OH the terrible twos! Everyone tells you about them, they warn you for what is to come and you think, its fine – I’ve got this. Then they hit! It can be a lot more than you bargained for. For twin parents you get the fun of going through it TWICE at the SAME time! Don’t stress though, you will make it through the terrible twos and once they are over you will look back and realise you rocked it.
For when you are going through it, here are a few tips to keep your sanity.
Lower your expectations
Firstly you need to lower your own expectations. We all want to see ourselves as a supermum. A mum who is able to get everything done on time, keep to routine and make everyone happy. Straight up – this isn’t going to happen. By lowering your expectations you will be able to make it through each day a lot easier. There will be tantrums that come up, times when your toddlers can not express themselves and times when you just don’t want to deal. Don’t stress out if you do not get out of the house on time or if you have to cancel plans because of a huge meltdown. Take each day as it comes and work through it.
The second year of life for your twins is a lot more exhausting than the first. In the first year you are probably exhausted from being sleep deprived, however in the second year you have the activeness of your toddlers on top of the sleep deprived state. They are beginning to get more active, walking and getting into things. It may seem easier to just give in to them when they are having a tantrum or getting into something that they shouldn’t, however this will open up a bigger can of worms in later years.
Set limits both for you and your toddlers. Limit their time with different toys or watching TV, set limits on snacks throughout the day so that they eat their proper meals and set limits on things that they can play with (no going into the kitchen cupboards etc)
Setting limits will help to teach them as well, they may not like it at first but they will learn from it.
Have plenty of distractions
When your toddlers start to tantrum because they are not getting what they want or their sibling has their favourite toy, this is where distraction should come into it. At 2 they are starting to learn about sharing and being allowed to have things however they are not quite able to understand and express themselves properly. Putting a toddler at 2 into a ‘time out’ is not going to achieve anything. If you remove them from that environment and distract them with something else this can calm them down and remove the tantrum. Distract them with a book or colouring in or another toy.
Be easy on yourself
When your toddlers start screaming the whole shopping centre down because you wont put a block of chocolate in the trolley – it is NOT your fault. The important thing to remember when going through the terrible twos is that this is not your fault. You did not do anything wrong or make them have the tantrum (a part from saying no to the chocolate) You are still a great mum and you are looking out for them. They don’t understand it now but years down the track they will realise that everything you did and everything you said no to was in their best interests.
The terrible twos are not always bad. Your kids are not a pain in the butt for a constant 12 months. It is brought on by them learning to express themselves, learning new things and starting to understand how the world works. They will be your happy little vegemites most of the time.
And when they aren’t? Look forward to bedtime. Because once they are down for the night, snuggled into their cots or beds – it is WINE TIME!
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