You have been raising a sweet little angel and overnight they have turned into a hell raiser, otherwise known as the "terrible twos." Bet you never thought that it would ever possibly happen to you!
Your little one seems to be defying you at every turn and is bent on destroying almost every item in your house.
She/he is refusing to listen to you, they commit acts of violence towards their siblings, refuse to eat on occasion, and say hurtful things to you.
The terrible twos are now upon you, and you will need to decide the best course of action to ensure everyone's survival. Consider this parenting tip for toddler behavior, first.
Understand "Why the Sudden Behavior Change?"
First you need to understand why your child has undergone this change in behavior all of a sudden. They are now expressing a greater awareness of both themselves and those around them.
Combined with a lack of verbal communication skills, your child may become frustrated and begin acting out in defiance, they are also learning to stretch their boundaries and push their limits.
This may appear to be selfish-behaviour, but in fact it is not. They are learning and it is up to you as their parents to teach them the difference between right and wrong.
Keep in mind, that just because they are called the terrible twos, it doesn't mean that every child will only experience these behaviors during the age of two. You may see changes in your child's behavior after and sometimes before the age of two, it will depend on each individual.
Focus on the Issue and Push Aside your Frustration and Anger
This is imperative, because, when your child is throwing a screeching fit or outright defying you, punishing your child in anger may only serve to make the situation worse.
It is during this age that you will want to start implementing discipline techniques such as time outs and taking away privileges, things that your child will understand.
Structure and Routine
A child experiencing undesirable behavior needs structure in their schedule, regardless of how busy your life may be. This is really the only stage in your child's development where a schedule needs to be adhered to, for the simple reason of maintaining the sanity of the entire family.
Set strict limits, and do not stray from them when your child tries to stretch them. When it is needed, apply discipline in a consistent manner and pattern, so that the child does not receive a mixed message.
Do not make threats to your child that you can not possibly follow through with, it will only give them more reason not to listen to you the next time if they know you are not serious.
Finally, when you have to discipline your child for one reason or another, make sure that you explain why you are doing so. Never give in to their tantrums.
Disciplining your toddler during the early stages of behavior problems, starts with you. In truth, disciplining will more than likely start long before the terrible twos do. So, the more time you are able to spend with your child helping them to develop their communication skills and abilities while they are very young, the better your chances of not experiencing some of the more frustrating aspects that the terrible twos may bring.
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