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The Terrible Twos: A Child Development Stage

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It happens to many a parent: One day you notice that your sweet, loving baby has morphed into a defiant, tantrum-prone child who’s moody for no reason and loves to say no. Don’t worry — this is a normal pattern in child development. Eager to explore the world, your child is testing his boundaries to see what you’ll allow him to get away with.

Here’s how to get through this challenging stage.

Why the twos can be terrible

Imagine that you’ve suddenly gone through a major developmental spurt that’s given you the ability to communicate, think, and even move like never before. It’s sort of like having superpowers — and naturally, you want to test them out to see how far they’ll get you. That’s what life can be like for your child during this stage. And when frustration occurs (perhaps brought on by the fact that you told him he cannot stay up past his bedtime), his mood may change, he may tell you no, or he may send a tantrum your way.

How to maintain perspective

The most important thing to remember during this phase is to not take it personally. Just because your child tried to bite you in a fit of rage doesn’t actually mean he loves you less. He’s just frustrated. A great way to help him cope with his negative feelings is to boost his confidence, which will actually help him feel more independent (and, consequently, less frustrated). Here’s how.

 
 

 
 
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Your sweet baby's transition to a talking-back tot may come as a shock, but you can help tame bad behavior with the right tactics. Read on for parenting advice that may help ease future outbursts.
Read Help Tame Toddler Tantrums