My happy, very good, cheerful child has changed overnight in to a crying, whining NO NO NO NO to everything baby !! Welcome to the Terrible Twos stage!
4 days ago Chloe woke up as a totally different child. Instead of seeing her happy smiley face in the morning I got crying Chloe who was getting in to tantrums every 5 minutes about everything !!! And that’s how she is since then.
Everything is a “NO”! Oh no it’s not only one NO, its “NO NO NO MUMMY” !!! With a finger shake added for impact and very often a tantrum when she is throwing herself on the floor and crying like crazy without a reason …..
It starts from the early morning:
Mum: Chloe do you want to go downstairs?
Mum: Chloe do you want your milk (she loves her morning milk)
Mum: I go and make it anyway, while I do it I am being told million of times “No No No mummy”, then she throws herself on the floor and starts to cry … I try to cuddle her; she throws herself on the floor and cries while saying “No mummy No”; I make the milk and leave it on the table … Few seconds later she is drinking it?
Mum: Chloe let’s go and play
Mum: If she doesn’t want to play I will make myself a coffee …
Chloe: No No No No mummy !
Mum: Eeerrrrr No what? I am not even looking at her at this moment !!!! And then she is off to play happily.
Mum: Chloe let’s go and change your nappy.
Chloe: NO NNNNOOOOO mummy. Off I take her screaming and crying upstairs, and I will just say that changing a nappy becomes a performance of its own.
This gives you a taste of how my last few days have been looking. Everything is a “NO”, lots of crying, tantrums … And try to tell her No to something 😂 the meltdown that you get is something.
This episode in your toddlers’ life is called the TERRIBLE TWOs or as some likes to call it TODDLER REFUSAL! It can develop at any time between 19 months and 30 months. Comes unannounced and strikes with full power, then disappears without a word (I hope so !!!!). It can last anything from a few days to a few weeks but the specialists say that it will definitely go away sooner or later, so remember and keep repeating: it’s just a phase, it’s just a phase…. The reasons behind this behaviour is simple- toddlers say “no” because they can. “They’ve just found out that they have a will, and they want to exercise it,”(Susanne Denham, Professor of Developmental Psychology at George Mason University). When it comes to the tantrums different specialists say different things: some say that we are being tested by the kids to see if having a tantrum will give them what they want, some say that it’s because a toddler cannot express itself, some say that it’s just a reaction to escape a demand and some that it’s pure attention seeking.
There are tricks which can help with this difficult stage and I must say they work. Sometimes they will make the tantrum go away, sometimes they will prevent it, but remember they will not stop it totally and you have to be prepared for the battle of wills.
1. Offer choices
Give your toddler options. Options on how to do something, not if they want to do it. It makes them feel in control of what they are doing and that makes them happy.
If you ask him/her if they want breakfast the answer will be a very loud NO though we know that they want to eat! Instead give an option of cereal or toast.
I found meal times especially difficult. Chloe would just scream when I put her in her highchair, she would scream if I took her off … I didn’t have a clue what to do! So I started giving her lots of different things on her plate so she could choose what she wanted to eat (one main meal which is what we are eating and lots of different vegetables, few plain pasta, a fruit). This and taking the highchair tray off so she could “sit with us at the table” worked miricles and she started eating pretty much everything again.
When dressing them give options of two outfits and get them to try and dress themselves.
Going for a walk I would ask Chloe what shoes she wants to wear and if she wants to walk or take the pram.
If she/he kick off with yet another tantrum just get them to look at something, pretend that you hear something, show them another toy etc. Works 70% of the time. This will stop them crying for long enough so you can show them something what will keep them occupied. I always say “Chloe have you seen the train?” (she is obsessed with them) and then take her to another room and try to play with her.
When changing a nappy (which for some reason Chloe started hating with a passion) I use toys to stop the tantrum and crying. I tell her that we will change theirs nappies afterwards and she can clean theirs bums, or I tell her that all of her favourite toys are looking at her, and they will scream and cry when she tries to change their nappies 😁 so far it has been working.
Sometimes nothing will work and you just will need to let them cry and calm down a bit. If the reason behind the tantrum is you saying “No” to something then you will have to ignore it. As tempting as it is do not give in and stay strong, if not your toddler might learn that if they behave that way they will always get what they want …. And you don’t want to incurage behaviour like that, do you ?😊 or you can just lay down and scream with them 😊
4. Little helpers
Get them to help you with whatever you are doing. Kids love to “help”, it makes them happy. Be prepared for everything to take twice as long, but I will be worth it. Helping with hanging the washing, folding clothes, tidying up, dusting etc