Inside: Are you wondering how to handle the terrible twos? Don’t worry, escaping the terrible twos is possible! Find out how I used ONE thing to turn the terrible twos into terrific twos…
Last week my daughter decided to go from happy baby to terrible toddler in the matter of a hot second.
Boy, oh boy, was I flooded with the reality of toddlerhood!
They say the “terrible two’s” are inevitable…. that you can’t escape the wrath of a developing toddler. And for a second, I truly believed it.
My sweet, loving baby went to bed one night blowing kisses at me and woke up the next morning reigning terror in the house.
The more she didn’t listen, the angrier I became.
And the angrier I became, the less patience I had.
Everything that worked for me a week before suddenly became history as I was stuck with a toddler who refused to nap, refused to sit and eat and refused to listen.
I was baffled and honestly didn’t know what to do.
Have you ever felt this way? I’m sure you can relate!
Dealing with the terrible twos isn’t easy, but it IS possible. I refused to listen to the terrifying stories of parents who dealt with a terrible toddler for over 6 months. I knew there had to be a better way!
And one day, I found the perfect solution for how to deal with the terrible twos.
The Great Epiphany
One afternoon, as my daughter was screaming her head off sitting on her bed (refusing to nap!) I sat on her floor with my face buried in my hands. I suddenly had an epiphany…maybe it wasn’t just her.
Maybe she’s genuinely going through a transition and doesn’t know how to deal with it or express it to me so she’s acting out. And maybe I keep fueling her because of how frustrated and overwhelmed I am.
I looked at my sweet baby girl and saw her face was all red and blotchy from crying– my heart immediately melted. I looked into her eyes and said “can mommy give you a hug?” and she jumped into my arms and nestled her head into my shoulder.
From that moment on, I was determined to make the terrible twos the terrific twos!
I use the Mommy & Me Planner to help me track her schedule and my tasks so I was able to go back to the week that she started to change and see if anything out of the ordinary happened.
And I realized that particular week she skipped all of her naps, we ate at odd times, and I didn’t take the time to play with her.
Then it hit me—she was out of her normal routine and schedule!
She felt like a fish out of water flopping around desperately trying to get back into her water.
So I immediately went into damage control and started to work on getting her back on her schedule and routine that she thrived on.
Take One step at a time
Every day, I took one step at a time.
I stayed calm and did not get angry through every tantrum she threw. I talked to her with love and patience even though I wanted to yell. I sat with her in her room during her nap times to make her feel like she wasn’t missing anything. I put my phone on silent and would sit on the floor and play with her. I sat at her little table and ate with her.
I worked on building her confidence while re-establishing her routine. I failed a couple of times but I was determined to keep trying to stay calm and radiate patience.
It took almost 10 days, but it PAID OFF.
No more tantrums before nap or bedtime.
No more refusing to eat or sleep.
No more kicking and screaming every time I ask her to do something.
A complete 180 turn!
The ONE Thing That Stopped the Terrible Twos
The one thing I did to stop the terrible twos was– give my daughter extra love. I re-evaluated the way I was parenting and my emotions.
I exercised an insane amount of patience.
When your toddler acts out, it’s usually because of an emotion they are feeling or an action that triggered an emotion. Instead of just dealing with my toddler’s bad actions, I dealt with why she was feeling that way.
Instead of getting angry and frustrated, I would show compassion and empathy, letting her know I understood what she was feeling.
This didn’t mean I didn’t disciple her for her bad actions, telling her it was okay to yell or throw. But I disciplined in a way that didn’t make her feel worse than she did already.
How to Deal with the Terrible Twos
If you’re truly struggling with terrible two symptoms then I encourage you to try at least 1 of these tactics. These strategies completely helped me kick the terrible twos to the curb!
- Show Extra Love
When your little one is throwing tantrums and flailing their body around like a windmill, give him a hug. When your toddler is screaming at the top of her lungs, give her a kiss.
I know this sounds crazy, but it really works!
You are showing your child sympathy and understanding. Not because you approve of their behavior, but because you want them to feel better. And as you are showing your toddler extra love, be sure to explain that you don’t approve of their behavior, but you are sorry that they are angry (or sad or frustrated).
- Be Patient & Slow to Anger
It’s reaalllyyyy easy to just want to blow up when your baby is in mid-tantrum. Trust me, I’ve done it plenty of times.
But ever since I’ve started to truly exercise patience, my daughter no longer *expects* me to react.
Sometimes I truly think she would do something bad just to get a rise out of me. Instead of giving her my TeKa wrath (you know the big lava monster in Moana, with sweeping red fire arms…), I stay calm.
- Remove Your Child From Things That Would Cause Bad Actions
Sometimes you just have to remove your child from a situation altogether. If you know your toddler screams every time you put the playdoh away, don’t let him play with it for a while in order to not provoke the emotion.
Little actions like this will prevent meltdowns. And then once you feel like your little one is getting better at handling things, you can start introducing it again.
3 Things I’ve Learned
I’ve learned 3 things from this recent experience:
- Toddlers need more love and attention than we think.
Just when we think they know how much we love them, always show more! That extra tight hug and bedtime kiss help solidify their emotions.
- Babies THRIVE on schedules and routines.
A schedule and routine will help your child know what their day looks like. It gives them a sense of comfort because they can expect what is going to happen next.
If your child is used to napping and suddenly doesn’t nap, they don’t understand why they feel tired and will act out. A routine also helps you anticipate their needs too!
If you want to find out all the awesome benefits of a schedule for your baby, read this article!
- Investing more time into the small moments with your children will always pay off.
Bonding is still so important! Spend more time playing with your child and enjoy the little moments. Watch your child as the color. Sit on the floor with them as they play.
The dishes can wait. The laundry can wait. Those moments may seem insignificant, but you are bonding with your child in such a special way.
Download a Free Mommy & Me Planner!
If it wasn’t for the Mommy & Me Planner, I wouldn’t have been able to pinpoint what was making my daughter act out.
I would have just chalked it up to “terrible twos” and accepted that she had changed. But in reality, it was ME who had changed things and it negatively affected her!
The Mommy & Me Planner is a mom planner and baby tracker combo—so you can track your child’s schedule and routine WHILE planning your tasks, all in one place!
The Mommy & Me Planner is 15 FREE pages from the full planner, and I know you will absolutely love it!
Get the Free Mini Planner now!
So, if you’re experiencing your own meltdown and your baby suddenly went from angel to terror, I’m right there with ya!
Put in the time to give them some extra love and be patient and slow to anger. I know it seems like it’s absolutely impossible sometimes, but it will really pay off!
Remember, sometimes it’s the smallest things that make the biggest impact.
A week ago, I thought I was doomed to live in the land of terrible twos. And today, I’m sitting at my table with a cup of coffee watching Hallmark Christmas movies while my daughter is napping. Tantrum-free.
Don’t lose hope and know that you’re doing a great job.
You got this, mama!
Want To read more posts about #toddlerlife? Check out these articles!
- The Perfect Toddler Daily Routine to Prevent Tantrums
- The Best Toddler Morning Activities to Keep Them Busy
- How to Create Your Own Toddler Screen Time Rules