Terrible Twos Actually Terrific


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


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Jeann... JeannieMS

Two was wonderful! 3.5 on the other hand ... Horrifying!! :)

ocmom... ocmommy2two

I had a rough time with my daughter from 18 months until about 2 1/2. Now she's 3 and is much more well behaved. I have another child on the way, and I plan on doing things differently, so I'm not too scared of the two's anymore.

miche... micheledo

We didn't experience the terrible 2's or 3's.  But I think that is probably due to the way we look at it.  Our children are learning new things and our job is to help them learn and also to be teaching them.  It's also a MAJOR learning process for mom and dad as we learn to be patient, loving, and kind teachers!! :D

I don't remember ever thinking it was the terrible 2's.  I just hope we respond the same way to the teen years and enjoy every moment (even the bad ones!).

Our kids are 4, 3, 2, and almost 1.

Hazey... Hazeystar16

My son was so sweet all the way up until about a month before he turned 3. I thought terrible twos what are they talking about this is fantastic. Once he turned 3 he just kept pushing and pushing the boundaries. I wouldn't say terrible but definitely stressful and taking a toll on my patience! He is now going on 4 and a half and I notice that the only time he is running around crazy is only because he doesn't have something to do at that particular moment. You have to set your boundaries and stick with them and let your kids have fun and don't ever let them get bored!! 

maxja... maxjaxlexmom

My son started the terrible 2's at about 18 months and is still there.  He Will be 3 in 2 weeks and just seems to be getting worse.  I am at my witts end with him.  He is my 4th son and I have a 1 year old daughter.  I worry that she will be like hims and it scares the heck out of me.  He says "NO" to everything and asks "WHY?" to everything.  He breaks all of his and his siblings toys, gets into everything.  He gets into the cabinets and dumps out the snack foods and we have to keep the fridge locked.  I love him to death, but my patience is also at death!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Leela... LeelansMom

i think 2 was the most exciting time for us.. the grasp things soo quickly and are so keen to grow up lol.

Tabby... Tabbykat39565

i have not reached 2 yet.  My daughter is only 13 months but right now she is HORRIBLE!!!!!  I am only hoping and praying that she will not get any worse.  I was not supposed to have children and she is my miracle child so I think that is the reason she is the way that she is.  We are together ALL THE TIME and she pushes my buttons and tests the boundaries all the time. 

Amanda McCallum

My experience is 2 is nothing, the Horrific 3's are a whole other story though.

somom... somommy24

I have both a five year old and an almost 3 year old and neither of them went through the Terrible Two's.    In fact, two and three have been my favorite years!  They seem to learn so much and it's exciting to watch them figure out how the world works!

talon... talonblackhart

We hit the "terrible twos" at about 13 months. We're currently at 19 months, and there's no end in sight. I try very hard to be patient, because I understand that a lot of the reason for the tantrums is a lack of communication skills (she knows what she wants, but doesn't know how to tell us, and doesn't know what to do about the frustration that she isn't getting what she wants) and the acting out is mostly just curiosity (what will happen if I fling a chicken nugget across the kitchen? what if I pull the dog's tail?), not intentional or malicious misbehavior. We try very hard to be consistent and calm, and most of the time, it works ok. Every once in a while, though, she has a complete meltdown and nothing helps. That's usually when she's tired, so we try to keep to a good nap schedule, but she's already dropped her morning nap, and her afternoon nap is sometimes brief or non-existant if she thinks something exciting is happening.

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