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The Terrible Twos – Just How Terrible Are They?

Your child is an angel.  They wake up each morning with a big smile on their face like they haven’t seen you in weeks (even though it’s only since they’ve been asleep).  They giggle and squeal as you pepper their face with kisses. Friends and family can’t stop gushing about how adorable and well behaved your little one is.  They are perfect.

And then they turn two.  

Welcome to what is widely known as “The Terrible Twos”.  But are they really that terrible? According to the Mayo Clinic, the Terrible Twos is “a normal stage in which toddlers begin to struggle between their reliance on adults and their desire for independence.”  As challenging as this time in your child’s life can be to navigate as a parent, the “Terrible Two” stage can be seen as something positive – as their first taste into self-discovery and their graduation from a dependent little baby to a growing toddler trying things out for themselves for the first time.

Every child is different, every parent is different and every situation is different.  How you manage this time in your child’s life is completely up to you based on what fits best with your life and your situation.  To help in the process, below are a few ideas on how to make getting through this stage a tiny bit easier on everyone:

Research: there are a lot of books, articles and websites that focus on navigating through the various stages of a child’s life.  Take some time to see what’s out there and what might fit best with your personal situation.

Connect: Remember – you are not alone in this!  Thankfully, you aren’t the first one to experience the “Terrible Twos” and you certainly won’t be the last.  There is a lot of first-hand experience out there to benefit from. Are you part of a local Mommy Meet-up Group?  Ask the other moms at your next get-together how they are managing. Reach out to a close friend with kids of similar age.  Post the question on a local Mom Group on Facebook.

Remember Your Audience: As frustrating as their behavior can be, they are just two years old.  They haven’t even been on this planet for 750 days. They are still learning and growing and struggling to figure stuff out by themselves. They are eager to become independent, but still need ‘Mommy’ at any given moment. And they are still just two years old.

Have Patience: Easier said than done, right?  That may be true but whenever possible, stop and breathe.  Your level of patience will be challenged so be prepared and use your own techniques to help you stay focused.  Got a favorite song that makes you happy? Sing it in your head! Thinking a second cup of coffee will help a little?  Go for it!

The most important thing to remember is that ‘this too, shall pass’.  Children really do grow faster than a weed. They will grow out of this phase and before you know it, you’ll be reminiscing and missing the days when they were little.   

And get ready…you’ll soon be moving into the “Three-nager” phase!

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