When you were expectant, there was a chorus of congratulations from most of your family members, friends and probably even strangers wished you well.
What most did not tell you though is that parenthood would sometimes be overwhelming. That super cute little one with adorable chubby cheeks can sometimes be quite a handful and will leave you feeling overwhelmed. Especially as your baby approaches their “terrible twos”.
When toddlers begin to show signs of aggression it may be very sudden and violent. Here are 6 tips to help you prevent toddler aggression and improve your child’s behavior.
1. Avoid Spanking
Although spanking, hitting and other forms of physical punishment are the ways that some parents wish to discipline their little ones, it may not be necessary. Spanking or hitting a child may have them believe that it is okay for them to spank or hit people whose behavior they do not like or approve. Physical forms of punishment could encourage your little one to be aggressive towards other people. It can also be embarrassing to be seen spanking your child in public.
2. Encourage Emotional Expression
One way to help your child learn to deal with anger is by encouraging the use of words to express what they feel instead of fighting the people around them. Calmly talk with your little one and ask to explain what has made them so upset. If your toddler does not want to talk to you about it, then ask to consider sharing their feelings with a pet, or an imaginary friend if they have one. Once your toddler stops the aggressive behavior, be sure to show your praise.
3. Focus Your Attention
While talking to your toddler, let him or she knows that you genuinely care about how they feel. If you have multiple children, your toddler may not understand that you can’t always provide them with your full undivided attention. One tip to help you balance your attention on each child is to put your youngest child in a baby bouncer or swing. This way as your toddler has a melt down, you can free your hands and focus on your little one.
4. Be a Role Model
Children like to emulate the adults around them. Therefore, whenever arguments arise in your home, be sure to resolve them in a non-aggressive manner. No matter how angry ensure that you are able to control your temper.
Be sure to validate their anger without validating their aggression. Show your child it is ok to be angry, but it’s never ok to be violent. Consider giving your little one a hug or cuddle as it would go a long way in ensuring they feel loved and appreciated.
5. Give Timeouts
When your toddler’s behavior is inappropriate, it is okay for you to give them timeouts. However, this only works effectively on toddlers who are age 1 and older. When you discipline your little one, you shouldn’t feel guilty or apologize for putting them in timeout. When you apologize for putting your child in timeout you take the blame for their poor decisions and they will not understand why you are doing it.
Disciplining a child does not give you a pleasant feeling but this is a necessary part of parenting.
Overtime, helping your toddler to learn about their feelings and emotions will go a long way. Continue being positive on a daily basis and you will be able to lead by example.