I’ve been getting a LOT of emails recently about the 2-3 year age groups. I’m not surprised. This age range is pretty famous for its “terrible” twos behavior, tantrums, etc. Add in the fact that we’re coming out of the holiday season, kids and caregivers are sick more often during the colder months, and it being cold and yucky outside can throw a monkey wrench in outdoor playtime. In case you haven’t realized yet… Outside playtime is pretty important to children, especially little ones.
Here’s a quick list of articles that talk about the behavior of two and three year olds including boundary testing, tantrums over strange things (“MY TOAST IS BROKEN, PUT IT BACK TOGETHER!”), etc. If you have any other articles you think would fit well in this list, comment below and I’ll add them.
“Why Your Toddler Isn’t Misbehaving- Understanding Age Appropriate Inappropriate Behavior”
Excerpt: “There are a TON of rules for small human beings. Rules have to be tested to be understood fully. “Does mommy mean no hitting the dog” (this ball is red) or does mommy mean no hitting the dog hard? (this ball is a shade of red) Does mommy mean no hitting the dog with my hands or does it also mean I can’t hit the dog with this toy? (this ball has red on it)”
Excerpt: “You’ll have a mental picture in your head of a potato roll. You’ll ask for it using the words you know. “Mommy I want some bread!” and I’ll say “Of COURSE you can have some bread.” and I’ll go to the table and get the oat bread that I know you like, and I’ll give it to you and your little heart and brain will break in the upset and disappointment that I broke the promise to “get you bread” by trying to give you something you did not ask for. In your mind you understand deeply that “bread” is that potato roll that you had pictured in your memory. Your upset is bigger than it would be if I simply told you “No. No bread.” because I PROMISED YOU BREAD and I BROKE THAT PROMISE.”
Crying for “Stupid” Reasons and the Emotional Fire Drills of Childhood
Excerpt: “I think that as parents we all have these “goals” for what we want for our relationships with our children, and for the most part we don’t have any real idea on how to get there. We want our kids to feel safe talking to us when they are teenagers. We want them to come to us if they have heartbreak, if they make mistakes, if they need medical treatment, if they need advice. We want to be trusted and we want to be kept in the loop.
But at the same time our culture pushes us to miss the opportunities for those things.”
How to Discipline a Tantruming Child. Wait. What? Discipline Feelings?
Excerpt: “I still read a variety of pretty traditional publications, though. And so I see tantrums being talked about in terms of manipulation, “getting their way”, breaking the tantrum, disciplining the tantruming child, isolating them, ignoring them, training them to not tantrum.
It’s odd for me to read because I start asking “Is anger manipulative? Is sadness manipulative? Frustration?”
Truth is, many adults throw tantrums too. They curse. They throw things. Some even punch holes in walls. Some yell. Some storm away.”
Illogical Logic and your Three Year Old Scientist
Excerpt: “When my oldest was three I was cutting up some food for him. “That piece is too big!” So I cut a smaller piece. “That piece is too small!” so I cut a piece in the middle. He pondered. He looked at it. It was not right. He looked for words. “That piece is too… tooo… MEDIUM!”
Ahh.. The illogical logic of a three year old. Everything is wrong. Harry and Mary Contrary were clearly three years old and going through that divine time of frustrated declarations that things are just too darned medium.”