Ten Toddler Problems That Parents Must Address Right

Raising your little angels becomes challenging when they become toddlers. They act difficult and display defiant behaviour, which can be simple things like refusing to eat or putting on their shoes. In such situations, parents can be at a loss about how to respond to tantrums.

Borrowing techniques from behavioural therapy can aid parents with consistent ways to manage their children’s behaviour. Behavioural therapy can help children develop the skills that aid in regulating their behaviour.

Common Behavioural Problems Toddlers Exhibit:

  1. Aggressive behaviour is a part of your toddler’s growing years. As language skills emerge, a desire for independence surfaces, making them aggressive. Highlighting the consequences and encouraging physical activity reduces aggression levels.
  2. A toddler’s short-term memory isn’t well developed, so your child has the impulse to say things before they forget, which is why they tend to keep on talking even when they are told to stop because they want to communicate the entire train of thought. And sometimes they would also interrupt an on-going communication between two adults to say their thing because they need to hurry before they lose the thought. While that makes sense to your child, it can be exasperating to you. To ensure you get your “me-time”, encourage your friends to meet at the park so your toddler can play while you catch up rather than keeping the child around while you interact, thereby seemingly encouraging your child to participate with its own well-thought out inputs that might not be as comprehensible to an adult as they are to the kid’s rushing and gushing mind.
  3. As toddlers have varied emotions but only a small vocabulary to go with them, they often resort to yelling to communicate. To help control the screaming habit, gently tell your toddler to use an ‘indoor voice’. If they are uncomfortable, try to get them out of it to prevent screaming bouts.
  4.  Teasing is a fact of life and all kids learn how words affect others. But it takes a little while, which is why kids’ peers affect their mannerisms, and they end up teasing others to gain peer approval. They don’t mean to hurt people and they do not see that people might feel bad about things said to them or about them in their presence. Such insensitivity can be embarrassing in certain social situations. Avoiding overreactions and teaching your toddler empathy are ways to discourage unkind forms of teasing.
  5. Temper tantrums turn up with little warning. One minute they are enjoying their favourite milkshake, and the next, they are screaming just because their straw is slightly out of shape. When facing a tantrum, remain calm and be the adult in the conversation.
  6. Until your toddler is about four, your child cannot distinguish between reality and fantasy, which means that they can’t distinguish between lying and speaking the truth. The harmless fibs are usually due to an overactive imagination. When your toddler lies, phrase your comments to encourage a confession instead of denial.
  7. Motor skills are among the many new things that develop in a toddler. A considerable amount of hand-eye coordination is involved in throwing objects, so when your child is throwing things around, he is just practicing his motor skills. Discourage your toddler from throwing around the wrong things by showing that it hurts or is just bad manners. There are things he/she can throw around and there is a time, like soft toys during play time; and there are things that cannot be thrown about, like glassware at people.   
  8. Whining – A child complains to get the parent’s attention. As toddlers are verbally challenged, they often get frustrated and resort to whining. Work with the child on better ways to express what’s bothering them.
  9. Pulling on Hair – Yanking on hair is one of the ways toddlers express themselves. The most likely explanation is the simplest one: they know it gets you to react, and they want it again. Demonstrating that hair pulling doesn’t work will curb it from happening.
  10. Tattling – Siblings often tend to tattle, which is to gossip around about personal lives of others, and they do it mostly to boost their self-esteem or gain favour in their parent’s eyes. The positive side is that it demonstrates that they understand right from wrong, or understand what might meet social disapproval. Handle tattling by giving the tattler some chores and avoid punishing the other child for minor infractions. They need to understand what can be talked about and what’s not their business, but it will take a while. Be patient.

Implementing Behaviour Management at Home:

Responding effectively to problematic behaviour helps identify triggers leading up to it. A toddler has very little exposure to the outside world, and thrusting toddlers into an unfamiliar environment may cause them to act up.

Consequences to Avoid:

  • Giving negative attention 
  • Delayed consequences 
  • Positive consequences

Effective Consequences:

  • Ignore when necessary 
  • Rewards 
  • Time-outs 
  • Return to the task after the time-out

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