Just when it seems like your baby is entering the smooth sailing stage, BAM! The terrible twos hit. It doesn’t seem quite fair since by now he or she is most likely potty trained and able to eat by themselves. Instead of being frustrated, let’s get talking about some tips to help you get through this terrible two stage.
Naps Are Important
Make sure that your toddler is getting enough sleep. Terrible two tantrums can be magnified in a sleepy child. Try to follow a set schedule for naps as much as possible.
Don’t Let Your Child Get Hungry
Whatever you do, for the sake of humanity, do not let your 2-year-old child get hungry. You may have heard the word hangry before. Hangry is a term for people that are both hungry and angry at the same time because of the hunger. A terrible two can have terrible hangry fits. Always have healthy snacks handy for in between meals to ward off the hangry fits. Trust me on this one.
Explain to Your Child Beforehand What They Can’t Have
Terrible two tantrums often happen because the child sees something that he wants, but is told that he can’t have it. To limit the chance of an outburst happening, explain to your child what he can and can’t have before you walk into the store. If you are willing, you may want to give your child a reward afterward for being so good. Remember, however, that your child should learn how to behave without bribes as rewards.
Don’t Let Your Child Win When Throwing a Tantrum
It can be embarrassing when you are walking through the store and all of a sudden your child throws a tantrum. But as embarrassing as it may be, you should never let your child win. Caving in will only make future tantrums harder to deal with. Stay firm by telling your child that he cannot have everything that he wants.
Don’t Let Your Child Become Bored
Boredom leads to tantrums in two-year-olds. And tantrums lead to embarrassed parents. With that being said, you probably realize that you should not let your child become bored. To do this, keep him or her occupied. If you are going to be away from the house for a long time, make sure to bring some toys that your child likes. You may also want to buy your child something special while shopping, so that your child realizes that shopping isn’t as boring as it seems to be.
When your child has a terrible twos tantrum, it is essential that you stay calm. Getting agitated yourself will only make your child more frustrated. Also, make sure to remove your child immediately from the situation. If it is a toy that your child sees, then quickly have your child go to a different part of the store.
Redirect Your Child to Something Else
Some children are not going to understand the long lectures that you give them about tantrums. It may be easier, for both you and the child, to redirect his attention to something else. When your child starts to throw a tantrum, show him something else, or give him a toy that you brought along. Although your child will be disappointed, he will soon forget all about what he wanted.
Give Your Child Responsibility
If your child throws a tantrum, it may be because he wants to be noticed by you. Therefore, you should give your child some responsibility. Children with responsibility will feel important and noticed. There are lots of small jobs that your children can help out with. Have your child help you set the table, throw away his dirty napkins, or help you prepare dinner. Even if it is a small job, praise your child for all the effort and hard work that he put into it.
Hold Your Child
When your child starts to throw a tantrum, or even before he does, pick him up and hold him. When children are held, they often forget what they were upset about. All they know is that they are getting the attention that they crave.
Have Your Child Get Rid of His Energy
When you wear out your child, there won’t be any time for tantrums. Make sure that your child is getting enough exercise and play time.
Praise Your Child
When your child does something right, no matter how small it is, it is important to celebrate with your child. Your child will then realize that you are happy with what he did, and therefore will work harder to please you. Whatever you do, don’t express frustration or anger in front of your child. If your child does something wrong, just keep encouraging him until he does it right.
The terrible twos don’t have to be so terrible if you play your cards right. Try to plan for the next tantrum so that you are prepared ahead of time with how you will handle it. Make sure to give your child the attention that he craves when he is not misbehaving. I hope some of these tips help you get through this phase. When the going gets tough, just remember that this too shall pass.