While tantrums can be a problem at any age, there’s no denying that the terrible twos often live up to their name. Whether you’re dreading its arrival or stuck in the middle of this chaotic year, we’re here to help.
It’s around this time that your adorable little toddler starts to exercise their curiosity. It can be seriously cute and so much fun to watch them explore the world, but it opens up a whole new set of problems. Your child will want to go everywhere, see and do everything, and she’s going to learn that there are some things she can’t do. Being told ‘no’ will be a relatively new concept and it’s a word she’s going to hear a lot. At this young age, your child is not yet able to fully express their feelings and will often resort to tantrums. But that doesn't mean your fate is sealed; you can stop tantrums and bad behavior if you are truly determined to.
Learn to set limits and stick to them. Your toddler will test your limits, but will soon learn that it’s a pointless task if you hold your ground. Allow your child to make choices, for example by asking ‘Do you want to wear your red gloves or your blue gloves?’ At this age they are developing their personality and want to make choices; this fulfills that need while removing the option to make inappropriate choices that will result in an argument.
Wherever possible, ignore bad behavior don’t give in to a tantrum and don’t plead or negotiate. When your child is angry and acting out, she will be less receptive to what you have to say, so yelling does no good here. Always praise good behavior and be specific; ‘Well done, you played very nicely today.’ Praise often and she will quickly learn that good behavior gets positive attention. Now is also a good time to introduce discipline techniques like time-outs, removal of TV privileges, or a special toy and so on.
It’s also incredibly important at this age to make sure your home is well child-proofed. Your two year old will want to explore everywhere, so make sure they can’t get to any part of the house where they shouldn't be and that no potentially dangerous items are left where they can get their hands on them.
Be patient with your toddler and remember that they’re not being intentionally mischievous. This is the time in their life where they really begin to come into their own and discover the world around them; enjoy watching them grow and they will soon be behaving (almost) perfectly.