You have been trying so hard to be a good parent to your toddler and raise a well-behaved child. But your 2-year old seems to make it way harder than you’d imagined. They are so mean and aggressive towards you.
One minute they’re kicking, biting, throwing a punch at you while stomping and screaming the next. What happened to your adorable little one, you wonder. Well, around this age, toddlers realize they’re human beings who want to voice their opinion and assert their independence.
It’s hard for parents to accept the fact that their 2-year-old is being mean to them. Remember your toddler isn’t trying to hurt your feelings when they’re saying hurtful things. They’re trying to communicate their needs to you.
Sure they need to adopt a more constructive approach to do that, and that’s what you’re going to teach them. For that, you need to figure out what’s causing your toddler to behave this way first. Then you can help them handle their feelings in positive ways.
In this article, we’re going to explore how you can handle your toddler’s mean behavior.
6 Reasons Why Your 2-Year-Old Is Being Mean To You
Let’s get to the bottom of this, shall we? Here are the reasons why your 2-year-old is mean to you.
Your toddler’s language skills are still at a developing phase. They don’t know how to verbalize all the big emotions they are feeling. That doesn’t mean they won’t try to express themselves. But, the problem is sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you can’t understand what they’re trying to say.
Also, they’re new at doing things their way. So, when they can’t figure out how to do something, they feel crushed and frustrated, making them lash out at you. The streak of meanness might continue when they’re
You Give in All the Time
Your 3-year-old can be pretty scary when they’re mean. So, no wonder you don’t want your child to get upset over small things and do anything to keep the peace. So, you probably hand them over the iPad and allow them extra screen time even though you don’t want to.
The problem with this approach is if you keep giving in every time they throw tantrums. You’re enforcing the idea that tantrums can get them what they want. So, can you blame them if they start misbehaving next time they want something?
They Want Your Attention
Your toddler has just realized that they’ve got a voice but don’t know how to use it yet. They might need more attention, and they figured the only way to get more of it is by being mean to you. When you keep telling them ‘no’ or ‘stop doing that,’ they still get the attention they wanted.
So you’re rewarding their bad behavior and motivating them to act this way again.
They lack Self-control
Toddlers are yet to learn and master the much-needed self-control to handle all the big emotions they’ve got to manage daily. They also want to assert their newfound independence and test the boundaries you set.
They Watch Violence on TV
Does your toddler watch violent content? They are influenced by their environment and can’t differentiate between fantasy and reality. So, if your son or daughter shows mean and aggressive behavior, it might be because of the violent movies and/TV shows they’ve been watching.
You Don’t Give in
What You Can Do To Stop Your Child Being Mean To You
So, how do you stop your toddler from being so mean and encourage good behavior? Here are 10 practical tips for you to improve your toddler’s behavior.
Give Them More Attention
To encourage good behavior, make sure to give them more focused attention. Spend quality time together. Face your child and maintain eye contact when they talk to you. Put the electronics away and show interest in what they’re trying to tell you.
Their facial expressions and body language will tell you more than their words do. Practice active listening and don’t cut them off when they’re talking. If they can get your attention by being good, they won’t have to be mean to get that.
Increase Predictability in Their Life
Create a daily schedule for your family and stick to it as much as possible. It will let your kids know what to expect next.Keeping a daily routine and making their life more predictable will reduce stress. It will also give them a sense of security, which will help them behave well.
Set Boundaries and Consequences
Give Them Choices
Distract Your Toddler
Two-year-olds have a fairly short attention span. Instead of making a big deal when they’re about to misbehave, use distraction techniques to divert their mind and stop the mean behavior.
Here are my top 21 ideas for distracting your toddler!
Sit with your toddler and talk about how they feel. Validate their feelings instead of discounting them. Let them know that it’s okay to feel these big emotions. What matters is how they manage them. Teach them to say what they’re feeling at the moment instead of biting or hitting you.
Show them appropriate anger management techniques like:
- Taking a deep breath and counting to 3
- Running on the grass
- Hitting a pillow
- Drawing something
Ignore Their Minor Misbehavior
You need to know when to respond and when to ignore your kid’s misbehavior. Sometimes ignoring is the best discipline tool to teach your toddler more positive ways to handle their emotions. However, make sure to praise your kids for good behavior before you start ignoring their negative behaviors.
So, don’t engage with them. Rather, stay calm and walk out of the room. Make sure your children aren’t putting themselves or others in danger before you do it.
Make Your Children Practice Self-control
If your 2-year-old doesn’t like sharing stuff or taking turns and starts acting out if they have to share, figure out fun ways to teach them self-control.
Play games where they have to take turns. It will teach them how to wait for what they want and compromise when needed.
Teach by Example
Make sure to stay calm even when your toddler’s behavior makes your blood boil. Kids are constantly learning by watching their parents. While driving your toddler to school, if you swear at the person who cut you off in traffic, they might think it’s okay to swear at you when you make them angry.
Without knowing what the swear words mean, they’re simply imitating you. If they’re swearing or using inappropriate language, use an assertive voice and tell them to stop immediately. Make sure they know you’re the one who’s in charge here.
Improve Their Communication Skills