Nothing prepares a parent for the Terrible Twos stage - not even toddlers who have been through that phase in their life. This is what I've learned with Pot and Nemo. Their Terrible Twos are similar but very different.
Pot just likes to bug. She just wants everyone around her all the time.
Nemo has been quite negative about a lot of things and just keeps saying no to anything - even to those things she likes.
Me: "Do you like an apple, Nemo?"
Terrible Nemo: "No!"
Me: "Oh okay... Let me know if you want anything."
|Image courtesy of ladymomma.com|
As soon as I take the apple away, she bawls her eyes out and she won't stop until she feels she is done. The apple at that point should be consumed either during or after the tantrum. Defiance is something that she likes - and she wants you to live with it (insert hair pulling here. my hair not hers).
I also notice that Nemo likes hitting. She especially likes hitting me when I fall asleep while she watches TV (like tonight).
*Whack!* "Mommmmmmmmyyy! TV!"
I take pride in self-control and the fact that my patience is still there to explain to her why it is bad to do that. I have high hopes that, eventually, she will listen.
I read some tips that I would like to share with you about Terrible Twos which I got from the Pediatrics section of About.com.
It helps if you have this in place with your toddlers who are on the Terrible Twos stage:
- having a regular routine for meals, naps, bedtime, etc. and try to stick to them each day
- offer limited choices only, like 'would you like apples or oranges for your snack' and not just 'what do you want for your snack.' This helps your toddler feel like he is making some decisions and has power over things, but he isn't able to choose unacceptable alternatives.
- learn to set limits about things and don't be surprised when your toddler tries to test those limits to see what he can get away with
- don't give in to tantrums
- begin to use time-out and taking away privileges as discipline techniques
- provide your toddler with a safe environment that is well childproofed to explore and play in. It really isn't fair that your toddler should get in trouble for playing with something he isn't supposed to if you left it within reach.
Above all, keep in mind that Terrible Twos go away in time. Please do not lose patience and lock your toddlers inside the cupboard. They may be a pain right now but they are still adorable. :P