Is My Toddler Possessed or is this the Beginning of the Terrible Twos?
You hand your toddler a sliced banana, and it’s like you’ve insulted her in the greatest possible manner; she throws herself on the floor and howls because she wanted the banana whole. Consider this your official welcome to the “Terrible Twos.”
So why the hell is your toddler fine one minute, then acting possessed the next? Many times, it’s a case of her preferences exceeding her abilities to explain them. She may want the banana whole, but doesn’t have the exact words to tell you yet – so she’s frustrated when you deliver it sliced. (How dare you!) And how do toddlers show frustration? By lashing out, of course.
When that happens, just ignore it. Don’t make eye contact with the beast, lest you reinforce that her foul behavior gets attention. Let your little one vent, and then give hugs and reassurance when she’s calmed down. Let her know you understand why she was upset. If you’re out and about (oh, the horrors of a public tantrum!), remove your toddler from the situation – duck into the bathroom or the car – and calm her down privately.
Tantrums are inevitable (yay!), but you can take measures to avoid them whenever possible. First and most importantly, don’t give in! If you relent to your demanding toddler, it sends a clear message that he gets what he wants by acting like an asshole. Toddlers like choices, and if they feel they’ve had a hand in decision-making, they’re less likely to protest – so let him choose between this shirt and that one, or which snack to eat. And of course, avoid doing anything in public when he’s tired or hungry, because then he’ll be primed for a meltdown over the smallest thing.
Scary Mommy Tip: Your terrible two-ster is watching your every move, so how you react to your own frustrating situations is important. Keep your temper in check around your toddler – even if you have to lock yourself in your bedroom and scream Fuuuuuuck! into a pillow for a couple minutes. Hey, we’ve all been there!