Apart from developments, a child at two years also goes through the 'terrible twos' or 'trying twos'. The KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) General Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine Service shares coping strategies for parents.
At 2 years old
, your child goes through 'terrible twos' or 'trying twos', exploring the world around and trying to master skills on his or her own which can give rise to tantrum outbursts.
Child development milestones: 2 years old
The Terrible Twos/The Trying Twos
- Your child is able to walk without assistance at this age, able to raise his or her body without using hands, and able to run. Your child can climb up and down stairs two feet per step, able to kick a ball, and climbs onto and down from furniture unassisted
- Your child can build a tower of six cubes, turn picture book pages one at a time, scribbles on his or her own, and might even use one hand more often than the other
- Your child is able to put on simple clothes without help (usually perfoming better at removing clothes rather than putting them on).
- Your child is able to communicate needs such as thirst, hunger, and the need to use the toilet
- Your child can join two to three words in sentences, and your child's vocabulary would have increased to about 50 to 300 words
- Your child can recognise details in pictures and knows body parts
- Your child will use his or her own name to refer to self.
- Your child can understand two-step commands (for example, "give me the ball and then get your shoes")
- Your child imitates the behaviour of others, especially adults and older children
- Your child starts to develop make-believe play
- Your child demonstrates increasing independence
- Your child begins to show defiant behaviour
- Negativism: "No, No, No….!" is a very common response for a child at this age
- Your child starts to throw 'Temper Tantrums', doing it when you don’t give them what they want, but they get over it very quickly too.
- Your child will exhibit great curiosity at this age, having a fascination to explore - testing things, tasting them, pressing them and squeezing them.
- Your child may also exhibit possessiveness and destructiven behaviour. For example, your child may not like to share his or her things and can get rough with toys when asserting ownership. Your child will also tend to want to figure how things work so toys purchased at this age should not be easily broken or torn apart.
Tips for handling 'Terrible Twos'/'Trying Twos'
Two-year-olds are at a stage where children want to explore the world around them and are trying to master skills on their own. They seek to attain independence and to satisfy their curiosity. Thus, when upset, they tend to vent outbursts of tantrums and anger
Try the following:
- Give your child plenty of opportunity for exploration in his or her environment. Provide your child with playthings that he or she can touch, press and taste. Equip your child with toys that stimulate the imagination and promote exploration
- Try to distract your child when he or she is frustrated by giving other activities. Or you can help your child if he or she is unable to complete a certain task
- Provide your child with durable toys that are not easily broken
- You can even create a game out of the task you would like your child to do if he or she answers with a "No" when asked to do the task
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