6 Tips to Prevent Aggressive Toddler Behavior

6 Tips to Prevent Aggressive Toddler Behavior

As little ones enter into those toddler years, they start to form their own unique personalities and start developing new behaviors. Many times, this includes fun, loving behaviors. Other times, some toddlers can start to develop aggressive tendencies as well.

Most parents are prepared for the temper tantrums that are common among toddlers, however, many parents don’t realize that some toddlers, actually start to act aggressive during this phase. This can be surprising and frustrating for many parents, especially those who were not prepared for this type of reaction from their child.

The good news is, there are ways that you can help prevent aggressive toddler outbursts and help shape more positive toddler behavior moving forward.

  1. Establish House Rules- Just because your child has been growing up in a household doesn’t necessarily mean that they know the house rules. If your child breaks a rule, they should be reprimanded immediately and you should explain to them what they have done wrong.
  2. Don’t Rely on Threats- “Threatening” your child with repercussions may seem like a good idea, but it is typically an over-rated practice. It is always more effective to positively reinforce something rather thansaying “stop doing that or else…” when your child misbehaves you should say “stop doing that and…” and give them a better alternative behavior.
  3. Teach Your Child Other Ways to Respond- While you shouldn’t be bribing your child with toys or treats in order to behave, you can still easily distract your child with appropriate behaviors and teach him or her how to act in the right way when they are misbehaving.
  4. Don’t Expect Your Toddler to Have Too Much Self Control- It can be easy to forget that toddlers, while they seem like mini-adults, don’t have much natural self-control. You need to teach them not to act out when they are angry and to use words instead of kicking, hitting or biting. It can be alarming to see your precious child acting this way, but it is only because it feels natural to them and because they don’t know any better.
  5. Give Praise When Praise is Due- Praising your child for appropriate behavior and telling your child how “grown up” they are, whenever they act appropriately, can go a long way. Always reinforce and praise your child when you see them being kind and gentle, instead of acting aggressive.
  6. Stay Strong- The more disciplined you are, the better off you and your child will be. It can be hard to stay strong when holding your child accountable for these actions. It can be overwhelming and you can feel guilty for punishing your child frequently—but you must stay strong for the betterment of your child.

These at-home tips can really help curb any signs of aggression in your toddler. Of course, there are certain times, where it may be time to call us here at Continuum Pediatrics. You should contact a pediatrician immediately if your child seems unusually aggressive for periods of more than a few weeks, if they are causing physical injury to themselves or others, they are attacking you or other adults or if you fear for the safety of others around your toddler.

If you are experiencing these warning signs, give Continuum Pediatrics a call today at 817-617-8600.


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