For parents of young children, the terrible twos and threes can be a trying time. From temper tantrums to sleepless nights, it can feel like everything is going wrong. However, there are some silver linings to this phase of life. For one thing, it’s a sign that your child is growing and developing. They’re learning to express their emotions and desires, and they’re testing the limits of what they can get away with. As frustrating as it can be, try to see the terrible twos and threes as a positive step in your child’s development.
There’s no magic wand that can instantly fix all the problems associated with the terrible twos and threes, but there are some techniques that can help. Here are eight of them:
Set limits and be consistent
From tantrums to testing boundaries, it can be tempting to give in to your child’s demands. However, one of the most important things you can do during this stage is to set limits for their behavior. By setting clear boundaries, you can help your child understand what is acceptable and what is not. This will help to prevent tantrums and meltdowns, and it will also give your child a sense of security.
For example, if you don’t want your child to hit, yell, or throw things, make sure that you consistently enforce this rule. Whenever your child hits, yells, or throws something, calmly explain to them why this behavior is not allowed. If necessary, remove them from the situation until they’ve calmed down.
Give them choices
When faced with a demanding child, it can be tempting to say “no” all the time. However, this can often lead to tantrums and meltdowns. Instead of saying “no” all the time, try giving your child some choices. For example, give them two or three options to choose from if they’re trying to decide what to wear. You can also give them choices about which book they’d like to read. Doing so will give your child a sense of control, reducing tantrums and meltdowns.
Use positive reinforcement
When your child exhibits good behavior, praise them for it. This will help them understand what behavior is expected of them and encourage them to continue behaving in this manner. You can use verbal praise, physical affection, or rewards to provide positive reinforcement. Just be sure not to overdo it, as this can lead to bad behavior.
Ignore minor misbehavior
If your child is acting up in a minor way, try to ignore it. For example, don’t give them the attention they’re seeking if they’re whining or making faces. Instead, redirect their attention to something else. By ignoring minor misbehavior, you can prevent it from escalating into a full-blown tantrum.
Give them time to calm down
If your child is having a tantrum or meltdown, the best thing you can do is to give them some time to calm down. Once they’ve calmed down, you can talk to them about what happened and why their behavior was unacceptable. It’s important to stay calm during this process. Raising your voice or yelling will only worsen the situation and do more harm than good.
It’s normal to feel frustrated when dealing with terrible twos and threes. However, it’s important to try to stay positive during this time. Remember that this phase of life is only temporary, and eventually, your child will outgrow it.
In the meantime, try to focus on the positive aspects of your child’s behavior. For example, if they’re throwing tantrums because they want a toy, praise them for being patient and waiting until you can get it. It’s also important to savor this phase in your child’s life because they’re all grown up before you know it.
Keep your child occupied
Boredom is one of the main culprits of terrible twos and threes behavior. If your child is bored, they’re more likely to act out in an attempt to get your attention. To prevent this from happening, keep your child occupied with age-appropriate activities. This can include puzzles, coloring books, or even simple games. You can also give them fun and interactive toys that keep them engaged for hours!
Fix nap and meal schedules
Children who are tired or hungry are more likely to have a tantrum or meltdown. To prevent this, stick to a regular nap and meal schedule. Plan your day around their needs, so they’re never too tired or hungry. Doing so will help ensure your child is less prone to meltdowns.
Every parent knows that the terrible twos and threes can be a challenging time. Kids at this age are learning to assert their independence, and they often test the limits of what they can get away with. But with these tips, you can make it through this phase without too much stress and worry!
At The Pillars Christian Learning Center, our mission is to provide high-quality early childhood education while instilling and exemplifying Christian Values. Our vision is to partner with you as a parent to build your child a firm foundation for a lifetime of success and achievement — in their academics, their relationships, and their Faith. Visit our website to learn more!