7 Tips to Survive the Terrible Twos

I think the worse temper tantrum I’ve ever gone through with my daughter is when she refused to go in her car seat for over two hours. I felt like I was doing everything I could, but nothing seemed to help. The terrible twos often start around 18 months and can continue past the age of 2. During this time most toddlers are becoming more independent. With this new desire to do things for themselves, they can run into a situation where they are not able to achieve something and frustration is often the result. Although the tantrums can drive almost any parent crazy, including myself, it’s important to remember they are still developing and generally don’t have the language skills to ask for help.

• Avoid “giving in”
It’s important to establish that throwing a tantrum is not a positive way your child will get what he or she wants. Junk food and surprises are ok as an occasional reward for good behavior, but they should not be used to make a tantrum stop.

• Give them responsibility
My daughter enjoys when I include her in my daily tasks, like laundry and cleaning. She especially enjoys filling our dog’s food bowl. I believe allowing her to do simple chores helps build confidence and I can tell it makes her feel important.

• Redirect
Sometimes no matter what you do your toddler will be determined to throw their tantrum until they decide to stop. To help when this happens try changing their view. Take them outside to run around or find something different from their day to day activities to redirect their energy.

• Ignore
This is not my favorite option, but most of time when my daughter is throwing a tantrum and I ignore her she will tire herself out and eventually realize the behavior is getting her nowhere. Because she likes to roll around and throw herself forward I like to make sure when I ignore her she’s on the floor and away from anything she could hit and hurt herself. The one instance where this is not your best option is if there is hitting, biting, etc. Step in and use discipline to make sure your child understands it’s not okay to harm anyone.

• Find the cause
Most tantrums have a simple fix so take a moment to think about what the issue may be. They may be hungry, tired or bored. When you do realize and take care of the issue try and work with your toddler on how they can communicate the issue so it may not turn into a tantrum later on.

• Praise
It’s great to praise your toddler on their good behavior. There are days when it seems like your little one is mad at everything, but it’s important on those days to find something to praise them for.

• Patience
Probably the most important and hardest step is patience. I know I’ve let my daughter’s tantrums drive me crazy and I wonder what I’m doing wrong. I usually have to take a moment to calm down and find how I can help her. I’ve realized if her tantrums make me angry I am no help to her and it usually makes her mood worse. I need to make sure I remember she does not yet know how to communicate what she needs from me and I need to be patient and remain calm.

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