Tips For Dealing With A Difficult Toddler

One of the most challenging aspects of parenting is dealing with a defiant toddler. As your child seeks his or her independence, you could be forced to deal with behavioral outbursts, such as temper tantrums. It can be difficult to find a balance between checking your child's behavior and encouraging his or her independence. Here are just a few ways you can manage your toddler's behavior.

Be Consistent

When parenting a young child, it is important that you are consistent in your interactions with him or her. Consistency helps your child to understand your expectations for his or her behavior so that he or she can adjust accordingly to each situation. By remaining consistent, you are giving your child the chance to make a decision about how he or she plans to respond in certain scenarios. 

For instance, if your child is not allowed to watch television after dinner, he or she knows this is a rule and is less likely to challenge it if you are consistent with enforcing it. However, if you halfheartedly enforce the rule, your child could decide to act out each night because he or she knows there is a chance that you will give in with enough pressure. 

If your child is enrolled in child care, you need to ensure his or her teacher is aware of your efforts to curb his or her behavioral issues. The consistency in responses to the child's behavior needs to continue, even when he or she is at the child care center.

Communicate With Your Child About His or Her Feelings

Defiant behavior can be more than your child simply acting out until he or she wins an argument. Your child's ability to effectively communicate his or her feelings is limited. Whenever he or she is having an emotional reaction to a situation or someone, it could be hard for him or her to express that to you. When that happens, acting out might seem like the easiest method of conveying his or her feelings. 

For instance, if your child is frustrated, he or she could have trouble expressing this. You can help keep your child's behavior in check by acknowledging his or her feelings and helping your child to find the right words to express them. 

Your child's teacher can be instrumental in helping you teach your child to communicate his or her feelings. Talk to the teacher about measures you have taken at home to encourage your child to talk about his or her feelings so that he or she can implement some of those tactics in everyday teachings.