The "Terrible" 2'S

Updated on November 05, 2012
N.R. asks from Dallas, TX
4 answers

Wondering how to handle the fit throwing, yelling and some times hitting my 2 year old son has been doing here lately....I try time out, staying clam, ignoring the behavior but it isnt working!! I know he is "testing" me and this is just another bump in the road of rasing a child, but it is very trying and wearing when he yells when I ask him the simplist thing like " are you hungry" and he yells back "NOOOOOO" or thows a fit cause he doesnt get his way!! He is a very loving, sweet boy but I just wanted some ideas on how to nip this in the bud before it gets to out of hand!!

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answers from Chicago on

When he yells, you say, we don't yell, I would like to help you but you need to use your normal voice.

When he throws himself about or hits, we say, we don't do X and then remove him from the room ---- my son gets put in his room for a TO.

Pick your battles carefully. It's all about prevention, so really make sure he has to do what you want, and sometimes reverse psychology works if he refuses to come to do X, say you want him to do the opposite. Another trick is to offer an exchange: you want X, if I give you X will you then do Y for mommy.

Distraction is our best friend, so if you see a meltdown coming, quickly offer up something else, especially in a different location. Offer to go outside or offer a cookie.

Don't ask yes or no questions. Give choices, but make sure you can live with them. They want independence, but they need limits to help them make decisions.

But really work on how he talks to you. Don't allow yelling or thrashing about. Let him throw a fit, tell him you will talk to him when he has calmed down and can use a normal voice, and then leave the room. Do not
provide him with an audience.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I don't think you can nip this in the bud per se. You can expect some degree of it for about another 3 years or so.

Staying calm, correction and modeling and CONSISTENCY are the things you can do. Every time he yells at you, tell him, we don't yell at each other, can you ask me in a nicer way? Or if he doesn't know what you mean, model by saying , "Can you say, "No thank you Mom."

Kids learn through repetition and consistency and clear boundaries.

Kids at this age have trouble with transition and need time warning for a new activity or change. At younger ages they don't fuss much when you scoop them up from what they are doing and change their diaper, but now they are fully engage in play and don't want to stop playing for what you want them to do.

When he throws a fit because he doesn't get his way, you have to pick your battles. If he truly has no choice like, you have to sit in your carseat, that's too bad. if there can be a choice to give prior, do that. So instead of insisting that he ride in the stroller, ask him if he's like to walk with you and hold hands or ride in the stroller. But be careful that your choices are always ones that you are fine with either choice you give.



answers from San Francisco on

Instead of saying are you hungry? which will illicit an automatic NOOOOOO from a two year old, give him 2 choices he likes. Say--Tommy would you like peanut butter or meat and cheese sandwich today? Or lets have lunch in 3 min what would you like to help with? Making the food or setting the table? Choices for 2 year olds are great because they forget about what they were upset about and get involved in helping you.

When he hits, hold his hand and say hitting hurts-let me show you how you can be gentle. Then show him.

This will pass....tell him daily how great he is and instead of saying the terrible 2's--say the terrific 2's. Sometimes you need to change your mentality so you can deal more effectively. GL



answers from Washington DC on

I'm right there too! I don't think there's a way to nip it in the bud, but I've found a few good management tactics. They all came from various books (Happiest Toddler on the Block, Love and Logic for Early Childhood) or blogs.

For fit throwing (if there's no hitting involved) I stop what I'm doing and get down on his level and use soothing tones. He usually has no idea why he's upset and just wants a hug once he's calmed a little.

For hitting, I give him a firm no, tell him he hurt me, and ask him to kiss the boo-boo he just gave me, like I do when he gets hurt. It's dramatically tapered off, especially if I act really sad and say I have a boo-boo.

I get the "NOOOO" a lot too, and for the most part, I just ignore it. I'll give him a few options and if he keeps saying "no" and nothing else, I walk away. If he really wants something, he'll find a way to show or tell you. Often he points to whatever it is after he's calmed down a little.

Deep breaths, keep your cool. Good luck!

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