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Terrible Twos
Home Family Parenting
By: R.paul Elliott Email Article
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The terrible twos are, to say the least, an extremely stressful time for the parents of one of these young people whose actions are totally unpredictable from moment to moment. Those of us who live in constant fear of our trips away from home, who hasn't tried to comfort a screaming toddler at the grocery store or other public place? Welcome to the terrible twos. Not a day goes by that my wife and I don't ask ourselves "whatever happened to our little bundle of joy" The terrible two's happened so fast that we didn't even realize it was happening. All of a sudden we had this little person living with us who had become a kicking, screaming, fit-throwing disorderly being that we could barely communicate with. If you are reading this I can safely say that probably have a toddler (keep the faith), have had a toddler (lucky you, it's over), or you are getting near toddlerhood (read all you can find).

The onset of the terrible two's is not a subtle thing. One day all is well and then "BANG" it's like you are in a whole different environment that you know nothing about or how to cope with. For us, the first thing we experienced were the feelings of uncertainty in our abilities as parents who hasn't had those). We just started reading every article on the Internet and talking to anyone who we thought might expand our knowledge base, and guess what? We seem to be extremely common parents, with an extremely common set of circumstances and best of all probably a remarkably common toddler.

With that thought, in mind probably the single most valuable thing we have learned is patience, which in some situations extremely difficult to maintain. Another good thing to remember is that there is nothing personal about your child's actions. A trademark of the terrible twos is problematic behavior. I don't think our child does anything to be vindictive.

If you were, suddenly to, lose your ability to read and write, don't think that it would be a bit frustrating? Thatís exactly where your toddler is during this period. When they get, frustrated with a situation, or something they are trying to make, they have extremely small capacity to explain their situation or ask for help. No surprise about what happens next; enter the terrible twos.

On the subject of discipline, we don't believe in corporal punishment, as we feel that is sending the wrong message to the child. Also, we don't use the 1-2-3- counting system because we feel that this just prolongs the situation. For us "time outs" work best. When communicating keep it uncomplicated. You are dealing with a person who has a twenty or thirty word vocabulary.

Be firm never give in to the demands of your toddler. This can be extremely difficult to do when you are in the middle of the grocery store but try to keep your resolve and work through the tantrum. If you make a practice of buckling to their demands, you will only prolong the duration of the terrible twos and your misery.

This is easier said than done but try, and keep a respectful, relaxed attitude, be understanding and you might change the terrible twos into the terrific twos.

For more information and some excellent tips visit

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