5 Tips to Survive the Terrible Twos

Every day I have to ask the Lord for more patience, because with two toddlers and a newborn, its necessary. 

I try to think of the two year old phase as the terrific twos and not the terrible twos. I try to be very conscious about the words I speak over myself, my husband, and my children because words have life.

As much as I thought these twos wouldn't be terrible, it is. Terrible twos are in full effect. Once Josiah turned two, it's like a switch went off and all these things started happening. He's talking way more. Using sentences. And most of all, throwing tantrums like nobody's business. 

It's like he's having a screaming match with himself. Literally, and its the hardest thing to deal with. 

The driving force behind the terrible twos are simple: Boundaries. 

Here's how it works:
  • You set the boundary
  • The child learns said boundary exists
  • The child usually doesn't like that the boundary is there so they will continue to test it
  • Parent creates consistent limits,  which usually leads to a tantrum
  • You set a strong foundation for behavior
  • Things get better as the child gets older
I remember at one point I felt like "why cant my child just behave like a normal person!"  The thing is my friend, they have to be taught. Here's the thing about these toddlers, and these are things I've learned from my own research, experience, and just my own intuition in being a mom:
  • They're immature // Toddlers simply don't know any better. As annoying and frustrating as it is to continuously say "don't touch that," "no," etc... they're just kids who simply don't know any better and will forget the very thing you told them not to do just 5 seconds ago. They also don't have the ability to verbalize what it is they're feeling with clarity, so when they're upset they express it verbally, hence the crying, screaming, and tantrums. 
  • They're learning // The first two years of live are filled with cognitive and physical development. What you deem as a toddler misbehaving is actually just them being a kid. They're new to cultural norms, language, what's dangerous and safe, etc... Everything that is normal to us is brand new to them, so they'll naturally explore these things out of curiosity
  • They test boundaries // Two year olds are literally little people who will see just how far they can go with something.

As much as I get annoyed for having to constantly speak about the same things, it's necessary. In going through the terrible twos with my daughter firsts and now my son, I've learned a few things that can help make this phase a bit easier. 

Set yourself up for success with 5 ways to survive the terrible twos:

Respect the nap 

I don't know about y'all, but my two year old is an extremely cranky toddler when he doesn't get the sleep he needs. Nap time is crucial. If you're having outings, try to schedule those around nap time so you're not dealing with your toddler when they're extremely irritable.

Stay Consistent & Calm

how to deal with the terrible twos

The best thing to do with your toddler in the terrible two stages is to stay calm and stay consistent. Its a recipe for disaster if both you and your toddler lose control. You also want to teach your toddler how to respect boundaries, so it's important that you remain consistent every single time, let your yes be a yes, and your no's be a no. Follow through at all times. 

Redirect when Necessary

Instead of going into this long talk about why what your child did is not okay (they probably won't understand it anyway) try redirecting their attention to put their focus on something else. Also, part of parenting is about choosing your battles, so if I can redirect my two year old's attention easily without too much fuss, I go that route.

Keep Toddler Preoccupied

If I know we're going to be out the house for a while, I try to remember (because, three kids!) to pack some of Josiah's favorite toys, like his trains, cars, and dinosaurs. That way when I notice he's becoming irritable, his toys will keep him calm for a bit.

Show Compassion

One of the things a lot of people fail to realize about toddlers and the terrible twos is that they're little people with really big emotions. Because they can't have their way all the time and will most likely express their frustration via a tantrum, it's our job to show compassion and help toddlers deal with their emotions. They don't yet have the ability to shut it off when we tell them to, so showing compassion and practicing patience will go a long way. 

What are some of the ways you survive the terrible twos? 

The most important part of it all is to be patient with your toddler and yourself during this phase. 

Set yourself up for success with 5 ways to survive the terrible twos

5 ways to survive the terrible twos

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