Parenting

How To Cope with Toddler Aggression

It is not nice to experience your child being aggressive towards you in any capacity, and not only can the behavior be physically exhausting, but it can hurt us emotionally too. While it is difficult to not take these outbursts personally, a lot of the time, they are just an inability to control or regulate their emotions. While this does not make it any easier, it can help soften the blow and put you in a better frame of mind to deal with the situation at hand. This piece will take a look at how you can cope with toddler aggression and tackle the problem head-on.

Why Are Toddlers Aggressive?

Toddlers are often aggressive because they are incapable of managing how they feel. Anger and tantrums are very common patterns when a child is scared, feels territorial, or is upset with something. Not being able to express themselves properly is yet another issue. If they cannot speak or communicate their issues, resorting to bullying tactics can be second nature.

Empathy goes a long way here, and putting yourself in your children’s shoes can help. You might not be able to remember being very young but imagine being in a big place where you cannot communicate your needs, and you have little control over your life – it must feel frustrating! Especially when you wanted to play with that toy, or hold on to that chocolate, or put your mom’s car keys in your mouth.

You might also find that toddler aggression is their way of trying to establish boundaries or are being exploratory in their actions, seeing how far they can go or what will happen if they do something specific.

Also read: Toddlers Behaviors and Conflicts

Be Sure to Respond Immediately

If your child is behaving aggressively, make sure to calmly let them know it is unacceptable. They need to know whatever is happening is a direct result of their behavior. If you wait for any later, there is a good chance they will forget what they did, and the reinforcement will lose its power. Make sure they know it is a rule not to hit anyone and why it is that rule is enforced.

Do Not Let Your Child Get Their Way

If your child is being aggressive in the pursuit of getting something they desire, it is crucial that they do not get it. If you do hand whatever it is over or give in to the demands served with aggression, you are only teaching them that aggression gets them what they want.

Offer Comfort and Validation

Offering comfort to the person who has been on the receiving end of the aggression is important, so they can see that this behavior does not get them the attention they are craving.

However, after, it is important to validate the feelings of the aggressive child if something has happened, such as their toy being taken. You want them to know they are understood and that you care how they feel, but that is not an acceptable way to go about it.

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