- Make sure your toddler is not tired, hungry, or sick because any of these could cause your toddler to have a meltdown.
- Put away things you don’t want your toddler to touch.
- Teach your toddler only one or two rules at a time, so it’s not confusing.
- Use a calm but firm voice to tell your toddler the rule and how you want it to be followed.
What if Your Toddler Misbehaves on Purpose?
Sometimes your toddler will break a rule on purpose to see what will happen. This also is a normal part of your toddler’s development to learn independence. Your goal at times like these is to help your toddler learn self-control. If your toddler misbehaves, you can:
- Stay calm because your toddler learns how to react to situations by the way you handle them.
- Move your toddler gently away from what he/she should not be doing.
- Redirect your toddler’s attention to something that is OK to do.
- If your toddler tries to hit or kick, gently but firmly hold your toddler’s hand or foot. Remind your toddler that, “We don’t hit or kick.”
- Let your toddler release any pent up energy or emotions by doing a physical activity like, running or dancing to music.
- Do a “timeout” or “time in.” You may need to sit quietly next to your toddler to help him comply.
- Have make-up time afterwards with a hug and a kiss to let your toddler know that you love him, but were not pleased with his behavior.
The terrible twos won’t last forever. Your toddler just can’t control all those emotions or curiosity yet.
For more parenting advice and support, contact the Parents As Teachers program through Catholic Charities and AzPAC. This partnership provides family support through home visits, screenings, and assessments at no costs to families. Families in Mesa, Gilbert, and Queen Creek with a child ages 0-5 are eligible. For more information call 480-388-3292.