Three reasons challenging behaviour is not your toddler's fault!
Toddlers are tough! They just seem to have so much energy and it can often be difficult for us adults to figure them out. In order to help your toddler learn the skills they need to become civilized little humans, it’s important to understand why your toddler is being so unruly. We must understand the reasons before we can support their development fully.
👉They are early in their emotional development.
A toddler’s brain is still developing their prefrontal cortex. It’s in a very important stage in their lives where they feel stressors differently than we do. A stressor to us is being late for work, but a stressor to your toddler is hearing the words “no”, “take your turn”, or “just a minute”. Their developing brains will immediately go into the fight-flight-freeze reactions, which will cause those difficult behaviours. They have underdeveloped executive functioning skills, such as problem-solving and self-soothing to cope with stressors. Imagine how difficult it would be to handle our own stressors without the ability to problem solve!
👉Their brain is egocentric.
It's all about "ME ME ME!" A toddler’s brain has not developed any adaptive skills and their perspective is extremely limited. They think that everyone experiences and sees the same thing as them. They don’t understand that other people have different thoughts, needs, and desires.
Sometimes I’ll hear a parents say “my toddler just acts so selfish”, and this is actually true! But it’s not their fault; it’s really just where their brain is in their development.
👉They’re learning the power of language.
Imagine the first time that your toddler yelled “no” in your face. They probably got a big, emotional response from you. At that moment, your toddler began to understand how empowering language and their own reactions can be. And from then on, they’ve tried to use it to their advantage. They yell no or they fall to the floor crying in order to get a big reaction from you and take back control of their environment. As frustrating for you as it is, this is all part of the brain’s natural development.
The great part of all of this is that it’s going to be okay! Because with evidence-based solutions, we can teach toddlers self-esteem, self-control, and self-soothing – all skills that will help them become confident, cooperative and successful.
TANTRUMS, AGGRESSION AND DEFIANCE? OH MY!
Are you struggling with tantrums, aggression and defiance at home? Have your consequences fallen flat time after time? Do you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, confused or frustrated by your child's "acting out"? Is it creating a barrier whenever challenging behaviours crop up?
If you are reading this nodding your head, than hold on to your hat because that is all about to change! Parent coaching and behaviour consultancy equips parents and teachers with the tools to create a real change. Let's start by breaking down some common misconceptions about behaviour. First, problem behaviour does not mean that you are a bad parent nor that your child is a "naughty" demon kid! This is so important. We all act out when our needs are not being met. That is natural brain work. Secondly, children do not need to feel bad in order to do better. Evidence has shown that, ironically, the opposite is true. So, let's drop all the punishment that ain't working anyway! Lastly, your consequences are falling flat most likely due to they are not suited to the purpose behind your kiddo's choices. There is always a motivation pushing your child's behaviour. We will help you find that motivation and use to strengthen your connection and compassion amidst the chaos.
More about Toddlers!