Temper tantrum at 2 years old

How to survive the terrible twos

Last month we looked at how to tackle the ‘terrible ones’, so now it’s time for ‘the twos’…

As we’ve already established – and as any parent will know – age two might be the most talked about year for tantrums, but they really can start from day one. However, by the age of two, there are different things to consider as to why your child is playing up, so it’s important to be aware of these.

The power of ‘no’

One of the key differences at this age is that by now, most children will have learned how to say ‘no’. A one-year-old wants to say no and screams as they try, but a two-year-old has the power of speech, which changes everything. They’re still not fully competent in this area however, so they’ll use the few words they can to maximise their effect.

Two-year-olds are also a lot more mobile, which can create trouble when they try to exert their new-found independence and are subsequently told off for it. They’re more inquisitive but still can’t move around as much as they might like, and they’re constantly being told ‘no’ by mum and dad. All of this leads to unwanted tantrums.

At this age, your two-year-old is undergoing a range of motor, intellectual, social and emotional changes, which all makes it very frustrating to be a toddler. So, it’s vital you consider this when disciplining your child, and consider the best ways to manage their behaviour.

What parents can do to help:

  • Always try to be patient
  • Limit your use of ‘no’
  • Find alternatives for your child if they want to do something that isn’t allowed
  • Use other ways to discipline your child, rather than shouting e.g. humour or redirecting their attention elsewhere
  • Praise your child as soon as they respond in a positive way
  • Recognise potentially tantrum-inducing situations and try to avoid them