How to Handle Your Toddler’s ‘Terrible Twos’

It’s not unusual for a toddler to refuse to eat and throw themselves to the floor because you brought their food on a blue plate, and not a red one. The ‘terrible twos’ is a developmental stage that all little people go through. Understanding what causes the tantrums and how to deal with them, will help you and your toddler get through it with as little fuss as possible. To find out what to expect and how to deal with terrible twos, keep reading.

What to Expect From the Terrible Twos

It can be a shock when your sweet baby suddenly starts throwing things from frustration, biting, or hitting. Knowing this is a normal, healthy part of their development can help you keep your calm and navigate your toddler through their emotions. Here are some of the signs to look out for:

Big Emotions

You can expect your toddler to go from screeching with laughter at something silly, to dissolving into a puddle of hot tears on the floor within seconds. Feeling things so strongly can be overwhelming for such a tiny person and they haven’t yet learned what to do with their emotions.

Biting and Hitting 

A two-year-old isn’t able to express what they’re feeling and sometimes the only way they can deal with their feelings is by lashing out at those closest to them. This type of anti-social behavior is quite normal for this age.


Meltdowns and tantrums are a daily occurrence at this age. Often more than once a day.

Fierce Independence

“Do it myself!” is a phrase you’ll hear often. These are the baby steps that eventually lead to a fully functioning adult who can look after themselves. This independence can sometimes feel like rejection for a mom. Read more on rejection by following this link –

Grumpiness and Frustration

Toddlers are known to be out of sorts especially around meal times and nap time. A tired toddler is a cranky toddler who is likely to get frustrated, even by simple things they’d usually take in their stride.

Top Tips for Dealing With the Terrible Twos

Understanding the development that is happening inside your toddler can help you remain calm when they spin out. If you find ways to remain stable and loving, your toddler will be able to calm down more quickly too. Here are some top tips for you:

  • Routine is your friend. Aim for regular eating, sleeping, and playing times as predictability makes your toddler feel safe.
  • Tiredness and hunger. Keep a close watch for these two and avoid them by having healthy snacks on hand and not running around close to nap time.
  • The power of choice. Offering two appropriate options and allowing your toddler to choose will help them feel less frustrated by the things he has no choice in, such as being buckled into the car seat.
  • Distract and redirect. Avoiding a meltdown can be as simple as showing them a ladybug, telling them a silly joke, or moving to a different part of the house.
  • Say yes often, be selective about noChoose the things you say no to carefully as saying no to every request can leave your toddler feeling unheard and misunderstood.

As far as possible, avoid giving in to a tantrum as it teaches them that tantrums will get them what they want!

The Terrible Twos Do End

If you’re in the middle of the storm, take heart. This stage usually passes by the age of 3 or 4. Keep loving your toddler and dealing with them kindly and you’ll soon find the terrible twos will pass.

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