I’ve been worried for a while about my toddler’s behavior. He is about to turn 2.
with the excuse that he is young and not able to communicate that he’s upset, I have dismissed the way he acts.
But one day, I heard an experienced mother of five talks about the training she had taken with her children.
She started training babies before her babies could crawl!
She explained that the training is done joyfully and not out of anger. It is also to help protect your child from danger.
When she gave examples of how you knew your toddler’s behavior was a problem, I thought to myself, “Yes, that describes my baby.”
And my son, man is he CUTE. I want to give him what he wants. But, I have been doing him a disservice by allowing him to do whatever he wanted, whenever he wants.
A List of Toddler Problem Behaviors
-When I’m trying to talk to someone and I’m holding him, he is wiggling and throwing his head back to try and get down from my lap or arms. I am legit wrestling him.
-When he gets really upset, he starts hitting his head on whatever is near. For example, the floor, the walls, our dog, or other people.
-When he’s really upset he starts hitting his head with anything, For example, the floor, the walls, our dog, etc.
I saw him do this to other young children, He knows mom doesn’t wanna say no because I’m not her
-If he doesn’t want the food I serve him, he throws it on the floor.
-He doesn’t respond when I tell him to come to me, and instead, he thinks its fun to run from me.
-When he wants a snack, he starts opening up the cabinets and tries to climb up the shelves to get what he wants. (Note: He is very well fed and he’s not doing this because he’s starving)
-He doesn’t respond when I tell him to “stop”. This is SO important for young children to know in case of danger.
-When I want him to hold my hand when we walk he throws Himself on the ground or continues to stick his hand.
-When we go to others, I have to follow him All the time to keep him from catching things that might break. “No
He doesn’t do these things every day or even every week.
Why do I need my son to know what he can and cannot do: safety!
One day my husband was frying bacon on the stove. My hubby stepped On the side for a second and quickly my son got a tip of Was about to shoot bacon/fat all over his cute little face!
I started screaming “NO, NO, NO” and I sprinted as fast as I could to the stove. Fortunately, I got to the pan before he could demolish it.
But you know what he did when I said “no” … nothing. He didn’t respond. Why would he?
I realized that I had never taught my son what he could and couldn’t touch.
Little did he know that he had been denied access to the stove.
I also never taught him what “No” means. It did not phase him because he didn’t know what it meant when I was screaming for him to let go of the pan.
Can you relate to any or all of this? Do you think your little one’s behavior is also a problem? Well, What’s Next?
Making a Behavior Plan:
First, my husband and I have to be on the same page with discipline. After my son fell asleep we put the list above of the behaviors we needed to deal with.
Next, Then we decide which behaviors we want to start first. We couldn’t correct EVERYTHING on day 1 so we started small.
We discussed how we would correct the behavior. Would we give a warning? How would we teach him what he couldn’t do? How long until we would start adding consequences? How long before I start adding consequences?
The most important part was our mindset and consistency. We had to discipline out of love. We weren’t making changes because we were angry, it was for the good and safety of our son.
We also had to stay consistent! My son won’t understand if he can do the same and only have consequences half the time.
Overall, I want to keep my son safe. He needs to know how to listen to Mom and Dad when something is dangerous!
Implementing the Toddler Behavior Plan:
My husband and I agreed on what we felt most comfortable with for disciplining our child. That looks different for everyone! Your child may respond well to something that mine doesn’t!