Toddler development: the terrible twos

It had to happen sometime. One day your baby is sweet and adorable, and the next day he's a defiant, tantrum-prone hurricane ripping through your daily life. Believe it or not, this is normal – challenging and frustrating – but normal.

Why it's not “the delightful twos”

Imagine that you've suddenly gone through a major developmental spurt that's given you the ability to communicate, think and move like never before. Pack all these new emotions into a tiny body, add a splash of frustration and get ready for the tantrums and mood swings.

How to maintain perspective

The most important thing to remember during this phase is to not take it personally. Your child is just frustrated. Help him to feel more independent by trying the following:

  • Encourage exploration Let your child indulge her curiosity by allowing her to explore as much as possible in a safe way. If something's not safe, tell her no. She'll eventually come to learn what's acceptable and what isn't.

  • Offer praise Boost your child's self esteem by letting him know when he's done something well. If he plays nicely with his friend or completes a task (like changing into his pyjamas), tell him how happy and proud you are.

  • Be consistent Don't let a tantrum or bad mood shake your resolve. Like all phases, this too shall pass and he'll grow out of it quickly enough.

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