The Terrible Twos: Myth or Reality?
There has long been a thought that as soon as the clock strikes midnight on your child’s second birthday they are going to become a handful and a major challenge – the terrible twos strike! Is this truth, or is this a myth?
Well there’s no denying that every child goes through a phase around this age where they can become defiant and a little difficult to control, when the word ‘no’ isn’t quite in their vocabulary, and tantrums and tears seem to be the order of the day. This is simply a stage of their development that needs to happen, and whilst at the time it feels like the world is working against you, be reassured that it does end!
So, terrible twos?
It doesn’t actually necessarily happen at the age of two, and there is no hard and fast evidence to suggest that the terrible twos truly exist, but it is common fact that between the ages of 18 months and around 3 years, your child will begin to push limits, to try and find out who they are, and try to gain some independence, which of course means not understanding when you say ‘no’. Pushing limits and boundaries is an essential learning curve towards understanding right from wrong, so whilst you might be wishing it wasn’t happening, it is a necessary step towards their development.
Your child, in varying degrees, will want to make their own decisions, they won’t want to be told they can’t do something, and when they don’t get what they want, they will probably stamp their feet, cry, and throw a tantrum, and yes, they will do it in the middle of the supermarket, or somewhere equally as embarrassing, but the key is to recognise what is happening, and stay calm – you are the one in control.
So, myth or reality?
Well I guess you could say it’s half and half – whilst it definitely happens at some stage around this stage, some children won’t be quite as ‘terrible’ at the time as others, and some might develop it before 18 months, and some might not develop it until they’re almost 3. Whilst there is no definite hard and fast rule, this challenging time is a necessary step towards what comes next, and we know that every development stage with our little ones brings both challenges and joy at the same time.