It is normal that your Toddler behaves badly when she doesn’t get her own way, but it can be very frustrating for you and her mother. How often does it appear that she is just winding you both up more and more until you are at breaking point. You just want to shout at her or even smack her to get her to behave. Of course this might work in the short term, but it won’t be a solution in the long term and will not help her understand that her behaviour is not acceptable.
You might say that if you shouldn’t shout at her, what can you do? It is a little like with a Teenager, withdrawing privileges will often work, particularly if it is something your child really loves. Maybe you go to the park on Saturday afternoons and she is able to go and play on the swings, or you go to the children’s farm once a month where she can see all the animals. This will certainly work, but there is also another strategy which has a more immediate effect and works very well.
Your Toddler will certainly have a favourite cuddly toy, who she always sleeps with and who she loves completely. If she is rude and aggressive with you, or her sibling, you can take away her cuddly toy. You can explain to her that if she behaves like that, her cuddly toy has told you that he doesn’t want to stay in her room. He doesn’t want to spend time with a ‘nasty’ girl, who isn’t nice to people.
She will soon learn that she has to behave properly and after a few occasions of doing this, you will find that her behaviour will change. Of course, then you will have to overcome the next challenge and we all know, there are plenty of them with Toddlers!
This is a very tricky question to answer, because all children are different. No one size fits all, so what is right for one child is not necessarily right for another. Maybe your eldest child is very sensitive and your youngest is very tough, so how do you approach them when you need to reprimand them?
Maybe you have to adopt a softer line with the more sensitive child, and be more severe with your youngest, but then you can be accused of favouring your oldest. But of course you are not. It is completely normal that you might empathise more with one of your children, particularly if he has a complimentary character to yours, but this is not to be confused with favouritism. You are managing the situation with different strategies for each child.
So long as you avoid giving things to one child and not to the other, then you are certainly treating them all equally. It is of course possible to give something to one of them and something different to the others, but make sure they all get something which is interpreted as fair for everyone. If for example you take one child on vacation with you, and leave the other at home with grandparents, then this is definitely not fair and would certainly be showing favouritism towards one over the other. The problem would then be that you create jealousy between your children, and resentment towards each other. If you can’t take them all, then you shouldn’t take any of them.
Favouritism is to be avoided at all costs, as if you want your children to grow up and get on with each other when they are adults, then you have to be careful not to create resentment and jealousy between them when they are youngsters.
How annoyed should you get when your child breaks something? Should you make it a big issue if they do?
Your child will very rarely break something deliberately, so you should always keep your reaction in proportion to the misdemeanour. Many times it will be just because they were clumsy, so keep in mind, accidents do happen!
Your child will observe carefully how you behave when he breaks things. If you blow it out of all proportion, then he may have several reactions. He could become scared and nervous that you might shout or aggress him. This could make him become very timid. Or he may take your lead and over dramatize other things that go wrong in his life. Worse still, he may become very blasé and casual towards other peoples property, and treat their possessions with no respect.
Material possessions although often quite precious, can always be replaced (most of the time anyway). Therefore, you should always keep this in mind when considering your reaction to a breakage. If you exaggerate your response, the situation may degenerate, when in fact the lesson you really want to pass over to your child, is that he needs to pay attention to things. It doesn’t matter whether it is one of his toys, a glass, or even a window in your house, everything is replaceable.
How you react will determine his behaviour as he grows up.