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Understanding 7 Challenging Toddler Behaviours

Toddler's Terrible Twos

Have you had a moment where your child is hitting their stride with the terrible twos and probably a few other toddler behaviours that are stressing you out?

We must remind ourselves that the toddler is asking, “How does this work? What does this do? Why is this so?” and not, “How do I annoy my parents?

Here are some insights to understand why they behave this way:

7 Toddler Behaviors and Why They Happen;

The Tornado

Ever seen your child dumpling every toy out on the floor within minutes of entering the playroom? Well, toddlers are passionate about exploring, discovering and learning. Let them explore and make a mess but also make clean-up time fun with a song or a silly game.

The Constant “No”

“No, I don’t want to eat breakfast.” “No, I don’t want to get in the car.” “No, I don’t want to wear those shoes.” “No! No! No!“

Toddlers are developing their own identities and voicing their opinions is an important part of that process. Acknowledge that their opinions matter, but give children basic reasoning and limited options. For example, “I hear that you don’t want to put on your shoes. It’s not clean out there and your feet need to stay clean.. Would you like to wear your sandals or sneakers?” Repeat this about 5-10 times in different ways.

The Mule

When “I do that myself” is the response to every single, little itty bitty thing that needs to get done.

Toddlers are fascinated by how the world works and how they can control and manoeuvre in it. It's essential to let them try things on their own, no matter how long it takes. You can speed up this process by asking, "Are you going to put on your shirt or do you want mummy to do it?" ” This generally gets them moving quickly.

The Mike Tyson

Hitting, shoving and biting (oh my!)

Toddlers get frustrated easily because they are learning to communicate as well as control their emotions. They often express themselves physically. Set up clear and detailed standards or rules for acceptable toddler behaviour, as well as rational consequences for misbehaviour. Toddlers will frequently try to push the boundaries, thus consistency is key in following through to curb inappropriate physical behaviour. It also helps if they are well-rested and have a safe area to let off steam. For example, the minute a child starts to get physical, it’s a clear indication to go outside for a new activity.

The Scrooge

“It's all mine! Mine, mine, mine!”

Toddlers are still developing social skills and do not yet understand how to share. In truth, most toddlers and early preschoolers will not play together, but rather side by side because they lack the developmental capacity.You can start modelling the behaviour of sharing in a variety of ways with your child. However, you need to keep your expectations low until they are a little older.

The Tantrum

Tantrums in toddlers is inevitable. It's part of their process of learning to control their emotions. Take a deep breath, remain calm, speak clearly, acknowledge the cause of the tantrum (when appropriate), and simply wait it out. It is often the latter that is the most difficult for some people. Eventually, it will become easier for your as you learn to recognise some of the frequent causes of your child’s outbursts and can ward them off.

The Vortex

Constant motion, running and spinning

Toddlers are full of energy. When they get hyperactive in public, it can be frustrating and embarrassing. For some parents, this toddler behaviour is one that they have learned to simply enjoy and take in stride. While others are also fairly forgiving for exuberant toddler behaviour.

It’s not always easy to remember this lesson, especially when you are a busy parent and your toddler is not cooperating. So, start writing reminders to yourself on how to enjoy and embrace toddlerhood!

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