He’s not even two yet! He will be in September however we have decided he is “advanced” in this developmental mile stone. I guess you could consider this post as my preparation for the hurricane that is to come or rather that I am already experiencing!
Now let’s back up for a moment and clarify something about the term “terrible two.” It’s just a silly term that has labeled children who enter the age of two with more energy than they will ever have again in their life. They are exploratory, curious, excited and have so many more emotions than they can handle at this age. We don’t really think of our children as terrible (maybe we do), but we love and care for them and want to do whatever we can to help them grow and learn and the best way we can do that is by understanding them.
Two-year-olds are going through social, emotional and intellectual changes. These changes and new experiences are overwhelming your little one and therefore frustrating them which turns to frustration on you part. I have listed some facts about our toddlers as well as how you can better handle this new territory for the both of you!
Facts about Age Two:
The average Two-Year old will add up to 5 new words to their vocabulary each day. Although toddlers cannot speak all of them they understand 1,000’s of words.
Children are ambidextrous until age 3
Toddlers ears are new and hear much better than adults whose ears have decreased in their sharpness due to age and noise pollution.
The average toddler takes 126 steps each minute (they are at their most active they will ever be again)
Between the ages of 12-24 months our kiddos develop a new connection between brain cells each second of the day. By the time they are 2 years old they will have over 100 trillion synapses, which is why little ones can learn a lot of new things very quickly.
Tantrums are 100% normal because of all they are going through; frustration and over-stimulation leads to a meltdown.
Picky eating is very normal, keep introducing new foods although their distaste for them may be frustrating. Also remember that repeated exposure to a food is helpful in getting your toddler to eventually enjoy it.
Things to keep in mind to help both you and your toddler be happy and enjoy each other:
Your toddler is not behaving in this way to personally annoy, bother or hurt you.
They are looking to you for guidance, structure and consistency whether they respond to it all the time or not.
The entire world around them is a classroom. Whether you are at the post office, the bank or the park your kiddos are discovering, experiencing and wanting a hands-on experience.
Our two-year-old’s cannot retain their behavior when their hungry or tired like we can. It is important we remember their schedule, pay attention to their cues and not expect them to go grocery shopping or stand in line at the bank during naptime.
Your toddler knows no limits so it’s important you give them some, and one day you will see they have soaked up your knowledge and they have been listening and will begin applying limits and rules appropriately.
Your toddler understands more than you think they do. Keep talking and explaining things. Brief them on situation such as an errand your running and what you will do when the errand is done. Or what they might be seeing on a walk; birds, dogs, trees, cars etc.
When displaying a certain emotion talk to your child about it, they need help identifying what their feeling. Allow them to feel this emotion and stay close by so they know you are there for them.
As always, I have not and probably never will master all of the advice listed above. Our days can be challenging and as parents we will not handle each situation perfectly. It is my hope for myself and for others that armed with this knowledge we can do our best each day to be patient, kind and understanding of our little ones. We are all human and have our own things going on that make it hard sometimes but the best part about toddlers is they are forgiving, they love unconditionally and a kiss and hug is magical to them, making the current situation sail away and brings on a smile and something new to discover.
Loving our children, taking time for them and for ourselves is what its really all about. Follow your gut when it comes to dealing with your active little ones and try to remind yourself of all the things discussed in this post. Perspective of a two-year-old is not easy to digest but once you do I hope your two year old and you can have more fun and laughs during this very short year!