Toddler Development: The Terrible Twos

It had to happen sometime. One day your baby is sweet and adorable, and the next day she’s a defiant, tantrum-prone hurricane ripping through your daily life. Believe it or not, this is normal – challenging and frustrating, but normal.

Why it’s not “the delightful twos”
Imagine that you’ve suddenly gone through a major developmental spurt that’s given you the ability to communicate, think, and move like never before. Pack all these new emotions into a tiny body, add a splash of frustration, and get ready for the tantrums and mood swings.

How to maintain perspective
The most important thing to remember during this phase is to not take it personally. Your child is just frustrated. Help your child feel more independent by trying the following:

  • Encourage exploration. Let your child indulge his curiosity by allowing him to explore much as possible in a safe way. If something’s not safe, tell him "no." He’ll eventually come to learn what’s acceptable and what isn’t.
  • Offer praise. Boost your child’s self-esteem by letting him know when he’s done something well. If he plays nicely with his friend or completes a task (like changing into his pajamas), tell him how happy and proud you are.
  • Be consistent. Don’t let a tantrum or bad mood shake your resolve. Like all phases, this too shall pass and he’ll grow out of it quickly enough.

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