- With Mayo Clinic emeritus consultant
Jay L. Hoecker, M.D.read biographyclose window
Jay L. Hoecker, M.D.Jay Hoecker, M.D.
Dr. Jay Hoecker, an emeritus member of the Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, brings valuable expertise to health information content on primary care pediatrics. He has a particular interest in infectious diseases of children.
He's a Fort Worth, Texas, native, certified as a pediatrician by the American Board of Pediatrics and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He was trained at Washington University's St. Louis Children's Hospital, and in infectious diseases at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He has been with Mayo Clinic since 1989.
"The World Wide Web is revolutionizing the availability and distribution of information, including health information about children and families," Dr. Hoecker says. "The evolution of the Web has included greater safety, privacy and accuracy over time, making the quality and access to children's health information immediate, practical and useful. I am happy to be a part of this service to patients from a trusted name in medicine, to use and foster all the good the Web has to offer children and their families."
Infant and toddler health (7)
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- Flu shots for kids: Does my child need a flu shot?
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Newborn health (9)
- Low milk supply: What causes it?
- Uncircumcised penis: Is special care needed?
- Baby poop: What's normal?
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Infant health (19)
- Breast-feeding and alcohol: Is it OK to drink?
- Infant formula: Is tap or bottled water better?
- Organic baby food: Better for baby?
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Toddler health (5)
- Discolored baby teeth: A cause for concern?
- Poinsettia plants: Are they poisonous?
- Toddler speech development: Are 2-year-olds understandable?
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Terrible twos: Why are 2-year-olds so difficult?
I've heard a lot about the terrible twos. Why are 2-year-olds so difficult?
from Jay L. Hoecker, M.D.
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. One minute a child might be clinging to mom or dad, and the next he or she is running in the opposite direction.
While the terrible twos can be difficult for parents and caregivers to navigate, keep in mind that 2-year-olds are undergoing major motor, intellectual, social and emotional changes. Their vocabularies are growing, they're eager to do things on their own, and they're beginning to discover that they're expected to follow certain rules. However, most 2-year-olds still aren't able to move as swiftly as they'd like, clearly communicate their needs or control their feelings. This can lead to frustration and misbehavior — in other words, the terrible twos.
If your child is in the midst of the terrible twos, expect that you'll occasionally lose patience with each other. Try to stay calm, however. When your child has a temper tantrum, offer comfort or ignore the behavior. Try to limit your use of the word "no." Instead, use other forms of discipline, such as redirection or humor. Also, consider avoiding challenging situations — such as going shopping during your child's nap time — and be sure to praise your child for appropriate behavior.
By accepting the changes your child is going through and showing him or her love and respect, you'll help your child make it through this difficult stage with confidence.Next question
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- Shelov SP, et al. Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5. 5th ed. Elk Grove Village, Ill.: Bantam; 2009:325.
- Altmann TR. The Wonder Years: Helping Your Baby and Young Child Successfully Negotiate the Major Developmental Milestones. American Academy of Pediatrics. New York, N.Y.: Bantam Dell; 2006:126.