Friday, February 4, 2011


Dear Mr. Morton- My son has reached age two and his body certainly must have been taken over by another person. He’s into everything and taking him to the store is a real chore. Are the terrible two’s for real? Do many two-year-olds say “No!” all the time? Is this just a stage? - Frustrated but Loving Mom.

Dear Mom- Many experts agree that it is a needed stage to go through. Your humor will get you through this transitory stage in child development. I’ve known two-year-olds who don’t say “No!” to their parents- they announce “No Way!” In a sense, it is a needed stage your son must go through.

Here’s why. The force of gravity, which heretofore confined his world to your lap and the carpet, has been conquered. Now, he is driven to explore the world to the utmost. Establishing independence over the physical world and examining the untarnished confines of your brain centers that control composure, sacrifice, temper control and fortitude are his next unexplored frontiers.

Don’t give in to his every whim, or anarchy will result. Unfortunately, a sizable number of parents instantly bow to their “two’s” every impulse. My last “two’s” study took place at the local supermarket where I witnessed a tiny hand snatch a candy bar from the rack, while mom was in the checkout line. As the feast began, mom said, “No! Wait until we get home.” But, her child’s response was “No! I want now!”. Mom acquiesced.
Of course, mom was under public scrutiny. Still delay of gratification wasn’t taught in that brief scrimmage for power. I propose that every retail store in Sandusky and Ottawa counties donate floor space and put up a sign which advertises, “Terrible Two’s Time-Out Zone”. The mental health of beleaguered moms and dads would upgrade instantaneously.
Your son needs you to set fair limits and construct fences, not to give free rein. Give him things a while later and not in a jiffy and be a very loving, devoted, benevolent…dictator. Pre-school/Pre-K Fun Based Learning Games

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. has retired from his positions of School Psychologist and adjunct professor in The School Of Leadership And Policy Studies at BGSU. Questions about parenting, educational, family, or personal concerns? Have photos, personal stories, or article you'd like to share? Contact us at the secure Bpath Mail Form.