From screaming to kicking and throwing tantrums, toddlers are known to exhibit behaviour problems that most parents are having a hard time dealing with. Sometimes, you wonder if it’s just the way they are or if there’s something wrong with your parenting style.
Does your child have any of the following behaviour issues? If yes, worry not—they’re perfectly normal and totally manageable.
#1 Hitting and biting other kids
Some toddlers are more aggressive than others and that’s because they crave attention and have a strong desire to control and be free. However, you shouldn’t just shrug your shoulders about it. Let your child know that this behaviour is unacceptable especially if it hurts other people. To deal with it, don’t show your toddler the same behaviour. Avoid hitting or yelling at him. Instead, relax, control your temper, and calmly call him out on it. You’re not just modelling the behaviour you want your child to have but also showing him more compassion than anger. Give your child the attention he needs—not only when he’s being naughty but also when he’s done something good.
#2 Interrupting when someone’s talking
Your child will run up to you to tell you something and sometimes, it happens while you’re talking to someone else. It also boils down to attention—your child wants you to listen to him. To avoid this from happening, especially when other people are around, remind your child to not interrupt while someone is still saying something. Bring a toy or an item that will keep him busy while the adults are conversing.
#3 Screaming and throwing tantrums
Toddlers who scream their lungs out either want your attention or something they can’t have because you wouldn’t give it. They want to see if their screaming will make you back down and finally give them what they want. If you think screaming back at them will help, think again. Acknowledge your child’s feelings and explain why he can’t always have what he wants. You can also avoid such a situation. Whenever you leave the house together, make sure your little one is well-rested and well-fed. Consider going to family-friendly places too where toddler behaviour issues are easily tolerated compared to intimate venues.
#4 Disrespecting and talking back
Talking back is a clear sign of a child’s disrespect towards his parents and should not be tolerated at all costs. If your child says “no” every time you give an instruction or mimic whatever you say, make it clear that you will not have it. In some cases, kids talk back but still do what their parents ask them to. In this case, still let your child know that he should not speak to you in that way and in the end, acknowledge him for following your instructions. More importantly, do not respond in the same manner because your toddler will have an impression that what he does is just fine. Setting limits is also key—make your child aware of the consequences if he exhibits a disrespectful behaviour again but do it not in a threatening way.
#5 Not listening or pretending not to hear you
Your child usually doesn’t listen or pretends not to hear you when he doesn’t want to do what you asked him to, or he is simply busy with other activities such as playing and thinks that what he’s doing is more important than what you’re saying. Disregarding your presence is another sign of disrespect. When this happens, make it a point to give your instructions face to face with your child. Ask him to look at you while you talk and to recognise what you just said by saying things like “Okay, Mum (or Dad).”