Surviving the ‘Terrible Twos’: Taming the toddler tantrum like a boss

Parenting and life

The terrible twos are totally a thing. Here’s a quick quiz to determine whether you are suffering:

Have you been subjected to a 15 minute meltdown because you had the audacity to request your child stop drawing on the walls, please?

Have you been screamed at in public because they wanted an ice lolly, but when you dutifully supplied one it was too cold?

Have you recently taken your child out with welly boots on even though it was over 30 degrees, because it’s wise to pick your battles?

Are you frequently the wrong parent, and suffer hugely for your inability to morph yourself into your partner or spouse?

Do you swing wildly between thinking that your child must in fact be the cutest thing that ever existed and idly wondering what would happen if you dropped them off at their grandparents, rang the doorbell and and sped away?

If the answer to one or more of these questions is ‘Yes, now please refill my glass’, then congratulations!

You must have a two year old.

The small one, who has just turned two, passed his two year check (for that is what they are now, none of the 27 month check nonsense) with flying colours.

Despite being a bit surprised (in a fairly disbelieving way, no less) when I claimed he was an excellent jumper he actually has most of the skills that a two year old needs down pat.

He can sing, he can dance, he can thread goddamn cheerios onto a pipe cleaner (even if he can’t eat them) and he can jump. See?

(That was our extension as it was last week. It flooded a bit, but on the plus side, puddles).

*Brag alert* He only lost points for not using a knife and fork, but I must say he tries harder than his sister. Or his dad for that matter. Just kidding, I’m the slovenly one.

When the big one had her check, I filled out the form and hung on to it throughout the meeting and then took it home afterwards leaving me wondering a little why I’d used my best handwriting, so this time I didn’t bother filling out all the details, and left myself little notes at the end under ‘concerns’.

I quote:

The terrible twos are killing me.

He’s so naughty. SO NAUGHTY¬†and¬†When will he sleep past 5.30am? I might actually die first.

This time, of course, she took the form from me and went through it. She gave a little chuckle to my answers but had magical solutions to neither; some kids are just crap sleepers, and with regards to the ‘spirited behaviour’ this is highly unlikely to be indicative of evil requiring immediate intervention.

He’s two.

Anyway, here is basically what we discussed, so I thought I’d share some tried and tested tactics for dealing with the terrible twos, and how they worked for us.


Make sure they’re safe, tell them calmly that you’re leaving and just walk away. Easier at home than in the supermarket although at least then you can pretend it’s someone else’s child.

I did this last night, and now he’s got a whacking great bruise where he headbutted the side of the bed in an apoplectic rage.

Rating: 5/10, could result in A&E trip.

Praise the positive

Oh aren’t you such a good boy for not biting your sister in 20 minutes!

Rating: 2/10. I’m constantly praising my children; every scrawl is a masterpiece, every song worthy of a record deal, but when he’s mid-meltdown oddly this does not enter his brain,

Consistency is key

Don’t make empty threats. Make sure that if you say things, you follow through. Or just don’t say them out loud.

Rating: No idea, might work, but I’m rubbish at it.


Oooh look, there’s an aeroplane! Let’s sing Twinkle Twinkle. Look everyone, it’s a mad woman pointing at the sky and singing to herself while her son pummels the ground with his fist.

Or, throw food.

Rating: 6/10; food-based distraction works. ALWAYS HAVE SNACKS.

Hug it out

Does not work and I have the black eye to prove it.

Rating: 1/10.

My advice

Have a bottle of wine in the fridge and periodically throughout the day, go and stroke it. You can do this, mama. You won’t be broken by the terrible twos.

(And then they’ll be three and they’ll have attitude, and then they’ll be four and argue with you about anything, and then they’ll be five and you’ll look back on these days with a strange rose-tinted nostalgia and fondness.

Then they’ll be a teenager and they won’t talk to you and you’ll wonder why you didn’t #CherishEveryMoment but you’ll enjoy patronising newer mums who are tearing their hair out through sleep deprivation and tell them it goes too fast, but it’ll all be worth it when you’re a grandparent.

Apparently, that’s how it goes anyway.)

Pin for later!The Terrible Twos are very real: Taming the toddler tantrum like a true mum boss. How to deal with toddler tantrums; tried and tested methods for dealing with the frequent irrational meltdowns experienced by my two year old


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