According to the Mayo Clinic,

the “terrible twos” are a normal stage in a toddler’s development characterized by mood changes, temper tantrums and use of the word “no.” The terrible twos typically occur when toddlers begin to struggle between their reliance on adults and their desire for independence.

As parents, this is an extremely difficult stage to navigate.

Let me take you back to 1998, when my precious Tyler Jane was just two years old. We drove to Virginia to visit my parents for a couple of days. My girls woke up the first morning and we all scurried into the kitchen for breakfast. Erica sat at the table, and Tyler in her high chair. They both sat patiently and waited for me to serve their cereal.

Once breakfast was served, two year old, Tyler decided that she wasn’t going to eat her breakfast.

The rules were breakfast first, then playtime.

Tyler was fully aware of this rule.

After repeating the rule a few times Tyler looked me dead in the face, grabbed the edge of her bowl, and dumped her entire bowl of cereal onto the floor.

I removed the tray from the high chair, picked Tyler up and brought her into the guest bedroom where Jerry and I were staying.

Two words: TIME OUT! Well deserved, I might add.

She cried for a little bit, as most toddlers would in a circumstance like this.

A minute or two passed and the sound of Ty’s cries coming from the room silenced. I assumed she had fallen back to sleep.


After about 10 minutes of quiet I opened the door slightly to peek in on her. I could not believe my eyes! Tyler had taken my stick of deodorant out of my suitcase and when to town on the room. Deodorant as her paintbrush and the guestroom her canvas. The walls, the carpet, our luggage, the bed, and our toddler COVERED IN WHITE DEODORANT!

Irate isn’t even the word.

She was two, and that was terrible. But that didn’t make her a terrible two-year-old.

Two year olds have a lot going on and much to navigate.

Over the years I spent raising my children, I overheard groups of women referring to their children as terrible. Most times these women would speak of their children this way RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM!

If you are going to refer your child as ‘terrible’, you are giving them permission and encouragement to act terribly.

You are also giving permission to others to refer your child as terrible….

Would you be offended if somebody called your child terrible? You bet your ass I would be!

Join Northeast Doulas in boycotting the terrible twos