Valorie Burton: A unique creature lives in many families that can be difficult to handle, the two-year-old. There's a good reason why they are called the terrible twos.
When a child begins to exert his independence, it can prove a real adjustment for parents. It may start with kids wanting to put their shoes or shirt on by themselves, or picking their own clothes. All of these are great skills for toddlers to learn, but if parents don't have the time or the patience to accommodate the 'I want to' request, temper tantrum may follow.
And along with exasperating their parents, two-year-olds are masters of scaring them too, in the flash of an eye; they can be climbing on the counters, opening drawers or heading somewhere that's off limits. The word no, becomes much more popular and parents find they have to be on their guard at all times.
But mostly two-year-olds are experts at making a mess. This is often the reason why all the toilet paper gets flushed down the toilet, markers and crayons end up everywhere and spills are wiped up on an hourly basis.
If you are the parent of a two-year-old, here is the best advice; be consistent and be as patient as possible and hang in there. Most kids tend to settle down by three or four, before you know it; the things that are driving you crazy today, will be fond memories tomorrow.