WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH YOUR CHILD:
FOUR THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
1. Your toddler may be approaching the 'terrible twos' stage. During this period, she may test your limits and misbehave more frequently. Here's how to cope:
Acknowledge this stage as a normal part of your child's behavioural development.
React calmly to any outbursts. If she is going to misbehave, allow her a few seconds to reconsider the action by calmly and slowly counting backwards from three. If you have reached 'one' and she's still engaging in inappropriate behaviour, take action. Remove her from the situation, but be sure to explain why.
Call a friend for support. When you've had a particularly stressful afternoon with your toddler, knowing that you have an outlet for support can help you behave more calmly with your child.
2. Your child may begin biting. Many toddlers bite because they feel frustrated or angry and are unable to control their impulses. To correct your child's misbehaviour, let him know that biting is not acceptable and that if he does it, he won't be able to continue the activity he was enjoying. If you suspect that your child is biting because he is frustrated with his inability to speak, help him communicate more effectively. For example, when he points to an object, ask the question for him: 'Would you like your cup of juice?' If your child has a play date, let the other parent know in advance that your child is prone to biting but that you are taking steps to eliminate this behaviour and will monitor him closely. The other parent will most likely assist you in keeping a close eye on your child and will probably share stories about his or her own children's biting problems as well.
3. Your toddler may go through a period of pushing, kicking or hitting. While you realise that this is not acceptable behaviour, your little one may not understand the problem and be too young to control her impulses. Direct her to be gentle and show her how by patting her gently. Praise her when she is gentle on her own and remind her when she starts to act out physically. She'll learn other ways to express herself soon enough.
4. Consider transitioning your child to a 'big boy' bed. Moving to a big bed is a sign of your little one's evolving maturity. Once he's adapted to sleeping in the new open environment, he's bound to love the increased wriggle room! To help your child adjust, consider allowing him to help you pick out the bed and sheets. Be sure that the bed is low to the ground and that railings can be attached if necessary. Make a big deal once the bed arrives. And if you can spare the space, don't disassemble the cot quite yet. He may wish to start slowly by only sleeping in the big bed during afternoon naps. When you feel he's ready, praise your child for being such a big boy and remove the cot from his room. Be available for extra hugs and kisses if he needs comfort during the transition.