The terrible two’s is something I have written and talked about before and for good reason, it seems to last a lifetime (well it certainly does when your little darling is laid on the floor in Sainsbury’s and screaming) and on bad days it seems to dominate my thoughts.
In the spirit of honesty here are 10 truths/tips about the terrible two’s and how to handle them.
1. It tests your patience to the limit
I had to start with this one because I thought I was pretty cool and calm and then I had a toddler. Actually, then I had a second child toddler. There will be days when the terrible twos will make your blood boil, when you’re so frustrated you could scream and other days when you could just cry. It’s all normal and even the calmest of people can find it hard. Remember if you’re having one of those days the next probably won’t be as bad.
2. It starts before two
The terrible twos start way before two, I would say 18 months for some little ones. The tantrums change as they get older, but either way those screaming meltdowns start earlier than I realised!
3. Everyone will tell you what to do
When you’re having a tough time with your toddler, EVERYONE will have a view on what to do. I would say, trust your instinct, read about what to do but smile and nod and do things your way – you’re with them 24 hours a day!
4. A lot of people will not be friendly
If you follow my Instagram, you may have seen my stories a few weeks ago where I was in tears after a few people (I could think of stronger names) basically told me off for Evie’s tantrum in Sainsbury’s. It was awful, I felt like a failure and it was NOT WHAT I NEEDED at the time.
5. But angels do often appear
But for lot’s of these people who shake their heads, make nasty comments and look at you like you’re the worst Mum there are angels who help you out, say ‘we’ve all been there’ and generally offer a little kindness.
6. It’s OK not to be OK
It’s OK to have bad days, it’s OK to put them to bed earlier – we have all been there, regularly.
7. You CANNOT negotiate with a toddler
Sometimes you just have to leave them as I have found negotiating with toddlers is not the same as the conversation I have with my four-year-old. Work out what works for you and stick with it.
8. Don’t stop life because of it
I stopped going to playgroups recently because I was scared of how Evie might be, but then I realised I had no one to talk to and was super lonely. Don’t stop your life because of your toddler, often outings are never as bad as you think!
9. Their frustration is down to many things and it’s not you
Two-year-olds, I have found, have frustration on many levels. Communication, their ability to do things – imagine if you wanted to tell someone you really fancied a drink of water but they kept thinking you were pointing out a bird. Annoying, probably. I also think Evie gets frustrated because she wants to run as fast as Amelie, play games like here so if you have older siblings think about these situations and try and make activities work for both. For the communication, think about sign language, it’s not something we have tried but I wish we had as I have heard great things!
10. You’re not doing anything wrong
You’re not doing anything wrong, I repeat you are not doing anything wrong. I used to think I was useless when Amelie started having tantrums but she’s now four and lovely – it was just a phase and I was doing the best I could, just as I am now.