The Terrible Two’s. Many parents long for the sleepless nights of the baby months rather than the unpredictable and unplanned tantrums that go hand-in-hand with the Terrible Two’s.

The Terrible Two’s often misunderstood. While many children approach this developmental phase around 24 months, the Terrible Two’s can actually begin earlier and last into the 3rd or 4th year.

Terrible Two's -mother-and-daughter-stock

The terrible two’s. Yes, your child’s temper tantrum will push you to your limit. You will want to argue, yell, and threaten.

Related read: Say Yes to the Mess: How to Let Go and Live!

A two, children are undergoing significant changes to their whole being. Two year olds are learning language and motor skills, they are faced with social situations, emotional changes, and developing their intellectual aptitude. As a result, children, who are unable to deal with frustration in the manner that we as adults know, act out through tantrums, back-talk, defiance, and outbursts.

If you are a parent dealing with the Terrible Two’s, you do not need (yet again) to hear “just tell little Timmy to simmer down or stop crying” as if it will be the elixir to quell the major upset. Instead, try these tips that help control your reaction to your child’s tantrum:

Stay calm

Yes, your child’s temper tantrum will push you to your limit. You will want to argue, yell, and threaten. You will want to take away toys, order a time-out, and suggest it is nap time. When you begin to understand that the behavior is part of the Terrible Two’s and not an attack against your humanity, you will gain a new perspective. Remaining calm when you child is out of control will also help temper their temper. Children can feed off your energy–whether that is your frustrated energy or your soothing voice. Think first, about how you interact with your child at the height of the meltdown.

Remain patient
Just as we need to vent to our spouse about the irritating boss, the traffic jam on the drive home, or the grocery store running out of your favorite cereal, understand your child can not communicate in a meaningful verbal manner or, suit up and head outside for a 45 minute jog to burn off steam. Letting your child go through the emotion and learning how to self-soothe can help build a strong, independent child.

Visualize the day 90 minutes later
Many times, as we become caught up in the “right now” of the moment, we forget the moment will soon pass. Take a proverbial deep breath and see yourself 90 minutes later. Visualize your child back to a calmer state; visualize yourself relaxed, peaceful, and together with your child, continuing with your day. Realizing there is hope on the horizon, and that horizon is close, can be soothing in itself.

Do you have a story about the Terrible Two’s that you would like to share? Drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you and possibly share your story in an upcoming blog. Visit to stay up-to-date on topics, tips and articles written especially for parents. We welcome you to share, repost and re-tweet our news, ideas and stories with your social network.