Why Is My Toddler Aggressive?
If your toddler shows aggressive behavior you might be shocked from the same as well as other onlookers. There are certain reasons for which a toddler might showcase aggressive behavior such as a fierce desire to make independent choices, impulse control that is undeveloped as well as language skills that are emerging and not yet developed.
Most child specialists state that some form of biting or hitting is normal amongst toddlers. However, you need to show that aggressive behavior is not acceptable and direct such aggressiveness into better or more creative channels of expression.
What can I do when my toddler shows aggression?
When your toddler shows aggression you need to keep your cool. Most parents might yell, hit or tell their child not to do something. However, it is more important to show instances of positive behavior that he or she can do which will not get the child riled up. Remember that, if you show control of your temper, they will learn likewise from you. Here are some points to keep in mind:
- Define clear limits
Toddlers and children, in general, need to have clear limits set. If he or she showcases aggressive behavior, remove the child from the situation and make them sit out for some time, about a minute or two. This gives them a chance to cool down and then will connect the behavior they did along with the consequence of a timeout.
- Good behavior should be reinforced
Instead of always chastising your toddler when they are doing something naughty, show encouragement for the good behaviors they do. If you find your child, helping someone, praise that behavior. When you reinforce good behavior they will want to see that appreciation from you and resort to doing things that are acceptable and good.
- Logical consequences of actions
If a child is doing something wrong like throwing a ball at other children, make them sit out and watch others play. Explain to your child that they can play only if they are ready to get back and play in a way that does not hurt other children.
- Discipline in a consistent manner
Ensure that you respond to any showcase of aggressiveness the same way. If you allow some incident to go unnoticed, you would be sending mixed signals. Toddlers learn the limits of acceptable behavior based on the response of their parents. Hence, you need to be consistent in showcasing little tolerance for the right kind of behavior your toddler does. If you ignore some and show your disapproval in certain cases, he or she will get unclear signals. You can also allow your toddler to show his or her anger in certain instances. However, encourage them to say sorry as well. Even if they do not mean it initially, the lesson will sink in.
- Encourage physical activities
Often toddlers get aggressive as they have a lot of energy building in themselves which might not get an adequate outlet. Reduce screen time that they get in front of a television, computer or tablet and get them to play with the playmates indoors or outdoors.