Terrible 2’s is where we are and they can be exhausting.
What I think the terrible two is may be different than what you think they are. Joshua is my 7th child and I am not saying I am a pro with kids but I have learned from them.
Joshua will be 22 months old on the 14th of May and I can see him becoming his own little person. He is changing daily and he is becoming more demanding.
I can be standing out at the sink doing dishes and he will be in the kitchen tearing stuff out of the cabinets which is not a big deal because he can only get to things that won’t hurt him. He will want my attention and to get it he will come up behind me and bite the back of leg! I let out a scream because it is unexpected and it hurts! He will laugh.
He is at the stage where he knows what he can and can’t do but he is going to try 100 times a day to do what he knows he is not supposed to do, like climb on the stands and stand in the middle of them.
He fights naps and bedtime. It seems like at bedtime he gets this big burst of energy and by this time of the day, it takes all I got to stay up with him.
These are some of my struggles and I believe they all paly a role in the terrible two’s. This is how I personally handle Joshua with these.
If he decides to take a bite of my leg, I put the child gate up and put him over it. He hates to be in a different room than me even if he can see me. My house is pretty much child-proof and there isn’t anything I have to worry about him getting into that will hurt him. It may look like a tornado went through a room but nothing harmful. Most of the time he will stand at the gate and cry but I ignore it after I calmly tell him, you can’t bite mommy because it hurts so you have to wait there till mommy is done. This has worked and he hasn’t bitten the back of my leg in a while.
Now for him climbing on the stands is a big battle. It can be ten minutes or longer taking him off the stands and telling him no. He will laugh and get right back up there. Time out is not an option at this time because I am not going to sit on him to keep him there. This battle has gotten better and I feel that the reason it has is because I keep taking him down and telling him no. So instead of him getting on the stands every 30 minutes he is getting on there maybe 3 times a day.
Now for naps and bedtime. Joshua will not stay in his bed during nap time and nobody is here during the day so we nap in the front room. Our front room has a gate that prevents Joshua from leaving the room and is trapped in just the front room. At nap time, I pull this gate across and tell him to lie down. This stops him from running through the house but he still refuses to lie down. I lie down on the couch and show him I am not going to do anything but lie there so he most of the time will give in and lie down. As long as the phone doesn’t ring or nobody shows up, 9 times out of 10 he will fall asleep. Nap time is very time-consuming because this can take an hour or longer to get him to nap.
Bedtime will work the same way or sometimes I can take him in the bedroom, put him in his bed. I have to lie down on my bed to show him it is bedtime. Sometimes he will try to fight this and get out of his bed a couple of times. I put him right back in his bed, tell him no and tell him it is bedtime. There are times he will fall asleep on the front room floor but he has to be told to lie down. The other night we were telling him to lie down and he wanted us to read to him. He kept bringing us books and we would take them and tell him no and repeat to him to lie down it was bed time. After about the fifth time he gave in and he laid down and went to sleep.
Joshua is about pushing to see if he can surpass us. We simply keep our no’s no and we talk to him calmly when he is throwing a fit. Joshua will hit at us and he will bang his head on the floor. Joshua is a strong-headed child but he also understands what we are telling him. When he gets to the point where he is just mad and throwing a fit, I stay calm, wait for him to stop and then I take a hold of him and tell him to listen to me. I calmly tell him again no or that it is bedtime.
Every child is different and what might work for one may very well not work for the other. When I find out what works I stick with it and this will make your toddler aware of what to expect and gives them the start of the structure they need and will always need while growing up.
I am not a perfect parent and I have made mistakes. With Joshua being my 7th child and so far apart in age from my other children, I have more wisdom and more patients. I choose my battles.
When Joshua is being good I always clap my hands and tell him, good boy, When Joshua is having a fit I simply ignore his behavior, wait for him to calm down, then I simply talk to him in a way I know he understands me.
When he is completely refusing to give in I will try to distract him, I will grab a book and ask him if he wants me to read to him or if he wants to play. This works and it is less stress for both of us. An example of this is, today we shared an ice cream, when it was finished he was telling me more, I told him no more right now and he would not stop saying he wanted more so I simply grab his bag of blocks and asked him if he wanted to play. Not only did he forget about the ice cream, he sat down on the floor with me and played.
Are you dealing with the terrible two’s? How do you handle your toddler and their terrible two’s?