“Oh, the terrible two’s hey”
No, not the terrible two’s. There are other things you can call them, for example:
* Terrific Two’s
* Teachable Two’s
* Teamwork Two’s
* Transformation Two’s
* Thriving Two’s
* Transparent Two’s
Whatever they are, they definitely aren’t terrible..
Just sit there and think, your toddler can’t express the way they feel (not properly anyway), so this communication barrier leads to frustration which therefore leads to.. yeah you guessed it, the ‘tantrum’. Children around the age of two are learning how to manage their emotions and how to express themselves and it’s our job to translate what they are trying to tell us. Yes it can be frustrating, but terrible? I don’t believe it is.
Why do people call them the terrible two’s though? I love the “terrible two’s!” You might call me weird right now but listen to the reasons why I personally love this stage and you never know, I could change the way you see it too!
Reasons to love the “terrible twos”:
-They are becoming leaders
Yes they are bossy, opinionated and they sure know what they want (even if it is a crusty muffin that they hid 2 days ago). If channeled appropriately, their demanding nature can actually help to mold them into natural, confident adults who others looks up to. Provide choice whenever possible e.g.
“would you like the blue cup or the green cup?” or
“which top would you like to wear today, batman or iron man?”
Remember I said that toddlers are learning to manage their emotions? Well, making them a part of the decision making makes them feel more in control. We all know how happy a toddler is when they think they are calling the shots, it works.
-They are adventurous
My toddler will try anything if he’s given the appropriate level of encouragement. Both of my boys do swimming lessons and the way that Leo jumps in the swimming pool at lesson time makes me a bit nervous. He has been doing lessons since he was 6 months old and he has no fear of the water (this is the ONLY thing that I have found a bit concerning about his swimming lessons), then again he can do half a length underwater and does all the cool stuff like fetch a loop from the bottom of the pool so in my eyes it’s more beneficial than not (I am going to blog about the boys swimming lessons hopefully next month so keep an eye out). Adventurous play is necessary for self-discovery and there can be a fine line between protecting your toddler from frustration and danger, and smothering them.
I guess what I am trying to say is unless your toddler is in some immediate danger then let them take risks; let your toddler climb up the slide, jump in puddles and let them try a little longer to put that puzzle together by themselves. Children need to have the chance to realise and know what their limitations and strengths are; your toddler also needs to be able to realise that they have the ability to make things happen on their own.
-They are willing helpers
We are all aware that toddlers believe that they are self sufficient and we often hear “No, I can do it!” and this stubborn attitude can often discourage even the most patient of parents. I believe you are missing the point here though because this self-sufficient spirit also makes for fantastic helpers. My toddler will often throw down if I forget and sweep up the mess from his baby-led weaning little brother or if I open our dog’s cage to let him out for a wee in the morning. My toddler is awesome though and he actually does a lot around the house, not because I ask him to but because he really wants to do it and help me. Toddlers want to feel like they have special jobs and a role within the house, so I let my toddler help me with the majority of the chores if he wants to.
Here are some things that Leo loves doing with me:
* Loading the washing machine
* Sweeping the floor with the dustpan and brush
* Unlocking the cage for our dog in the mornings
* Get our dogs food bowl for me to fill up and he put it back in his cage
* Open the back door so our dog can go for a wee
* Sort through the families clothes (stuff that has been outgrown etc and he takes them out of the chest of drawers while I check them)
* Puts Mylo’s nappies in the bin (this really gives him the opportunity to get involved with looking after his little brother)
* Clean away his toys (this one is a must though, we have rules in our house and I don’t want every single toy in the living room, not because of the mess but because it is too overwhelming. They don’t know what to play with if everything is everywhere so we only have a couple at a time and that way they can play with their toys properly and have a chance to become engrossed in an activity)
-They live in the moment
Short attention spans can prove testing for all parents of toddlers but I think that we can learn a thing or two from this. Toddlers focus on what is before them, they don’t worry about things that happened in the past and they don’t hold grudges. Every second of a toddlers life is savoured whether it is eating a muffin or putting a puzzle together. So look at it this way, how your toddler feels right this second during that dreaded meltdown will soon be forgotten, so we have to just wait it out.
-They are in touch with their emotions
Laughing one minute and crying the next, toddlers are well known to be an emotional roller coaster, but as they grow, this expressive nature will serve them well. Being able to show emotion is a quality that a lot of adults lack, it is crucial for sustaining healthy relationships with friends and family. Emotional awareness can be learned earlier than you may think. Studies have shown that children as young as 14 months can begin to identify and even anticipate mood (their own mood and their caregivers) and they can also feel empathy.
You can still have a heart to heart with your toddler albeit on a much simpler level, it is still possible. A toddlers love makes your heart melt, Leo often comes up to me and looks me straight into the eyes and says “I love you mummy.” The feeling as a mother to hear your child say that without a prompt from you first is just the best feeling.
-They make great students
Children love to learn new things; from shapes and colours to songs and numbers. If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram you can see that we love messy play and both of my boys love to explore new environments and materials. A children’s inquisitive nature, combining with their sponge- like brains, make them perfect storage bins of information. A toddlers language skills are rapidly developing, so this is the perfect time to teach multiple languages.
The best thing of all is that opportunities to learn are absolutely everywhere, from a quick trip to the park to going to a soft play centre, every moment brings new discoveries and opportunities to learn.
By creating new games, making up silly songs and involving your toddler in hands-on activities you can encourage their curiosity for life and all of its mysteries. You know what they say.. Parents are their most important teachers.
-They see the best in people
Toddlers have an innately trusting spirit, they see all new, kind faces as friends. This willingness to play with and smile at anyone they come across is a trait that many grown-ups could benefit from developing. Toddlers are easy to entertain, quick to make laugh and they are at the prime stage to learn about loving relationships, acts of kindness and healthy boundaries.
We can empower our toddlers to have successful interactions for the rest of their lives by embracing their naturally soft-hearted natures and nurturing them with patience and gentle guidance. It is worrying though because they are still so niave and trusting and there is always the worry of them going off with strangers.
-They find joy in the little things
From rocks to flowers, my little man finds delight in the smallest of treasures. These moments aren’t just for our children.
We get two windows of opportunity in life to do things like watch tom and jerry, build forts and to just plain play; the first opportunity comes when you are a child, the second is when you have your own children.
Don’t get too wrapped up or busy in all of the grown-up duties to miss out on it (however hard it is, just leave the cleaning and bills till they have gone bed).
Whether it is having a flour fight in the back garden or making a toy car out of a toilet roll tube.. it is the simple pleasures in life that give any toddler the most joy.
-They believe kisses are magic
When life’s inevitable scraped knees and boo-boos come their way, toddlers often need nothing more than a kiss from Mummy or Daddy. This affectionate gesture is a parent’s most powerful tool, for what toddlers need most at this tender age is love, direction, and the security of knowing a parent’s comforting cuddle is always an arm’s reach away.
-Their enthusiasm is contagious
To watch a child squeal in delight over the littlest things puts everything else in perspective. Leo loses his mind over things like bubbles, stickers, messy play, music and paint. It’s impossible not to get swept up in the moment and be excited right along with them (sometimes I think I get more excited than Leo).
-A party isn’t a party without a toddler
There isn’t a party like a toddler party because a toddler party doesn’t stop. If left to their own devices, toddlers would only sleep after collapsing into some type of carb-induced coma. Turns out their nonstop energy also makes them the best dance/exercise/play/cleaning/cooking partners ever. We go to my dads for a new years eve party every year and my toddler outlasts everyone, he’s still dancing at 4am! He is a definite party animal.
I am counting down the months till my 11 month old is at this stage!
What do you think? Do you like the Terrific Two’s?
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