Your toddler is jumping on the table, throwing his toys all around the house, refusing to eat… or something else. You want to react calmly when your child is misbehaving, but most of the time you just snap.
If that happens to you, then here are some tips and trick to help you stay calm when your child is misbehaving.
What to do when your child is misbehaving?
1. Understand them.
First, you have to understand that these are not a sign of misbehavior. Your child’s actions are not calculated and intended actions, it’s just something that they do. Their brain is not yet developed enough to know the difference, or to care about it.
2. Distract them.
The best way to deal with toddlers doing something you don’t want them to do (like throwing their toys everywhere) is to distract them. Get them to focus on something more fun than throwing toys. Play with them, engage them, make them laugh…
3. Don’t worry so much.
Try to reduce the amount of concern you have for some things like mess around the house. Does it really matter if your toddler scribbles on the bedroom wall a bit, throws his toys or spills something? Who cares? Just relax!
4. Explain why you are upset.
Explain to your toddler why you are upset with them. You should speak calmly but firmly when your child is misbehaving, because even if they don’t understand all of the words you are saying, they will understand the tone of your voice. Maybe it’s hard for you to stay calm, but remember that simply removing the child from the immediate area for a short period of time is more effective than shouting a few angry words that you will soon regret.
5. Read some books about toddlers.
Get some books about toddlers out of the library, like maybe Toddlers Are A**holes: It’s Not Your Fault. If you understand better the way they work, it will help you not to see them as adults. At this age they are just realizing they can have an impact on their environment. They love to push buttons – and you are the button!
The only really successful way to get your children to change their behavior at any age is to actually change yours.