Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tips for dealing with the Terrible Twos

Every mother dreads it. Every day they watch their sweet, innocent baby morph into this...this...monster....

Ok, not really a monster, but you get my drift. As a mother we have to deal with the terrible twos at some point. For a lucky few, they are mild and seem to go right by...

But for most of us, they actually start BEFORE 2 and last well after 2 is gone as well.

So how do we deal with this seemingly endless phase without having to call the men in the white jackets?

Well, as a mother of 3 with one on the way, with one of those being 2 and half and the other one being 1 and a half, let me tell you what has (and hasn't) worked for me...

What has worked:

1.)Re-direction. I shrudder at the thought of letting my wild 2 year old color, every wall in our *rented* townhome has at some point, become colored with the many colors of Crayola. No, the color wonder stuff doesn't appease him as he cannot see his artwork. However, after the one millioneth time I had to tell him to "get off the back of the couch and stop playing in the sink" I realized that coloring was my saving grace. Invest in Crayola Washable Crayons tons of paper and let them go. He still occasionally colors on the walls, but I have discovered that in the midst of being bad, redirecting him with something he likes (no matter how much I dislike it) will save my ever fleeting sanity.

2.) Stick to your guns! I am so guilty of not following this rule. See, I have this massive soft and gooey,get all warm and fuzzy spot for my kids in my heart. So when they are being monsters, I find myself laughing instead of disciplining (*Note to self: Its not that funny when YOU have to clean up the corn that he threw at daddy, now is it?) I cannot get mad...but who says you have to? If your child is doing something wrong, or getting into something they know they shouldnt, when you put them in time out, LEAVE them there. Ignore the smiles and the "I sawry mamma's" Show them you mean business.

3.)An over tired or over stimulated toddler is just a disaster waiting to happen. If you notice that your toddler is starting to show signs of a meltdown (for me the warning is always him doing something really wrong that he knows he shouldnt be doing or throwing massive fits) remove them from the situation they are in. Either put them down for nap, go for a drive in the car or pop in a DVD or watch some cartoons (Spongebob is a lifesaver here) this will allow them to decompress and keep you from blowing your top

Now, what doesn't work:

1.)Saying "Please dont do that" that just nets me this look of "whatever mom"
2.)Laughing: It is only funny until YOU have to clean up whatever mess he made
3.)Ignoring it: Some things you can ignore, but the sound of running water...not so much...usually ignoring leads to a bigger mess ( and bigger tantrums for both of you) in the end

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