RUN! Your adorable little baby has hit those terrible twos and they seem to never end. You have more tense days than you can remember. Most of your time is spent cleaning up messes or trying to prevent them. What can you do? Fortunately, most of these behaviors are just a stage. They do eventually end and they will end quicker with your help.
Slapping is a stage every child goes through whether you smack or spank that child. I was devastated when my child started slapping. I tried to figure out who on Earth would have hit that child. He was actually practicing the motion and watching for a reaction from me. All toddlers will eventually slap, or hit. They might not have ever seen it done, but it seems to be a natural instinct for them, especially when they get mad. When they slap, they will hit with their palm and it usually is not meant to be hurtful. Make sure that you let your child know that it hurts and we need to be nice. When they hit, take their hand and say no. Then, tell them to be nice and rub their hand over where they hit saying nice.
Hitting is a stage every parent cannot wait to see disappear. Hitting involves trying to hurt someone or something. Hitting may develop from slapping or it could be a learned behavior. Unfortunately, if a toddler watches sports he or she might try a few of the moves. The moves usually involve hitting or a progression to hitting. If it is known that the move is being imitated, do not let the child watch whatever gave him or her the idea to hit. Explain to your child that he or she cannot watch it until they stop. I have had to do this with my daughter when she started imitating characters on television.
Biting is a stage that can be caused from learning textures, where your child just puts everything in his or her mouth, or from wanting to bite people. If your child is biting inanimate objects to feel textures, there is no cause for alarm. Most of those toddlers will not progress to bite people. They just need something in their mouths. The toddlers who bite people are usually looking for a reaction or are trying to hurt the person that they bite. If biting becomes a problem and you cannot control it, talk to a pediatrician about consequences for your child.
Climbing is always a scary phase. You never know where you might find your child. You could find him or her on your refrigerator or peacefully sitting on the top of the back of your favorite recliner. Most children love to climb and combine climbing with exploring and you have a recipe for disaster. This is when the house will need to be child-proof and top cabinets locked. Remind your children of the danger of falling.
Jumping is also a scary phase. Most toddlers are not very coordinated and have no fear. When they jump on furniture they do not watch where they are or where they might land. This will cause great fear in the parents that the child will hurt him or her self. It also causes great anger to know your child is jumping in the house on items they are not supposed to and oh, if they break grandma’s crystal…
Playing in the toilet is a phase that most potty training toddlers will go through. The toddler needs to check out the area that is so important for him or her to have their bottom over. There must be something special in there. If a parent is lucky, the playing in the toilet stage only consists of the toddler putting their hands in the toilet. With many “Yuck, dirty we don’t touch that”, this can be defeated. If your child goes further with their explorations, you may find car keys, remotes, or too much toilet paper to describe piled in the toilet. You will be lucky if items are only thrown in the toilet. Most children like to try flushing the objects as well. Have faith, this stage will pass and become funny memories for you to embarrass your children with as they get older.
“No!” seems to come out of your child’s mouth more than your mouth at this age. Remember that your child is just imitating, mostly and that you need to be in control of the situation. Depending on the reason the no’s are said will help you handle the situation. Take a breath and evaluate. Then, explain to your child why saying no to an adult is not nice or change the negativity into a positive.
With patience and consistency, you can help your child through their toddler stages faster. A lot of headache medicine will help you through it. Be consistent and do not change your actions. Mixed signals will make your child think it is okay to do. The twos will end.