Dealing with Terrible Twos: How Terrible Can It Be?

two year old

Ah, the ear-piercing scream that comes out of a toddler after you tell them that they can’t sleep in the dryer! Music to my ears? Not so much.

The terrible twos.

When your sweet baby turns into a raging little monster, the terrible twos have arrived.

Dealing with terrible twos doesn’t have to be a family strain, get into the mind of your toddler and prepare for “fun” ahead!

Signs of the Terrible Twos

So when do terrible twos start? Besides being two-years-old, there are some signs you can watch out for to see if your little one is arriving at the terrible twos. 


When they start to get an opinion of their own and resisting yours, that is a sure sign that they are well on their way to being a terrible two. 


Here is the thing, your child will be moody at several points in their young life, but two-year-olds have the attitude of a teenager with the self-control of a toddler. 

Why is Dealing With Terrible Twos So Bad?

Your toddler is going through a lot right now! At two years old, toddlers have the ability to voice opinions and act on them without any consciousness. 

They’re newly able to walk, talk, have emotions and opinions. All without really any ability to control these things. It’s a lot, and we would be freaking out too!

What to Do?

When you find yourself at wit’s end with your toddler, it can be hard to think of what to when you’re in the moment.

Here are some techniques you can use with your toddler when they are having a case of the terrible twos.

Redirect Attention

Do not reward bad behavior with what they want (toys, dessert, etc.) and extra attention. Instead, redirect the attention of your toddler to something else. Play a song, read a book, give them a task to distract them from the naughty thing they were doing. 

Focus their attention on something positive.

Avoid Open-Ended Questions

When you ask a toddler something, give them options or make it a yes or no answer. Avoid asking open-ended questions.

If you’ve got an opinionated little terrible two, it is a good idea to give them a couple of options to choose from. For example, “do you want to play with the doll or the truck?” This will let them feel empowered, while still giving you control.

Bonus — your toddler won’t get frustrated trying to think of something to play with. 

Be Patient

The obvious one. Be patient with your little one. 

They are learning and growing at such a quick rate. It must be so frustrating to want to be able to do so much without knowing how. Put yourself in their shoes and you’ll watch your patience grow.

Give Them Space to Grow, but Stand By

A two-year-old definitely needs supervision, but give them the chance to learn and make mistakes. Having a sense of independence while knowing mom or dad will still be there for them may help reduce outcries. 

You’ve Got This!

So when do the terrible twos end? Technically when they turn three.

But, you think terrible twos are bad? Wait until they are a three-nager! 

Want to read more posts about dealing with terrible twos? Check out our blog!

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