Most parents never fathomed the behavioral changes coming from their child. Most have always loved to be parents even with the lack of sleep coming from a new born. Building memories and sharing new world discoveries with children are amazing to witness, but when children gain more independence, they morph into their terrible twos.
Children don’t come with operating procedures and manuals, so it’s difficult to tailor your parenting style that best suits the child. However, there are times when parents become frustrated with the child and give up. Giving up and surrendering to a stammering, kicking, screaming, and biting child will not do the parent or the child any good. Setting and enforcing rules and standards when you notice a change in the child’s negative behavior, you gave gained an opportunity to mold the behavior into a positive, healthy one.
Children are smart, and notice the stress levels they put their parents through and soon, they master manipulation. This art, adopted by the child can really aggravate the parents. But remember, you are the parent, and you know what works and doesn’t work. Don’t have a moral perspective, when dealing with the child, but use the perspective of working methods. One thing that never works is bribery. Parents use this as a mechanism to help get passed the sassiness of the terrible two’s only to condition their children to respond in a certain manner. Bribery will ruin everything you’ve worked for. It teaches the terrible two, how to be selfish and hold power over the hand feeding them.
A way to counter bribery is to use a reward system. Rewarding has more value than bribing and also offers a more pure relationship with little opportunity for the child to exploit or manipulate the parent. Parent should reward children for positive behavior and not bribe them to act the way they are supposed to in the first place.
Discipline and routine are key elements for dealing with the terrible twos. Once parents have found a working solution for poor behavior, they can implement discipline and routine. 2 year olds need to have structure and routine so there is little room for confusion. Routines help the child understand what expectations are and how to meet these expectations by positive behavior. It’s very important to show your child you love them, especially when they are not acting up. This positive reinforcement is healthy and builds trust.
So what about discipline? Enforcing the expectations deals with discipline and this is where it gets difficult for the parent. Parents must stay consistent and have to be discipline themselves. When 2 year olds start misbehaving, it’s time to make things happen to correct the behavior. Some parents turn their backs to the kids and ignore them on purpose and other parents place their children in time out. These are effective and humane methods, but they don’t work if the parent isn’t committed to enforcing the standard and disciplining the child.
If parents can identify what works for stressful situations, discipline the child, and reward the child with love for positive behavior. The terrible twos will become a walk in the park and parents can enjoy the better moments of that child’s life instead of competing with the 2 year old.