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Modifying behavior without being mean

Parenting Styles   |   Age: 2 years 8 months



Modifying behavior without being mean

At just over two and a half years old, it’s not just developmentally normal, but totally expected for your toddler to have big feelings and big reactions to go with them. She may throw fits, have low impulse-control, want your attention all the time. This point in her life is sometimes called “the terrible twos,” though really, it’s more of a challenging learning period, when your little one needs to develop a lot of social skills in a very short time (that doesn’t sound as snappy, though). This phase impacts you as a parent in many ways, as you try to figure out how to respond to your baby’s behavior. You may start to feel like you’re constantly repeating yourself as you try to correct her behavior again and again and again. So what’s the best way to react to your baby’s behavior – without feeling like you’re being mean?

What’s going on developmentally?

The typical two-and-a-half-year-old is naturally wrapped up in what she wants, and finds it difficult, if not impossible, to share. This is also a very emotional age, full of tears, meltdowns, and frustration. this year can be hard for both parents and toddlers, but that difficulty is totally developmentally normal.

Tips for modifying toddler behavior

A key way to stop feeling – and sounding – like a drill sergeant around your toddler is to focus on her good behavior as soon as it happens, instead of waiting to react to the things she does that she shouldn’t. One of the best ways to keep things running smoothly between you and your baby during this time is to make sure you don’t reach the boiling point with her as you teach her better ways to react to her strong emotions.

Taking steps to head off challenging behavior before it starts will go a long way in helping you and your baby bridge the gap between the “terrible twos” and the more settled behavior typically found when toddlers reach age 3.


Sources

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