Question: How do I handle “bad” toddler behaviors aka toddler meltdowns?
Scenario: My 2.5 year old daughter does not do this often, but three times in the last 2 weeks she has either hit me or thrown a toy at me. My friend witnessed one of the episodes and told me I should take a firm stand on this behavior and let her know that I will not tolerate it. Should I sit her down and tell her that her behavior is unacceptable, send her to her room or is there another strategy that might get better results.
Wow, only 3 times in 2 weeks. I would be toasting to that exceptional behavior, not trying to find a strategy to punish her which I am fairly certain will turn your 3 times in 2 weeks to 3 times every day.
When stumped on how to handle toddler meltdowns, consider this:
Kids hit, throw, bite, pull, punch, scream, spit, holler, cry, pout, hug, kiss, cuddle, laugh, and say I love you – because they’re learning.
What are they learning? How to interpret the world. They are looking for responses to all these behaviors as a way to inform them on which ones bring mom and dad closer to them, and which behaviors push mom and dad away from them.
The best and most effective strategy is this – pay attention to the behaviors that will best serve your child (these are sure to delight you as well) and ignore the ones that will cause her trouble as she grows and matures.
QUESTION FOR YOU: Have you ever had a moment when you didn’t know how to handle toddler behaviors? What did you try and how did it go?