• Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Archives
    Archives Contains a list of blog posts that were created previously.
  • Login
    Login Login form

The Terrible Twos: Truth or Consequences

Posted by on in What If?
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 699

Yesterday, in my child development class, one of the students was curious about why people use the term, “terrible twos.” Instead of the automatic response I could have given, I decided maybe this was a good opportunity to clear the air about the second twelve months of a little child’s life.

It seems that age group gets a bad rap at every turn. Sure, we hear some negative comments about senior citizens (“old codgers,” “senile,” blue hairs”). And, for sure, millennials receive a good deal of criticism, too (“snowflakes, “trophy kids,” “entitled”). But usually, those attributes are individually earned and not always the immediate reaction upon hearing the general designation.

           old man                     millenn

The title of Twos, on the other hand, receives an on-the-spot heavy sigh, some snide remarks, and expressions of sympathy for the parents and caregivers. Not fair, I say. Because… although Twos are definitely a different animal, they are not really all that terrible.

I see Twos as being both a baby and a little child… with the benefits of both, including lots of cuddles, still being under a degree of parental control, having independence, and the ability to communicate. Plus, you don’t have many of the unfavorable aspects of either of these stages… the continual arguing over why we can’t wear a flimsy Halloween costume when it’s only 12 degrees outside or the constant needs of an infant.

self dress

If we believe the terrible twos stereotype, then we will be anticipating it. Sure, there are going to be outbursts, angry moments, and meltdowns. But because of our pre-determined mindset, we may approach these with less understanding and care. Our negative expectations drive a self-fulfilling prophecy… and THAT can make things ugly.

Truth be told, two year-olds can be difficult sometimes because of how complicated and constantly new and exciting their life is. All of a sudden, they have an honest to goodness personality, with their own preferences and tastes. Their minds and bodies are growing and they are highly motivated to try new things and challenge themselves.

During their second year, children experience a language explosion and they will learn that words have power. With all these new things to experience and learn, it can be overwhelming.

I told my students to think back to a time when they had to learn a totally new and different skill. I asked if they got it right the first or second time they tried. And, how they felt when they just weren’t getting it at all… frustrated, right? Did they ever curse or cry or even scream? Well, of course. Learning something entirely new is difficult. Now, think about how hard it is for Twos, when their whole life is something new.

How about a new mindset, then. Instead of labeling them as terrible, let’s see them as beginners, hard workers, and simply incredible little humans who deserve our patience, care, love, and respect.

happy twos

                                                       

Last modified on
Rate this blog entry:

Debra Pierce is professor of Early Childhood Education at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. Ivy Tech is the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college systems, serving nearly 200,000 students annually.

Her professional background has always involved children, over the past 40 years, having been a primary grades teacher in the Chicago Public School system, a teacher of 3 and 4 year-olds in a NAEYC accredited preschool for 15 years, and a certified Parent Educator for the National Parents as Teachers Program.

Debra is a certified Professional Development Specialist for the Council for Professional Recognition. She has taught CDA courses to high school career/tech dual credit juniors and seniors in preparation for earning their CDA credentials. She also conducts CDA train-the-trainer events across the country and develops and teaches online CDA courses for several states, is a frequent presenter at national and state early childhood conferences, and is a Master Trainer for the states of Minnesota and Arizona. She was also awarded the NISOD Teaching Excellence Award by the University of Texas.

Debra is active in her community, supporting children's literacy and is on the board of directors of First Book in Indianapolis. Debra is a contributing author for Hamilton County Family Magazine and Indy's Child in Indianapolis.
She loves spending time with her two grandsons, Indy, who is 7 and Radley, 3.

Debra has spent the last 16 years dedicated to the success of those pursuing the CDA credential and is the author of The CDA Prep Guide: The Complete Review Manual for the Child Development Associate Credential, now in its third edition (Redleaf Press), the only publication of its kind. She hosts a website providing help and support to CDA candidates and those who train them at http://www.easycda.com
The comments and views expressed are not in collaboration or affiliation with The Council for Professional Recognition or Ivy Tech Community College.
Follow me on Twitter at /easycda

  • No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

Leave your comment

Guest Thursday, 25 April 2019