As of lately, I’ve been feeling quite overwhelmed by a plague that took over my household a little while ago. This plague haunts my dreams and causes knots of panic to form in my stomach. I am told that is called…da…da..da…. “The Terrible Twos.” And every single day, I’ve been asking myself: how to handle the terrible twos? Do I decided that it was time to regroup and come up with a plan.
Most days, I feel like Branden’s energy is wearing me out, as his screaming and crying over everything that doesn’t go his way makes me want to scream and cry. (I’m not afraid to admit that sometimes I do.) Most of our current conversations go something like this:
Me: “You’re not allowed to tell me ‘no’!”
You get the picture…..and then there are those temper tantrums….
I’m beginning to wonder how my sweet little baby turned into this very cute but very feisty toddler with more opinions than me watching a runway show. In my house this typical “terrible twos” behavior started at one and a half and is continuing full force and with unrelenting gusto on Branden’s part, now age three.
How to Handle the Terrible Twos
In a world where women are supposed to appear pulled together and in control, how’s a mama to remain in control? Here’s how to handle the terrible twos:
Now that I’m trying to cope with Branden’s most recent stage, I’ve come to the realization that this is the type of thing that women need to talk about so we may understand that we are not alone in these struggles. We also need to understand that what works for one Mama may not work for another. Dealing with a two or three year old can be very stressful, so a good place to start is to admit that we are having a rough time and that by acknowledging it, we can begin to address it. Turn to your mom support groups and call on that mom tribe when needed! (Here’s some great tips I have for staying friends with your non-mom friends, too.) For me, my greatest frustration comes when I feel like I am not in control, but my son IS. So, how to regain control (or even better, never relinquish control!) while keeping my composure and my ‘sweet disposition’? Handling the terrible twos has been challenging.
I’m not an expert on the situation, but I know what has worked for me. I thought that I would share my coping resolutions with my lovely readers through creating, “The Official PROJECT MOTHERHOOD Terrible Two Survival Guide.” The following steps can be done in any order, whatever works for you! (Or whatever comes to your stressed out mind in the thick of battle!)
Remove Your Child From the Situation
For this step, I simply pick Branden up (kicking and screaming, of course) and take him to a different room that is away from whatever it is that is causing the temper tantrum. If he is fighting with another child over a toy, then that toy must stay in the room that he is leaving.
Let Them Cry it Out!
This can be one of the hardest steps because, when we walk away we end up taking a pounding headache with us from the volume (lucky us..NOT). Unpleasant or not, I’ve found that this needs to happen. Whether he cries it out in timeout or sitting on the couch, it gives him some time away from the situation to just be upset and vent. Just like we use our words to get out our frustrations, they need to do the same with some tears sometimes and I have found this key in how to handle the terrible twos.
Introduce Your Child to a New Activity
Once the crying has ceased, I try my best to communicate with Branden about what happened. Then, I simply introduce him to a new activity. If the temper tantrum happened while he was playing with friends, I will bring him back to the group and try to orchestrate a new activity for them to do. If the temper tantrum happened at home, I will introduce him to a new toy or game that can be played with me or by himself. The key is to get his mind off what just happened. Branden’s favorite was his Vtech Switch and Go Dinos when he was little, and now he’s all about that Minecraft!
Remove Yourself from the Situation
Every once in a while, there is a temper tantrum that is so bad, that I need to be removed from the situation. If my hubby is there, then I will excuse myself to go for a run or for some retail therapy (oh yes, this is how to truly make very sweet lemonade from lemons!!!) If not, I will enter a different room in the house or wherever we are, and take a “time-out” for myself before I try again to deal with the situation. This helps me gather my thoughts and return to the situation with my head screwed on straight.
Have a Cocktail
Let’s face it, every once in a while these situations drive us to drink, no matter what time of day it is! (In moderation, of course!) It happens. We just need to accept it and move on. It doesn’t make us bad parents. And it might just give us a new, improved attitude.
Those are my ideas. I hope that my advice serves you well! If you have a trick of the trade that you would like to share for how to handle the terrible twos, feel free to send me an email or comment below! I would love to hear from you! (And may I add, for the sake of any struggling Mamas of Terrible Twos and Threes out there, respond as soon as possible, s’il vous plait?!!)