The terrible twos: a survival guide

The toddler years can be challenging as youngsters struggle to assert their independence. While every child has different needs, here are some tactics that may help you through this period known as the terrible twos.

The terrible twos: a survival guide

Identify triggers

Even though you might feel like your toddler is having a tantrum for no good reason, something always triggers the meltdown. Sure, the trigger might be unreasonable, but it still serves as an explanation for the behaviour. Identify those situations that can cause tantrums. Perhaps leaving a birthday party or the playground causes your youngster to lose it. Maybe loud, overstimulating activities are too much for your child. Perhaps the tantrums escalate as your child becomes increasingly tired. Identifying triggers allows you to anticipate tantrums and combat them by taking action proactively.

Communicate clearly

Communication with a two-year-old is not always easy. Your youngster's communication is not always clear – they might be pointing or talking, but you might have no idea what they want. Likewise, your child might not always understand you. Nonetheless, begin the practice of positive and clear communication now. Get down to your child's level, look into their eyes and clearly state what you want them to do. Verbally praise your child when they display positive behaviour. Opening up lines of communication and teaching your youngster to communicate can simplify the terrible twos.


When your two-year-old is on the verge of a meltdown, try to redirect them to improve their behaviour. Remove your child from the situation that is triggering a tantrum. Replace the trigger situation with one that will appease your child. Perhaps a snack during the car ride home from the playground can ease the challenge of leaving a fun activity. Avoid bribing your child out of meltdowns, because offering gifts will set a pattern. Instead, redirect their focus onto another healthy activity to help your child calm down.

If you're a weary and exasperated parent of a two-year-old, there is hope. By identifying triggers, improving communication and redirecting your youngster, you may be able to minimize the tantrums. While your growing child will surely face some challenges along the way, these tactics will help make life easier on your entire family.

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