There is truth to the popular belief that toddlers of 2-3 years old are the most difficult to deal with. This is so because during this phase, toddlers are exercising and consolidating their newly acquired motor and language skills. They tend to speak or babble a lot and also run about the space at home. Such behavior helps them discover the three-dimensionality of space and learn to master maneuvering through it. The incessant verbal output prepares them for social interaction that awaits them in subsequent stages of development. But the most dreaded part of ‘terrible 2s’ for parents is the tantrums thrown by toddlers. This is due to the beginnings of the process of decentralization whereby the ego-centric perception is slowly lost. The tantrums are partly a reaction to this ‘loss’. To compensate for this feeling of insecurity, toddlers resort to tantrums which bring them parental attention and ego-reinforcement.
Herbert Ginsburg and Sylvia Opper (1979), Piaget’s Theory of Intellectual Development, Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-675140-7, p. 152
Santrock, J.W. (2008). A Topical Approach To Life-Span Development (pp.211-216). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill