The “Terrible Twos” can be a challenging phase for parents. You may even fear taking your child into public places. Will they throw a fit? Kick or wail? Throw their body down to the floor in the middle of the supermarket? All toddlers struggle with their emotions. Parents are left with so many unanswered questions. Is this normal? Is there something I’m doing wrong? When will this behavior end?

Toddlers Becoming More Independent

Let’s take a minute to remember that just a few short months ago, our children were limited in their ability to communicate with us. We catered to their every need. Many of us even tried to foresee what our baby would need even before they requested it. As parents, we did whatever was needed to make our baby feel better. This was expected and appropriate at that time because our babies were totally dependent on us. But what about now? As our babies grow into toddlers, a few things start to change. We start to expect our children to comply with our requests, instead of the other way around. Some toddlers may have a harder time than others making this adjustment. Your toddler may put you to the test with one tantrum after the next. Just have patience. Eventually, you and your child will adjust to your role as their parent, advisor, instructor, and caretaker.

Managing Tantrums

During this phase, use these tips to keep your cool:

  • Be understanding! Don’t over-react if they do; they’re just beginning to learn how manage their emotions.
  • Stay calm. When your child is having a tantrum, losing your temper will not help. Try to ignore the tantrum as much as you possibly can.
  • Hold your ground. If you give in to whatever your child wants, they will likely continue to repeat the behaviour if it results in a positive reward for them. Let your “yes” mean yes, and your “no” mean no.
  • Finally, be patient. Do not expect your toddler’s fits of anger to resolve overnight, especially if you have tolerated this behavior in the past. Act properly and consistently and the tantrums will likely diminish.

Our love for our children has no limits, and love is long-suffering, so remember this behavior will eventually stop altogether. Just be consistent!

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LaShea Haynes MEd, MSN, APRN, AGCNS-BC, RNC, C-EFM, is Editor of Healthy Mom&Baby magazine, and a leader in obstetric nursing for more than 26 years. She is also a staff nurse, certified doula and founder & owner of her own nurse mentoring, education and consulting company.

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