Between ages 2 and 3, it takes place the age of "No", a very dreadful stage in children's development for the parents. Some call this stage the "first adolescence", and is characterized by tantrums, refusals to do what parents ask for... one could think that our kid is trying very hard to make us lose our patience. But that's not their intention.
At age 2 we stop being babies and we become children. We start being self-aware and aware of the world around us, and we have a bit of autonomy. But we also become aware of our limitations: often our wish to reach a toy or to sleep is frustrated because we can't reach the shelf or because our parents tell us to clean up after our mess. That's the moment when we get frustrated and, since we are but children, we don't know how to react better than crying or throwing a tantrum.
The attitude as parents isn't clear: one shouldn't agree to everything they ask for, but one shouldn't ignore them either. It is necessary to keep calm, even-tempered and firm. In one word: be diplomatic. This can be achieved through various ways:
- Giving straight and direct orders: we shouldn't emit vague remarks or use our irony. We shouldn't give many orders at a time because we might confuse the kid and would only contribute to a greater tantrum.
- Not arguing or shouting: the recommendable approach is trying to dissuade the kid, or leaving him time to think about what's wrong in his behavior.
- Showing satisfaction when the kid obeys or does something without tantrums: They will be conscious that he should have a more unhurried and rational attitude.
But the best piece of advice is still to understand our child and comprehend that this is a natural stage in its development: they are not trying to drive us crazy or declare themselves rebels. They simply want to find themselves and learn the difference between what's wrong and what's right. And, although they deny it, they are looking for our help.