Sooooo I’ve been in denial for a while that my toddler’s behavior is a problem. He is about to turn 2 years old. I have dismissed problem behaviors because of his age. I kept telling myself he would grow out of it with time…
But one day I listened to a seasoned mother of five children talk about the correction she did with her children. She started teaching her children to obey before they could even crawl!
She explained that when she taught her children to obey, she did it joyfully and not out of anger. It was also to help protect her children from danger. When she was giving examples of “how to know your toddler’s behavior is a problem”, I was thinking…yep, that describes my child.
And my son is so CUTE. I want to give him everything he wants. But, I realized I had been doing him a disservice by allowing him to do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted.
Included in this Toddler Behavior Post:
-When I’m trying to talk to someone and I’m holding him, he is wiggling and throwing his head back to try and get down from my lap or arms. I am legit wrestling him.
-When he gets really upset, he starts hitting his head on whatever is near. Like the floor, his highchair. etc.
-He gets mad and hits. I’ve seen him do this to other little kids and he’s done it to adults as well. I’ve told him “no-hit” but he knows Mama doesn’t actually mean no because I don’t follow through with anything afterward.
-If he doesn’t want the food I serve him, he throws it on the floor.
-He doesn’t respond when I tell him to come to me, and instead he thinks it’s fun to run from me.
-When he wants a snack, he starts opening up the cabinets and tries to climb up the shelves to get what he wants. (Note: He is very well fed and he’s not doing this because he’s starving)
-He doesn’t respond when I tell him to “stop”. (This is SO important for young children to learn in case of danger.)
-When I want him to hold my hand when we are walking, he throws himself on the floor or keeps yanking his hand away.
-When we go to other people’s houses, I have to follow him around the whole time to keep him from grabbing things that can break. “No touch” means nothing to him.
*He doesn’t do these things every day or even every week.
Safety and Discipline Go Together.
One day my husband was frying bacon on the stove. He stepped to the side for a second and my son had the tip of the pan in his little fingers so quickly. My toddler was moments away from pulling the frying bacon/grease all down on his beautiful little face!
I started screaming “NO, NO, NO” and I sprinted as fast as I could to the stove. Thankfully I got the pan before he was able to pull it down.
But you know what he did when I was saying “No“?…Nothing.
He didn’t respond. Why would he?
I came to the realization that I had never taught my son what he could and could NOT touch. He didn’t know he wasn’t allowed to reach for the stove. I also never taught him what “No” means. It did not phase him because he didn’t know what it meant when I was screaming for him to let go of the pan.
Can you relate to any or all of this? Do you think your Toddler’s Behavior is a Problem too? Well, What’s Next?
First, my husband and I have to be on the same page with discipline. After my son went to sleep, we made the list above, of the behaviors we needed to deal with.
Next, we decided which behaviors we wanted to start with first. We couldn’t correct EVERYTHING on day 1 so we started small.
We discussed how we would correct the behavior. Would we give a warning? How would we teach him what he couldn’t do? How long until we would start adding consequences? What would the consequences be?
The most important part was our mindset and consistency. We had to discipline out of love. We were not making changes because we were angry, it is for our son’s good and safety.
We also had to stay consistent! My son would not understand if he could do the same things and only get consequences half the time.
Overall, I want to keep my son safe. He needs to know how to listen to Mom and Dad when something is dangerous!
My husband and I agreed on what we felt most comfortable with for disciplining our child. That looks different for everyone! Your child may respond well to something that mine doesn’t!
While correcting and training my child, I want to be shepherding his heart well because all behavior is an overflow of our hearts. I highly recommend the book Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp. It is a biblical perspective on raising children.
Read this next blog post to see how Day 1 of Child Training went for us, what we did, and what behaviors we dealt with first!
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Also, check out some of my other blog posts:
- Toddler Hacks & Tips That Will Make Life Easier!
- 10+ Toddler Activities with Easy Setup & Long Lasting!
- Toddler Gift Ideas
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