How to deal with the “terrible twos”

Written by M. Larson

toddlersHelp! My two-year-old (red-headed little delight) has decided he’s not going to nap anymore and then spends the day controlling the house with his tears and outbursts. He’s so tired and only wants to wear his PJ’s, yet he won’t sleep when put down for a nap. Nothing in his routine has changed and he doesn’t have a soother…now what?

Advice: Welcome to the famous (or infamous) “terrible twos.” When the little darling turned two and for some months after that, he was your “delight.” And now! What happened?

Well, don’t worry! He is just acting normal for his age. The book, Child Behavior, says this:

“The 2-1/2-year old is not, temperamentally, an easy, adaptable member of any social group. The change which takes place between 2 and 2-1/2 can be rather overwhelming, perhaps to child as well as to the adults who surround him. Two-and-a-half is a peak age of disequilibrium. Parents often say that they can’t do a thing with the child this age.”

So what you do is work around his present characteristics. He is now rigid, inflexible, very domineering and demanding, and constantly changing his mind. His theme is “me do it myself.”

You need to streamline all routines, make the decisions yourself, and try to avoid situations where the child takes over. The good news is that he’ll probably grow out of it when he turns three.

For further information on the development of children, and dealing with them, check out Dr. James C. Dobson’s books at a Christian bookstore (and perhaps other books in the same area).

May the Lord be with you. Dr. Muriel

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