How do you handle the 'terrible twos'

If you're the parent of a young child, we probably don't need to tell you the terrible twos are real.

"The toddler and the 2-year old attitude definitely exists," says Children's Healthcare of Atlanta pediatrician and WebMD Medical Editor Dr. Hansa Bhargava.  She says blame it your toddler's brain, which is very much under construction.

"These kids are learning not only how to walk and run and jump and climb stairs, but their brain is actually taking in language. So they go from 10 words to 50 words to 200 words and all of a sudden they feel powerful. They feel independent," Dr. Hansa Bhargava.

At 1, 2 and 3 children often struggle to express themselves, and understand what you are telling them. 

"They have the capacity to speak, but it's very limited. And they have the capacity to understand, but that is limited.  So that's frustrating for them."

To prevent meltdowns, Dr. Bharghava says keep toddlers on a consistent routine: where they know what to expect - and what's expected of them. And when a tantrum comes, and it will, take a deep breath.

"Get down on his level. Look at him in the eye and say, "Hey, I understand you're frustrated. I understand you're mad. And it's okay to be mad. But we're going to calm down now and we're going to go home," adds the mother. "Because if you start yelling or you get upset, that's not going to help the situation. It actually aggravates it."

Kids will push your buttons, but Bhargava says, remember you are their security, nd then need you.

"You are the structure. You are the fence that they live in. And the more you are their structure, whether it's the calm or whether it's a storm the better it is for both of you."

When you're tempted to give in and hand over that candy bar, don't.

"That is not going to help them and it's not going to help you because that is a learned behavior." says Dr. Hansa Bhargava  "So, hold your ground, but don't lose your temper."

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