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Terrible Twos: Is It Really a Thing?

The phrase “terrible twos” could strike a fear onto any new parent’s house. How does one’s adorable infant turn into a seemingly terrible toddler? It’s no surprise why two-year olds have gained a quite notorious reputation — the phrase precedes them. Then again, is the terrible two phase a real thing? Or is it just a myth?

Let’s bust what you might have believed about terrible twos. The reality is “terrible twos” is just a myth and the child in front of you is still the same gentle angel you have held in your arms as a newborn baby.

A child does not automatically turn into a terrible tantrum-throwing toddler once they reach the age of two. Instead, it is during this age that a child begins to have feelings of autonomy and independence. Around the age of two, you might notice your child beginning to express a desire to have some sort of control over their routines, for example. It is definitely a huge change from how things used to be during their infancy, which explains why many parents are not a fan of the early toddler stage. 

Terrific Twos: An Exciting Milestone!

Fear not, new mommies and daddies. This is a normal part of your child’s growth and development. In fact, parents should be embracing this phase and meet it with a positive attitude. Remember that a child’s desire for autonomy means that they are eager to try new things independently. They are confident to do things by themselves, which means you are doing a really good job at parenting!

In other words, this phase of development is not something you should try to stop or mitigate. You should encourage your toddler to do things by themselves, such as picking their own clothes, choosing their own snacks, and selecting the storybooks they want to read. They might no longer enjoy being carried; instead, they want to walk on their own. As long as you are supervising your child, there is no need to stop them from trying out new things!

Dealing with “Terrible Twos”

You might be surprised to know that your child will have almost no trouble dealing with “terrible twos” or, as more aptly call it, the “terrific twos.” On the other hand, it is the parents who might have a challenging time adjusting to the newness of the developmental stage. From doing everything for your baby, suddenly, in front of you is a child who no longer wants you to do everything for them!

This transition can especially be difficult for adults dealing with control issues as well as those who take special pride in their responsibilities as parents. For these parents, it is important to remember that giving your child space to explore and discover how to do things on their own is a very crucial part of parenting that should not be foregone.

What is the right way to deal with your toddler’s development? Give them space but always be on the watch. Aside from the naturally budding curiosity, you should watch out for two more telling factors that your child is about to enter their terrific twos and prepare for it. 

One is a great development in terms of mobility. During this stage, they are in better control of their limbs, which allows them to walk, run, and even jump from place to place. Mobility and a growing sense of curiosity can be a formidable pair, so you need to take special care of childproofing your entire home. 

Check all electricity outlets and make sure they are covered. Install childproof locks to drawers and make sure all medicines and chemicals are stored in a closed cabinet far from their reach.  If you were careful when your child was a baby, be doubly careful now that they are a toddler. On the other hand, it is a good idea to put low shelves and drawers containing your child’s toys, clothes, and books. This allows them to choose their own things on their own, allowing them control and independence. 

Aside from mobility, you will also notice your toddler getting more and more articulate by the day. Gone are the days when communication between you and your child is filled with baby talk and sign language. Instead, they are beginning to grasp the nuances of language and are starting to be able to communicate their needs and wants to you.

For many parents, this can be both a good thing and a bad thing! For starters, it is easier now to meet your child’s needs as they can just tell you about it. On the other hand, your child discovering the magic of communication probably means they will talk endlessly about all sorts of topics that capture their attention. 

Take advantage of this momentous rate of growth and development by encouraging your child to talk about things that interest them. Keep them talking and always respond to them as if you are talking to a fellow adult. This makes them feel their thoughts and important. Also, it teaches them how to communicate properly with other people.

If you’re a working parent, it might be a good idea to start setting boundaries with your child. Gently tell them that you will gladly listen to them the whole day, but if you are on a call with a client, for example, then you will need the room to be quiet.

Your child reaching the age of two is not a thing to be feared! Instead, it is an exciting phase filled with drastic changes in terms of your child’s growth and development. This is the stage where your child begins to develop their own personality, so gently encourage them to be more independent and responsible without forgetting to set boundaries and give proper supervision.

Featured image by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
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