Bayo Ajibola

8 Tips to Keep You Sane During Terrible Two’s

Your child has lived for two years and you are so proud of yourself (and them)! That is until the tantrums become an almost permanent feature and the word ‘no’ becomes the word you hear the most.Out of the blue your sweet little angel becomes a difficult child and you can almost swear that that is not your offspring.

Children between the age of one and three tend to have quite a wide range of extreme reactions and constant tantrums and you never know what will come next. All you know is that it will probably be loud and not so nice. There is an extreme surge of emotions at this age and they have no idea how to control them. The lack of vocabulary to make their frustrations known also makes it difficult to speak further and frustrates them even more. This ends up in tantrums.

This is a very stressful stage even for you as an adult because their seeming refusal to comply with the norm can make you have all kinds of negative thoughts about your child and about yourself as a parent. Thankfully there are things that can make it easier until this stage ends.

Set a routine and stick to it

Children actually thrive on routine. Doing the same things at around the same time every day makes them feel safe and without it they can feel lost and act out.

Reduce their choices

When a child begins acting up you can give them a number of choices with a possible course of action. If they refuse to walk you can ask them to agree to left alone or to be carried. A large number of choices make it a little harder.

Enforce consequences

When your child knows that something will happen to them when they act out there is a high likelihood that they will think twice before doing it again. You can take something away from them or take them to a solitary corner.

Stand your ground

It is very easy to get sucked into the negativity and frustration and be tempted to let them have their way. Stick to your plan of action even though your child will not like it. They will eventually realize that that is how the system works and begin to tone down.

Watch what you do

Children learn by watching everyone around them. As the parent you spend a lot of time with them and if you tend to handle stress and anger badly they can easily copy you even if you ask them not to.

Positive comments

It has been found that positive words for even the slightest of achievements go a long way in improving someone’s character and productivity (mindless of their age). They will eventually make the connection between good behavior and the compliments (or gifts if you choose to) and it will become part of their regular behavior.

A little independence

This may be scary to a parent considering the child is still young but parents should begin preparing their children for the world early. Letting them do some things without you hovering around or correcting them can make them feel a little more in control and so does allowing them to make some choices. This will considerably reduce the tantrums.

Healthy food

If your child eats foods that directly affect their blood sugar levels the tantrums may be a lot more. Try as much as possible to get them to eat healthier foods that don’t fuel their tantrums.

As you do all these, remember that learning new habits will take some time. You will need to be a little more patient with your child as they go through this process. Understand that your child is learning how to handle himself and will eventually gain more control over his reactions. Don’t take it out on yourself either because your child’s tantrums are not a reflection of your parenting skills (at least when they are starting out!).

Bayo Ajibola

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