Well, now your baby is officially a 2 year old! You’ve more than likely heard the stories about the ‘terrible two’s’ from colleagues, relatives, and friends and thought, “How will my child’s behaviour be? Are the terrible two’s really as bad as I have heard?” Well, the truth is, it just depends on the child. There’s no doubt that emotional outbursts and defiance are very much a normal part of a 2 year old’s day. However, children don’t want to be bad; they really do want to be good and they want to please you. Emotionally, however, a 2 year old still does not have the ability to understand exactly how to express what they are feeling. It can be very confusing. They want to be independent and can become frustrated easily. Because they do not yet have the words to explain how they feel, an emotional outburst is usually the result of this confusion.
You will definitely discover that your 2 year old is going to test his limits and become defiant at some point. This is normal behaviour and should be expected. At times, it may feel like your child disagrees with everything you say. This is because he has such a strong desire to show his independence. Saying “no” or acting defiantly is how he tries to express this independence.
Although this can be a very trying time for parents, it’s important that you remember to discipline calmly and consistently. Whatever you do, don’t fall into the habit of giving your child an ultimatum and then not following through with the punishment. If you tell your child that he will sit in the corner if he hits the dog again, and then he decides to hit the dog, immediately put him in the corner. If you don’t follow through, your child will think you never mean what you say. He must know that you are serious and will do exactly what you say you will.
The ‘terrible two’s’ can also be the ‘terrific two’s’. After all, a 2 year old has much more going on than just behavioural issues. This year will be a very fun and exciting time for you and your child. As a parent, you will be delighted to see him meet many milestones and grow, both physically and mentally. And your 2 year old will be thrilled as he has new experiences, discoveries, and accomplishments in the coming months. Toilet training, making friends, learning new words, playing new games, meeting new people; this list goes on and on. No doubt, you and your child are in for a fun time!