8 Terrible Twos Showstoppers That Will Make You Feel Like A Better Parent

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shutterstock_171965462The first time my oldest son had a full-blown tantrum, I was scared shitless. I am normally a pretty confident person, but the outrageous screaming of a toddler stopped me in my tracks.

The reason I was so afraid of him was because I had no idea how to handle it. Are you supposed to discipline a tantrum—which is also a very normal toddler reaction, I later learned? Are you supposed to talk to him in caveman-inspired toddler speak—though I later came to hate that theory? Are you supposed to ignore?

After weeks and weeks of trial and error and Internet research, I came to the conclusion that every kid is different. My son responds really well to boundaries, so we went the ignoring route. Every time he is sick or visit grandparents and gets tons of attention, we have to lay down the law with a little tough love and refusal of treats when we get home. Sometimes this whole rigmarole makes me feel like a crappy parent.

But never fear, there are always kids crazier than your own! Or maybe, crazy is in the eye of the beholder. If you’re feeling down in the dumps because of the terrible twos, check out these terrible terrors that will make you feel better about your #momlife:

1. The Screaming Never Stops


Wait, my kid does this.

2. She Just Doesn’t Care…


My kid does this too. Doesn’t he understand that the last thing I want to do is wrestle him to the ground to put on a diaper?

3. Piercing Whine-Yelling, Anyone?


Whine-yelling is akin to Chinese water torture.

4. The Classic Temper Tantrum


Your parenting initiation won’t be complete without a kid kicking and screaming on the floor.

5. A Swift Kick To The Ear


Whew, my kid hasn’t done this yet.

6. Terrible Twos, Terrible Pranks


That little jerk better not even think about putting a crayon in the oven.

7. Terrible Toddler For Sale


This mom is brave enough to admit what we’ve all been thinking—can I sell this one and get an older model?

8. The Cure For Terrible Twos


Parents, take note! This grandparent is onto something. He keeps his tantruming granddaughter calm by asking her to fetch him beers and feeding her cat food. Not sure if criminal or genius…

(Image: Mike DegteariovShutterstock)


  1. Lee

    February 28, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Thanks, I needed this this morning! Last night was the boys first epic tantrum. It was an hour long and awful.

    • Bethany Ramos

      February 28, 2014 at 9:48 am

      I feel your pain!! I still get caught off guard by toddler rage blackouts.

    • Lee

      February 28, 2014 at 10:04 am

      It only ended when he sobbed himself to sleep. I definitely have a beer headache this morning.

  2. Snarktopus

    February 28, 2014 at 10:01 am

    I’m still waiting for the 2 and a half year old to have a full blown rage tantrum. Currently, she just quietly lays down on the floor, on her tummy, hides her face in her arms and goes “oh, cry, cry”. I’m….not sure how I got it so easy.

    • Lee

      February 28, 2014 at 10:26 am

      Just when you think you are safe, BOOM! Up until last night I thought I had it easy too. I think they just trick you in feeling like you have it easy so there is more of an impact when the big one happens.

    • EX

      February 28, 2014 at 12:02 pm

      Thank you. You just stopped me from jinxing myself in my response to Snarktopus.

  3. That_Darn_Kat

    February 28, 2014 at 10:54 am

    My 5 year old has some developmental delays, which means we’ve been in the “Terrible Twos” for 3 years now. He’s now gotten to that stage where it’s really hard to take him anywhere, because he inevitably has a meltdown.

  4. Kay_Sue

    February 28, 2014 at 11:16 am

    My younger son has resorted to delivering, “Fine. I’m not playing with you then” any time we upset him.

    He doesn’t scream it or anything. Big fat tears well up in his eyes, and his lip quivers. The only thing I could compare it to is when you have to break up with someone you truly love for some reason that neither of you can help. He is that solemn and somber about it, and it is so incredibly hard not to laugh.

    We’ve always had the twos easy…but the ferocious fours always get us. Always.

    • Bethany Ramos

      February 28, 2014 at 11:25 am


    • EX

      February 28, 2014 at 12:04 pm

      My 2.5 year old tells me, with a similar quiver in her voice, “don’t make me sad, Mommy” when I try to lay down the law. Do you ever find yourself wondering why we taught these small people to talk?

    • Kay_Sue

      February 28, 2014 at 12:24 pm

      YES! All the time. Especially our youngest, because he didn’t talk and wound up in early intervention and speech therapy for nearly a year. So we put A LOT of effort into getting him to talk…and now, I often wonder, what were we thinking? 😉

    • keelhaulrose

      February 28, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      My older daughter, when she was two, carried a little Elmo doll around everywhere. One day she was mad at me, and yelled “Elmo’s not your friend anymore!”
      I still feel betrayed whenever I see the red annoyance on TV saying “Elmo loves you”. No, you don’t, my two year old told me.

    • Kay_Sue

      February 28, 2014 at 6:01 pm

      Elmo you liar!

  5. val97

    February 28, 2014 at 11:21 am

    My friend has a newborn, two year old, and four year old. Every time I go over there, someone is pitching a fit. My friend apologizes over and over, but all I want to do is hold the newborn and tell her it will be ok. It will be ok!

    • ted3553

      March 3, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      sounds like you might need to hold your friends and tell her it will be ok:)

  6. Crusty Socks

    February 28, 2014 at 11:25 am


    WTH is your beer stash within reach of a 2 yr old?

    • AP

      February 28, 2014 at 12:59 pm

      As long as the bottle opener’s out of reach, it’s fine.

    • Iwill Findu

      February 28, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      they don’t know the difference yet. My grandfather use to send me on his beer runs. He even kept dad’s root beer so I could have my own “beer” with him. I never wanted his because it smelled gross.

    • Jessica Johnson

      March 2, 2014 at 6:14 pm

      In my experience, nothing is out of a 2 year old’s reach anyway, so you might as well keep your beer on the shelf it’s always been on. One of my boys used to get into the cabinet above the fridge at roughly that age. The cabinet I couldn’t reach without yoga and a ladder was absolutely no challenge for him.

  7. SA

    February 28, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    It is so hard. We took her jacket off of her the other day and a tantrum ensued. We went the ignoring router per usual and she just. didn’t. stop. Tears and screaming “Neeeeed chakit…neeeeeeed chakit”. At this point I just wanted to give her back the damn jacket and end the drama once and for all; buuut then she knows she got her way by throwing a tantrum, so we didn’t relent. One hour later she finally calmed down. From now on, she can wear her coat to bed for all I care, but man, in that moment I don’t know if holding out was the right thing to do!

    Our tantrums started at about 16 months – I hope this means it will be smooth sailing through the 2’s and 3’s???

    • Ana

      February 28, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      I thought our terrible twos started early too, but I am just now realizing it can get a lot worse. For hours last night my 20 m.o. kept doing the grasp-y hand motion and saying “My!” “My!” “My!”, only she didn’t want any of the things she was reaching for. I would offer her every object in the area one by one and she would look at it, turn her head and say “No”. If I wasn’t offering things she was screaming and crying. I don’t think she even knew what she wanted, but she was sure mad that she didn’t get it.

  8. keelhaulrose

    February 28, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    We get tantrums, but our 2.5 year old is non-verbal, so we often can’t diagnose what this particular tantrum is about and how the hell we can stop it.
    We taught her the ‘more’ sign, now we get tantrums because we have no idea what ‘more’ refers to.
    The terrible twos are the bane of my existence. I used to work in a room of toddlers/two year olds, and there’s a reason that’s the hardest room in the daycare to keep staffed.

  9. footnotegirl

    March 1, 2014 at 12:39 am

    We headed off the pass on the horrible high pitched velociraptor screams when she first started doing them as a little baby. Whenever she shrieked like that, we’d simply turn away and not look at her or engage with her until she stopped, and then when she was quiet we’d thank her and give hugs and kisses. Now that she’s 2 and capable of communicating, when her volume becomes an issue we tell her “That’s not an appropriate volume.” and then proceed to not look at her until it stops or, if we are in public, instead of ignore her we tell her we will leave immediately and go sit in the car (i.e. not go home, not go to the park, not go do something else, just boringly sit in the car). After the first time she continued and we carried through with it, she hasn’t done it again. But I really don’t think that it would have had a chance of working if we hadn’t started early and, of course, every kid is different.
    For her tantrums it’s definitely always show that it won’t work. If it’s an ‘I want attention’ tantrum, put her down somewhere safe and do not give attention. If it’s an ‘I want something I can’t have’ tantrum, we do redirect first, and if that doesn’t work, calmly repeating that she can’t have it and no amount of arguing will get it. If it’s an “I’m too tired to sleep” tantrum… just a whole lot of hugging and hubby and I silently mouthing swear words to eachother.

    • Katherine Handcock

      March 2, 2014 at 5:36 am

      I hope things continue to go so smoothly for you! But I do want to warn you that, as she goes through different stages, the tantrums may emerge anyway. Kids will go through stages where they push every limit and test out every activity – especially at 2 1/2 and 4, which seemed to be the really bad stretches for my son. So don’t feel like you’ve done something wrong if it happens! Kids are good at throwing curveballs 🙂

  10. Katherine Handcock

    March 2, 2014 at 5:33 am

    My son has been remarkably creative in his tantrums — so much so that it’s a real struggle not to laugh! He has two favourite tactics right now: 1) Threaten us with consequences for our actions – except that he doesn’t quite understand how to do that, as in “If you don’t let me do this, I’m never watching the TV again!” 2) Point at the house across the street and tell us he’s going to go live there. Neither seem to be working to his satisfaction 😉

    My daughter just turned three, and while she has short fits of frustration and anger, she’s almost never had a real tantrum — yet. However, I have seen her practicing her crying faces in a mirror. Yes, she saw a mirror at the right height and started trying out different crying, pouting faces to see what they looked like. I think I’m in trouble.

    • Bethany Ramos

      March 2, 2014 at 9:49 am

      Omg too funny!!

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