Terrible 2s. Are they real? Excuse for crappy parenting? I always thought they were a myth.
Before I had kids, I spoke as if I was a parenting expert. It’s funny how before you become a parent, you think you know everything. Anytime I saw a toddler throwing a tantrum (kicking and screaming) or a mom handing a kid an iPhone, I secretly thought, hey look, its parent of the year. Little did I know tantrums are sometimes unavoidable and that I too would be handing over my iPhone to avoid public castaphrophes.
You know when you see that kid.
In public, he screams at the top of his lungs. The screams are so high-pitched literally everyone turns around to see- well I have that kid. My middle child (only boy) is currently in the terrible 2s stage of life. Better yet, anyone who comes into contact with him is also experiencing the terrible 2s. And the only word that comes to mind is k-a-r-m-a.
Now here’s the million dollar question. Does every kid go through this stage?
Probably not. I’m sure there are some unicorns out there. I know a lot of kids that skip this phase. HOWEVER, I know just as many kids that go through it. If your kid doesn’t hit this stage, consider yourself lucky. Because honestly somedays I want to scream into a pillow. Thankfully the terrible 2s are slowly coming to an end. Don’t get me wrong, my son still has meltdowns in public. But his listening skills are improving- for a 2-year-old at least.
Here are some things I’ve learned that may help avoid those terrible 2 tantrums:
- Plan things around nap time. If and only if you can. Sometimes you can’t schedule your life around naps or you have more than one kid and this can get tricky. But usually, well-rested kids are less likely to have meltdowns.
- Always offer choices. I’ve found that a toddler is more open to listening if you give them a choice.
- Remember to be the adult. I’ll admit this is hard for me. Sometimes, I lose my cool but it’s essential to stay calm. There’s no point to raise your voice since it just intensifies the tantrum.
- When in doubt, time-out. Sometimes your kid just needs to be put in good ole time-out. I’m a firm believer that time-out sets an example and lets your kid know you mean business.
- Accept that this stage of your life sucks. Understand this is temporary and unfortunately so normal. But the older the child gets, the better they become at communicating and this phase will slowly begin to disappear.
And if you’re thinking, nope that won’t happen to my kid, don’t.
Don’t think it. Don’t say it. Don’t jinx it because you never know what kind of personality your child is going to have. When running errands or out in public, sometimes I give my son my iPhone, OKAY. If it prevents him from causing a major scene, I’m totally ok with it. Look, if watching YouTube Kids for a few minutes, calms him down, then so be it. Not that I need to explain myself or my parenting choices, but I’m just saying. As a parent, do what you gotta do. If someone wants to judge you, ignore it and just remember your little friend called karma.
And remember, like the newborn phase, this will pass. It might feel like FOREVERRRRRRR, but it will. The only thing I can say is may the force be with you.