When I became a parent for the first time and my eldest was approaching her second birthday, I heard the term “terrible twos”.
Most posts I read about the toddler stage were mostly about how terrible the stage was, I was warned and told that “your child is nice now, wait till they turn two” “oh the stage is so horrible”. I don’t want to lie, this kind of scared me
But when my child turned two, what I discovered was different from what I was told.
The twos were not terrible but terrific.
Every moment of every day with toddlers has the potential to go wrong, boundary-pushing, limit-testing but that doesn’t make the toddlers terrible.
The toddler stage is one of the stages I enjoy as a mother
The way you think about your two-year-old and your position throughout the toddler years is critical to helping you and your child enjoy this stage.
Here are 3 tips on how to enjoy the terrific twos.
1. Look at your child’s heart behind their action
1 Samuel 16:7
“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
The other day I was mopping, and midway I had back pain and decided to take a little break, while I was resting. My little human saw the bucket with the mop that I was using to clean and took out the mop, making a big mess. A few seconds later, there was water everywhere, he was wet, and when I asked what he was doing, he said “I’m cleaning mama”
My toddler’s actions made a big mess, but his heart was to help.
Yes, his help may cause mommy to double the workload but this stage is still my favorite because my little human is learning to be a helpful human. His heart is in the right direction; his actions might need a little more help.
2. Fill up your child’s attention and power buckets
According to Amy McCready kids have two buckets, attention and power buckets and they need to be filled on a daily basis. If these buckets are not filled in a positive way, your child will take matters into their own hands and start misbehaving.
These buckets are figurative and we must pour love and attention into daily
We fill our child’s bucket when we hold, caress, nurture, touch, sing, play, and provide loving attention, safety, and care
Spending undivided attention with my kids during playtime, mealtime makes them happy and in return, they tend to play independently easily and causing little to no mess at all. I find that with my kids the mess, tantrums are a cry for attention.
Engaging in their conversations, using positive communications, encouraging comments are other ways that I use to fill up their attention buckets.
Around the toddler stage, most toddlers want to do things on their own; they might have a little trouble communicating this verbally. I like giving him options or asking for his preferences on certain things; this tends to fill their power bucket in a positive way.
During breakfast time I ask what he would like to eat, cereal or sandwich. Egg or PB&J. This method makes me love the terrific twos even more
3. Know your child’s triggers
You’ve undoubtedly seen and experienced your child acting out at a grocery store, from emotional breakdown to aggressive behavior. I believe there are reasons for their meltdowns and identifying and knowing the cause can help reduce these unpleasant moments.
I have come to notice that my child acts differently when they’re hungry, bored, or may have missed their nap time. If we’ll be going to a play that I know they might be bored with, I prepare activities that they can carry to play with to help them cure boredom.
I usually go grocery shopping or for library visits early in the morning before his nap time or later in the day after his nap. I know we’ll both have a pleasant shopping experience.
Kids, like adults, have triggers that cause them to behave in less-than-ideal ways, it helps to know them.
The twos are not terrible, they’re terrific. I hope these tips, will help you in this journey with your two-year-old. Share more tips in the comments down below.