favourite little person a choice. This could help foster that curiosity that they so badly have for the unknown. By giving your son/daughter a choice (a reasonable choice of course) it can help boost their self confidence and give them that feeling of independence that they so long for.
Enjoy the time you have with them
I think it is important to remember (especially for me who doesn’t get to spend to much time with my daughters) that it doesn’t last forever and we need to enjoy the time we have with them. In 10 years from now, I guarantee that my daughter probably won’t want to go to the shops with me and these tantrums that are frustrating me now are going to be a distant memory. Remembering that these are our children’s development years and sometimes that “no” could be for a valid reason and not just because Daughter 2 wants to make a scene in Kmart. Remember, no one said it was easy…