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4 Most Common Toddler Behavior Problems: SOLVED!

Toddler Behavior Problems

Toddler Behavior Problems: are they normal? As children grow they go through a number of stages, some of which include a host of toddler behavior problems. While these behavioral issues may cause annoyance or even embarrassment, most are completely normal. Is your child displaying aggressive behavior, nonstop whining, sibling rivalry, or refusing to go to school? Here we provide answers about some of the most common toddler behavior problems, why they occur and how you can help put them to rest.

1. Toddler Behavior Problems of Aggression

You are walking through the store and your child strikes out at you, an onlooker stares at you with a wide-open mouth. Sounds embarrassing, but don’t let it cause you too much grief, you’re certainly not the first parent this has happened to. Too young to fully understand the negative consequences of their behavior, Toddler behavior problems of aggression are extremely common. Children often act aggressive as an attempt to win their way. For instance, attention is a top priority for toddlers and if your little one doesn’t feel like he or she is getting enough attention, they might become angry and act out. Parents must deter toddlers and small children from continuing these actions by applying the proper forms of discipline. Do all that you can to avoid responding in an aggressive manner, this only teaches kids that violence, or abrupt anger, is the answer. Also, telling kids that they are ‘bad’ will not help either—without a real consequence words hold little weight with toddlers. Instead try sending your child to time out for a few minutes, or use some other form of punishment consistently when your child acts aggressively. This way your child will begin to learn that biting, kicking, or hitting is always met with an unwanted consequence.

Make sure to focus on your child’s good behavior just as much as their aggressive moments, giving them plenty of praise and rewards when they play well with others and politely ask for what they want. Over time you are teaching your child to act nice and polite to earn the attention they are craving. Toddlers are quick learners, but remember it takes unwavering consistency to break bad habits.

2. Toddler Behavior Problems of Whining

From time to time everyone takes a moment to whine—even adults can’t help it sometimes. Although kids always find the most reasons to whine, toddler behavior problems of whining occur when toddlers want their way, feel powerless in a situation, want to cry, or simply because, well it works! Kids between the ages of three to five have a very low tolerance for frustrating situations, when they are hungry, tired, or unhappy in a situation there’s only one thing to do: start whining. The moment your child starts to whine all that you want is for the ruckus to stop. Some toddlers don’t even know when they are whining, which is why some professionals suggest whining back at your child to demonstrate how irritating and hard to understand whining can be. Others suggest whispering to your child so that your child can’t hear you if they continue to whine, this can also promote whiners to adapt to your tone of voice. By four years old, children are better able to comprehend negative consequences of their behavior, around this age it helps to tell your child you can’t understand or help them until they stop whining. The moment your child uses a calm, normal voice to convey their worries or distress, give it your all to make them feel better; after all, they gave it their best effort to calm down and stop whining. Relating to your child also helps, explain that you understand their feelings and provide reasons things have not worked out in their favor. (See More)

Even in grade school many kids continue to whine from time to time. If your child learns that whining does work to get their way they will continue to do so, potentially forever. The key is to never reward whiney behavior and to always reward good behavior. If your child whines in a store make sure they get no treats, but if they act appropriately throughout the store reward them with stickers or another small treat—even if it’s only $1, kids don’t care about price tags. (Read More)

3. Toddler Behavior Problems of Sibling Rivalry

Some siblings are the best of friends, but even those that love and adore one another go through stages of sibling rivalry. As a parent you want your children to get along and look after one another and so it can be frustrating, and even hurtful, to watch your children constantly argue. Plus, no one likes to live in a house where a lot of fighting goes on. Still, toddler behavior problems of sibling rivalry is very normal for a number of reasons. Many toddlers are notoriously protective of their toys and belongings and don’t like to share, not even with their siblings. This all ties into jealousy as well, siblings often fight for attention from their parents. If one child receives more attention, perhaps due to an illness or other special need, siblings can become very jealous and act out. If your children start to fight for your attention while you are around, it often helps if you evacuate the area and remove the reason to argue completely.

If one child is calm and easy going and the other is easily upset and clingy, siblings have a greater chance of arguing more often. As long as neither child is at risk for getting hurt, you want to keep out of the conflict and let them work it out as much as possible. If one sibling continually gets blamed for arguing, more animosity will build and fights will only increase. Keep in mind that two children must be involved for a fight to begin, it’s not about finding a kid to blame but instead it’s about treating all participants involved in the argument the same. That doesn’t mean to ignore the situation all together; you want to be sure one child isn’t bullying the other. Also, make sure there are rules in place for your children to follow, such as never slamming doors or throwing toys.

Decrease the fighting by giving your kids time apart, and an equal chance to hang out with you one-on-one. Siblings need their own space and time to play without having to share (toys and parent attention) with one another. This gives siblings the opportunity to actually appreciate one another when they are together, because playing alone gets boring for anyone after a while. Time together is also important for siblings to bond, create fun activities for your family to do as a whole that will get your kids teaming up instead of teaming against one another. Perhaps most importantly, set a good example through your own actions, show your children the best way to handle conflict is through polite words and compromise—it might take some time but eventually the message will catch on. (Find Out More)

4. Toddler Behavior Problems of Not Wanting To Go To School

Some children hop out of your car and race off to class without any hesitation, ready for another day at school. Other children are not so easy going about heading off to school, especially after a long break such as summer vacation. Many kids don’t appreciate change, therefore when their routine changes it can be stressful for them, causing uneasy feelings they don’t quite understand. In protest of these feelings, your child might cry or act angry when you first drop them off at daycare. It might seem like your child is the only one crying at drop off time, but trust us, parents all experience this at some point or other and it’s completely normal. Still, it’s always hard to leave your child when they are so upset. Rest assured, almost all children settle down once their parent has left. If you drop your child off and appear nervous or worried, your child will recognize this and assume that they have reason to be upset, making the problem worse. Instead of lingering behind, drop them off without hesitation and then call the daycare center 30 minutes later to check up on your child if you are still worried. To hear your child is smiling in circle time or making friends with his or her peers will help you get through the rest of your day, helping to alleviate toddler behavior problems of not wanting to go to school.

Your child loves and trusts you above all else right now; you are their safety blanket. Taking this into consideration it can be understandably difficult for your child to go off to school without you. Help make your child feel better by offering a personal item that reminds him or her of you to keep throughout their school day. This item can be an inexpensive piece of jewelry, an old family photo, or just about anything with symbolic meaning to your child. By holding onto this item your child will feel closer to you and more reassured that they will see you right after school is over.

It might be tempting to let your child skip school, especially if your toddler continually throws tantrums about it, but the more your child goes to school the more they will learn to accept it. On the contrary, the more school your child misses the harder it will be to stress attendance in the future. (Learn More)

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