Now Entering the Terrible Twos

The infamous "terrible twos" can start well before, or after, your toddler’s second birthday. If you’re lucky, your toddler may never go through this difficult period. So, how can you tell if the "terrible twos" have arrived? If you find your toddler being more assertive than usual and having more tantrums than before, there’s a good chance you’ve entered the "terrible twos" zone in the stages of child development.

As your toddler nears her second birthday, her sense of autonomy has grown tremendously over the last year. She may start referring to herself by her own name or by "I", indicating that she now has some idea that she is an independent person.

Her verbal skills have also grown over the last year, which has given her the ability to better express herself. She has developed a better understanding of her capability to control a situation and as a result may be very bossy at times. Her new found verbal skills also help to contribute to her bossy demeanor. And though she still won’t be very happy to share her toys with other toddlers, you can certainly try encouraging the behavior at home.

Your toddler may also start showing an interest in playing with other children, especially those that are older than him. Older siblings probably won’t enjoy having their kid brother following them around all day! But your toddler is just learning how to interact with other children, so encourage his siblings to be patient with him.

Around the age of two, toddlers also begin to demonstrate gendered behavior. Suddenly your little girl wants to wear make-up just like mommy and your son walks in his father’s shoes all day. However, toddlers don’t always imitate the behavior of the same-sex parent, so don’t be surprised if your son wants to put on lipstick and your daughter insists on walking like her father. Allow your toddler to find their right place by letting them do what feels most comfortable for them.

Or maybe you’ve caught your toddler feeding his stuffed toys and tucking them in at night. This charming behavior shows you that, not only does he pay attention to everything you do, but that he is also beginning to understand empathy. Your toddler’s social and emotional development is well on track and he is on his way to being a caring and thoughtful child.