10 Tips for Surviving the Terrible Twos From Moms Who've Been There

10 Tips for Surviving the Terrible Twos From Moms Who've Been There

Don’t lose your cool with your toddler, thanks to this invaluable advice.


By Nicole Fabian-Weber

The toddler phase, particularly the "terrible twos," is a complex time for moms and dads. On the one hand, it truly is one of the most adorable, amazing, joyful parts of raising a child, while on the other, it can be a bit maddening at times. There's no reasoning with toddlers, after all, so quite often we find ourselves in the middle of Tantrum City, or we're listening to the person we've lovingly cared for all day say "go away!" to us. Not fun.

But sometimes, surviving the low points of the terrible twos just takes a change of mind-set. Here, 10 mamas who have been there, done that share invaluable advice for this tumultuous stage.

1. "Enjoy all the cuddles, hugs, climbs into the bed in the middle of the night -- even the annoying glomming-on-your-leg, hanging-on-your-neck-screaming-'maaaamaaaaa' ones. Pretty soon you won't get as many anymore, or you might even get an 11-year-old who repels affection so much that he punches you in the arm if you try to hug him. But it's something, so I'll take it." -- Cynthia D., mom of an 11-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl

2. "Just when you think you can't take whatever behavior anymore, it passes. It's the ultimate lesson in patience for parents." -- Michele Z., mom of 5-year-old twins

3. "Try to see things through your kid's eyes. If you were 2, it might be worth a meltdown when your mom says 'no' to ice cream for breakfast!" -- Laura V., mom of a 2-year-old girl

4. "Don't freak out when your kids freak out. It isn't always easy, but nothing positive ever comes from getting worked up." -- Ilene P., mom of 5- and 3-year-old girls

5. "Avoid trying to clean when your toddler is awake. Everything will be messed up in about four seconds. Live in filth until they go to sleep!" -- Karen R., mom of a 4-year-old boy

More from P&G everyday: 7 Ways to Handle Temper Tantrums

6. "Say yes more than you say no. It's easy to tell your child 'no' when they want to play with something messy or do something inconvenient. But the joy you'll bring them from letting them do that fun thing totally supersedes the annoyance of having to clean up." -- Justine F., mom of a 3-year-old boy and a baby girl

7. "Remember that toddlers are little sponges. Anything you say or do, they WILL pick up." -- Courtney A., mom of a 2-year-old girl

8. "Try not to take anything personally! Of course, it's going to sting when the person you're pretty much a slave to tells you to 'go away,' but they don't mean it! They're just trying to assert themselves." -- Esther V., mom of 6- and 4-year-old boys

9. "If you have a toddler who still wakes up in the middle of the night, know it will pass. It may not feel like it, but I swear it will! And when it does, everyone is right -- you will miss it." -- Katie M., mom of a 4-year-old boy

10. "Don't stress out about potty training, manners, making sure your kid is enrolled in art class, and eating the healthiest foods every day. Just focus on loving and playing with them. At that age, there's not much more that matters." -- Kelly T., mom of 7- and 4-year-old girls

How did you survive the terrible twos?


Nicole Fabian-Weber is the mama of a sweet toddler girl and a baby boy. She lives outside of NYC and writes for The Stir and numerous other online publications. Right now, she’s probably fantasizing about sleep.

Image ©iStock.com/SHSPhotography


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