When your toddler is aggressive

Communication   |   Age: 1 year 9 months

When your toddler is aggressive
With some rare exceptions, no one wants their toddler to be aggressive. If your baby starts to bite, hit, or show other signs of aggression, it's best to nip those behaviors in the bud and deal with them as quickly and consistently as you can.

Why toddlers act up

Around age two, toddlers still can't vocalize a lot of their emotions and desires. This causes them to act out physically when they feel scared or don't get what they want. Most toddlers don't yet know how to deal with stress or emotions in a constructive way, which makes them act out aggressively. Because they don't have a well-developed sense of empathy, it's also hard for them to consider the pain they can cause others.

How to handle aggressive outbursts

The way that you respond does depend at least a little bit on the situation itself, but there are a few steps that are genuinely good to take if you see your toddler acting aggressively. In doing these, always try to stay calm and keep a clear head.

When to talk to a pediatrician

After all of this is said and done, when is aggression a sign that parents should bring their toddler to a pediatrician? Here are some signs that you should get a toddler's aggressive behavior checked out.

Final thoughts on toddler aggression

It's totally normal to worry that a toddler's aggressive behavior might say something about their personality. While this might be the case with adults, the truth is that aggression in toddlers is usually a result of them still being so young and undeveloped - basically, they really don't know any better. That's not to say that you should let it go when your toddler acts in an aggressive, hurtful, or violent way, of course. But it is important to remember that with the right amount of repetition, discipline, and encouragement, your toddler will be able to learn these important lessons.


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