You’ve heard them called the “terrible twos” but not everything about 2 year olds are terrible. The age of 2 is a magical time for children and parents.
As a parent you are seeing your child learn something new almost every day. Whether it is a new word or a new skill, it amazing when you see the joy in your 2 year olds eyes when they’ve accomplished something for the first time.
For parenting a 2 year old, remember the world is full of things to explore. Their imagination is in full swing and when we see a couch they see a mountain ready to be climb and conquered. The sight of a butterfly’s wings will make almost any 2 year old stop and stare with amazement.
So why did this age get the title “terrible twos”? Well not only is your two year old learning more about their world, they are also learning more about themselves. They are beginning to discover differences in things. Some of these differences don’t appeal to them and so rather than accept them, they refuse. The result, temper tantrums.
Temper tantrums are more than kicking, stomping, jumping up and down, screaming, and crying. They are a way to communicate dislike when there are no words available to communicate the same idea. Most 2 year olds know fewer than 500 words and say only about 100 of them. And when they can’t find the word they want to use to tell you, the parent, how they feel, and the result is a temper tantrum.
So how do you parent a 2 year old without feeling like you are going crazy? First you need to realize who you are dealing with. Two year olds have feelings just like everyone else, but these feelings aren’t as complex yet. They primarily feel, or exhibit, frustration, happiness, and sadness. The symptoms of these feelings typically come out as anger, being excited, being hyper, crying, and being withdrawn. As a two year old with simple feelings, you need to be able to parent in a simple manner.
How to parent your 2 year old also means learning about their likes and dislikes, quickly. You will find that you can use the likes as leverage to get them to do the things they don’t like, like eating their peas. Finding ways to make things likeable can be tricky, but it can be done. By mixing the likes in with the dislikes, your child may begin to associate some things as positive where they didn’t before.
Parenting Two year olds can be a lot of fun. Singing songs to help them learn new words and ideas brings joy to many parents and children. Reading them their favorite stories and playing with them reassures them that you love and care for them. The age of 2 doesn’t have to be terrible. It’s all in how you parent them. Be positive, and the experience will be positive. Pick your battles. So what if they mix their peas in with the mashed potatoes. As long as they eat it, they aren’t doing anything wrong. Most of all have fun and you can turn the “terrible twos” into the “terrific twos”.