5 Tips For Surviving The “Terrible Twos”

The dreaded term and irritating remark– the “terrible twos.” According to Healthline, this stage of toddlerhood is when your child is learning to walk, talk, have opinions, experience emotions, and begin to understand how to share and take turns. Although trying, this is a normal developmental phase that often results in tantrums and defiant behavior. Surviving the terrible twos may feel like it will never end, but understanding and having ways to mitigate your child’s behavior is crucial.

The “Terrible Twos”

This developmental stage is when your child gains the capacity for new skills and abilities and even begins to gain a sense of self.  Emotional outbursts and meltdowns are frequent occurrences while surviving the terrible twos. Here at Wake Forest Pediatrics, we want to equip you with tips and tricks to help guide you through this often turbulent time of toddlerhood.

1. Stick To A Schedule

Whether organizing time for sleeping, eating, playing, or all three, sticking to a schedule is sure to help you in surviving the terrible twos. As creatures of habit, toddlers acknowledge predictability as safe and comfortable. This feeling of consistency often helps to decrease outsized emotions in your toddler. Additionally, sticking to a schedule for eating and snacking will help reduce hunger-related tantrums. 

2. Keep Your Cool

We get it, remaining calm is much easier said than done. Try remembering this is a normal part of your child’s growth and development. Research shows tantrums occur in 87% of 18 to 24-month-olds, 91% of 30 to 36-month-olds, and 59% of 42 to 48-month-olds. When your child throws a tantrum, take a deep breath, try to keep your cool, and remember this moment won’t last forever. To help reduce the meltdown, and save your sanity, try redirecting your child to focus on something different. 

3. Be Consistent With Discipline

Any child learning about emotions and abilities is sure to test the limits– this is well known for anyone surviving the terrible twos. Let your child know that some actions have consequences, and they will be disciplined for unacceptable behaviors. Some consequences may include time-outs (or time-ins), helping with chores, or early bedtime. And try your hardest not to cave in! Succumbing to the tantrum will only make it more difficult the next time. Staying strong and sticking to your ground will only help you in the long run.

4. Offer Options

Because your child is experiencing the need for control for the first time, giving them options will help them feel less powerless in situations. Telling your child what to do at all hours of the day often leads them to feel no sense of control and can lead to tantrums. Throughout the day, try offering options that they can choose from. For example, “do you want pasta or a sandwich for lunch?”, or “do you want to play outside or inside?”. Be careful not to give them options that cross boundaries, like asking them if they want to nap or play. Napping and playing should remain consistent and not up to the toddler’s discretion.

5. Value Nap Time

Last but certainly not least, value, cherish, and respect the nap. Not only is sleeping essential for your child’s development, but it is also an excellent time for you to destress and take a few minutes for yourself. Try planning outings around your child’s scheduled nap time to eliminate irritability and exhaustion-related tantrums. 
Having a toddler brings immense joy and pride; however, the terrible twos can often leave you feeling depleted and frustrated. These tips are intended to give you more knowledge on getting through this stage of toddlerhood with as few bumps in the road as possible. Do you have more questions about surviving the terrible twos? To talk to our team about a care plan for your child, call our Wake Forest office at 919-556-4779 or our Knightdale office at 919-266-5059 or make an appointment.

Mask Update / Actualizar de máscaras

We are excited to announce beginning September 1, 2022 Masks will be OPTIONAL for our patients, visitors, and staff while at both of our locations. Masks are NOT OPTIONAL if you have any of the following symptoms: FEVER, CHILLS, COUGH, TROUBLE BREATHING, FATIGUE, ACHES, HEADACHE, LOSS OF TASTE OR SMELL, SORE THROAT, CONGESTION, RUNNY NOSE, NAUSEA, VOMITING OR DIARRHEA  You will need… Continue Reading

Managing ADHD In Your Child

Parenting an ADHD child can be exhausting and frustrating. The demands of managing this disorder can test your patience and put a strain on your relationship with your child. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 6.1 million American children have been diagnosed with ADHD. Managing ADHD is difficult, but with all of… Continue Reading

Discussing Mental Health With Children

As a parent, having a happy and healthy child is indispensable. Yet, in an unabashed world filled with unforeseen circumstances leaving a lasting imprint on the world, it is important to make your child aware and equipped to handle real-life issues. Anxiety, stress, and negative emotions are at the forefront of an array of mental… Continue Reading

Common Reasons Your Child Wets The Bed

Bedwetting, also called nighttime incontinence or nocturnal enuresis, is not uncommon in toddlers. According to AACAP, twenty percent of children wet the bed at the age of five. However, continued bedwetting past the toddler stage may be caused by an underlying issue rather than the occasional accident. There are several reasons your child wets the bed,… Continue Reading

Tips For Traveling With Your Child In The Car

The infamous question – “Are we there yet”? Sitting in the car for extended periods can be difficult for anyone. Add a toddler or two, and you might start to sweat at even the mere thought. But with a bit of planning, some snacks, and lots of pastime activities, you can travel with your child… Continue Reading

Hot Weather Safety for Kids

The hot weather and intense UV rays of the summer are here, and while this is a fun time of the year for many families, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the basics of hot weather safety for kids. Both infants and children sweat less than adults, which reduces their ability to cool down, making… Continue Reading

Changes in Insurance Participation Effective July 1, 2022

Effective July 1, 2022 we will no longer be accepting the following Medicaid Managed Care Health Plans: AmeriHealth Caritas of North Carolina Carolina Complete Health ***If you wish to keep either of these plans, you will need to transfer your child’s care to a provider who is in network*** To continue seeing our providers you… Continue Reading

8 Brain Games to Keep Kids Sharp During Summer

Summer vacation has begun, which means your children are enjoying a well-deserved break, but how much of a break is too much? While vacation is meant to be relaxing, too much time away from a routine and regular lessons can lead to summer learning loss. In fact, studies have found that the average student loses… Continue Reading

patient portal