Navigating the Terrible Twos: Strategies for Parenting with Patience

A happy toddler wearing dungaree

The “Terrible Twos” is a phase that all parents are familiar with. It’s a time when toddlers seem to transform into tiny tornadoes of tantrums and defiance, leaving even the most patient parents feeling overwhelmed. However, it’s important to remember that the Terrible Twos are a normal stage of development as children assert their independence and test boundaries. To help you cope with this challenging phase, we’ll explore some effective strategies for parenting with patience.

Understand the Stage:

Before diving into strategies, it’s crucial to understand why the Terrible Twos happen. At this age, children are developing a sense of self and autonomy, which often leads to resistance and tantrums. Knowing that this behavior is developmentally appropriate can help you approach it with empathy and patience.

Set Clear Boundaries:

While your child is asserting their independence, they still need clear boundaries. Be consistent with rules, but keep them simple. This will help your child understand what’s expected of them and minimize frustration.

Offer Choices:

Toddlers love to assert their independence, so giving them choices can help reduce power struggles. For example, let them choose between two outfits or two snacks. It makes them feel more in control.

Stay Calm:

It’s easier said than done, but try to remain calm during tantrums. Remember that your child is still learning how to cope with big emotions. Being a calming presence can help them settle down faster.

Use Positive Reinforcement:

Praise and reward good behavior. When your child follows the rules or acts appropriately, acknowledge and praise them. Positive reinforcement can be a powerful motivator.


While it’s important to stay calm, sometimes a brief time-out can be helpful for both you and your child. It allows you both to cool down and regroup before addressing the issue.

Model Behavior:

Children learn by watching their parents. If you want them to exhibit patience and good behavior, make sure you’re setting a good example.

Two little girls playing together

Offer Distractions:

When a tantrum is brewing, try to redirect your child’s attention to something else. A new toy or activity can sometimes help defuse the situation.

Keep a Routine:

Toddlers thrive on routine. Having a consistent schedule for meals, naps, and bedtime can help reduce meltdowns and create a sense of security.

Seek Support:

Parenting is challenging, and it’s okay to ask for help. Lean on family and friends, or consider joining a parenting group. Sometimes, sharing experiences and advice can be incredibly reassuring.

Remember, it’s just a phase, and with consistent love and support, you and your child will emerge from it with a stronger bond and a wealth of new skills. You can also enroll your child at our infant daycare in Overland Park KS, and let the caretakers help you with setting a routine. Contact Ivy League Learning Center today!