When Your Toddler’s Behavior is a Problem

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Sooooo I’ve been in denial for a while that my toddler’s behavior is a problem. He is about to turn 2. I have dismissed the way he acts with the excuse that he is young and not able to communicate that he’s upset. 

But one day I listened to a seasoned mother of five talk about the training she did with her children. She started child training before her kids could even crawl!

She explained that the training is done joyfully and not out of anger. It is also to help protect your child from danger. When she was giving examples of how you know your toddler’s behavior is a problem, I was thinking “yep, that describes my child”. 

And my son, man is he CUTE. I want to give him everything he wants. But, I have been doing him a disservice by allowing him to do whatever he wanted, whenever he wants. 

Included in this Toddler Behavior Post:

-A List of Problem Behaviors
Making a Plan
-Implementing the Plan 

A list of Toddler Behaviors that aren't going away unless you teach your child how to obey. Identifying behaviors and making a plan! #toddler #toddlerdiscipline #baby

A List of Toddler Problem Behaviors 

-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. For example, the floor, the walls, our dog, or other people.  

-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

-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 its 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 know 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. 

A list of Toddler Behaviors that aren't going away unless you teach your child how to obey. Identifying behaviors and making a plan! #toddler #toddlerdiscipline #baby

Also Why I Need My Son to Know What He Can & Cannot Do: SAFETY!

One day my husband was frying bacon on the stove. My hubby stepped to the side for a second and so quickly my son had the tip of the pan in his little fingers. He was about to pull 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?

A list of Toddler Behaviors that aren't going away unless you teach your child how to obey. Identifying behaviors and making a plan! #toddler #toddlerdiscipline #baby

Making a Behavior Plan:

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 thing 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! 

A list of Toddler Behaviors that aren't going away unless you teach your child how to obey. Identifying behaviors and making a plan! #toddler #toddlerdiscipline #baby

Implementing the Toddler Behavior Plan:

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!

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!

*These two posts have become pretty popular, and I’ve gotten a lot of great questions! I created a 3rd post, Child Training, and Toddler Discipline: How to Change Behavior, with even more information and answers to frequently asked questions! 

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. 

Shepherding a Child's HeartShepherding a Child’s HeartShepherding a Child's Heart

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A list of Toddler Behaviors that aren't going away unless you teach your child how to obey. Identifying behaviors and making a plan! #toddler #toddlerdiscipline #baby