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Author Topic: What is the evolutionary advantage of the "terrible twos" ?  (Read 3796 times)

Ted Phillips

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Ted Phillips asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hello,

The 'terrible twos'; defined by Wikipedia as 'A child developmental stage which normally occurs around the age of two (but can start earlier) and consists of toddlers often saying no and throwing temper tantrums.'

This can be quite a traumatic time for parents, comparable to the later stage of 'teenage tantrums'. [Seconded. Ed.]

I can appreciate how the latter has evolved: Teenagers are sexually mature and are no longer in need of parental care and nurture, so that 'in the wild' (i.e. not constrained by any social niceties) parents would at this stage, chase them away to start their own families and allow the parents to devote their attention to any younger siblings of the teenagers: Thereby increasing the possibility that the parents' genes  propagate throughout the population.

Here's my question:

What is the evolutionary advantage of the 'terrible twos'?

Keep up the good work!

Regards,

Ted Phillips

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 20/10/2010 11:30:14 by _system »


 

Offline Jolly- Joliver

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What is the evolutionary advantage of the
« Reply #1 on: 29/03/2011 18:08:04 »
Ted Phillips asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hello,

The 'terrible twos'; defined by Wikipedia as 'A child developmental stage which normally occurs around the age of two (but can start earlier) and consists of toddlers often saying no and throwing temper tantrums.'

This can be quite a traumatic time for parents, comparable to the later stage of 'teenage tantrums'. [Seconded. Ed.]

I can appreciate how the latter has evolved: Teenagers are sexually mature and are no longer in need of parental care and nurture, so that 'in the wild' (i.e. not constrained by any social niceties) parents would at this stage, chase them away to start their own families and allow the parents to devote their attention to any younger siblings of the teenagers: Thereby increasing the possibility that the parents' genes  propagate throughout the population.

Here's my question:

What is the evolutionary advantage of the 'terrible twos'?

Keep up the good work!

Regards,

Ted Phillips

What do you think?

The evolutionary advantage?

Ummm better independence skills? Better social skills?
 

Offline sue1234

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What is the evolutionary advantage of the \
« Reply #2 on: 10/06/2011 00:22:11 »
Maybe it's cause is directed at parents.  Maybe it is for parents to know that it is time to "separate", in  the sense that the child is now old enough to begin doing things on their own.  And, I mean like feed themselves, walk to their bed by themselves without being carried, etc.  In other words, parents can still love and cuddle, just don't need to "baby" them so much.  Maybe? :)
 

Offline Geezer

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What is the evolutionary advantage of the \
« Reply #3 on: 10/06/2011 06:58:57 »
I'm pretty sure it's a natural method of birth control.

"Ye Gods! Do you think we should have another one?"

"Not on your Nellie!"
 

Offline imatfaal

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What is the evolutionary advantage of the
« Reply #4 on: 10/06/2011 10:08:30 »
Evolution is very tricky - it does not work by choosing good ideas and dismissing bad, the only thing that matters is differential rates of breeding and survival of progeny to breeding age.  It could well be the case that the terrible twos are pretty much neutral - we got them through a combination of circumstances and they do not make enough net difference to affect us in an evolutionary sense so we keep them. 
 

Offline grizelda

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What is the evolutionary advantage of the
« Reply #5 on: 10/06/2011 21:23:01 »
It's probably a weaning issue. The child is slowly and objectionably coming to terms with the fact that the universe and everything in it is not under his or her command.
 

Offline CZARCAR

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What is the evolutionary advantage of the
« Reply #6 on: 10/06/2011 21:31:25 »
dunno but i love to ask a 2yr old," Can u say no?"
 

Offline CliffordK

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What is the evolutionary advantage of the
« Reply #7 on: 11/06/2011 01:25:52 »
I'm not a parent.... yet....

But, I would assume the "twos" would be a period of learning independence, boundaries, and about self.

However, one might ask what the evolutionary advantage of Gossip is.
There would be so little to talk about if everyone's children were perfect little angels.
 

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What is the evolutionary advantage of the
« Reply #7 on: 11/06/2011 01:25:52 »

 

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