What’s the first thing people think of when a two-year-old is mentioned? Oh boy, it’s the terrible twos–good luck with that, mom!
Two-year-olds have a reputation for being difficult, so the toddler years are a time that many parents enter with dread and apprehension.
The term “terrible twos” has been used since the 1950s to describe the developmental phase that toddlers go through. During this stage, they may display defiant behavior, such as saying “no,” ignoring the rules, and throwing tantrums.
The terrible twos generally start when a child turns two, hence the name. However, the terrible twos can start earlier or later, depending on the kid.
Some start as soon as eighteen months, while others are late bloomers, only beginning to demonstrate terrible two behavior after turning three.
If you’re a parent with a child nearing their second birthday and you’re feeling nervous about the upcoming years, it might help to not think about the terrible twos being…well, terrible.
The reason that toddlers act up around this age is not that they’re specifically trying to give you a hard time. At this age, their brains are rapidly developing.
It’s when they’re just beginning to learn how to communicate, explore independence, and understand concrete concepts. So it’s normal and healthy for them to exhibit challenging behaviors.
Even so, dealing with the terrible twos isn’t easy, so here are some tips for how to get through this stage and help your child realize what behaviors are acceptable.