Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Terrible Twos

If you have been following our home videos here and here, you would have noticed that my interaction with Vera very often draws a "No!" response.

Me: Give Mama this, please?
Vera: No!

While it was quite cute when we first found out that she could express herself so assertively, such moments have become quite tiring on days when I run out of patience. Experts call this period when children display such "bad" behaviour as the Terrible Twos.

The Terrible Twos are often characterized by oppositional behavior, mood changes, and temper tantrums. "No" becomes a favorite word. Apparently, this is considered normal parts of child development. The frustration and challenging behavior they display is often due to the fact that a toddler's ability to communicate hasn't caught up with his desire to communicate.

Here are some tips I found here to help manage a child that is in her terrible twos:

1. Make predictable routines part of your toddler's day.
2. Give regular healthy snacks to keep blood sugar steady.
3. Offer limited choices -- two to three options -- to your toddler (for example, "Do you want apple juice or orange juice in your sippy cup?").
4. Set limits (but expect him to test them).
5. Provide a safe, toddler-proofed environment for him.

I also found these 10 ways to tame your kid's tantrums quite useful. Of course, you would need to apply different methods depending on the circumstance...

1. Ignore the Kid. Often they are behaving badly to get your attention so paying too much attention means that your kid will learn that this is an effective way to get you to notice them.

2. Give your child some space. This allows him to get his anger out and hopefully regain self control on their own without getting into a yelling battle with you.

3. Create a diversion. We are getting quite good at this it is ridiculous the things my husband and I say just to create a diversion. Like, "Look! There is a rat there!" Kids usually have quite short attention span so get them interested in something else and the tantrum would stop.

4. Find out what is frustrating your kid. Perhaps they are tired?

5. Hugs. For reassurance especially if you sense they are insecure about something.

6. Offer food or some rest. Often, kids act up become they are simply tired. Imagine how we feel when we don't get enough sleep!

7. Give your kids some incentive to behave. Well, this works for people of all ages I guess.

8. Speak calmly. You lose if you end up acting like you are throwing a tandrum yourself!

9. Look calm and laugh it off if possible. Don't allow yourself to lose control.

10. Get out of there! A change of environment usually changes the behaviour.


kristalangel said...

sigh. I've been trying methods 1 to 10 - depending on the situation ... and you left out another option ..


I've been close to considering that a couple of times.

hahahah :)

Little Miss Snooze said...

Thanks for this, good reading in "preparation".

I try to use diversion instead of "No" now as Nat has started to ignore our "No!" when he touches or aims for things he is not suppoesd to touch (our dvd player, the remote control, etc)

Anonymous said...

How about DISCIPLINE? Give them a warning when they step out of boundary once or twice. Then spank (on the butt) if they try it again. But you have to be calm when you spank and the spank has to be hard! I let my daughter cry it out for 1 minute, then she'll kneel to say sorry to Jesus. Then stand up and appologise to mom. I release forgiveness and we pray tog for repentance.... you'll be surprise it works everytime! Her wailing from the spank stops almost immediately after she says sorry to JESUS! And after we pray, she's off to pray. I still employ this method, and she's 4.5yrs old.

Shane Co. said...

Nice blog. very informative. I hope these tips will be effective for my two year old son.