The Terrible Twos: Myth or Fact? 1


As I get to know my granddaughter more and more, it becomes screamingly obvious that she is nothing like my daughter. My daughter was the most even-tempered child I’ve ever known—no tantrums, no tears, no defiance—nothing. I have always said that she spoiled me to the point where I don’t actually know what it would be like to be a “real world” mother.

Well, now that I’m spending time with my granddaughter, and watching her interaction with her mother and others, I realize she is a child who will test her boundaries and strength as often as humanly possible. Some might view it as a negative but, in my eyes, it is not.

Raising a strong child means that it will require far more patience and consistency than it would be to raise a cakewalk of a child as my daughter was. One thing I maintain is that, in order to raise an emotionally healthy child, you need to slow your world down to a crawl when dealing with adverse situations. I also preach the success of, what I call, Offensive Parenting. “Knee-Jerk Parenting” will be peppered with failure, because emotions are already elevated when you reach the point of dealing with the issue at hand.

Now onto the topic of the dreaded “Terrible Twos.”

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My granddaughter is now two years and two months old and she is definitely testing boundaries. She can fall on her face and not shed a tear, but if her mom says no to her, she can, at times, become inconsolable. She actually did it with my husband and me yesterday when he reprimanded the dog, and she thought he was reprimanding her. It took ages for her to calm down, but I just shut my world down and dealt with it. It broke my heart to see her so wounded over a misunderstanding.

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I recently learned that a person in my granddaughter’s life is now accusing her of suffering from the terrible twos. I discovered this through social media. I am of the opinion that, if she’s posting it on Facebook or Instagram that the little one is going through the terrible twos, you can bet your bottom dollar she’s saying it in front of her.

This is categorically wrong!

I would dearly love to give this person a piece of my mind, but it’s not my place. Instead, I’ll just be passive aggressive and hope the guilty party reads this.

The terrible twos do not need to exist in the capacity that society views it. Not to sound corny, but this time in a child’s life really should be referred to as the Terrific Twos.

What’s going on in your child is not demonic possession or a genetic flaw, but simply that your child:

  • Has more control over her verbal skills
  • Has more control over his physical capabilities
  • Is absorbing the stimulation of his surroundings at a break-neck pace
  • Is testing her boundaries with those she feels safest
  • Is learning how life works.

None of these are negative at all. Your child is just stretching their wings and learning how to fly. It is your job to love and nurture them, instead of just abandoning the nest and letting them fend for themselves emotionally. Maybe that’s why we have so many sexually promiscuous birds flying around with multiple tattoos and body piercings. Maybe they are still going through the terrible twos.

I’ve always joked that my daughter didn’t suffer from the terrible twos until she was fourteen, but in a way it’s a true statement. Like the terrible twos, my daughter was testing her boundaries, pushing the limits with me. With each boundary she chose to cross, I did my best to deal with it lovingly, in lieu of throwing my hands in the air.

I do recognize that not all children are created equal, but please don’t be so quick to let anyone label (or medicate, for that matter) your children.

Think about the big picture. Do you want your child to be a lemming, who just walks off the edge of a cliff because their friend did? Celebrate how ornery they are. Help them exert their individuality, and inhale their capabilities. Guide them lovingly, with an understanding of respect and boundaries, but never discourage their desire to push their limits.

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Is it easy?

No, it is not.

It takes patience.

No… wait…

It takes parenting.

No one said that parenting was easy.

So, since you’ve committed to the role (whether it was planned, or not), slow your world down to a stop (or crawl), and raise your child with passion and empathy.

I dare you.

No… I double-dog dare you!


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One thought on “The Terrible Twos: Myth or Fact?

  • Candace

    Seriously… how are you so damn awesome?!? Every single post I read of yours elevates me. Please don’t ever stop speaking your mind. You have helped me grow as a wife, parent, and human.