It is a shock for parents! Suddenly, it seems that a little button on the baby is switched on and he, who until then was quiet and loving, starts to adopt a posture of screams, tantrums and incessant cries. Parents start to wonder: did I do something wrong? This is normal?
Know that yes!
This phase is called by parents and pediatricians “crisis of the two years” or “terrible two”. And, amazingly, it is very normal in the development of the baby, usually occurring between one and a half to 3 years of age. The child’s behavior resembles that of an adolescent, as there is a tendency to exhibit behavior that opposes parents’ requests. But it is also important to remember that each child is unique. Although they all go through this stage of development, each one can react differently and with different intensity.
I recommend reading: Tantrums: Causes and how to avoid them
And after all, why does the two-year crisis occur?
The big question is that babies are very dependent, but at this age (terrible two), they are gradually discovering that they are able to do some tasks on their own. With this, the child will have a greater perception of his desires – after all, he may have a certain freedom to make his choices. And this creates a conflict, which can lead to tantrum behavior! We may think that the child is getting to know the world from his point of view, and differences can arise between parents and children.
It is a complicated phase for parents, in the sense that it requires patience with the child. However, it is a necessary effort, after all, it is at this stage that the education process begins, teaching the child what can or cannot be done and what is right or wrong. It is also important to think that the child takes time to assimilate the “no” and the new information around him.
Also check out: Educating children in values: one value for each month of the year
To help your child during this phase and educate him, take a deep breath! Hitting or shouting are dysfunctional attitudes that only make behavior worse. Try to wait for the tantrum to pass and then talk to the child. Score what she did wrong, but in a way that is not so aversive. We know that ignoring your child’s behavior when he is in environments such as shopping malls or restaurants is complicated, but the lack of attention from parents at this time of tantrum helps not to encourage behavior!
Another tip that can be positive at these times is to try to maintain a routine with the child, decreasing the chances that they will be irritated by changes. After all, at this age the child does not have an emotional cognitive maturity to understand everything that is happening around him alone! Sleep, for example, is something that can be affected by this phase, as the child may refuse to sleep at the stipulated times. Try to show her the importance of this routine, so that, little by little, she assimilates its benefits.
Education is a process that takes time, effort and patience, but the long-term effects are very important!
I hope you enjoyed. Feel free to send any questions and suggestions.
Text written by Psychologist Amanda Pascoal