Parenting is hard enough, but when you add in the terrible twos, it can feel impossible. Toddler tantrums can be exhausting. Not just for the child but for parents too. If you’re a parent of a toddler, you know that the terrible twos can be..well, terrible. They can start earlier than two and they may even shift to terrible threes if you’re unlucky like me. But there is hope..
Temper tantrums, meltdowns, and constant testing of limits can make every day feel like a battle. The good news is that there are ways to get through this tough phase (relatively) unscathed.
I have some helpful tips on how to get through the terrible twos. There is light at the end of the tunnel so take a note of these tips to help you get through each day.
Be Consistent With Your Rules
Letting your toddler know what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour from the start will go a long way in managing their behaviour during this stage. Establishing guidelines and consequences for breaking those rules. Then follow through. This will help your child understand what they can and cannot do. It may take some time (and patience!)to get them to finally heed your rules, but consistency on your part will pay off in the end.
Don’t Give Into Tantrums
It can be tempting to give in to your child’s demands just to avoid a toddler tantrum, but giving in will only reinforce their negative behaviour. If you remain calm and firm, they will eventually learn that tantrums won’t get them what they want. And they’ll be more likely to stop throwing them altogether.
Try redirecting their attention to something else or distracting them with a toy or snack if they start to throw a tantrum. However, if all else fails and they do have a meltdown, don’t hesitate to walk away for a few minutes until they’ve calmed down. So long as they are in a safe place, it won’t hurt them to have some alone time.
Encouraging Positive Behaviour
Withholding attention for bad behaviour and lavishing praise on good behaviour will go a long way in managing your toddler’s temperament.
Be sure to point out when they’re behaving well so they know that their efforts are being recognized. This will motivate them to continue behaving in a positive manner. On the other hand, try not to give them too much attention when they’re acting out. This will only reinforce their negative behaviour.
Make Time For One on One
It’s important to spend quality time with your child every day. Not just when they’re behaving well. Set aside some time each day specifically for them, whether it’s reading stories together before bedtime or playing games during lunchtime.
This one-on-one attention will let them know that you love them unconditionally and will help nurture a strong relationship between the two of you.
Seek Help If Necessary
If you’re struggling to manage your child’s behaviour on your own, don’t hesitate to seek help from professionals. A paediatrician or a therapist specializing in children’s behavioural issues may be able to help. These experts can offer guidance and support that can make a world of difference for both you and your child during this difficult stage of life.
There may also be other parents that you can talk to for advice. Because I’m pretty sure most of us have been through the same struggles.
The terrible twos don’t have to be so terrible. Armed with these five tips, you can make it through this challenging stage relatively unscathed! Just remember to be consistent with your rules. Don’t give in to tantrums, encourage positive behaviour, make time for one-on-one attention, and seek help if necessary. With a little effort (and patience!)you’ll both make it through this stage in no time! You GOT this! 😉
And always remember to give yourself a break too. Check out my post on ‘Me Time’ I can’t stress how important it is to recharge your batteries. Your mental health depends on it.
There are some great resources for when your child is going through the terrible two’s. Not just for parents but also for the little ones. Trying to understand why they are feeling the way they act can be confusing. These books are not only helpful but are colourful and attractive to small children.