Young children are becoming. They are just discovering that they have an opinion and that their opinion (about anything and everything) is the most important opinion, in their opinion. It’s a tough time for parents.
Problem: Your toddler takes his clothes off. It’s kind of cute at first, but “cute” doesn’t last long. He’s discovered that wearing clothes is optional, and that removing his clothes gets lots of attention.
- Buy clothing that zips or buttons in the back.
- Let him run naked at home, but tell him he can’t go “see Grandma” until he puts his clothes on.
- Let him start to choose his own clothing.
- Take a deep breath — he’ll outgrow it.
Problem: The biting toddler. Your toddler has teeth, and he’s decided that teeth make excellent weapons when things aren’t going his way.
- Remove the child who bites from the situation. If he’s using his teeth to gain possession of a toy from another child, give the toy in question to the other child and remove the biter from the situation. Don’t let biting “win.”
- Lavish attention on the child that was bitten while totally ignoring the biter.
- Try to resist the temptation to bite the biter back just to show him that biting hurts. He already knows biting hurts. He’s seeking getting his own way or looking for attention. Don’t give him either.
Problem: The toddler temper tantrum. Toddlers most often throw tantrums when they are overly tired or have been out of their comfort zone for an extended period of time. Tantrums are often reflecting frustration.
- Schedule trips and vigorous activities during the child’s normally peak hours, not during nap time or near bedtime.
- Praise good behavior as often as possible. Toddlers seek praise.
- If you threaten leaving a store without making a purchase if the child throws a tantrum, back up the threat.
- Again, they really do outgrow it.
If you are looking for more great tips on how to deal with behavior problems in young children make sure to check out the “Talking to Toddlers” audio program.