"A child without rules is like a fish out of water. "

A Tale of the Terrible Twos


What is the appropriate response when a toddler misbehaves while you're in the middle of an activity you cannot just walk away from to redirect or deter them immediately?

Here are a few examples of how this typically happens with my two year old twins:

- I'm frying meat in the kitchen, meanwhile one of the twins is yanking the curtains down, collapsing the whole rod...she knows not to do this, but does it when she knows I cannot get to her immediately

- I'm changing a messy diaper, meanwhile the other twin is knocking over clean laundry baskets or baskets of toys I've just put away

Thank you for your help.


Dear Mom, Thanks for your question!

You are describing toddlers being toddlers, they do explore and test our limits! This behavior is expected at this age.

The appropriate response when a toddler misbehaves is proactive discipline. That means that you should develop a plan of action before the problems occur, as you can pin them so well. For instance, when you are frying meat in the kitchen they should be in a safe place where you can see them but that does not offer a great exploration environment. You may use a child gate to keep them in the room you want them to be, for instance. The same goes for changing diapers. While changing one, put the other one playing in the crib, for example, so there is less room for a mess. Concerning the toys, leave available an amount they can put away themselves.

"Making the 'Terrible' Twos Terrific," by John Rosemond is certainly going to help you out of the tale of the terrible twos. When your twins test you, that’s the appropriate time for you to teach them what the boundaries are. The book will bring you details on that!

Denise Rohrer
Certified Leadership Parenting Coach

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