Toddler’s aggressive behavior? Don’t Panic

Sudden anger outbursts from your toddler can seem extremely embarrassing for parents. If such outbursts are coupled with violence and unreasonable behavior, then these aggressive incidents only add to grief and pain of parents. Parents often find themselves non-plussed and try every bit to calm their toddler. Sometimes they succeed while at times they won’t. Such outbursts can leave parents shocked, scared and worried about their toddler. At times your toddler may end up hurting someone else or his/her own self.

Image courtesy: www.nhs.uk
Image courtesy: www.nhs.uk
Why some toddlers display aggressive behavior?

There have been several instances where toddlers have slapped, bitten, punched, or hit other toddlers. Parents may find it difficult to understand the reason behind such aggressive outbursts. There could be a few reason for such a violent display by your toddler:

  • Curiosity: Toddlers being very young are unable to differentiate between right and wrong. They try to experiment with everything that they are capable of doing and this can result in pushing or hurting someone. Your timely intervention and remonstration can avoid mishaps.
  • Frustration: Your toddler may express his/her frustration through such anger outbursts unknowingly. Your toddler may be attempting to do certain things in a particular fashion and being unsuccessful in his/ her several attempts may get frustrated and get aggressive and shout. This may be his/her way of expressing the frustration.
  • Exhaustion: Extreme exhaustion can make your toddler cranky. He/ she may find aggressive behavior to be the only means of venting out the discomfort faced by him/her.

Tips for stopping Aggressive behavior in Toddlers:

Streamlining emotions and energies requires great deal of understanding and maturity that in fact toddlers cannot have. You can deal with the aggressive behavior of your toddler in the following manner:

  1. Try to put an end to such a behavior immediately: Keeping a close watch on your toddler is going to be quite helpful in curbing such aggressive behavior. Ensure that you have set in the limits and boundaries right from inception. You cannot wait until the situation worsens. Shouting is not the solution to any problem. Instead, you can talk to your toddler in a firm manner and in the language that he/she understands.
  2. Distract your toddler by taking her away: if the incident takes place at a public place, you will have to distract your child and take her away. Try to allure*allure*
    ➤ (n) the power to entice or attract through personal charm
    ➤ (v) dispose or incline or entice to
    …by BeeDictionary.com
    your child with something exciting. This will give ample of time for the toddler to settle down and you can take him/her away from the public attention too.
  3. Try explaining everything to your child through talking: Once your toddler has settled down, try to talk to your child about the situation. Try talking in the language that only a toddler can understand. Tell your toddler about the good and bad things the toddler does. At the same time try to explain him/her about what about the toddler makes you happy and sad. Try to make your toddler understand that there are various other ways of doing the same thing. For instance: Pushing or hitting someone is bad and helping others is a good behavior.
  4. Staying calm is the best option: Losing your cool in such situations is not going to help. It may aggravate the situation. Stay calm and try to handle the situation with a firm attitude.

In case if the aggressive behavior worsens and persists for a longer during try seeking medical help. A child psychologist can try to find out the main reason for such a behavior.

I can understand that as a parent you may be worried about your aggressive toddler. Don’t panic but try to stay calm, analyze the situation and deal with it patiently. If you have faced some similar situations, you can also share your valuable tips and experiences through your comments.