Behaviour Problems & Solutions

Your little one is gaining confidence and a will of their own, but the “terrible twos” come with less-than-adorable behaviour. With patience, you can find effective ways to defuse daily battles and encourage your toddler to become more cooperative.

Problem: Tantrums
Why does it happen?
Your child is unlikely to go through toddlerhood without erupting into spectacular meltdowns on a regular basis. They can be triggered by just about anything, but the root cause is always some sort of frustration. When they can’t get something right or don’t get their own way, the fuse is lit and everything blows!

How to deal with it:
Your toddler will be too wound up to listen to reason, so give them time-out to regain control. Stay close so they don’t feel abandoned, but don’t pay them attention. It’s embarrassing when they lose it in public, but keep your cool and don’t give in to their whims or you’ll send the message that throwing a fit gets results. When the storm subsides, acknowledge your child’s frustration and help them put their feelings into words. Explain that you can only understand what they want when they speak calmly.

Prevent them from starting :
The frenzy of daily life may be overwhelming for a toddler, so plan your child’s schedule and arrange lots of free time. You’re tempting fate if you squeeze in too many activities or stop at the supermarket just before nap time! When your toddler is engrossed in an activity, don’t expect them to change track immediately on command. Give them enough time to finish up and get their head around any transition.

Problem: Aggressive behaviour
Why does it happen?
Hitting and biting is an instinctive reaction for an angry toddler who can’t regulate their emotions.

How to deal with it:
Make sure your little one knows that violence is not okay. They might not understand how their behaviour affects others, but they do understand consequences. Remove them from the situation immediately and only allow them back once they’ve calmed down and apologised to the person they hurt. If you’re consistent, they’ll realise that when they lash out, they’ll be left out.

Problem: Separation Anxiety
Why does it happen?
As soon as your 6-month-old realizes that they’re a separate person from you, they become a clinging vine – if you’re out of sight, you might never come back! Separation anxiety reappears around 18 months when your intrepid toddler realises how scary it is to venture out into the world without you.

How to deal with it:
Say goodbye when you leave – don’t sneak out of the house when your toddler’s distracted. If they suspect you might disappear at any moment, they’ll never let you out of their sight! Prepare your child beforehand by explaining where you’re going and reassuring them that you’ll be back soon. Preferably get the minder to arrive early so they can get acquainted while you’re there. Once your little one realises that you always come back, they’ll cope with separation better.

Reinforce Good Behaviour
Don’t forget to give your toddler lots of attention when they’re doing the right thing. A positive reaction to good behaviour will encourage more of the same.