I’m so over the Terrible Twos. I love my little munchkin, but how the heck did I forget about this part of parenting? You know, the part where they go from being sweet little angels one day to acting like Tasmanian Devils the next?
I am – by no means – calling my kid a Devil but his flip in attitudes is crazy sometimes. Case in point, his latest temper tantrums these days tend to have something to do with the controller to the PS4. Either he can’t reach, we won’t let him have it, it’s not charged so it doesn’t light up or he can’t find it; either way, he’s going to pitch a fit. Usually I ignore him and let him ride it out, but then he goes a step further and throws things.
Nope, not happening. The experts say that you should soothe, and talk to them about their feelings and what’s happening; help them understand that this too shall pass. Uh, yeah right. If I’ve learned anything about parenting in the almost-9-years that I’ve being doing it, you can’t calm “The Beast” once it’s provoked. Save your coddling and talking through things for when they aren’t in the middle of an epic meltdown – trust me on this.
So, what now? How do you survive the Terrible Twos with your sanity intact, house still standing, and people not battle weary? I think I may have figured out a few things to get you through it:
- Move them to another room where they can wreck it and let them have at it. Listen – everything isn’t meant to be a talk about feelings; sometimes kids just have to let it out. Give them the space to do that and you can go clean the kitchen or watch tv until there are civilized to talk.
- Time out. I don’t think timeout really works on kids younger than 3, but if it works for you, use it. Have them sit on the couch or in a chair next to you while they settle down. When they are calm, ask them what’s up and what that situation was all about. You might be surprised with the answer.
- Take something away. My boys LOVE certain toys, so when their behavior is less than stellar, they lose the privilege of having that toy. My oldest has had a toy taken away for as long as year – mainly because I forgot about it and couldn’t remember where I hid it.
- Grin and bear it. Time and time again my little guy goes from zero to thirty at the most inopportune times, case in point: the grocery store. I’ve been that mom with abandoning a basket and carrying a screaming child out of the store while red with embarrassment.
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