Are the ‘Terrible Twos’ Becoming the ‘Terrible Ones’?

terrible-twosParents all dread the “terrible twos”—an age when sweet infants suddenly morph into tantrum-throwing toddlers overnight.

Recent research from toddler specialist Dr. Frans Plooij, author of “The Wonder Weeks,” reveals that aggression, manipulation, yelling, disruptive behavior, and a propensity to say “NO!” may actually start right after a toddler turns one.  A baby’s brain rapidly increases in mental capacity after 15 months, thus leaving babyhood behind and entering toddlerhood.  According to Dr. Plooij, a child starts learning “how to assert himself and separate himself from everyone around him.  For the first time, a child understands he is a different person than mommy and his family is a different family than another family…At this age in development, the now-toddler has figured out how to push the right buttons until he gets what he wants” (

Coining the term “teenaging toddler,” Dr. Plooij sees the early development of the “terrible twos” as a positive—it’s a prime time for parents to teach their kids certain goals, morals, values, and socialization skills.  Good life lessons will lay the groundwork for well-adjusted kids as they grow up and eventually become teens and adults.

See more resources on the “terrible twos”:

Has your toddler reached the “terrible twos” yet?  How are you dealing?  What values and life lessons are you teaching?

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  1. by adrienne

    On November 4, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    The twos are nothing compared to the pure misery of the threes.

  2. by Nicole

    On November 5, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I completely agree- the threes are far worse than the twos!

  3. by Christie Myrthil

    On November 6, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    I have a infant that is 6 months old. Is this age to early to start teaching morals, values, and socialization skills so that we can avoid the terrible two’s/three’s.

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