Mommy Mindset : Terrible Two Stories from the Trenches

Terrible TWOs – heard it, lived it, gotta share it.

Leila: My kids didn’t go through the Terrible Two’s. Mine had Terrible Three’s! Their behavior and tantrums increased at three and have since decreased now that they are 4 and over 4! Whoever coined “terrible two’s” mistook it for the “terrible three’s”!

Lena: My son was 4 weeks old and my daughter was 2 yo when I took them to the mall on my own (brave, ah?) My daughter ran off to the carousel. I had no other option but to follow since she was already sitting on the horse. After 2 rides I said that we needed to get going. She threw such tantrum. I tried carrying her, but she was loud and wiggly. I let her lay on the floor and stood next to her (Yes, I am that Mom) waiting for her to come down. After that – pick her up, walk 10 steps before she throws another tantrum. OMG – I hated how long this mall was

Emily: I have come to realize that the Terrible Twos are an urban legend designed to prepare parents for the Troublesome Threes. The Boy turns three in July, and we’ve enjoyed smooth sailing with regards to his behavior until a few days ago. I saw signs of it a little bit last month, but chalked it up to being tired. It seems that everything he doesn’t want to do is now the end of the world! He lays on the floor and cries about whatever it is he doesn’t want to do, he attempts to negotiate “two minutes” for everything! He tried to throw a tantrum in the store a few days ago, but I told him we’d go home & not be able to do fun things if he didn’t act like a big boy, he quickly calmed down.

We read the book “Elf on the Shelf” a few days ago, and now he is quite concerned about being on the “Naughty List”. Each time I start to reprimand him for poor behavior, he says {between tears} “I don’t want to be on the Naughty List. I want to be nice. I want to listen.” I think children DO want to be nice, follow rules, have good manners, etc. But they do so much growing socially & emotionally between ages 2 – 4, that it is such a challenge for them. They may not have the words to express what they want, so a tantrum is all they know. I do try to let The Boy know that we’ll be changing activities soon, that works well most of the time to prevent tantrums. I just wonder how long I’ll have that in my favor!

Lena: ‎Emily, I guess all kids are different. My daughter’s tantrums started before she turned 2, but when she turned 3 I realized: after terrible twos come horrible threes

Emily: Every time my son acts “bratty”, I try to figure out what I’m doing wrong. Am I not spending enough time with him? Not teaching him enough? Not socializing with his peer group often enough? I know that all of these behaviors are age appropriate, but it can make one day feel as long as two!

Lena: ‎Emily, Oh, I so hear you – going through this for the second time now

Leila: ‎Emily, both of mine were the same way! Angels until a few days before 3 and then went down hill. And then a few days before their 4th birthday, they return to my sweet angels (Buddy is 4 tomorrow and his behavior has calmed immensely in the past week!) So strange!With regards to their tantrums, my daughter only really tried it once. We ignored her and kept on our conversation. She realized her tantrum wasn’t doing any good and never did it again. My son on the other hand was out of control. There wasn’t a whole lot we found that worked besides sending him to his room to calm down or taking things away from him for bad behavior (ie: no playing the ds or wii if he misbehaved). Nothing else worked with him. :(

Cyndy: Mine was the same. No terrible two behaviors at all. And then she turned 3.

Emily: How am I going to survive the year ahead?!

Ghada: Mr 4.5 was an angel at 2 as well. I’m finding 4 to be the most challenging. He has more developed speech and knows how to argue and speak his mind – it’s a good thing I suppose that he knows his mind, but the back chat is unbelievable.

Mary: My baby girl has a classic case of the terrible twos. I only have one story but it happens several times a day, s-e-v-e-r-a-l times a day. She starts off sweet, then she wants something that she should not have or does something she knows is wrong, which is followed by crossed arms, pouty lip and a declaration of “I’m mad.” Once that does not work she melts, literally, to the floor in tears. She usually ends it with either an “I’m sorry, mommy.” or hyperventilating and I have to soothe her till she stops. Both ways I get an “I’m sorry mommy” so that is something – sigh. I seriously would not have had another if she was first.

Thank You for sharing your experience, Leila of The Go To Mommy, Lena of Way 2 Good Life, Emily of Nap Time is My Time, Cyndy of Mama Does It All, Ghada of Mama goes BAM, and Mary of iNeed a Playdate,



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2 Responses to Mommy Mindset : Terrible Two Stories from the Trenches
  1. Carolyn Ann Colley (Griffith, Smith)
    May 8, 2012 | 12:19 pm

    My granddaughter is 6, she never did tantrums until the last year, her dad passed away last May, I really think that this is what is going on with her. Now her 3 year old brother sees her do this & he is starting to have tantrums to. My daughter is ready to pull her hair out. Neither of them does this when they stay with me.

  2. Bethaney - Flashpacker Family
    Twitter: FlashpackerFam
    May 18, 2012 | 6:31 am

    We’re having the travelling terrible twos at the moment. It’s painful!
    Bethaney – Flashpacker Family recently posted..Tough Times in BangkokMy Profile

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KiwiCanadian expat adventures with my husband and 2 kids from life in New Zealand to New York and back again. Adventures in inspired family living, travel, health & fitness.Read More »