Behavior of a Two Year Old

in Children


Parenthood is probably one of the most exhilarating experiences that life has to offer. It beats skydiving and bungee jumping any day, because the rollercoaster of emotions is unending and one never knows what challenges tomorrow will bring. This aspect of parenthood starts the moment a child is born, and the excitement, happiness, and frustrations never end.

And one of the biggest challenges that many first-time parents must face are the terrible twos. “Terrible twos” isn’t actually a medical term. It is not formally used in the diagnosis of any pediatric condition. Calling this age the terrible twos is a product of popular culture, because children aged two (and above) tend to be more independent, and moody.

The shift from sweet baby to independent toddler can be a shock to many parents. This is the main reason why parents always have to keep up with the right knowledge, so they will be able to deal with this special stage in their child’s developmental timeline.

Two year olds are known for being emotional, independent, and sometimes even bossy. Toddlers are also known for saying “no!” to almost anything a parent says (if they are in the mood to do so). Many parents ask me: is this behavior normal? Is something wrong with my child? The answer is yes, this behavior is normal and, no, there is nothing wrong with your child.

The independent streak that toddlers suddenly develop after they learn how to walk, run, and jump is a part of their normal mental development. If your toddler is constantly bossy and independent, that means your child is developing normally.

Toddlers tend to be moody, simply because they do not yet have the mental faculty to deal with the complex emotions that they are experiencing at this point in time. Sure, a child will be able to deal with emotions like happiness and sadness.

Those are easy: when a child is happy, he laughs hysterically. When a child is sad, he cries. But what happens when a toddler experiences embarrassment, or perhaps even anger? These emotions are uncontrollable, and often, toddlers are shocked by what they are feeling. And so they deal with the emotions the best they can: they express what they feel by saying “no” and having tantrums.

When a toddler becomes extremely resistant to a parent or a primary caregiver, he’s not being a “stinker”; he’s just trying to cope with his evolving abilities and roles in the family.

Try to put yourself in your child’s shoes: a year ago, you were just a helpless baby. You needed help for everything. Then you suddenly gained the ability to walk, run, and jump. Your motor skills and motor reflexes also developed at an amazing pace. You could now climb up the stairs, and grab the cereal box if you wanted to.

The world suddenly became this big, big place that you can explore. You want to explore but you are also a little anxious of all the things that you can do.

This is what toddlers experience (in a nutshell), so it is very hard for them not to act bossy and independent. They are hardwired to be inquisitive, explorative, and independent because they are developing rapidly, both physically and mentally. 

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Amy Kennerly has 2 articles online


Amy Kennerly is a writer and experienced parent who offers advice and tips on the care and training of toddlers. At out her latest website she provides unbiased information about  The Truth Behind the Terrible Twos.


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Behavior of a Two Year Old

This article was published on 2013/02/27