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Building Better Behavior: Tips for Toddler Frustration

One moment your little kiddo is giggling in your arms and the next they are launching themselves at their brother/sister, screaming, crying with rage. 

It’s honestly enough to make any parent question their patience. 

But let me fill you in a secret: This behavior is pretty normal for toddlers. (Yeah that’s right)

Toddlers are at a stage where they are still learning how to communicate their needs and understand the world around them. And for unfortunate reasons, their way of expressing frustration often comes with physical aggression towards siblings, toys, or parents.

So, what should we do when your kiddo turns into a tiny tyrant?

Let’s learn some tips from an experienced mother (who has seen her fair share of toddler tantrums!)

Step 1: Breathe. It's Not About Punishment (Yet)

It’s way too easy to just yell or punish your child when they do an unforgivable act of aggression. But trust me, that’s not the answer here. First things first, I want you to remember to take a deep breath in these situations and tell yourself that this is a developmental stage, not a personal attack. Handle the situation carefully and with calmness.

Step 2: Protect and Comfort

The most important thing is to ensure the safety of both children. If your toddler is hitting their sibling, with utmost care and patience remove them from the situation. Focus on the hurt child first, and comfort them with soothing words and hugs. Let them know you are there for them.

Step  3: Words Matter - Speak Their Language

Once the situation is calm, it’s time to acknowledge their behavior. But remember to ditch the accusation “Why did you hit your brother or sister”? 

Instead of this use clear and simple language, “You are feeling frustrated because Danny took your toy, aren’t you?”

This shows empathy and helps them understand their own emotions.

Step 4: Skip the Labels - Focus on Solutions

Avoid labeling your child as "bad" or "mean." This can damage their self-confidence and create resentment.  Instead, focus on teaching them alternate ways to express their needs. 

"We don't do that in our family. When you're mad, you can use your words or roar like a lion into a pillow."  - Now that’s great parenting.

Step 5: Help Them Make Amends

Encourage your child to show kindness towards the sibling they hurt. 

"Can you give Danny a hug and say sorry?"  This teaches empathy and responsibility for their actions.

Sometimes, the best defense is a good offense. 

Anticipate situations that might trigger aggression or frustration in your child. If your toddler gets possessive over toys, assign designated play areas for each child.  Keep them engaged with separate activities when playtime gets intense.

Remember, It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Teaching toddlers new behaviors takes time and patience. Keep going if you see immediate results. 

Enjoy small victories, like using their words instead of fists. 

Consistency is key!

Let me tell you a story from  Anne’s experience. Anne has two kids, Jason and Timothy, Once Jason was frustrated with his little brother Timothy, over the building blocks game. Anne came up with a creative solution.

Instead of physical violence, Jason should roar like a lion into a pillow.

This helps him express his anger and becomes a fun way to communicate feelings.

The Takeaway

You are not alone in this. Every parent faces these challenges with their toddler’s behavior. The key is to understand them and stay calm, focus on teaching them the positive alternatives, and celebrate even the small victories.|

With creativity, understanding, and a little patience, you can cross these bumpy roads and raise a happy individual (even if they throw the occasional tantrum!).

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