We’ve all heard the term terrible twos well and truly before we even think about kids. I know the first time i heard it was in primary school. For those who don’t really know why the twos are considered terrible I’ll fill you in. Two year olds are just starting to flex their independent muscles. They start saying no to things they don’t want to do and they insist they do things for themselves even if they have no hope of being able to do it. So what’s so terrible about that? Well the thing that people think is terrible about it is that you tend to butt heads with your two year old a lot. It can get frustrating. The thing is though, it doesn’t have to be frustrating.
It’s all about how you look at it. A two year old is not a fully developed human. Their brains are still going through the process of growing and changing. They won’t have the full mental capacity of a human adult until 25 years old. Up until 2 they have been observing and absorbing everything they can about how humans live and function. I’ve mentioned in a previous post that babies are blank slates. This is so that we can adapt to every variant of human society there could possible be. At two your child is ready to start testing out what they’ve learnt. They want to try it all for themselves. The key to this age as the parent is to let them. Let go of your control and your fears and let your child try things for themselves.
The other trouble with this age is how often your child says no. Don’t get angry about this. Again it’s part of their development. They aren’t being disrespectful to you and they aren’t being insolent. You have to bite your pride and ignore any rising anger. They’ve said no to something. You shouldn’t force it on them. That will just lead to more resistance and resentment. They say no, you change the topic. Accept their answer. They’ve said no for a reason. You may not know what that reason is but they’ve said no and you should be the adult in the situation and accept it. Move on from it. Then perhaps after a time you can try and do what they said no to. You may know better than your child but until they learn for themselves they don’t know that. You need to hold their hand and support them as they explore the world. Not be a barrier against them.
The key to this age is embracing them because while it may be famous as the terrible twos it’s also an absolutely amazing time. It’s important not to waste your time on anger otherwise you’ll miss all the amazing things your child is learning and picking up. The terrible twos aren’t terrible. They are a time when your baby is starting to become human. Starting to act on their will rather than yours. The amount of first times that occur in this age is remarkable. A time that you should enjoy and cherish.