What To Do When Your Toddler Is Misbehaving

For the most part, when a toddler misbehaves it can be frustrating, embarrassing, and sometimes frightening but this type of behavior by toddlers is a normal phase that they all pass through. It’s a part of their growth and development, and usually results from a frustration at not being able to express themselves, whether it is wanting a toy, or wanting your attention.

This phase can occur within 14 months and above and when the child is exposed to others, it can be more noticeable and this could mean in a childcare center or social setting. Even children who are linguistically advanced for their ages prone to the same frustrations as others because in the end, they are still children.

Not overreacting is the first rule of thumb you should follow. While there are different schools of thought on spanking, this is not a situation where it is appropriate, and can only add fuel to the fire. A time-out is in order, generally about two minutes worth on a chair where they can’t stomp on the floor, or kick anything. You will also be given a chance to calm down because of this. You can explain when you sit them down that this time-out is because they have bit/hit/kicked someone and that is not allowed but during time-out, do not speak to them.

When the time is up, explain to them again, that the behavior is not acceptable, because it hurts other people. Asking a toddler how they would feel if someone bit them is not really that helpful since it is unlikely for a toddler to relate cause and effect and then apply it to themselves. But telling them what they did wrong and what will happen if they do it again is a non-confrontational punishment and explanation.

If they repeat the action, then what you can do is take them back for another time-out. You can explain the concept of apologies and why they should make one, depending on the age of the child. Positive reinforcement can be used to praise them for an apology, even if it comes with a kiss, or for going right out and giving their toy to the child that they kicked a while ago.

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