Living With A Two-Year-Old

If you are living with a child about to turn two years old be prepared for frustration.  You have heard of the “terrible twos”.  This really is true.  It is not just a saying.

Your life changed when you became a parent a couple years ago.  It is now going to change again dramatically for the next year or two.

Take a deep breath.  You will get through this time and later you will look back with fond memories on this period in your child’s life.  This is a time when the least little thing will delight the child.  The two year is excited and thrilled by little things like stickers and blowing soap bubbles.

The two-year child does not have any impulse control.  He may pull toilet paper from the roll for the tenth time the same day even though he knows it is wrong and he will get in trouble.  The two-year-old simply cannot control his or her impulses.  The easiest thing for the parent to do in this case is to put the toilet paper out of the child’s reach.

It will not help if you punish the child and then increase the punishment for subsequent offenses.  The better punishment is probably to just give the child a time out when he does something wrong.  Unfortunately, the only thing that is going to have much effect on a two-year-old child is for the child to grow a little older.

Two is the age when the child says no to just about everything.  It is the age when the child wants to make some decisions.  Perhaps the child wants to wear the yellow and red checked top with the purple and green striped pants.  On some days just let him do it.  A solution to the problem might be to put together two or three different outfits and then let the child decide which one to wear. When a child is allowed to make some simple decision it helps him to grow.

Don’t plan to do anything in a hurry.  There is no such thing as just running to the store.  Trying to hurry along a two-year-old will just frustrate you and the child so plan on everything taking longer than necessary.

It will save frustration for you as the parent if you put away anything tempting to a child.  Be sure you childproof your electrical outlets and cabinet doors.  Dressers and/or bookcases that may topple over if climbed should be fastened to the wall.  If you can tolerate it, you might want to leave the child access to a low cabinet where he can beat on some old pots and pans.  Secure areas that are unsafe for the toddler with childproof gates to the child cannot wander in there and get hurt.  It is impossible to watch your toddler every minute of every day.  Two-year-old children have a habit of getting away very quickly.

Pick your battles.  You need to keep your child safe, but you do not need to be too strict about everything.  Let the child be curious and let the child make some choices.

A two-year-old child is a wonder.  He is a combination of baby and child.  Watching the child learning about his world is a joy to behold.  Remember, with all the frustration, your child will never be this age again. Try to enjoy it.