We tend to call the toddler stage "Terrible Twos". But, just think. How would you feel if the person you loved the most called you terrible once you finally reached a new level of growth and ability in your life?
What makes two-year-olds so terrible?
Is it their energy? I would argue that high energy is actually an excellent foundation for a healthy lifestyle. Isn't it a positive thing that two-year-olds like to exercise? Instead of trying to make them sit down, we should help them focus that energy into an activity they can enjoy doing for the rest of their lives. You may have the next cross country marathon runner and not even know it!
Mobility must feel magical for a baby! How would you feel if you could not walk for 9 months, or more, and then suddenly had the ability to walk, run, jump and climb?! You may feel like going rock climbing. You may want to run for miles. You may want to become a sprinter and see how fast your legs can really go--and rightfully so!
Are two-year-olds terrible because they talk too much? Well...put yourself in their shoes! For 11 months or more, you lose your ability to speak. When people talk to you, you may overstand what they are saying, but you do not have the means to respond. Then, one day, your mouth starts moving in unprecedented ways. Your vocal cords start producing sounds that resemble those you have heard others vocalize, but never had the ability to mimic. Then, you are FINALLY able to speak your mind. Wouldn't you want to talk to your loved ones as much as possible? Wouldn't you want to express how you feel about the wonderful things you see, hear, smell, and play with in the world? Of course you would! Now, imagine, after you gained this amazing ability, the people you love most are constantly telling you, "BE QUIET! I AM TALKING!" It might be a little heartbreaking for you, don't you think?
Some people call two-year-olds terrible because they can be a little demanding at times. But again, let's put ourselves in their shoes. For the first 9 months, or more, of their lives, they are not only completely dependent on their parent, but they are accustom to getting whatever they want, whenever they want. When they are hungry, they cry, and moments later...food arrives. When they are tired, they cry, and moments later, their favorite person in the world runs to them with a warm hug, a bottle of milk, and their favorite soft blanket. When they are bored, they whine, then they get exciting entertainment from a loving face for an hour straight. What a life, right?
Suddenly, once they get some mobility and independence, they begin hearing , "NO!" or "PUT THAT DOWN!" or "STOP IT!" more often than not. Yes, of course, there are many things two-year-olds want to do that they absolutely should not do. But, there is a way to say and do everything.
This new transitional stage of life is an adjustment for both the child, and the parents. We, as the parents, have to find ways to make this stage fun for our children, and ourselves, while setting a good foundation for how they will grow up into their childhood and young adult years.
So, what can we do, to make sure our two-year-olds grow up tremendously, not terribly?
Have patience! If patience is a virtue you lack, this is a GREAT opportunity to get better. (lol) We have to loosen up a little at this stage. Patience is the key to great communication with a two year old.
Let them have fun, but teach them their boundaries. You want your child to explore, observe, and learn new things, but of course, you do not want them to get hurt. Two-year-olds have the ability to learn ALOT. So, teach them how to observe, safely, and to respect the boundaries you set for them.
Have play dates! Get your child around other children their age so they can play, exercise, and practice boundaries together!
Do you have any advice or thoughts about raising a child through their tremendous twos? Join our Facebook group and let us know!