The terrible 2 is a stage in child development where kids start to explore their independence. This can be a challenging time for parents as kids may start to test boundaries and act out. It is important to remember that this is a normal part of development and that kids will eventually outgrow this phase.
If you have a 2-year-old that cries whenever and wherever they please, throws a tantrum at the most quiet places, and acts like a total gangster, I am sorry to inform you, but unfortunately, you just have a normal 2-year-old child. All these are part of the package and there is no way for you to skip this part.
If there is anyone out there who may have miraculously missed this part of the package, they probably saved a drowning city with a population of a million from their previous life. This stage/part; 2-year-old, is inevitable.
Many parents truly struggle at this stage. Some say the ultimate way to manage a 2-year-old is to simply ignore it. Several parents may have to disagree on this because every behavior has a meaning and we should never ever ignore any kind of act. A few cool parents say just let them be kids and they will eventually grow out of it. It may look like some of them have already given up because apparently, believe it or not, parents can also get bullied and even manipulated by their own toddlers. But how can we genuinely handle a 2-year old?
The ultimate way to handle a 2-year-old is to practice the pause.
This dogma is very much applicable in all aspects of life. Pausing and thinking first before giving a response can prevent things to blow out of proportion.
Pausing for a good few seconds and not giving them the reaction they want right off the bat gives both parent and child to think and internalize the situation. Imagine this: You are playing catch this fluffy teddy bear with your 2-year-old and it hits their head lightly but with a loud thud sound. Your 2-year-old immediately cries out.
It obviously was not because they were badly hurt, but due to the flinching loud sound, they reacted right away and started crying. As a parent, you would want to instantly soothe their feelings by picking them up. However, if you try to practice the pause, you will give your 2-year-old a few seconds to internalize and then ask if they were shocked/surprised by the loud sound or were they truly hurt.
Questioning your 2-year-olds are very essential in this stage. Parents should start asking their 2-year-olds whenever they are crying or throwing a tantrum. They still do not have the right words in their minds to tell you exactly what they are feeling at the moment. Crying and screaming is their only way of expression and communication.
With the given amount of time and with the guiding question, your 2-year-old will eventually understand that they were not in pain at all.
Parents should also be kind and understanding because even with the amount of questioning 2-year-olds’ outburst and misbehaviors, there are still times that they will not listen. It may seem like hopeless and embarrassing since everyone is staring at you and most probably judging your capability as a parent, just pause, give them the enough time to evaluate their emotions. Just remember that this so called “terrible twos” is part of their development as a child and you might have gone through it as well.