Anyone with a toddler can tell you that the ‘terrible twos’ really do seem to be a real thing. Not listening, being fussy eaters and throwing tantrums are all common issues. Of course, it’s part of their development and understanding of the world. However, it can be very challenging for us parents! So how do you survive the terrible twos? My way of handling it is to take a breath and remember the last wonderful thing that my daughter did. Although it might not feel like it mid-tantrum, there are lots of great things to be enjoyed about this age (clearly you’ve caught me on a good day!)
I really enjoy the fully fledged conversations I can have with Autumn now. She’ll even start fun conversations and has a great imagination. Sometimes she’ll say things like “I lub you Mummy”, which is an amazing feeling! We can make food together, do gardening, go for walks and play proper games. When I’m hurt, she understands and kisses me better. In many ways, I think two might even be my favourite age! I’m sure I won’t be thinking that next time she’s embarrassing me by misbehaving in a public place. However, when she’s gone to bed, I mostly find myself looking back on all the fun we’ve had and the cute or funny things she’s said or done.
I’ve been talking to others in the blogging community about their experiences and why, perhaps, two year olds aren’t quite so ‘terrible’ after all.
“At 2 my eldest became a big brother. Watching him transition from an only child to a sibling was lovely. He would sit there stroking his head and gave him kisses constantly for the first year of his life” – Jaymee, The Mum Diaries
“When I had my second baby I took them out for the first time on my own to a playgroup. I was trying to get my toddler’s snack but the baby who had been fast asleep at the side of the room in his car seat, suddenly began wailing. I was in a fluster as I had a plate of snacks in one hand and a cup of tea in the other and didnt have enough hands! But my toddler quietly stood up and began gently rocking the car seat to stop him crying. It was such a lovely moment and I felt like we were a little team!” – Jennie, Rice Cakes and Raisins
“The way she looks after her baby brother, says “don’t worry, don’t cry” gives him his Dummy and shouts “Mammy, he needs a cuddle”. She is always looking out for him, cuddling & kissing him & saying she loves him.” – Nicola, The Merralls Home
“My two year old has started playing so nicely with his three year old brother. He also joins in with us at dinner, he tries to have a conversation and always tells us how nice the food is.” – Kate, Modern Mum
“My daughter (2 also) will cuddle her 6 year old brother if he is upset or annoyed about something. I told him off the other week, for jumping on the sofa and asked him to take a moment to cool off. As he did, my daughter walked up to me told me off for making her brother sad and sat next to him on time out stroking his face saying it’s ok.
She always shares her food with people too, if you say no she’ll look you dead in the eyes and say please.” – Aaron, The Busy Papa
Caring and Helping
“My daughter got her ironing board out today to “help” me with my ironing. Didn’t even ask. She just run to the playroom, grabbed it and set it up and said she wanted to help! What a star!” – Laura, Savings 4 Savvy Mums
“My two year old now is responsible for feeding our cat Rambo and caring for him. I believe that kids that are kind to animals often are kind to others too.” – Carla-Marie, My Bump 2 Baby
“My two year old helps out! She has always loved (and had a connection) animals. She now wants to help feed the dog, clean out the rabbits, muck out the horses and walk the pony. It’s great to watch her enjoy doing this and also seeing how fearless she is around the big horses.” – Jade, Jade’s Journey
“Giving me their last chocolate was a highlight when our son was two. Will always remember that.” – Kate, LesBeMums
Independence and Imagination
“I loved 2. Seeing their independence and stubbornness come into play. Our boy started talking to his toys at 2 and still does now at 5. They have their own voices and it is the most heartwarming thing I’ve ever seen ” – Sinead, Sinead Latham
“I love how they totally believe in the magic! At two my daughter just sat down on Main Street at Disney and took it all in, she met Minnie Mouse and totally believed it was her. 2 is my favourite age!” – Mummies Waiting
“I love how I can see his imagination growing by the day – when he’s playing it’s like there’s a story unfolding with his toys and he’s lost in his own little world with them. And of course he likes to tell me about it too!” – Amy, Mums Full of Dreams
“Dexter started understanding emotions at around 2.5 and he could see when I was happy or sad. If he sees me sad or crying, he comes over and gives me a big hug and says ‘Mama happy please, don’t be sad’. Absolutely melts my heart and if I am crying, I usually cry harder!” – Nicola, Mummy to Dex
“When he thought one of us were upset, he would sing twinkle twinkle as loud as he could to cheer us up. It nearly almost always worked!” – Fern, Mumconventional
“My son runs up to family members when they’re hurt and tells them he’s a doctor and kisses us all better.” Lisa, The Family Ticket
“The funny way they say things. For instance basgetti instead of spaghetti. I’ve taught him to say “I’m not a baby, I’m a toddler” too, which he follows up with “I’m not a toddler I want to be a baby” It makes my heart swell” – Erica, The Incidental Parent
“They are amazing creatures, the acquisition of language and understanding is just flabbergasting. When they’re not throwing themselves on the floor in a rage they are so damn cute, mixing their words up and ‘do it myseeeellsss’. OK I might be looking back with rose tinted glasses, but three is worse ;)” – Frances, Whinge Whinge Wine
So, as you can see, the terrible twos aren’t always terrible. In a way, the tantrums make these amazing moments even sweeter. I know a lot of parents dread the age of two because of its reputation. However, if you’re a new mum reading this, please don’t worry. You’ve got this. And as you’ve seen above, having a two year old is also fantastic. They’re becoming their own little person and it’s great fun getting to know them more.
If you do need advice though, you aren’t alone! Check out this great post from Jennie at Midwife and Life.
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