There is no surprise that your little angel is acting strangely in order to get what they want. Your child may be experiencing the two-year syndrome, commonly known as the terrible twos
ISTANBUL – According to experts, some changes in temper between the end of infancy and the beginning of childhood are known as the terrible twos or the twoyear syndrome. In the course of this period, children undergo both physical and personality change. As such, parents should accept their child is growing up. Mehmet Yavuz, a psychiatrist at the Reem Neuropsychiatry Center, said it is common to observe ill-tempered, stubborn, short and aggressive behaviors among the children with two-year syndrome. He also emphasizes punishment is not a proper way to deal with these children.
Children become increasingly independent from their parents starting around age two, trying to fulfill their needs by themselves. Around this age, they learn to express their wishes and needs without crying. This period is the starting point of socialization and thereby is crucial for children's mental and physical skills. It is observed that the even-tempered children become more active and stubborn during this period. While babies generally cry to express their wishes, a two-year-old child throws objects or behaves in a stubborn way. Furthermore, hand and communication skills are rapidly developed. Sometimes, these children may be in conflict with the family.
The two-year syndrome may even start when a child is one and continue until the age of five. In addition to aggressive behaviors, it is also likely to observe stubborn, persistent and ill-tempered behavior. The main reason of the two-year syndrome is that children start to grow up. The period between the ages of two and three is considered crucial for physical and psychological development.
Pay attention to children's behaviors
Parents are recommended to adopt a calm manner toward their children with aggressive behaviors. Bear in mind that the two-year syndrome is natural and temporary. There is no reason to worry about children's attitudes because they will start to get used to their parents' instructions.
When children have aggressive manners, parents are advised to divert the child's attention. It is not recommended to yell at them. In the case that parents feel themselves incapable, expert consultation is advised. Accommodating a child's every wish is not a proper way to deal with their aggression. Instead, it is recommended to give small gifts to children and make them happy. It is important not to turn this strategy into a habit and parents should not gift their children all the time.
The best attitude is to talk with children in a calm manner. If a child experiences loss of appetite, meals can be prepared in an appealing way. There are different ways to make mealtime more enjoyable. "Punishment damages children's selfconfidence," says Yavuz. Children should not be punished for every fault. In this period, children cannot understand the main reason of punishment, but rather continue to act aggressively. Therefore, parents are advised to divert children's attention and say to the child that his or her attitude is not right. Punishment may damage children's self-confidence and restricts communication between parents and children.
Let's look at a two-year-old child more closely:
– They can walk on their feet with confidence.
– They can control their need to use the toilet.
– They can hold a pencil or spoon.
– They are more interested in their environment. They can act aggressively if they become distant from their social environment.
– They are not entirely used to sharing their belongings.
– They can say sentences with one or two words. Picture books may catch their attention.
– Personal development is very important as this is a transition period from infancy to childhood. At this age, children try to meet their own needs.
– They may select a role model from their family to enhance their psychological and physical development.
– They take the first steps to being an individual and improve their skills, which is why the age of two is considered very crucial for development.