Two-year-olds may be a handful, but this is also one of the most rewarding phases for your peewee and you.


Junior throws himself on the living room floor and screams bloody murder for the third time in the morning. You glance up at the clock and realise it’s only 8.30am.

You can’t even remember what triggered this tantrum and nothing you do seems to ease the situation. You heave a heavy sigh, sit down and wish you were anywhere, but there.

Yes, the Terrible Twos are a trying time for everyone. Your tot is growing up and figuring out the world and his personality all the same time. This leaves you, his parent, tearing your hair out as you figure how to support his growth, even as you try to stay sane.

Nobody said parenthood was going to be easy. While you can’t avoid this stage completely, the good news is that the Terrible Twos ― also called the boundary stage ― won’t last forever. The threenage years are just around the corner, LOL!

Meanwhile, you have plenty of ways to survive this time. At the same time, don’t forget to embrace and appreciate all the good bits that go together with junior’s journey of self-discovery. In case you need to refresh your memory, here are seven reasons why the Terrible Twos actually rock.

#1 They are adventurous beings

Lost count the number of times he threw a tantrum simply because you told your peewee he or she couldn’t leap off from the dining table? There’s a fine line between protecting your young ’un from obvious danger and smothering him with your helicopter parenting. An adventurous spirit is necessary for junior’s to learn more about himself. He’s not only trying to figure how the world works, he is discovering his strengths and weaknesses. If your kiddo reaches for a super-sharp knife when he’s trying to help you cook, then by all means stop him immediately. But if he’s trying to climb the stairs, jump in a puddle, climb a tree or slide down from the tallest play structure, don’t stop him. He is learning so much about himself along the way.

If he’s trying to climb the stairs, jump in a puddle, climb a tree or slide down from the tallest play structure, don’t stop him. He is learning so much about himself along the way.

#2 They think out of the box

At this age, your tot’s imagination is in full swing. Unlike adults who have refined critical thinking skills, junior’s brain is full of endless possibilities. So, don’t tell him he can’t do something, especially when you’re not sure that he can’t. He might throw a fit first and then prove you wrong. “I remember when I was playing blocks with Isaiah and teaching him to slot the different shapes into a shape sorter, he tried to put the circle block into the square hole,” recalls Jacintha Chan. “I told him he can’t do that, but as I was saying that, he managed the squeeze it through. When he asked me why I told him he couldn’t do it when he just did, I didn’t have a good answer for him!” Key takeaway: Don’t underestimate your 2-year-old’s intelligence!

#3 They are honing their communications skills

Another common 2-year-old toddler tantrum trigger is frustration when junior can’t articulate his feelings and thoughts. At this point, your tot’s verbal skills feature a lot of gibberish with a sprinkling of real words. These existing words become even more unintelligible when your tyke is having meltdown and trying to talk between his sobs. But don’t stop him. The more chances he gets to talk, the better he will get at it. Let him talk through his tantrum even if it doesn’t make sense, since he is trying to find the right words to convey his feelings. Junior’s ability to express himself will improve with every tantrum as his vocabulary expands.

Four more reasons to love the Terrible Twos, coming right up!



#4 They are genuinely helpful

A lot of the Terrible Twos behaviour usually stems from your tyke’s desire to learn and become independent. In your 2-year-old’s head, nothing is impossible and everything is doable. In reality, things are slightly different. But that shouldn’t be a reason for you to stifle their independent nature and break their “can do” spirit. Nurture it instead by allowing junior to help you do some chores. Let him fold the laundry (even if it ends up in a ball) or use a mini-broom to sweep the house. “Sarah loves to help me carry the groceries from the car to the house and put them away,” says mum Natalie De Cruz. “It takes twice the amount of time, but she’s so proud of her accomplishment and when she’s feeling down, being helpful really perks her up.”

#5 They live in the moment

Even though their super-short attention span can take a toll on your patience, these precious darlings can teach us a thing or two about living without dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Am sure you’ve never met a tot who holds grudges or worries about future! This because they don’t exist. Two-year-olds only focus on what’s right in front of them, even if that focus only lasts two minutes. From playing with trains to sinking their teeth into a yummy cupcake, these little cuties savour every minute of their life experiences. The best part is, even when it comes to meltdowns, however ugly they get, they will soon forgive and forget.

From playing with trains to sinking their teeth into a yummy cupcake, these little cuties savour every minute of their life experiences.

#6 They don’t mask their feelings

Speaking of living in the moment, your mini-me’s tendency to bawl one minute and belly-laugh the next might drive you nuts, but it will serve them well in the long run. Being in touch with one’s emotions is important for sustaining healthy relationships with friends, family and even in a professional setting. As junior grows up, he will learn to become more emotionally intelligent. One he learns to identify and manage his emotions, he can apply them to tasks like critical thinking, problem solving and showing empathy towards others. On another note, it’s also probably the only period of time when your tyke is willing to have a heart-to-heart chat with you, before puberty strikes and monosyllabic replies rule their conversations. Enjoy it while it lasts!

#7 They believe in the magical powers of hugs and kisses

“My two-and-a-half-year-old has some of the most intense tantrums and it can be emotionally draining,” De Cruz admits. “But on many occasions, a big, long hug and lots of kisses do the trick. I never realised the healing powers I had until I became a mum.” When life throws your tyke those inevitable boo-boos, all he needs is to know that mummy and daddy love him unconditionally. At the end of the day, junior is not acting out on purpose, he just needs guidance, security and loads of love as he makes his way through this big, unknown world.

Photos: iStock

You may also like…
Temper tantrum or sensory meltdown? Know the difference
How do you handle playground conflicts?
6 ways to ease your tot’s anxiety