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Coping with Terrible Twos




You may notice that the 'Terrible Twos' start a little before your child's 2nd birthday
Your toddler is becoming increasingly negative and seems to object to everything you ask. The slightest upset can send her into a tantrum.

Much of this behaviour is reserved for you as a primary caregiver. However, siblings or other children may feel the brunt of her anger if they touch her possessions or otherwise annoy her.

Try to stay calm and patient with your toddler. Gently but firmly remove her from the situation and channel her attention elsewhere.
 
 
The dependence/independence battle
For 18 months she was totally devoted to you and followed you everywhere. Suddenly she wants to stand on her own two feet and assert her independence. She continually tests your limits and has temper tantrums when crossed. For all her willfulness, if you speak to her sternly, she may burst into tears.
 
Try to keep a sense of humour. Give yourself a pat on the back as she says 'No!' for the umpteenth time - at least you're not raising a 'yes' person! Try to take pride in her emerging assertiveness and find ways to praise her independence.
 
 
Developing social skills
She is learning to gain and hold an adult's attention through social interaction. She asks questions and will happily chat away when a familiar adult responds in conversation. You may notice that she's becoming more friendly with visitors. She may even take her toys over to a chosen adult and try to take their attention away from the group.
 
 
'It's mine!'
She plays beside other young children, but doesn't as yet play with them. She has only recently learnt the concept of 'owning' toys and isn't old enough to share them. Nor is she always happy to share attention.
 
This can lead to some challenges, if a new baby enters the home. Her initial reaction is unlikely to be positive. However, with sensible preparation and consistent love and attention, she will soon adjust. She will come to accept, that although she may not find the baby entirely desirable, it is a permanent fixture.
 
 
Avoiding Tantrums
Toddlers have tantrums because they can't express themselves properly. It's a sign they can't cope. As soon as your child learns to talk, the tantrums will ease. Right now, toddlers need to be taught how to deal with their emotions and how to tell you what they want.
 
 
Triggers
Frustration, tiredness and hunger cause tantrums. Your child wants your attention and will scream to get it. If your child is anxious and insecure, the more likely tantrums will be. Remember a toddler is still very attached to you. You're the main source of security and anything that takes away your attention - which your child may have enjoyed exclusively until now - is unsettling.
 
The toddler's world is very small and the number of people they feels secure with is limited. Any major changes in your life like a new baby, a full-time job, moving house or getting new childcare, has a major impact on your little one. Your child may be acting like a monster but still needs love and assurance.
 
 
Alter your lifestyle for an easier life
Ward off tiredness and hunger with a routine that includes regular snacks and meals and at least one nap a day. Try and keep the big picture in view and don't pick unnecessary fights. Tantrums happen when toddlers are thwarted. Toddlers want to be like you - drive the car, wash up and dress himself. Be patient and help them learn. Meet your child halfway sometimes and ignore minor tantrums. Children who feel they get what they want most of the time, won't turn into spoilt monsters, but will be easier to manage.
 
 
Exercise avoidance tactics
Most parents know there are certain subject that provoke tantrums. If your toddler has tantrums over sweets and biscuits, keep them out of reach (or only buy them occasionally). Or if you know your child usually gets upset at the checkout, keep shopping trips short.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



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