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Riding Out the Terrible Twos: A Survival Guide

DKT Blogs/Knows How Nov 1,2016 Comments(3) Likes(0) Parenting

Riding Out the Terrible Twos: A Survival Guide 

You thought you were over the worst of it. Your child was finally sleeping all night, eating solid foods, showing interest in potty training. They were just starting to talk to you, laugh at your jokes, and run to you when you entered the room.

 

Then, it happened. People warned you about the terrible twos, but you were beginning to think it was a myth. Not my child, you thought. They’re perfect.

 

Until one morning, nothing you said or did was right. Your child refused to listen, stop crying, or eat any of the foods you knew they loved. It’s as if they transformed into another kid entirely, without any warning.

 

What’s a dad to do?

 

Set Consequences (and Stick to Them!)

 

Around two years of age, kids start becoming more individualized and search for their own power and voice. They need to understand that while their individuality is important, you are still in charge. If your kid is acting up, make sure they know the punishment that awaits them and stick to it when they misbehave. If that means no Peppa Pig that night, then so be it.

 

Assign Small Chores

 

Many times two-year-olds just want to do more to feel like they have power or control. Help them out by giving them small chores, such as throwing away tissues or wipes or helping you with larger chores. This gives them a sense of accomplishment and establishes confidence.

 

Give Choices

 

Nothing is more frustrating than watching your two-year-old claim they hate broccoli when you know they don’t. Instead, give them options, by asking, “Would you like broccoli or corn with your chicken?” Or, “Would you like to watch TV or go outside?” Letting them decide between two choices you’re comfortable with helps them steer their need for control in a positive direction.

 

Respond Appropriately

 

Let’s be honest; even a perfect parent will find a child won’t always respond to their tactics. Sometimes, your kid is going to act out and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it. Generally, they are seeking attention, so let them know you will not react to their bad behavior by indulging them. Ignore them instead. It might be hard at first, but you’ll get used to it.

 

Likewise, be sure to praise them when they accomplish small things, make good choices, or are behaving positively. This will let them know that they’ll receive positive attention from you when they make the right choices.

 

Remember, It Won’t Last

Some days you’ll feel like crying and just giving up. Remember, your child is growing and testing your boundaries, and it won’t always be like this. They’ll grow out of this stage eventually, so use the above tips to help you through it.

 

Every kid goes through some form of the terrible twos, so try to combat it and work with it using these tips and tricks. When all else fails, send them to mom or grandma!

 

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