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Is this "normal" two-year-old behavior?

I honestly feel like my DD, who just turned two, has severe anger issues. I understand that at this age they have a difficult time expressing themselves, but she seems way worse than other children I’ve seen her age. Just an example, if she wants something – say a certain toy – and she can’t reach it, she stops SCREAMS as loud as she can, throws herself on the floor, and flails her arms legs and head all over. Or if she wants something from me, like a drink of water, and I’m not moving fast enough she clinches her hands and mouth and basically holds her breath, turns red and starts shaking until I do what she wants. She was seriously a great child from birth until about 23 months, and nothing has changed, she just started acting like this.

Is this normal “terrible twos" or would you stress about it, too?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 5:37 PM on Jun. 2, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (8)
  • she is testing you, and from her behavior, you probably go right ahead and do what she asks or gets what she screams for? thats making her behavior worse. she has to learn that screaming and throwing fits doesnt get her what she wants. let her hold her breath until she is blue in the face, she wont kill herself, then tell her that she has to wait for you to get it., and if she is screaming and throwing a fit for something make her wait until she calms down before you get it for her.

    Answer by secondtyme520 at 5:40 PM on Jun. 2, 2010

  • Op here: I don't give in, though. When she throws herself on the floor I literally just ignore her until she is done, unless she is going to hurt herself or someone/something else by flailing her arms and legs, in which case I put her in her room and tell her to stay there until she is done. When she starts shaking, I stop what I am doing and pick her up, so essentially she isn't getting what she wants but she is getting attention.. I hope I'm not making it worse by doing that!!!!! Should I just ignore her when she is shaking like that, too?

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:45 PM on Jun. 2, 2010

  • does she have "normal" speech for her age?
    has she "lost" speech?

    could for terrible twos

    when my almost three yr old tantrums, i mostly ignore (any attention IS attention)
    as long as she is not hurting herself
    but my daughter has autism, so more extreme highs (or should i say highs as in temper tantrums)
    goes from calm to tantrum with no warning

    also very little speech or communication
    also lost the speech she had before she was 2

    Answer by fiatpax at 5:48 PM on Jun. 2, 2010

  • Op again: She has pretty advanced speech, and for the most part can ask when she wants/needs something. She has been day time potty trained for about six months and is still doing well with that. I have not noticed any decrease in knowledge of colors, numbers, shapes, letters, etc.

    The more I think about it.. the more it is sounding like its normal...? I just feel like I'm at a loss for the behavior.. I have literally never seen a kid, of any age, act like this. And it isn't like constant, she'll throw a fit for ten minutes and be done for the day, but I think that is another thing that has me worried!!

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:56 PM on Jun. 2, 2010

  • My friend who has a 5 year old told us her daughter does the same thing, and my friend told us that she did the same when she was a child. I have noticed that my friend and her husband are quite the talkers, and tend to yell a lot and it takes a lot to get their attention. They have 4 kids and talk over each other all the time. It is sometimes exhausting when my husband and I hang out with them. My friend may have symptoms of ADHD but she has not gotten it treated but other than that she has been pretty successful is a nurse.


    Answer by Anonymous at 6:32 PM on Jun. 2, 2010

  • From what you have said in the replies, it sounds like she is testing you. If the shaking/holding her breath was just happening randomly, I would be concerned it's a medical issue, but it really sounds like something she is doing herself (something she can control).
    If she only tantrums for 15 minutes a day, consider yourself lucky LOL!!
    Personally, I would just ignore the behavior to show her that negative attention doesn't get her anywhere. Good luck!!

    Answer by emslala at 7:44 PM on Jun. 2, 2010

  • it's just her being a drama queen. just ignore her (even when she holds her breath..... she cannot suffocate herself lol). she will stop when she figures out you're not playing her game

    Answer by princessbeth79 at 9:08 PM on Jun. 2, 2010

  • Yep just ignore her when she starts shaking too. She can only hold her breath for so long before her brain says "Hey you need to breathe" and she breathes again. You can try telling her she needs to use her words if she wants something then ignoring the behavior. It does sound as if it's attention seeking and should be ignored.

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 9:16 PM on Jun. 2, 2010

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