As far as infants go, your child was a dream. They rarely cried, often slept through the night and were all around, just plain adorable. But they just turned two…and suddenly they’re like a totally different child. They’re constantly picking fights, screaming, acting out and being your worst nightmare. Ah, welcome to the terrible twos aka toddlers and tantrums. While it’s a tough stage to handle, you can take comfort knowing that you aren’t alone and that most parents go through the exact same stage with their kids. It’s extremely common! But that doesn’t make it any easier. Here are some of the most common problems you’ll face dealing with terrible twos, and how to handle them the right way.
1. “My child won’t eat anything except Cheerios and chicken nuggets. I need help dealing with a picky eater toddler!”
Picky toddler eaters can make dinnertime tough…not to mention, you’re concerned about their health and nutritional intake. Toddlers, depending on their age, size, and activity level, need about 1,000-1,400 calories a day which can be hard to get in if they hate most of the food you put in front of them. Fortunately, finding healthy foods for picky kids doesn’t have to be tough. Try mixing veggies in with their favorite foods to avoid the toddlers and tantrums dilemma.
2. “My child has recently become a biter. He or she bites their friends, their classmates, even me when they’re upset or don’t get their way.”
Children often bite when they are frustrated because they don’t know how else to express their feelings. Be patient with them and help them work on healthier coping mechanisms. Teach them to use their words to tell you when they’re upset and remind them that biting is both hurtful and wrong. Keep in mind though that giving the biting too much focus can reinforce the issue and encourage them to continue their bad behavior if they view it as a way to get your attention.
3. “My child gets extremely worked up about every little thing…to the point where I can’t calm him down and he will howl, scream, cry, even hit. It’s over the top and extremely embarrassing when it happens in public. What is going on with these severe outbursts??”
Toddlers and tantrums can seem impossible in the moment, but they’re not. The best thing to do is to wait it out and then, when your child has calmed down, talk about it. Express that you understand their feelings and that you want to help them. Depending on how your child likes to receive affection, you can hug them to help settle their tantrum, too. Sometimes they just need to feel safe and loved!