Ahh the terrible twos – you’ve read about it; you’ve been warned about it; you’ve even made a plan on how to deal with it. But, the sad reality is that when your toddler does reach this stage of defiance, even the best laid plans can go astray. Furthermore, it is important to remember that while a two year old can be difficult, it is not the last time you will be dealing with a naughty misbehaving little boy. There are several bumps along the way to teenager-hood and it’s best to figure out a way to live peacefully with your child now for an easier tomorrow.
Choose a Discipline Style
There are several different way to discipline a child. You may prefer the time out method or you may prefer tough love. We’re not here to tell you the best route to take to discipline your child but it is a good idea to stay constant and firm. If you choose to use a time out method, then stick to it. If you choose to take away a toy whenever he misbehaves, then stick to it every time.
Get on the Same Page with Your Partner
Furthermore, make sure you and your partner are on the same page. Having one of you using the time out corner and the other one using a spanking method will only confuse the child and allow him to play off of you both. When you are a united front, your child has less of a chance of winning
If your child is always getting his way, then he is going to take it even worse then things don’t go just perfect for him. Learning how to say ‘no’ as soon as a child is able to ask is a good way to keep in control and show him that you are the boss. Of course, he is still going to react poorly to not getting his way but he will learn to respect that what you say, goes.
Give Each Other Space
On those really bad days with a tantrumy terrible two year old you may think about putting him for sale on eBay. However, take a few deep breaths before you react. If you need a break, take a time out and let him scream on his own for a while.
Every day is not going to be exactly the same but try to have some structure around nap time, bed time and meal times, if possible. Try to plan your outings in the morning or late afternoon and try to be home for the main meals. Teach your child that meal time is family time.
Give Him Enough Stimulation
A bored child is often a defiant child. Try to vary up his routine and play as much as possible. Outside play is great such as bike riding, sand play, mud play and water play as well as plenty of one on one stimulation with you through books, puzzles and drawing.
Know His Limit
No child likes spending his day shopping for shoes, clothes and groceries. If possible, try to do these errands yourself and know how long your child will last. If he can handle an hour of shopping, then this is the time frame you have to work with. You may be able to push the limit with rewards, such as a ride on the Wiggles Car in the mall or a muffin after you finish the shop.
And, always remember that everyone, even a two year old, has good and bad days. Try not to focus on the bad and instead concentrate on those good, special times when he is actually behaving!