How do I handle a toddler who wants everything and nothing?


So my 2-year-old toddler is playing with my mind and I'm going a little crazy. He wants everything and nothing, is hungry but doesn't want food, asks for water and then says "agua no!" I know this is quite normal behavior, but I don't know how to react or manage it. Welcome terrible twos!


Yes, this is normative behavior; it's the toddler dilemma. They want freedom to choose and then get frightened of the freedom and demand assistance. It's a constant back and forth between independence and dependence, and it confuses them and their parents. In the moment, breathe and respond, "I see how frustrated you are. It's difficult to make decisions on your own." Then hand him the water if he explodes, take the water, wait for the shift again. Unfortunately, this is one of those "tolerate the tantrum" moments. But do label as frustration as it pertains to not being able to make a decision.