The Terrible Twos How To Combat And Prevent Tantrums

Toddler screaming tantrums

Dealing with terrible twos behavior is perhaps one of the most difficult things a parent will do. A two year old child is no longer quite as easy to understand as an infant — their needs are more complex, their emotional range is expanding, and yes, they have the ability to throw tantrums on purpose to get what they want. Therefore, it can be easy for parents to get frustrated with their toddlers. The most important thing is that you don’t let your frustration get the better of you; you’re still a parent, after all, and while there is a need for discipline, you don’t want it to get in the way of bonding with your child. It’s important that your child trusts you from an early age, and feels safe with you. This bond can help combat the terrible twos behavior, but first you have to figure out why your child is acting the way they are, and how you can not only combat this behavior, but perhaps prevent it in the future. Remember that this kind of behavior is often still a cry for help or attention in some way — it just might not be as simple to fulfill the needs of a toddler as it would be the needs of an infant. Below, we’ll explore why children behave this way as toddlers, and how you can not only train them to be better behaved, but prevent tantrums from happening in the first place.

Why Do The Terrible Twos Happen?

So, why is it that children start acting out at this age in particular? There doesn’t seem to be anything that sets the terrible twos apart in particular — at least not on the surface. But in fact, lots of things are happening that change the way your child thinks and learns as they grow up. From birth to three, a child’s brain develops at an incredibly rapid rate. Within the first year of life, your child’s brain will triple in size and by the time they reach age three, his or her brain will have reached 1,000 trillion connections between neurons. For that matter, the average three year old’s brain is twice as active as the typical adult brain. A lot of the time, a child’s tantrums are the result of them not understanding something, or being frustrated about an inability to communicate. When a parent acts by instincts, they respond to about 50% to 60% of a child’s vocalizations — that means that while you’re responding to a lot, you may not be responding to everything your child vocalizes, and perhaps you aren’t responding in the way they want you to.

How Do I Deal With Toddlers And Tantrums?

The most important thing to remember when dealing with terrible twos behavior is not to lose your patience. If you blow up, your child will react even more negatively and you won’t get anywhere. A time out is always a good option. It allows a child time to be quiet and think. You may also want to try to speak to your child about why they’re being punished. This encourages communication and allows children to feel like they’re actually being heard, which is crucial to mental and emotional development. You may also want to get your child into a regular routine — this means that there will be less of a chance for them to feel disturbed in some way and react negatively.

How Can I Prevent Terrible Twos Behavior?

How do we prevent tantrums before they happen? Well, for one thing, you want your child to be on a good diet. Things like sugar can really make a child feel out of control and overly energized — sometimes even cranky. Try to cut as much of that out of your child’s diet as possible. However, before age two you generally don’t want to restrict fats in a child’s diet, as they are important for brain development. Try reading as well — this can encourage mental development and communication.

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