It would be a dream if the nearly century-old hit tune “Ain’t Misbehavin” was written to describe toddler behavior, but a baby’s brain isn’t magically programmed to be well-behaved. That’s largely your job. A toddler needs to be taught not to kick, bite or hit when she’s upset. Toddler behavior issues, of which there is no shortage, usually can be dealt with and overcome successfully with effective tactics and perseverance.
Many 2-year-olds are prone to tantrums that can make life miserable for everyone within ear range. Your tot will dramatically exclaim the word “No” as she struggles to catch her breath between screams. Frequent emotional outbursts are a normal, albeit frustrating, stage in a toddler’s development, notes MayoClinic.com.
Tantrums can erupt when a toddler begins to sway between their growing desire for autonomy and their continued reliance on mom and dad. Your daughter might hold onto you for dear life one minute and run away as far as her little feet will take her the next in pursuit of a scheme that will break the rules.
A toddler really is a busy body. A tot is in constant motion as his brain works overtime to learn as much as possible. She’s constantly expanding her vocabulary while improving her physical prowess. Working to improve intellectually, emotionally and physically can be stressful and exhausting. It’s no wonder tots become overwhelmed at times and resort to a tantrum to blow off a little steam and release pent-up frustrations. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t lose your cool right along with your disgruntled toddler from time to time, according to MayoClinic.com. Using humor, offering comfort or ignoring outbursts altogether might help nip tantrums in the bud.
A time-out, preferably in a quiet corner or separate room, can be an effective method of teaching your toddler that certain behaviors are not OK, according to HealthyChildren.org, a website published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Explain to your child without going into great detail that he needs time to cool off after misbehaving or breaking a rule. Time-outs should end when your tot has calmed down. Use one minute of time-out for each year of your child’s age.
A toddler is a picky eater. She might practically live on maple-flavored oatmeal and tuna sandwiches for weeks then suddenly turn her nose up at both. Lunch might be the preferred meal of the day for a toddler who’d be perfectly happy to forgo breakfast or dinner.
Make healthful food options available to your picky eater and always be willing to offer choices, advises University of Illinois Extension. Ask him whether he’d rather have a banana or pear for an afternoon snack. Take advantage of the fact that tots are little copycats by setting a good at the table. In other words, eat your spinach!
A consistent but simple bedtime ritual that includes hitting the hay at the same time each night is now more important than ever because your tot’s ever-expanding imagination can disrupt his sleep. Setting and sticking to a routine that might include a bedtime story after a warm bath can help ensure that your toddler gets the 10 to 13 hours of sleep she needs in a 24-hour period. Let your tyke choose a favorite blanket, stuffed animal or doll before drifting off to sleep.