We’ve all heard of it and we all dread it. The terrible twos. That moment when you’re little angel asks for a toy in a shop and you say the dreaded word “No”. Next thing you know they’re screaming their heads off and suddenly all eyes are on you and your “angel”. One of the many parent nightmares.
Whilst the terrible twos are a normal part of our child’s development, it doesn’t make it any easier for parents. This stage is where a toddler “bounces between reliance on adults and a newly burgeoning desire for independence”, as described by verywellfamily.com. Some toddlers go through it worse than others, which is why it’s good to prepare and know how to handle those tantrums when they strike.
In my experience, the “terrible twos” struck a few months after George turned two. He began acting like a stroppy teenager (please God not yet!), answering back, not listening and pulling a hissy fit when told off. Some days I felt awful, as if I was the bad cop all of the time. I kept reminding myself that he needs to know boundaries and he can’t always have what he wants. To top it all off, we had a newborn in the family to take care of too!
How to Cope with Toddler Tantrums
There’s no rule book for this, however there are ways you can make melt-down situations better for the both of you.
Make Sure They Have Enough Sleep
There’s nothing worse than feeling tired. We all know that feeling if we’ve got youngsters. The same goes for our little munchkins. Lack of sleep equals tantrums. If they’re still having a nap through the day, make sure they get this and plan days out around it, when you know they’ll be happiest.
Stick To Routine
At such a young age, toddlers like routine. Especially when it comes to food, naps and bed time.
Don’t Give Up
Many a time I’ve felt like caving in and giving George want he wants, but this can make things a whole lot harder in the future. If you give in every time your little one has a tantrum, they will think they can get their own way and this is the way to do it.
This is one of the main triggers for George, particularly as we are currently in lockdown due to the coronavirus. It’s hard to keep a toddler entertained in the house, where they can’t expel their energy and run around like a loony (or is that just George?!). Providing various different activities throughout the day can help to stop any melt-downs due to boredom. Even if it’s small things like blowing bubbles outside, building a den or drawing.
Give Them A Place To Calm Down
When we are hit with a tantrum, we usually place George on “the naughty step”, which is at the bottom of the steps in our home. He knows that if he is placed here, it’s because he did something wrong. We leave him for a few minutes before explaining to him why he was placed there. He then says sorry and we hug it out. This works really well for us, so it’s worth giving it a go if you haven’t already.
Whilst in the moment, terrible twos can feel really hard, but know that you’re not alone and it doesn’t last forever. By the age of four, your toddler will usually have outgrown them. It might seem a way off, but I bet time has flown since they were born, right?
If you are having difficulty dealing with the terrible twos and toddler tantrums, feel free to pop me a message either on here or through social media. It can be hard work and there’s nothing better than chatting it out with other mums and parents.