How to Tame an Aggressive Toddler
Kids are always going to lash out at times and this behavior doesn’t make them a bad child. This probably just means they need attention, or maybe there is another underlying issue that’s causing this behavior. Never harshly punish your child because you are only making the problem worse. There are different approaches that will help calm your child down and to cooperate better in the long run. Here are 7 ways to help your aggressive child.
Find the Triggers
Your child might be upset if a certain toy isn’t working or someone starts criticizing them. This is the type of situation where you can teach your child ways to manage the situation. You can teach them to ask for help or talk about their feelings rather than getting physical.
You can start by relating to your child on their level because this does go a long way for your child. Don’t yell at your child instead you can talk to them by saying” I know it’s hard not always being able to get your own way, the same thing happens to me and I don’t like that feeling either.” Show compassion without giving in to their demands. You are telling your child he or she is still safe here and shouldn’t be ashamed of their feelings. Kids will learn that hitting is not acceptable and he won’t lose your love, no matter what.
Be a Role Model
It’s true the old saying of a child is a product of their environment. That means that your child is also a sponge for absorbing information from their home environment. Researchers say that frequent violence in the home increases a child’s risk for developing aggressive behavior at a young age. Don’t argue with your spouse in front of your children. Make sure you talk to your spouse in a different area of your home and without the child being able to listen. Your child picks up both of their parent’s behaviors and acts out in public settings. Try and always use respectful language in front of your child when you are angry. This is what you expect out of your child. If you show good anger management control, your child will follow suit and use positive coping techniques.
You set the example and dole out the consequences as a parent. If you have told your child repeatedly that hitting is wrong, and they don’t understand that then it’s time to enforce consequences for their behavior. Have a plan in place for consequences and warn your child about this ahead of time. You can do something as easy as using a piece of construction paper, buy some gold, silver and red stars and label each day of the month. The gold star means a good job, silver is mediocre day and red is time for consequences, You are the boss so you set the rules on what kind of consequences are fair for your child’s age group.
Divert their Energy
It’s easy enough to redirect your child to expend their aggression into more positive actions. You can bring out the clay and have them pound it, go running in the yard with your child, jump on a trampoline to expel negative energy or play a sport with your child. These actions are helpful in diverting energy into positive actions. You can also use creative outlets such as music, writing, coloring, and drama to engage your child to explore their feelings and passions. This is a very acceptable way for your child to learn about not holding back their emotions and feelings. Your child might even discover a hidden talent they have.
Don’t Celebrate Being Tough
We all know that there still are certain cultures that celebrate their children’s bullying and toughness. This is usually the case with little boys. Parents’ will often use the word “tough” to compliment a child. This actually reinforces the child’s belief that they need to kick, punch orbit in order to gain your approval. It’s much more recommended to teach your child that being “strong” is a great form of self-control”, showing compassion, being helpful and using good communication when your child is frustrated.
Watch the Diet of Your Child
Take a good look at what you feed your child every day. There are 2 diets that are recommended that will help your child be less angry. One diet is called gluten free and the other diet is the Feingold diet. The Feingold diet was created in the 1990’s by a doctor named Benjamin Feingold. This diet includes the removal of artificial coloring, flavors, sweeteners as well as preservatives. Foods high in salicylates are also considered unhealthy. The success rate for the removal of these products has an 80% success rate in curbing aggressive and ADHD syndrome in children. Gluten is not yet proven to be a contributor to aggression in children yet but it’s another thought that could possibly be a suggestion if your child has allergies. Allergies also create tired and depressed children, because of lack of sleep. Lack of sleep could create aggression in children. Try to look at different ways your child might suffer aggressive behavior before starting them on any kinds of medication.
All children will be aggressive at some point in their tiny lives. This doesn’t mean you have a problem child, but it is good to show your child kindness, compassion and empathy towards others in order for your child to learn how to socially interact with other children. Most parent’s start by taking their child to the park or daycare if they have to work. Both of these places are social interaction areas for small toddlers to school age children. This is where you are going to be able to teach your child how to behave properly without throwing a tantrum. This is also a place where children learn how to share different toys, whether it be at daycare or at the sandbox. This is also where you should have your plan of consequences ready to go if your child keeps displaying inappropriate behavior. Don’t worry, they will learn and if you happen to have a child that it a little more testy, you can teach him or her as well. A little understanding and patience go a long way.