Tiny Tornadoes

Terrible Twos: The age where your child becomes a tiny tornado… and you’re left cleaning up the mess.


Ah, the terrible twos. That magical time in a child’s life where they transform from cute little cherubs to miniature tornadoes of emotion and energy. While it’s a time of discovery and wonder for our toddlers, it can be a time of stress and exasperation for parents. But fear not, dear reader, for we have compiled a comprehensive guide on how to survive the terrible twos and emerge victorious.

Discover the reason

The first step in surviving the terrible twos is to understand the reason behind your child’s tantrum. Is it because they’re tired? Hungry? Did you refuse to buy them the toy they wanted at Tesco? By understanding the root cause of their tantrum, you can better prepare yourself to handle the situation and diffuse it before it turns into a full-blown meltdown.

Keep control

It can be frustrating and exhausting to deal with a screaming child, but it’s important to remember to keep your cool. Responding with anger or frustration will only escalate the situation and make it harder to calm your child down. Take a deep breath and remember, this too shall pass.

Distraction, distraction, distraction

Distraction is the name of the game when it comes to surviving the terrible twos. Whether it’s a new toy, a silly dance, or a game of peek-a-boo, finding a way to redirect your child’s attention can be a lifesaver. Just make sure it’s not something that will cause even more chaos, like giving them a Sharpie to play with.

Territorial fighting

As your child grows and starts to develop their own personality, they may become more territorial over their possessions. This can lead to some epic battles over toys, snacks and even pieces of furniture. The best way to handle this is to encourage sharing and turn-taking and maybe invest in some extra padding for when the inevitable toy missile launches.

Be firm

While distraction and redirection are important, it’s also important to be firm when necessary. If your child is throwing a tantrum because they want to run into the street for example, it’s important to stand your ground and explain to them why it’s not safe. This can be a tricky balance, as being too firm can also escalate the situation. But trust your instincts and remember that you’re the grown-up in the situation.

The pre-emptive strike

Sometimes, the best way to handle a tantrum is to prevent it from happening in the first place. This means being proactive and anticipating your child’s needs before they become overwhelming. Bring snacks and toys on outings, make sure they’re well-rested and fed, and avoid situations that you know will trigger a meltdown. Of course, this is easier said than done, but a little planning can go a long way.

Surviving the terrible twos requires patience, creativity and a healthy sense of humour. Remember, your child is going through a transformative and challenging time; and you’re there to guide them through it. With a little bit of effort and a lot of deep breathing, you can emerge from the terrible twos with your sanity (mostly) intact. Good luck!


Nursery department,
John Lewis, Norwich

Thursday 18 May, 6.15pm -8pm

Join the John Lewis nursery team at their FREE event for expectant parents. These parental sessions include information to help you prepare for your new arrival and the chance to discover local organisations to support you from birth and beyond.

To pre-book your place at the event visit the nursery department or email emily.smart@johnlewis.co.uk

Did you know that the Terrible Twos are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the challenges of raising young children? According to child development experts, children under 5 experience a rapid rate of growth and change in their physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development. Here are some interesting facts about the under 5 set:

In the first year of life, babies can triple their weight and grow an average of 10 inches. By the age of 5, they will have grown to over half their adult height.

The average 2-year-old can say around 50 words and understand many more. By age 5, they’ll know around 2,500 words and be able to use complex sentences.

Toddlers have a remarkable capacity for learning, with their brains forming around 1 million new neural connections every second. This makes early childhood a critical time for brain development and learning.

Children under 5 have a strong need for social interaction, as it helps them develop important skills such as communication, empathy and problem-solving. Play is a vital part of their development, providing opportunities to explore, experiment, and learn through trial and error.

Tantrums are a normal part of development for young children, and are often a result of feeling frustrated, overwhelmed or unable to express themselves. While it can be challenging to deal with, it’s important to remember that tantrums are not a reflection of your parenting skills and that all children go through this phase.

So, the next time you’re dealing with a toddler tantrum or trying to decipher the meaning of your 3-year-old’s latest gibberish, remember that it’s all part of the incredible journey of childhood development. With patience and understanding you can help your little ones navigate these early years with confidence and joy.