Ask any first time soon to be parent how they feel about having a child, and they’re likely to burst into a smile and glow with enthusiasm. Ah yes, the sweet baby bliss that is life before having to grapple with toddler screaming tantrums and other behavior that the terrible twos is known for.
Ask any seasoned parent who has been through the terrible twos, and they’ll give you a much different answer than a first time soon to be parent. After all, with experience comes wisdom, and wisdom can help navigate the terrible twos like a pro parent.
So, what are the terrible twos and are they really all that terrible? How does a sweet, innocent, and impossibly adorable baby become a raging toddler that won’t eat, won’t sleep, won’t listen, and won’t stop crying? Can’t stop, won’t stop, all day, everyday! Well, you can thank brain development for that.
A baby’s brain grows at an extraordinary rate during their first year of life and well into their third year. So by the time they hit the two year mark, infants begin exploring the art of figuring out who they are and pushing boundaries. This includes developing a distaste for certain foods, temper tantrums, challenging authority, and other challenging behaviors.
So how can parents stay sane during the terrible twos and help their children do the same? Take a look at these terrific tips.
Take a parenting class or two or three
This is especially true for first time parents, but even veteran parents can always learn a new thing or two when it comes parenting. After all, there’s no such thing as a parent handbook or guide, and many parents refine their techniques as they go. Taking a parenting class, specifically one geared towards navigating the terrible twos, can help parents in dealing with toddler tantrums, finding healthy food for picky toddlers, and more!
Communicate and then communicate some more
You don’t need to take a parenting class to know that communication is the glue that holds effective parenting together. Whether you’re coparenting with your ex, married, engaged, or dating the other parent of your child, it’s important to be on the same page as them in terms of parenting style. Consistency is the key when it comes to creating a safe, comfortable, and supportive environment for a child, and standing united in parenting techniques and styles will make all the difference in a positive way.
Don’t forget about self care
A lot of parents — and people for that matter — make the assumption that taking care of oneself is selfish, when in reality, it’s one of the best things you can do as a parent. How can you expect to be in tip top shape and care for the ones you love if you haven’t even made time to take care of yourself? Practicing self care, and doing so religiously, is great way to tackle the terrible twos with finesse, grace, confidence, and perhaps even a little sense of humor.