The Terrible Twos: Is it a real thing?

I’ve heard a lot about the ‘terrible twos’. I’ve seen other people’s children throwing epic tantrums in the grocery store and I’ve seen the memes on Facebook about ruining a toddler’s day by giving him the wrong coloured sippy cup! But is it a real thing? Surely my kids won’t do that…right??

Our big boy Jesse turns two at the end of the month and it is safe to say he has a lot going on in that little mind and body of his at the moment.

Not only is he experiencing a whole host of develmental milestones, he is experimenting with his independence and all the while adjusting to life with a newborn in the house. As are we all!

Over the past few weeks, our usually happy and calm toddler will suddenly burst into a full blown tantrum; stamping his feet and squealing loudly when he doesn’t get what he wants. And we’ve previously mentioned his night terror episodes where he becomes almost possessed-like, stuck in an eratic state between sleep and awake. Some days Kaine and I look at each other and say “who is this child?”

So yes, it would seem the ‘terrible twos’ are a real thing. And despite our best efforts, we are not immune to the crazy behaviour of a two year old.

For example, here are a few things that have caused meltdowns lately:

  • Offering food he does not want to eat.
  • Attempting to remove footwear for sleeping even if they are seemingly inappropriate i.e extremely warm slippers on a hot night.
  • Removing clothes for a bath.
  • Giving a bath.
  • Taking him out of said bath before he’s ready even though he didn’t want to get in it in the first place.

As a parent in this day and age, I am really grateful that we have so much content at our fingertips. A quick surf on google and we found some really great articles on techniques for managing night terrors and dealing with tantrums. There’s also a lot of opinions we didn’t agree with but as first time parents we find it really helpful to do the research and then implement what feels right for us.

With tantrums, there seems to be two schools of thought; ignore the negative behaviour completely or acknowledge the child’s emotions and help them to understand it. We are choosing the latter. Providing he isn’t hurting anyone or damaging anything we are letting him execute his tantrum and offering support and an explanation he can understand.

We’ve realised we can’t necessarily stop the tantrums. And nor do we want to really. We’ve learned it’s an important part of development and learning.

We can only hope that there aren’t too many public meltdowns in the middle of Woolworths because we wouldn’t let him have the box of shapes or bag of chips he wanted! God help us!

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