Many problems parents experience with their 2-year-olds are due to the fact that they are not sure what makes their toddlers tick. Knowing what is happening in your child’s mind at this stage of her development will help the two of you establish a great relationship and turn the terrible twos into the terrific twos.
Your toddler has a whole new world to explore
Imagine finding yourself in a whole new world – you have opened a door to amazing things to see and do, However, someone is trying to prevent you from touching, seeing, smelling and tasting all these new discoveries.
Toddlers are naturally curious about their surroundings and gain knowledge by testing and experimenting with everything they possibly can. This doesn’t mean that you should allow your child to do whatever she wants, but rather discovering her new world with her.
If you are constantly telling your child ‘no’, you can harm her natural sense of curiosity. Instead, simply put things that you don’t want her to touch out of her reach. Your toddler isn’t being naughty, she is simply curious.
Although your toddler doesn’t – and can’t – understand all her boundaries yet, it’s important to establish these from an early age. If there are no set rules and boundaries, you can expect chaos in your child’s life; therefore you should explain what the difference is between right and wrong. Be consistent. Knowing what his boundaries are will help your child feel safe and secure.
Your toddler may sometimes get frustrated
Toddlers may seem to get angry quite easily, but it’s usually a result of complete frustration. There are so many things that your toddler would like to do, but is not yet capable of. He also doesn’t understand certain things, such as why he can’t have a treat before a meal. This is when it’s important that you stay calm and try to understand what your child is going through. Find out what is really upsetting him and act accordingly. Is he over-stimulated, hungry, sick or simply bored? Tantrums and outbursts can be upsetting for both you and your child.
Never turn away from a frustration tantrum – this will only deprive your child of valuable support and the opportunity to forge a stronger bond between the two of you. Tantrums are bound to happen, but their impact can be lessened if you are able to diffuse them early enough. Try to interpret your child’s body language by remembering how she behaves each time she has an outburst. Always keep in mind that your 2-year-old needs your love and understanding. She is still learning how to control her feelings and need your guidance in this regard.
Sometimes your toddler just doesn’t understand
If you push your shopping trolley near the sweets counter when your child is hungry, you can expect all hell to break loose. Your child won’t understand why he can’t have his needs met, so don’t place him in a situation where temptation is rife. It’s not fair to assume that your toddler will understand a situation that is beyond her level of maturity.
Try to meet her needs before you go out and make sure that he is a happy boy. Thereafter; deal with situations when they arise. Explain things to him in a way that he will understand – it’s sometimes difficult for toddlers to comprehend what adults say and expect from them.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.