Being a parent can be challenging. Even for the most ambitious, resourceful, resilient, and presumably prepared individuals, the moment that your status changes to “parent” when your little one arrives in this world, everything changes. There are books to read and classes to take and advice that is given, all with the intention to help you navigate this new world in which you find yourself, but every new parent will face unique obstacles and challenges that he or she could never have prepared for. From the first day of your child’s life, through all of the formative years, adolescence and beyond, there will be situations that you will find yourself in that you never would have faced as a non parent.
Things do not always go as planned
Many parents learn pretty quickly that there are times that the most meticulously mapped plans must be tossed out the window. In fact for some, this begins as early as the due date. Only 4% of women actually deliver their new babies on the predicted due date, and about 80% of pregnant women have their child two weeks away from their due date, whether the new little family member is early or late. From there things often get increasingly more difficult to plan or schedule. This new little being has a mind of its own that it doesn’t understand yet, and it takes strong will and patience to help each little one grow through those learning processes.
Newborn sleep patterns mean saying goodbye to full, restful nights of sleep. Then come the attempts to soothe teething periods pain, which gives way to dealing with terrible twos behavior, and bit by bit, teaching your child how to interact with others, make good choices, be responsible, and eventually how to be independent. Parenting is not for the faint of heart, and it takes as much flexibility as it does strength, love, patience, and diligence.
The early years
Humans are one of the few mammals that are born at such an underdeveloped stage, needing such a long time to reach maturity or even to develop the basics of speech and mobility. It’s in those first few years especially, however, that there is an incredible rate of brain development. In fact until about the age of three years old, the brain develops and grows faster than at any other age.
Many infants will begin to produce babbling sounds around seven months, which is the very beginning stages of mimicking the speech of the people around them. During that first year of life, the brain will triple in size as the new little human being starts to learn to process his or her surroundings, which are might be overwhelming and chaotic after the cozy little womb.
By the age of three years old, a child will have created over 1,000 trillion connections between the neurons in his or her brain, and the average three-year-old brain is two times as active as the average brain of an adult. Throughout the next few years, the brain remains incredibly active and maintains a faster rate of development than later on in life, which is why early education is so crucial. But it may be that middle phase of the earliest stages of development, when the world is starting to make sense but still too complex to understand on most levels, that leads to terrible twos behavior.
How to deal with toddler tantrums and terrible twos behavior
Terrible twos behavior can make the most patient of parents feel like pulling their own hair out. Toddlers and tantrums are a major source of stress that just about any parent can relate to, and probably should relate to others about, in an attempt at keeping sane. It is a good idea to share experiences with other parents in the same or similar situations, because every child and every case is unique, and it is helpful to have a stock of solutions to try out when your child seems completely unmanageable.
Talking with other parents about everything from healthy foods for picky kids to effective discipline to ideas for decompressing and relieving stress can help make the whole difficult, however ultimately wonderful, ordeal more satisfying and successful in the long run.