“Mom!!! Sean is pulling my hair again!!! He is so mean, mom!”
And I heard my little Sean laugh with how he caused distress on his older sister, Sierra. I know, you’d say that this is children playing, and it’s not supposed to be a big issue, but you know what, it will be an issue when he grows up if you don’t teach him right as early as one year old. It is true – toddlers can be so cute when they are naughty. We can’t help but laugh at their “naughty antics,” and we may even brag about them to others. What we don’t know is that we are encouraging the soon to be bad behavior.
So, with that, how do we handle our toddler’s naughty whims?
“The brain of a toddler is capable of complex processes and there may be many reasons a toddler wakes and signals, or calls/cries out,” says psychologist Darcia F. Narvaez Ph.D.
Toddlers scream for a lot of reasons. Some yell out if they are hurt. Toddlers do it because they’re too exuberant and they want to test out the loudness of their voice. There are also those who shout because they want to get your attention and they connected screaming with it.
Shouting back at your toddler to lower his voice won’t help your case at all. Instead, encourage the child to use his indoor voice. If he is screaming to get something that he wants, then, don’t give in to him. By giving him what he wants as he yells, you’ll only be encouraging and reinforcing the behavior.
Children tattle for many reasons. It could be because they want to one-up another kid in front of the authority figures like their teacher or parent. They want to look better and gain their favor. There’s also an upside to tattling. It could also be because they know the rules and what’s wrong from right. They might be doing this because they saw that someone was acting against the rules and they must inform the adults of it.
Assess whether the situation truly needs your attention or whether it’s a situation your child can learn to sort on his own. They could learn independence by handling some situations on their own, but if the tattling is something done to make up stories or cause fights, then, curb this by telling your child tattling is not nice. Kids must not be a tattletale.
Teasing is something that happens to everyone and is a part of life. It occurs in all stages of life, through childhood and even through your adult years. Most of the time, the teasing that occurs during the toddler stage is not malicious. They often tease their parents as a way to test the boundaries.
But as kids grow older, teasing may go from playful ways to outright bullying. You can’t control the teasing, but you can teach your toddler how to respond to it. If your child is the one doing the teasing, then, make sure to tell him that it’s wrong and that it hurts other people’s feelings.
Tantrums are indeed a force to be reckoned with especially during the toddler years. According to developmental psychologist Dona Matthews Ph.D., “Tantrums and aggressive behaviours—hitting, kicking, scratching, and biting—don’t mean you’re a bad parent, but they are a call to action.” You’ll never know when they will strike. One moment you and your child is in the park enjoying yourselves and the next minute, your child is screaming at the top of his lungs for some reason.
There are many reasons for a child to throw a tantrum, and it’s due to frustration. He is only beginning to learn and understand language, so your child is having difficulty speaking and expressing what he feels. This then makes him feel frustrated, and this frustration will then lead to your child having a tantrum.
One of the ways to control this behavior is by not giving him attention when he is displaying a fit unless he is harming himself and others. If he does that, remove him from the situation. You can also speak to him slowly and in a low voice even if he cries and yells.
“Tell your child that his “tantrum ways” is not a nice thing to do. To change your toddler’s behavior, consider the feelings and needs driving it,” Laura Markham Ph.D.
Tell your child that his “tantrum ways” is not a nice thing to do.
There are many other naughty things that toddlers and young kids do. As parents, we must help them process their feelings right and avoiding these behavioral issues.