There’s probably nothing more draining and discouraging and dealing with a violent toddler. It takes its toll from many directions. You wonder if your parenting skills have been flushed down the toilet.
However, some reasons aren’t always obvious why a toddler might become violent or go through a stage of violence. Have hope in glean from these tips below.
Frustration in expression
Although we know that toddlers are very smart, they still are not able to fully express what bothers them. Especially if there are other toddlers, children, or adults in their life that they encounter.
It could be that the violence is stemming from not being able to express the frustration your child feels while being around other people, especially if your child feels like he or she is helpless. The exertion of violence is more about frustration than anything else.
Your toddler feels controlled and not loved
If you notice that your toddler exerts violence towards you more than anyone else, pay attention. It could be that your toddler feels you exert more control and discipline than love.
At an early age, children’s personalities are developing. Some personalities become very resistant and aggressive if they are not also receiving lots of love with the discipline.
Try a more understanding approach with your child, where he or she can feel your gentleness. When your toddler feels your gentleness, there could be a change in behavior. There could be a greater reception of your discipline.
Acknowledge the feelings
Any human being, no matter the age, hates when their feelings are not acknowledged. It takes a lot of patience to acknowledge others’ feelings, especially that of a toddler.
If you are only concerned about nipping their behavior without acknowledging feelings, that could be problematic. Your toddler might become more aggressive if you’re trying to control the behavior without recognizing feelings.
Recite family values
Having a family value system that is clearly stated, can be a great tool to keep everyone’s actions in check. It can be a list written and posted for everyone to see. It can be made into a song or a piece of artwork.
Having family values can help bring your toddler’s aggression and violence to a healthier place. So, next time your toddler is acting out, have your child stop, and recite family values with you.
Even before going out, you can have your toddler recite family values, to help a frame-up his or her mind.
State the rules
Along with family values, there can be a list of rules to be created. These rules can be general or specifics to certain behaviors. Make the rules a part of daily living.
When your toddler threatens to get out of control, have a routine for getting your child to recite the rules. Even in the moments where things are calm, have your toddler recite the rules. Have everyone in the family recite the rules.
Use your words
I know this exercise takes a lot of patience and consistency. When your child is going into the violent mode, remember it could be a frustration of expression. Not being able to express yourself fully, it’s very frustrating.
Once you have an understanding of what makes your toddler angry, you can teach him or her how to use their words. To make it fun, you can also incorporate simple sign language. The use of simple words and simple sign language can give your child a sense of empowerment.
When your child feels understood and expressive, it can cut down on the outbursts of violence.
Leave some space
There might be some times where it seems like nothing you are trying to do will work. In that case, there’s no reason to push the issue at that moment. Let your child have some space.
Constructively, let your toddler have his or her space. Meaning, you take them to their room and allow them to process. It lets your child know that they can’t just dominate the whole house, but it also lets your child know you’re giving him or her space.
Talk About Feelings
It’s a fact that kids need to have things modeled to them. We cannot just always tell them what to do. We must show them what to do to make the biggest impact.
You will have to model that violence is not the way to get what you want. If home life is conducive to talking about feelings, do that in front of your child. Of course, in a way that is tailored to them being able to understand or even participate.
Incorporate children’s books that help children understand emotions. It can be a creative way to involve the whole family in sharing their emotions. Having a method like this will help broach the issue in a natural and fun way where the guard is down.
Seek out nurturing activities
In certain schools around the world, they have programs where kids can nurture things like animals and plants. Such programs are geared towards troubled children. Education professionals have found that often troubled children need something to nurture. There have been remarkable results from such programs.
It could be that your toddler needs to learn what it means to care for something else, where your kiddo has to be gentle for something to live and grow well. It also instills a sense of responsibility and love to take care of something.
In those moments(while your toddler is tending to something), you can bring up certain topics. You can use those nurturing moments to nurture your toddler at the same time further. Moments like that can indirectly teach your child that it’s much more comfortable to be nice. It feels so much better to be nice than to be violent.
If your child gets a little aggressive while doing a nurturing activity, let it be a teachable moment. You can take that away for a time. Showing that violence causes things to be taken away from you, but love brings things back.