Following their second birthday, your mighty toddler will be increasingly inclined to wear their emotions on their sleeve as they attempt to find the right balance between seeking independence and still wanting their mama.

It can be a bittersweet time, and you may even be denied your precious bedtime hugs for a bit!

Let them experiment with this 'I can do it myself' stage as it nurtures the confidence to be self-sufficient while knowing your arms are always open.

This age has been described as "a time of minimum sense and maximum mobility and militancy." So steel yourself, as you are inevitably going to be in the firing line!

Socially, two-year-olds can be unpredictable as they are still learning to understand their own feelings – one day they want the company of many and show they're aware of other's emotions, the next they just want to be alone.

Empathy for another's feelings is largely learned over time but you can help by encouraging them to recognise and label emotions, and consider the needs of others using lessons around sharing.

Respect your child's need to express a preference by letting them make choices. (Image: Getty Images)

Everyone likes choices, so try offering your toddler some. Toddlers tend to like things 'just so' – along with tantrums, excessive energy and exploration, a stubborn streak is typical of this age and stage.

Respect your child's need to express a preference by letting them make choices, such as "Do you want to brush your teeth or put on your PJs first?"

Firmly and calmly remind them any behaviours that affect safety are not a choice they can make.

WATCH: Tips for getting ready with a toddler. Continues after video …

Take heart, while your terrible two is busy testing limits and disagreeing, they are also harbouring a desire to please you – it's human nature to want to fall in line with our peers and family's behaviour!

Help them learn the ropes of life by being consistent in your responses and, as much as possible, keeping routine in their days.

For a guide to some of the other milestones you can expect to see between now and their next birthday, read Your Child from Two to Three.