Raising a child between 1 and 3 years can be both exciting and difficult. If you have a child who’s currently in his or her toddler years, you’ve got to buckle up because this phase can feel like a rollercoaster ride!
Toddlers are infamously known for having meltdowns and tantrums, and exhibiting difficult behaviors from time to time, but these behaviors are not without reason. Challenging toddler behavior can stem from a number of different factors. For one, it is during this phase that young children begin to assert themselves and communicate what they like and what they don’t. However, because they’re still developing their language skills during this phase, making themselves understood becomes extra challenging. Thus, disruptive behaviors can occur. It may not be easy to handle, but don’t worry. The good news is there are several things that parents like you can do to help your little through these bumpy years.
Read on and learn some tips to help you effectively manage toddler behaviors problems.
Make your child feel loved
One of the most important aspects of raising and instilling discipline in young children is making them feel loved and secure. Even more important than the consequences for misbehavior is your toddler’s need to feel that he or she is loved and cared for. Make sure your displays of affection outnumber the times your child is punished for negative behaviors. Do not ignore or overlook the importance of simple things such as praising and recognizing good actions, telling children we love them, and showering them with hugs and kisses. Reassure young children of your love and make sure they feel supported.
Focus on important rules
While it’s easy to get tempted to overload toddlers with rules in our goal to redirect negative behavior, this approach is not always effective. Overwhelming little ones with too many rules may just leave them feeling frustrated. If you must, focus on prioritizing the most important rules first, namely the ones that pertain to your child’s health and safety.
Understand your child’s limits
Defiant behaviors in toddlers occur for a reason. Most of the time, this happens because young kids find it challenging to express themselves, or they simply do not understand what is being asked of them. Remember that toddlers do not understand logic the way we do, and self-control doesn’t come naturally to them. Know and understand your child’s limits, as these limitations are generally at the root of frustrating behaviors.
Empathize with your child
Young kids, just like adults, need to feel understood. This is why scolding and yelling at them when they throw a tantrum won’t work. What will work is empathy. Parents need to remember to make their children feel that their feelings are acknowledged and valid.
Because toddlers are only beginning to exercise their independence and test the limits of their freedom during their toddler years, it’s helpful to offer them choices whenever possible.
For example, let your little one pick which bedtime story to read or which pair of pajamas to wear. Ask your child if he or she wants an apple or orange for snack. Let your child decide if he or she prefers carrots, potato, or squash with dinner. Giving young children choices is a wonderful way of letting kids feel a certain sense of independence without forcing them to do things.
No matter how hard we try, there will be times when kids will break the rules. This is where appropriate consequences come in. Some consequences can be the natural results of your child’s actions. For example, if your child throws a toy at the wall and it breaks, the natural consequence is that he or she will have one less toy to play with.
Some consequences, however, have to be enforced by an adult. Give children logical consequences for their actions. For instance, you may decide to not let your child play with toys because he or she didn’t clean up their mess. If your child has exhibited an extremely aggressive or dangerous behavior, this may warrant a time-out.
As we previously mentioned, one of the reasons behind toddlers’ tantrums is their inability to communicate their needs well. They might find it challenging to express themselves clearly, but it’s important that you continue to encourage them to communicate. If your little one isn’t using many words yet, teaching him or her baby sign language can be a good alternative to help you both avoid frustration.
A parent’s journey with a toddler is full of adventures and challenges. Learn how to manage tantrums and reduce difficult behaviors by trying out these practical parenting tips!For more helpful parenting resources, or if you’re looking for the best preschool for your little one, please visit Wee Care Preschool.