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Top tips for surviving the terrible two's?

(20 Posts)
mrsannekins Sun 15-Dec-13 20:27:26

DD (23 months) is taking her responsibilities of being 2 in a couple of weeks very seriously and is testing me in every way possible. Eating, tantrums, saying 'no' to I'm hoping the wise women (and men) of mumsnet have some top tips that I can add to my arsenal of tools to survive the next year (or two knowing my luck).

She seems to have changed a lot in the last month or two, and I'm struggling to come up with ways to keep us all sane!

Cakebaker35 Sun 15-Dec-13 20:43:55

Distraction distraction distraction and plenty of wine and choc for you!

Goldmandra Sun 15-Dec-13 20:46:43

Be calm and consistent.

Don't ever change your mind or give in because of a tantrum.

Distract wherever possible.

Pick your battles.

There are no miracles cures. Time is the only healer for this one smile

FredFredGeorge Sun 15-Dec-13 21:35:17

Give her choice and freedom over everything that truly doesn't matter.

Jaffakake Sun 15-Dec-13 21:41:56

I totally agree with Goldmantra. Especially about not changing your mind.

RibenaFiend Sun 15-Dec-13 21:53:33


Twinsplusonesurprise Sun 15-Dec-13 22:03:24

Patience patience patience and deeeeep breaths.
I've got twin DDs who are 2.5.
I swear they take it in turns to wind me up.
If I get very frustrated I leave the room.
There are some very good top tips in the Toddlers section and it does really help to look at things from their points of view. And yes, pick your battles.

Goldmandra Sun 15-Dec-13 22:18:41

Be careful with that one. There are many things that aren't worth having a battle over but, at the same time, very small children can find making choices stressful. Making a choice involves discarding or saying no to something and some toddlers just can't bear to do that. They can feel safer and more relaxed if they don't have to make too many choices.

I think the key is that if they express a preference or feel strongly about something, think carefully before saying no. Once you've said it, stick to it as if your life depended on it. Your sanity probably does.

GinGirl Sun 15-Dec-13 22:21:41

Choose what is important to you. I chose car seat belts for instance as non-negotiable, as was getting into said car to get her siblings to school on time. I didn't however care what she wore or didn't wear, whether she had to have a particular colour spoon etc. I 'gave in' over lots and lots of little things.

Not that this worked, my DD3 was worse than DC1 and 2 put together!

But I do think the terrible twos actually run from 18 months to 30 months. From 2.6 to 3 they start to emerge... As their understanding and language improves IME

Best of luck!

ChristmasJumperWearer Sun 15-Dec-13 22:23:49


Goldmandra Sun 15-Dec-13 22:26:01

Just realised my last post should have had this quote at the beginning;

Give her choice and freedom over everything that truly doesn't matter.


roweeena Sun 15-Dec-13 22:30:04

I have recently found the benefit of just outright ignoring a tantrum. Instead of being a wailing banshee, barking orders and going into general meltdown now if DS is refusing to do something or tantruming about something - brushing teeth or getting dressed I just outright ignore him and say that I will play with him again when he is ready to be a good boy and brush his teeth/ get dressed. I then wander round the house trying to look busy, out away washing whatever - with 5-10mins he will actually ask me to get him dressed/ brush his teeth (which I then give him loads of praise for).

I really like this as there is much less frustration on my part (and its the only time the washing gets put away).

MiaowTheCat Mon 16-Dec-13 09:14:32

I mentally start allocating scores out of 10 to tantrums.. you can make up all sorts of categories for them and at least it makes you feel slightly less helpless and stuck when they're mid-stroptacular!

DD1 started the terrible twos at 13 months and has recently stepped up a gear at 20 months - I'm hoping she'll come out the other end similarly early! (I doubt it though)

Goldmandra Mon 16-Dec-13 09:30:54

I mentally start allocating scores out of 10 to tantrums.


In fact perhaps we should have a thread for comparing scores grin

exhaustedandannoyed Mon 16-Dec-13 09:51:15

I had a dreadful one this morning from DD 2.3 and as I was under pressure to get out of the house and knew any minute the baby would also wake up and start screaming I did not deal with it well and just went head to head with her, trying to force her top on and tie her hair up. Don't do this. I didn't succeed to get her dressed and had to eventually bribe her with an episode of peppa. It worked but I felt rubbish.

exhaustedandannoyed Mon 16-Dec-13 09:52:23

I would give that tantrum a 10. She looked like a child possessed.

enormouse Mon 16-Dec-13 10:09:58

Had one myself, regarding the changing of his nappy and whether it's better to read the gruffalo before it or after it. He was fine with reading it afterwards, thankfully.

I take roweenas approach and ignore, ignore and ignore a bit more.
I say things like 'oh flailing about like that must be so boring. Let me know when you're done and we can carry on reading/playing/watching tv' and carry on about my business till he's done yelling/flailing/etc.

MiaowTheCat Mon 16-Dec-13 12:50:00

We're very into the Disney heroine-esque throw yourself melodramatically on the nearest horizontal object and weep style of tantrum here (having sussed out that chucking yourself on the floor in the middle of Costa just gets you picked up and unceremoniously tucked under my arm like a roll of carpet and carried out to many giggles and sympathetic looks from those around). Fuck knows where she's picked that one up since I refuse to have drippy Disney girl films on in the house!

enormouse Mon 16-Dec-13 14:20:41

miaow my ds does that too. And the throwing his hands to his face in shock and disbelief. I think he gets it from his dad (a trained actor and drama student).

Second tantrum of the day - gave him a biscuit and he was unhappy with it as he had licked it and made it soggy, obviously integrity of the biscuit was destroyed. Mean mummy wouldn't give him another biscuit or the one she was eating. Cue a very short-lived but enthusiastic meltdown.

Fantail Tue 17-Dec-13 09:53:38

If we are allocating scores, then there should be bonus points for causes. yes DD I am looking at you, and no I cannot blow down a balloon. hmm

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