Minus/plus icon
ResourcesExplore the full ACKO experience and make the most of your plan

Home / Health Insurance / Articles / Parenting / Toddler Development Tips / Preparing yourself for the ‘Terrible Twos’ phase of your child

Preparing yourself for the ‘Terrible Twos’ phase of your child

Team AckoFeb 8, 2024

All parents have heard of the ‘Terrible Twos’ stage. If your little one is just going to enter this stage and you are fearful imagining all the tantrums and meltdowns, don’t worry. It’s just that the terrible twos have got a bad name (probably a little justified) but if you know what to anticipate and how to manage it, you will come to love this stage as well.



    How did the “Terrible Twos” get its name?

    After your child has entered your life, things are all lovey-dovey and it is pretty easy to take care of the little one. Then, suddenly you realize that the tiny one is not so angelic after all. This is the stage where your little one is pulled in two directions: Exerting their new-found independence and continued reliance on adults around them. This leads to a lot of confusion in their mind, which results in meltdowns and temper tantrums.

    When parents deal with these tantrums that very often take place at inopportune moments, they become frustrated, embarrassed, and feel helpless. This is what led to this stage being called the “Terrible Twos.” Keep in mind that the terrible twos don’t start promptly after your child’s second birthday. This stage starts anytime between 13 to 40 months. It is more of a stage than an age.

    Challenges in the “Terrible Twos” stage - How to convert the negatives to the positives:

    Let us go through the usual challenges of this stage and see how they can be handled so that you get to love the terrible twos:

    The toddler’s vocabulary mainly consists of the word “No”

    During this stage, you will see that your toddler refuses to obey or listen to you. If you try to stop them from doing something, they will say “No.”  If you ask them to do something, they will say “No.” It may irritate and frustrate you but you need to realize that they are just learning to exert their newfound independence. They think they can make their own decisions even though they may not have the capabilities to do so. 

    You should not try to curb this independence. Instead, divert it to something that they can do. If it is something that they can understand, explain to them why they should stop doing something they aren’t supposed to do. If not, divert their attention to something else. Do not start the practice of bribing your child. If it is something unacceptable like hitting or biting, you need to put an end to it immediately by being firm but not angry. Consistency is the key. Don’t give in. If you allow the toddler to do something once and then prevent them the next time, the will only get confused.

    At the same time, if they are doing something harmless but it is only inconvenient for you (For example, it is messy or it takes a long time, etc.) do not stop them. This will satiate their need for independence. It is this very independence that you will admire and appreciate when the little one grows up. To encourage them, give them choices in daily routine like choosing their clothes for the day, food that they would like, games that they would like to play, etc. You will then see them thriving and you will love it!

    They throw a lot of temper tantrums

    A common cause for a temper tantrum is when your child gets frustrated that you are not able to give them what they want. Keep in mind that temper tantrums often take place when your little one is hungry, thirsty, tired, bored or feeling overwhelmed. You can anticipate the outbursts by paying attention to their verbal and non-verbal cues. Your child is at that stage where children are not able to communicate exactly what they want. For example, they may say that they are hungry but when you give them food, they start crying or acting cranky. This is probably because they wanted to eat an apple but you gave a banana instead.

    When your child throws a temper tantrum, don’t raise your voice or let tempers rise even if they throw themselves on the floor and cry. Ignore the kiddo initially and later calmly kneel down to their level and ask what they want. 

    Your child needs your assurance. Then acknowledge their feelings whether it is sadness, frustration or anger. Explain to the kiddo that their feelings are normal but that acting in that way is not.

    Grandma's Tip: If temper tantrums are in a public place, don’t let it get to you. Seeing you get embarrassed, panicked or angry will only make it worse for the child. Instead, take them away from the place to a quieter place. Hug the little one, cuddle, and when they calm down, explain things to the kiddo. Be consistent always. That will reassure them. Gradually over time, the temper tantrums and meltdowns will also reduce. Use this time to help your child better their communication skills.

    They want to do everything on their own

    In the terrible twos stage, toddlers want to do everything by themselves. Though at times it is aggravating for you, it is, in fact an excellent opportunity to get them to help you. They will want to help you clean, cook, talk on the phone, wash their hands and follow most adult routines. However, the still don’t know what is unsafe, which is where and why you need to step in and help them. Take their help in doing small chores like watering the garden, keeping things back in their places, setting the table, etc. This will build their confidence as well as help them learn a lot of new things.

    Once you understand the reasons behind your toddler’s behavior, you will find it much easier to manage the “terrible twos”. In fact, at this age, toddlers are so innocent and eager to please you, that they will come running to you for a kiss or hug that takes away all their boo-boos and your troubles as well. 

    Toddlers have an innately trusting spirit and will teach you how to find joy in the simple things in life. Their willingness to smile and laugh at everything is something that we need to inculcate. There is so much that we get to learn and love at this “terrible twos” stage, that at times it seems more like the “wonderful twos” rather than the “terrible twos,” doesn’t it? 

    Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only, based on industry experience and secondary sources. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a qualified expert for health or insurance-related decisions. Content is subject to change, refer to current policy wordings for specific ACKO details.



    Want to post any comments?


    Maximize your advantages with our government scheme-inclusive health insurance plans.

    ✅ 100% Room Rent Covered* ✅ Zero deductions at claims ✅ 7100+ Cashless Hospitals

    quote icon

    Check health insurance

    quote icon