• Lara Chaplin

"Terrible Twos"

Lara Louise - Children’s Behaviour and Sleep Coach


Terrible twos, don’t exist! Don’t stop reading! Hear me out!


When our children reach the dizzy heights of 18 months old there are changes beyond belief. We have complex emotions, pretend play, independence, walking, talking, listening, reading, playing with others, sharing. That’s a lot for new, small people to get their head around.


They are watching and listening to absolutely EVERYTHING that is happening around them, they are beginning ‘push boundaries’ – another pet hate – that they don’t yet know are boundaries.


"...they begin to 'push boundaries’ that they don’t yet know are boundaries."

Here is an example,


1st time : walks around, opens draw in side board – Mum says “No thank you”

2nd time : walks around, opens draw in side board – Mum says “I have told you no!”

3rd time : walks around, opens draw in side board – Mum say “Haven’t I said no!”

4th time : walks around, opens draw in side board – Mum says “How many times! No!”

5th time : walks around, opens draw in side board – Mum says “Will you stop! I said No!”


Can you see a pattern?? Yes? The pattern is they child continues to do what they have been asked not to do several times…. Can you see the inconsistency? No? It is what is said each time. Every time we change how we say something, we are changing the command which means the child has to start processing the command from the start again. Using the same command means that they can just pick up from where they saw the squirrel (or lost concentration).


Consider you are learning a new language. Fluency doesn’t come after being told how to speak that language once. It comes after it has been repeated over, and over, and over. We aren’t going to learn new phrases when they are said in different ways each and every time.


So, there you have it, "Terrible Twos" if they must be called that is just a small, misunderstood, developing person, who is looking to us to help them figure out what they need to do next. Call it Terrible if you must, but in reality they are as frustrated as us, if not just a little bit more.


Keeping our language consistent is as important as keeping our actions consistent.


To learn we need to repeat. Repeat and we will learn.


Much Love

Lara Louise -Children’s Sleep and Behaviour Coach

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