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Terrible twos...

(2 Posts)
DrRanj Sat 15-Dec-12 10:08:54

I know this thread has probably be done a million times, but my 23 mo dd has well and truly hit the terrible twos a month early!

She has gone from being a happy, confident, sometimes wilful but generally pretty well behaved child to a little madam!

Our main issues are she won't sit in her highchair or pushchair, she will walk but then want carrying ONLY by me - if we are in a cafe restaurant she will only sit on a big chair, then she will keep getting up and trying to run around. She refuses to lie down to have her nappy changed, refuses to put her clothes/coat/shoes on, she has gone from eating everything to being really fussy about her food and barely eats anything - her favourite word is NO! And she has gone from being a really good sleeper to a terrible one, and most nights she ends up in our bed because it is the only way we can all get sleep without her screaming the place down and waking up the whole street.

I try not give in to her demands and let her have her own way all the time, but it is so exhausting and if we are in public I risk the massive tantrums so I guess often I do give in to her. I try getting down to her level and explaining calmly why she has to put her coat on etc. She is quite good with her language, she can construct very basic sentences, her vocabulary is good and she understands basic commands from us but she is not verbal enough yet to really understand negotiation/consequences etc.

How on earth do you cope?!

ZuleikaD Sat 15-Dec-12 17:23:07

Actually she's starting late... the difficult period (sorry, I hate the phrase terrible twos - invented by our parents' generation before they understood things like the links between food, sleep and behaviour) when they're starting to find their own way in the world generally starts around 18m and carries on till 2.5 ish.

It's all good, believe me - all these things mean she is starting to understand her world and that she has some control over it, and it's a heady business!

Fight the fights that need fighting. She doesn't need to go in her highchair to eat - but she DOES need to stay at the table. And that goes for whether you're at home or out. If she gets down, she's done. It doesn't take them long to learn! She can walk if she wants but if she doesn't want to then she goes in the pushchair.

She is actually understanding a lot more than you think. Just because she won't follow instructions doesn't mean she doesn't understand them. She is quite capable of understanding that no coat means no going out.

The sleeping thing might be protest about her sleeping arrangements - I'd guess she's still in a cot? Might be time to upgrade to a big bed.

Don't worry too much about food - keep offering but don't let mealtimes turn into a battle. Babies tend to stack on weight so they have reserves for living-on-air toddlerdom! Three meals a day and two snacks, at predictable times (hunger is one reason for bad behaviour).

On the nappy front, distraction where possible, but otherwise I think the only answer is pinning down!

Finally, the best book I've read is What Every Parent Needs To Know - it is absolutely invaluable for explaining what exactly (in chemical and developmental terms) is going in your child's brain and how to deal with it to everyone's advantage.

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