Terrible Twos Actually Terrific

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terrible twosAre you bracing yourself for the terrible twos? Or perhaps you're in the middle of a toddler meltdown right at this moment, as you choose instead to ignore the wails and scan the Internet. Stop your worrying about the twos, and keep on ignoring that crazy kid in the background -- because the terrible twos are just a myth

I know! But it's true. All of that talk about the frustration of not being able to communicate, the major developmental milestones -- it's poppycock. Well, maybe not poppycock, but you, as a parent, do have some recourse from the stage that's oftentimes compared to adolescence.

The first step is understanding what the heck is happening in that tiny brain, and acting accordingly, according to a new book out on the topic called The Wonder Weeks.

I actually happen to agree, but I'm no scientist, just a mom that really, really hated 3 and longed for those days of sweet 2.

The Wonder Weeks explains that setting limits, not unlike you do with a teenager, is what keeps a 2-year-old from turning terrible.

For the first time, a child understands he is a different person than mommy and his family is a different family than another family. Once he comprehends these differences, he learns to "play" with them. How? By tempting the rules and even acting out. At this age in development, the now-toddler has figured out how to push the right buttons until he gets what he wants.

My smugness at escaping the terrible twos with my daughter has come back to bite me in my self-satisfied ass with my toddler son. Pushing the limits seems to be his raison d'être, and he's not waiting until he's 3 to do it.

As the author of The Wonder Weeks explains, sometimes we don't challenge our toddler enough, and other times we expect too much. A lesson I learned last weekend at my 19-month-old's swim lesson when the instructor had more confidence in his skills than I did. Turns out the kid is capable of more than I thought, and he was very proud to have learned a new skill.

So like every stage of parenting, it's all about discovering what works with your child, in your house. Pushing your child, or assisting him until he can do it himself -- whatever keeps him from pounding the floor with his fists is good in my book.

Did you experience the terrible twos?

 

Image via AllanRaesMomma/CafeMom


discipline, learning, toddler development