Toddler Behaviour | Understanding the "terrible twos"
Episode 11 | Understanding the “terrible twos”
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Poor two-year-olds get such a bad wrap. They’ve just finished blowing out their two candles and suddenly they’re dubbed ‘terrible’.
Yes, two-year olds behaviour can be challenging, but by understanding what to expect can help turn these quote un quote terrible years into terrific years. Listen in to find out my top tips on what to make the two-year age terrific and not terrible!
Help your toddlers understand their feelings. Your 2-year old will have some BIG feelings. It is our job as parents to help them understand what it is their feeling. If your toddler is frustrated because their toy won’t sit in their truck properly, explain to them what they’re feeling. This could look like “you’re feeling frustrated that your toy won’t fit. Can mummy help you with that?” This is a long term game- the more we help out toddlers have a name for their feelings, the better they will be able to identify and verbalise their emotions. HELLO EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT ADULT!
Keep their day nap for as long as possible! Around the age of 2, many toddlers will experience the 2-year sleep regression. This can be an absolute doozy for some parents, and often sees the day nap prematurely dropped because their two year old is suddenly fighting the nap. The thing is though it that while they may begin fighting the nap, they still very much need it. Tired toddlers aren’t fun. They have more meltdowns, tantrums and they tend to eat poorly. Prioritising sleep is a crucial part of easing the “terrible twos”
Start to give your little person some control in decision making. By the age of two, your babe is gaining confidence and wanting to be more independent, so let them!! When I am dressing Ted, I say to him, “would you like to wear spiderman jocks or batman jocks?”, “these blue socks or these green socks”, “ do you want a blue bowl or yellow bowl?”, you get the gist. Your toddler will love having a choice.
Redirection is your best friend. You can name feelings and help calm your toddler and some days this will work wonderfully, while other times you just need to whip out redirection!! Redirection involves helping your toddler move past the activity or situation causing them distress, and move their attention onto something new. For example, my son was fighting with his older brother only this morning over who was sitting on the couch (eye roll). I asked Ted to go get Mummy a tissue to redirect the activity. Problem solved! At least for 5-minutes anyway haha. Redirection can work for challenging behaviours like biting, hitting and pinching too!
Change your mindset! I have seen some amazing memes circulating lately sending messages such as “your child isn’t giving you a hard time, they’re having a hard time”. Your toddler doesn’t have the emotional maturity to manage the tough emotions that they’re feeling. Understanding that they’re having a hard time, and it’s up to us to help them through their emotions will help to soften your approach to their tough emotions, and grant you more patience and acceptance of their behaviour. You won’t always be feeling patient, and that’s okay. We don’t have to get it right all of the time. But shifting your mindset to understanding where your two year old is at will help!
That’s all from me today, I hope these tips have helped you understand how to make the terrible twos less terrible and more terrific!
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