Being a parent comes with many different obstacles. Some are easy hurdles and others seem hard and scary. It’s a blessing to have children, but what do you do when you find your 2-year-old is mean? Is it normal?
The truth of the matter is yes. Although it may seem shocking to you, your significant other or the random person at the mall, aggressive behavior is actually a very normal part of your child’s development. With a new desire for independence, emerging language skills and impulse control not quite developed yet it is completely normal for your child to become agitated frequently, have outbursts or even become physical.
While some degree of this behavior is normal, that doesn’t mean that it should be ignored. You need to ensure that your little one knows that this behavior is not ok and show your child different, more positive ways to express their feelings.
HELP! MY 2-YEAR-OLD IS MEAN!
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HOW TO DEAL WITH YOUR TODDLER’S BEHAVIOR
If you find your little one becoming aggressive, moody or destructive, make sure to respond immediately. Remove your child from the situation for a short timeout. This will give the child time to relax and cool down and after a while, the child will start to realize that the behavior is connected to the consequence. Consistency is key here, or you are just going around in circles.
LEAD BY EXAMPLE
Remember that the behavior you choose is what is being modeled for your children and children are virtually mirrors of us. If you blow your stack frequently, your children will believe that it’s OK for them to respond to frustrating situations the same way. The best thing you can do in this situation is to remain firm but also calm.
REWARD GOOD CHOICES
Make it very clear when your little one chooses a good behavior. It is important that we don’t only respond to our children’s behavior when it is negative. Positive reinforcement goes a long way. Reward a good choice and soon your child will see that both behavior choices have consequences.
Remember, it is not uncommon for 2-year-olds to start being aggressive or mean, but it certainly shouldn’t be ignored.
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