Small children are capable of actions that will warm the heart of the most cynical individuals. But the same innocent toddler is also capable of behavior that will simply drive you crazy. Your toddler does not naturally possess the ability and self-control to deal with anger and frustration properly. This means they will show aggression and throw a temper tantrum from time to time. Acknowledging that these behaviors are normal does not mean there are not things you can do to curb this behavior.
Teach house rules
Your toddler will not know the law of the land in your home until you teach them. Teaching your child what is expected of them is one of the first and most important responsibilities you will face as a parent. Once you set and teach the standards and rules that govern your home, your toddler should be quickly reprimanded whenever a rule is violated.
Use healthy distractions
While working to show your child other ways to deal with the anger and frustration they feel, it can help to find useful distractions that can change the focus and energy of your child. This is not to suggest you should bribe your child with snacks or other things. However, there is nothing wrong with shifting the focus of your toddler away from the thing that is causing the stress.
You should carefully monitor your toddler as they manage disagreements with playmates. Allow the children to solve minor disagreements on their own. It is time to intervene once the children are acting out physically and will not respond to commands to stop. You should also step in if one of the children show signs of uncontrollable anger. Separate the children until they have calmed down enough to continue playing. If the fight is too violent the play session should be ended for the day.
Alternatives to fighting
You should make sure your child knows that fighting is not the first or only option he or she possesses during an altercation. Teach your child to firmly say no when they do not like something that is happening. You can also teach your toddler to turn his back to people who are unpleasant and walk away.
Praise good behavior
You should be just as quick with praise for your child’s appropriate behavior as you are with criticism when your toddler is behaving poorly. Tell your toddler you are proud of them and explain to them how ‘grown-up’ they are acting whenever they use the behavior skills you teach them instead of aggression and temper tantrums.
You should not feel guilty about using a time-out when your child exhibits behaviors that are unacceptable. Time-outs can be used for children as young as one year old.
Stay mindful of your temper
Controlling your own temper is one of the best ways to ensure you teach your child to behave properly. If you demonstrate to your child that quiet and peaceful methods can be used to express themselves when they are angry, they are likely to follow your lead.