If you have had the pleasure of a toddler around the home you will very much be on the notion that, yes, the terrible twos are a real thing. But if you have older kids you’ll probably go on to suggest that it doesn’t just stop at the age of two.
And you would be right. It’s not just two year olds that can be a handful, all kids, right up until they leave home and even then, can be stressful.
However, there is some truth behind the ‘terrible twos’. So, if you are going through them right now, don’t think you are alone, because you certainly aren’t. They are, unfortunately, a normal part of growing up for your child and are mainly due to their new sense of independence.
Before you sigh in frustration though, think of it from your child’s point of view – they are going through so many changes in their life at that moment, and it can be pretty overwhelming.
Not only is your little one likely to be starting a new playschool, they are also becoming more aware of their surroundings and are undergoing emotional, physical and intellectual changes.
Unfortunately, a lot of their frustration can stem from the fact that their head wants them to do something but their body has yet to catch up and develop the appropriate motor skills to be able to carry out the act.
As they develop their sense of independence, they are also more inclined to get annoyed - whether in public or not - about something. This is probably why tantrums in toddlers are more frustrating than tantrums in teens – a teenager is less likely to let out a huge scream in the middle of a grocery store. When your two-year-old wants something, they will get it.
Another reason is due to the fact that they can’t handle their own moods. If they are hungry or tired they will let you know all about it - they can't control emotions like adults.
How you approach their behaviour is important though, as it can either help them to calm down or become even more distressed. If possible, try to ignore their outbursts - sometimes it is just them looking for attention, even if it is negative. Ensure they are fed and watered at all times and that they are properly stimulated to ensure they don't get bored.
However, while it has been given the name the terrible twos, it doesn’t mean that it will just happen at this age. For some mums it can hit earlier, while for others it can happen a little later – it all depends on the personality and development of your little one.