The Myth of the Terrible Two Year Old

You may have heard many stories about the “terrible two’s” that involves core behaviors and parenting nightmares. Now, a two-year-old can be a challenge behavior wise but can also be a pure joy to spend time with. When a child turns two, and he he or she enters a period of time of immense curiosity, exploration and development in all areas. This child wants to know what’s around the corner, to climb, get into and taste everything in sight.

One of the aspects of this age that often sparks the myth of the terrible two-year-old is behavior problems. The most important thing to remember is that a little person of this age is just learning how to handle emotions. They understand being happy, sad and angry but do not understand yet how to appropriately communicate what they are feeling. If something upsets them, children at this age may act out by hitting, biting or throwing a fit. The parent has to stay calm and model the appropriate way to behave. If the child is unwilling to listen, a timeout allows the child to calm down until he or she is ready to listen.

These children watch and absorb everything around them, including the behaviors and actions of adults. Parents the model a positive form of communication in appropriate ways to express feelings help their two-year-old to learn the appropriate way to interact with others. A calm, patient parent will be able to deal with behaviors much easier than someone who allows himself to get upset.

Two-year-old’s can be enormously fun to interact with. The curious nature and continuous wonder at everything they see are some of the most enjoyable aspects of this age. They will have a million questions about everything and can have hours of fun playing pretend with an old box. Parents can enjoy this time by being open to their questions and staying calm during moments of inappropriate behavior.

Dads can really have a huge influence at this age by interacting with their children as much as possible. Having a positive male influence at this early in their development to be extremely important for their later self-esteem and self-image. This is extremely critical with young boys, as many in today’s society do not have a positive male influence in their life.

Two-year-old’s are very manageable when parenting is consistent and positive. Parents can have wonderful memories of this time, especially with dads. Ignore the stories and take the myth with a grain of salt, instead approaching your two-year-old with excitement and positive energy. There will be rough moments, but they will be nothing compared to the fun that you will have with this small, energetic bundle of curious energy.