Here at Vonkids, the providers of premier child care services in Calgary, we know that the terrible twos can be a difficult time, to say the least.
People say, “You are living the best time of your life”, “They grow so fast, it feels like yesterday when I was holding their tiny hands” and it is all true, but doesn’t it feel like an eternity when our little ones are throwing tantrums in public?
There are no parenting books that can help prepare you for the realities of child development. They may tell you what you might be able to expect, but nothing can truly prepare you for what your children will be like once they reach this unpredictable age.
So, in order to help you understand how to properly care for a two year old, we would like to share with you some strategies that can help you in times of great stress. Some of these strategies are even used by our lovely directors here at VonKids Dayhomes. Let’s start with the facts of how the development of a two year old’s brain effects their behaviors:
According to naitreetgrandir.com:
- A young child’s brain contains little white matter (myelin). “This white matter
facilitates information processing,” explains neuropsychologist Miriam Beauchamp,
Director of the Université de Montréal’s ABCs Developmental Neuropsychology
Laboratory. “Since a child has less, messages he receives aren’t processed as
- 2-year-olds have billions of neurons, but the connections between them haven’t all
yet been made. In other words, he is missing a few connections that allow the
different parts of the brain to communicate effectively!
- A child’s frontal lobes are still not completely developed, either. These lobes are
especially important since they are responsible for functions such as reasoning,
planning, problem solving, understanding abstract notions, and controlling impulses.
Lastly, the limbic system, which controls emotions, is still not fully developed in 2-year-olds.
Now, we can see why it’s really difficult to reason with a two-year-old. But it’s also important to say that these tantrums and frustrating behaviors may come before or after the age of 2. Some behaviors may include hitting, biting, and throwing things. So what is there to do?
1. Respect the nap. Kids get tired and they need rest. It’s better to do activities before or
after their nap time. At Vonkids, we are flexible with each little one’s needs, like
nap time. Our directors make sure they time the most fun and important activities for
when the little ones are well rested and happy, usually first thing in the morning.
2. Stick to a schedule with meals. Kids love their schedules as it provides them with a
sense of safety. They are afraid of the unknown so it’s only natural that they get anxious
or fussy when they don’t have a schedule and don’t know what comes next, especially
when their little tummies are expecting food. So, if you are planning a trip, make sure to
bring healthy snacks with you. At Vonkids, we make sure to stick to our meal schedule
with our healthy meals, including the morning snack and the afternoon snack. This
avoids kids getting hangry and will make their time and education more enjoyable.
3. Talk to your child about potential triggers ahead of time. For example, let he or she know
they are not allowed to have a candy bar, but if they are good at the store they can have
a treat afterward, or at a party if they fight, there will be consequences which may
include leaving the party.
4. Commit to the same strategies for a certain period of time. When you do different things
at different times, children learn to manipulate the situation and it’s more likely you’ll give in,
which will only make things harder on you the next time you go out with your child. Being firm is the best you can do for yourself and your little one. At Vonkids, we use positive reinforcement, so if someone is having a big tantrum, we calm them and once they settle down, we explain the situation, making it a learning opportunity for us and the little one.
5. Keep them active. Distraction sometimes is a great way of avoiding tantrums, as long
as children are entertained and occupied, it’s less likely they will throw a tantrum.
6. Try to be consistent and calm. Take deep breaths, stay calm, and try not to give in or
overreact. It is a good idea to remind yourself, “This too shall pass.” A quick explanation after your child has calmed, along with a big hug, will make everyone feel better.
If your little one is having trouble going through their terrible twos, don’t stress as the time flies. Simply use the child care advice above and try to enjoy the terrible twos as much as possible. If you’re looking for world-class child care services in Calgary, then Vonkids is perfect for you. Learn more about our child development services, get to know our home daycare services, or contact Vonkids to schedule a tour of one of our Calgary dayhomes today.