- 2 1/2 year olds are rigid and inflexible. They want exactly what they want, when they want it. They cannot adapt, give in, wait a little while. Everything has to be done just so. Everything has to be right in the place they consider proper. For any domestic routine, they set up a rigid sequence of events which must always follow each other always in exactly the same manner.
- They are extremely domineering and demanding. They must give orders. They must make the decisions. If they decide, “mummy do”, daddy cannot be accepted as substitute. If they decide, “Me do it myself”, then no one is allowed to help them, no matter how awkward or incapable they themselves may be.
- 2 1/2 is an age of violent emotions. There is little modulation to the emotional life of children this age.
- It is an age of opposite extremes. With no ability to choose between alternatives (it is almost impossible for 2 1/2′s to make a clear cut choice and stick to it). Children of this age shuttle back and forth endlessly between two extremes, seeming to be trying to include both in their decision. “I will – I won’t”, “I want – I don’t want it”, “Go out – stay in”. If someone doesn’t cut into this back and forth shuttling, it has been known to go on for upwards of an hour or more. The decision of what clothes to wear may usurp a whole morning for a conflict-ridden 2 1/1 year old.
- Another characteristic of this is age is preservation – that is, the children want to go on and on with whatever they are doing. Not only right at the moment but from day to day. If you read four stories before bedtime yesterday, they want four stories – and the same ones, too – today. It is very difficult with many children this age to introduce new clothes, new pieces of furniture, new things to eat. They want things to go on just the way they have always been or at least hold on to the old as new things are added.
And now the for the Teenager Behavior Characteristics:
Love to explore & try new things
Show sudden mood swings
Don’t want their parents to meddle.
Prefer to do things on their own.
Do you see any similarities in the 2 behaviors? I do. SO….since it will be easier to figure out how to reign in a two-year-old use this time to learn how to do it, and do it well because it is only a test run of what is to come in 12-13 years!
Trust me the techniques you learn now will help you later, and setting could clean boundaries at 2 is easier than at 14 or so. Your children learn very early what you will tolerate from their behavior, and you need to make sure it is clear early on to avoid possible problems in the future (you’ll still have the problems because they are going to re-test, but they will have it down from earlier that you mean business).