The Terrible 2's: Your child doesn't want to...

It's a fact: children aged 2 do what they want when they want, as they completely disregard what they are told. There are many things your child won't want to do - you will just have to be patient! Here are a few things that will test your patience during your child's terrible 2s.

Go to daycare

Terrified and unhappy, your child painfully looks at you every morning and begs you to stay home. They want to stay with you and refuse to see their child care teacher with so much sincerity that you sometimes wonder what actually goes on in there! You manage to get them to daycare and as they leave with their teacher, their face is reddened by tears leaving you with these horrible images floating around your mind all day.

Leave the daycare

All day, you were thinking about your little bundle of joy that would be so much happier in your arms and you cannot wait to finally see him or her. You drive like Michael Schumacher to avoid being the last mom there and your child does not even look at you. Worse even, they ignore you and refuse to leave because they are having so much fun with all their friends. You're not crazy! Your child absolutely did NOT want to go to daycare this morning, but now, they don't want to come home!

Wear their shoes

The first times you try, they do not want to wear their shoes. When they finally accept to wear their first pair of shoes, the shoes are too small or it's time to change for boots. You manage to convince them but they move their toes, bend their knees, whine and push them away in a pedaling motion before you could even tie one shoe. When you finally succeed, they take them off while you turn your back for 2 seconds to put on your coat. What can you do? You start over…

Brush their teeth

For a child to have nice and healthy teeth, dentists say they must brush them up and down. With a child who selectively listens whenever they feel like it, we brush whenever and however we can! They refuse, bite the brush, eat the toothpaste, they do everything to drive you crazy. Finally, after all that hassle, they scream “TA-DAAA“ and smile their somewhat cleanest smile.

Take a bath

For many two-year-olds, taking a bath is ranked somewhere between punishment and pure evil on a bad mother scale. How is that even possible? All the ducks, boats, trains and bubbles should prove our good intentions! But they don't want to know anything about bath time... it is always the same hassle! “Time for your bath!” “NO! NO! NOOOOO!” they shout.

Wash their hair

Once in the bath, your child is still unhappy and you haven't even washed their hair yet. Luckily, you can use a telephone shower and bath accessories but you will still have to convince them to look up, and then close their eyes. Since they will probably refuse, you will have to place your hand on their forehead and hope that no soap gets in their eyes. If there is one thing that we don’t want, it's to give our child a good excuse to never take a bath again.


The older kids cannot believe what they see. Why can a two-year-old refuse to share and not get reprimanded? One of the worst things about the terrible twos is the impossibility to have them share anything. We must teach them very quickly about the benefits of reciprocity before they start fighting over a toy and playing tug-of-war with all the force they've got. Someone is bound to get hurt… and there is nothing worse than crying children!

Do what we ask!

The fact is: a child who is being difficult will always do the opposite of what we ask. This is why we must be careful when they hold a pen or any kind of sharp object because if we kindly ask to get the object back, they will hold on to it as hard as they can and start running in the other direction.


For a while, eating is a problem. We could be tempted to believe that our child only wants to eat sweets but that isn't the case. In fact, everything on their plate reminds them that they would rather eat something else. We prepare salad and lasagna, but tonight they want fries. When we stand by a Snack Bar, they don’t want fries, they want tomatoes… the cycle takes a while to grow out of!

Go to bed

When a child refuses everything, asking them to go to bed is a terrible chore. It is never time to sleep and they would much rather fall asleep in the living room while playing, than in their own bed. It is obvious that they are tired - and they know it too - but they just don't want to go to their bed! No matter what time it is, it never seems like bed time. If you have guests over for the evening, they will remind you that your child should be asleep and we are not on schedule, but there's not much we can do! When you put them in bed, they crawl right off and are by your side in a second.

Image de Anne Costisella

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