Ah, the infamous “Terrible Twos” – a phase that every parent with a 2-year-old is familiar with. Don’t worry, you’re not the first to experience this turbulent time, and you certainly won’t be the last. To help you navigate through this challenging time, we’ve put together a parenting survival guide packed with practical tips and strategies. We’ve read all the books, watched all the videos, and compiled the very best tips and tricks. So, read on for everything you need to know to survive the terrible twos.
Establish consistent routines:
Toddlers thrive on routine and consistency. Establishing a predictable daily routine for meals, naps, playtime, and bedtime can be a lifesaver. Consistency helps them feel secure and reduces their anxiety. Including calming activities like watching kids cartoons for babies and toddlers as part of their routine can help to focus their energy and calm them for short periods of time.
Offer Choices within Limits:
Have you ever looked at a menu with too many choices on it? It makes things harder right? The same goes for Toddlers. Toddlers want to assert their independence, so give them choices within limits so they can do so with minimal stress. For example, try letting them choose between two outfits or two snack options. This empowers them and helps to avoid power struggles. When it comes to screen time, offer them a selection of child-friendly cartoons to choose from, allowing them to feel a sense of control while ensuring their viewing remains appropriate.
Use the art of Distraction:
When tantrums arise, distract and redirect their attention to something positive and engaging. Divert them to a new activity, play a game, or offer a favourite toy. These activities can take their minds off whatever is upsetting them, and help them to calm down quickly.
Praise and reward your child’s good behaviour whenever you can. Positive reinforcement goes a long way in encouraging positive habits and discouraging negative ones. Use verbal praise, hugs, or small rewards to acknowledge their efforts and achievements. When they display calm behaviour or effectively communicate their needs, show appreciation and reinforce their positive actions. Focusing on the positive, rather than punishing the negative, you tend to get better results.
Most adults struggle to control their emotions – even with their full arsenal of communication skills. Remember, your little one is still learning to navigate the world. Practice patience and empathy, and show understanding that their emotions and frustrations are valid. Validate their feelings and provide comfort when they’re upset. By showing empathy, you create a safe space for them to express themselves and develop healthy emotional regulation.
As you navigate the Terrible Twos, remember that it’s a normal and temporary phase in your child’s development. By following the tips in this guide, you can get through this period with tools to deal with your toddler. So, take a deep breath, trust your instincts, and enjoy the precious moments with your amazing 2-year-old – they won’t be this small forever.