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so terrible about being two?
what’s up when a kid reaches age two? Many parents are ready to pull
their hair out when their kids reach this age… and it continues for
about a year to a year and a half.
of younger infants are lulled into a sense of ease when their son or
daughter reaches about 6 months. By this time infants are usually sleeping
well through the night, able to sit in a high chair, can amuse themselves
with play and are enthralled with mom and dad’s gaze and smile. To many,
parenting at this stage appears easy and there is no way of appreciating
just what lies ahead.
24 months however, toddlers may be bored with static toys, they are
generally quite mobile – able to walk at a brisk pace for multiple steps
and highly explorative. Herein lies the set-up for the terrible twos,
have this marvelously inquisitive mind, but absolutely no experience from
prior learning to understand “safe or harmful”, “good or bad”,
“right or wrong”. As such, they simply set out to explore the world,
as it is available to them. Until they learn or experience otherwise, all
objects are neutral. Objects have no inherent worth and are not yet known
for causing either pleasure or pain. It’s only when the child
experiences the object can they determine its value. Value to the
two-year-old is usually a function of the pleasure an object can bring to
the child. Pleasure is derived from touch, taste, sight, sound and scent.
Some things are pleasurable and “fun”, while others offer neither
amusement nor any particular pleasure. Other items, like the taste of a
sour lemon, may cause displeasure and children soon learn to avoid these.
this about normal childhood development, the challenge facing parents is
to pre-empt negative outcomes from their child’s exploration and
learning while maximizing the opportunity for positive outcomes. To reduce
frustration and maximize the opportunity for your child’s learning and
pleasure consider the following:
often parents of two-year-olds feel like all they say is “No”. Use the
above suggestions and you may find yourself saying “Yes” more often
and those “terrible twos” may just be a little easier. By the time
your child is 42 to 48 months, they will have learned much and will better
understand what is safe or dangerous, right or wrong. It will be easier.
the suggestions and give it time.
Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
For information on Direnfeld's book, Raising Kids Without Raising Cane, click here.
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