by Rhonda Reyes
Most children don’t start out aggressive. Babies are warm and loving. It is when they hit about 18 months old that they begin to make their parents pull their hair out! Toddlers around this age, and some older toddlers will sometimes hit, bite, kick and scream. If this sounds like your toddler then you are not alone.
Most toddlers start doing this and it is really just a way of expressing their opinion. That doesn’t mean that we as parents should let it go on though! It is defiantly a behavior that can and should be corrected.
Up until this point, toddlers only knew one way to express their displeasure. Now that they are learning new things it can be hard to control their emotions. Hitting or biting sometimes seems to be a good way to get what they want.
So what are some things that can correct the problem?
1. Consistence, No matter what you decide to do you MUST be consistent. If you only address the problem sometimes then the toddler learns that the behavior is OK sometimes but not others. This only leads to confusion in the end. It leaves the toddler thinking, “Why was I allowed to hit mommy one time and this time I am in trouble?”
2. A firm NO, There is no reason to scream at your toddler in fact for many children a firm no is all it takes. Look the toddler directly in the eyes and say, “NO we do not hit.” Sometimes this takes care of the problem. Other times children need more direction
3. Talk to your toddler, It may seem silly, but talking to your toddler can help. Tell them why they are not supposed to hit. For Example: “Michael We do not hit people because it hurts them.”
4. Remove them from the situation, If the toddler is playing with a group of children and insists on hitting them to get his way then take him away from the situation. Go into another room and give your toddler something else to do. Read a book, sing a song or color. In a few minutes you can take them back to play with their friends.
5. Distract, Give them another way to release their energy. Go outside and play or allow them to bang on a drum. Most toddlers are easily distracted with food as well, give them a snack and let them have a little quiet time.
6. Time out, Time out may be a little extreme for small toddlers, but it works well for toddlers that are 2 and older. Have them sit in time out no longer than 1 minute for every year of age. If you are having a hard time getting your toddler to sit still try putting him or her in a high chair for the duration of the time out.
One of the most important things that you can do is make sure that all the child’s needs are met. Children are more likely to act out if they are hungry, thirsty or tired. If it is time to eat then you can pretty much assume that is the reason your toddler is acting out.
Remember that you are setting the stage for the behavior that you expect. Be consistent now and it will pay off in the future.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3494108
See Also Parenting Articles by Dr. Randy Cale at www.TerrificParenting.com