We have all had it happen, our toddler has turned from this gentle and calm individual to suddenly biting, hitting and being aggressive toward not only us but everyone!
So why does this happen, what has changed in your baby’s life that they are suddenly owning the name “terrible 2”? The good thing to know is that this behaviour is all part of normal development. With your toddler still learning how to master his or her language skills and having the desire to become independent, this all places them at a very frustrating part of their lives. This does not mean that you need to ignore this behaviour but rather that you guide your toddler to understanding that this behaviour is unacceptable and provide other means for them to express their feelings.
Your toddler is at the stage where learning logical consequences for their actions is required. This means that if your child is playing in the ball pit and suddenly starts throwing the balls intentionally at the other toddlers in the way, take him out. Sit down and explain in a calm manner that he can go back but cannot throw the balls at other children.
Toddlers don’t possess the cognitive maturity to be able to imagine themselves in another child’s place or to change their behaviour based on verbal reasoning, but they can understand consequences. This means that trying to reason with your toddler will be fruitless.
Ensuring that you remain calm is critical. Your toddler will react to your screaming or hitting and will get more riled up. By you controlling your temper and how you handle the situation you will be teaching him on how to control his.
Through the setting of clear limits, you need to respond to your toddler immediately when any is aggression involved. Do not wait until the third time of him hitting hus sibling before getting involved. Removing your toddler out of the situation for a brief minute is the best way to provide time to cool down. After a couple times of repeating this behaviour on your part, your toddler will begin to understand that the behaviour has a consequences.
More importantly, rather than giving your child attention only when they are misbehaving, try to catch the good behaviour as well. The rewarding of good behaviour should out weigh the bad.
More importantly, if you are feel like you cannot cope and require assistance, never be afraid to ask. We all need a little help from time to time and this should not be the reason as to why you are not seeking assistance. Make sure that you take some “mommy time” to ensure that you are mentally fit to cope with your toddler.