Chapter 3: The Terrible or Terrific Twos

The "two" stage was chosen as a focal point for discussion because of the difficulty and importance of this stage. Many parents find the "terrible twos" extremely challenging, there are two reasons for this:

1. They expect the "terrible two" stage to begin when the child is two, but it usually starts when the child is 17 months old, and parents are not prepared.

2. The twin challenges of increased mobility and decreased safety

There is one more factor that is explored in depth and that is the behavior testing that a child does at this point becomes a fulcrum for future behavior. The discussion continues along the lines of the developing intellect that is the two year old, to understand how best actively encourage the foundations of positive behavior. The child will use mimicry and attention getting devices, and observe the parents' reaction. This is how the child learns; by testing his parents he is striving to develop an understanding of how he is expected to act.