All behavior is a form of communication and I invite you to get CURIOUS! When you see your child exhibiting a behavior that you don’t think is acceptable, start by looking at the need, emotion, or feeling that a child is unable to properly communicate. (Yes, even toddlers who speak sometimes can’t communicate a need that they are newly discovering.)🤔 . Remember, behavior is a symptom of what is happening on the inside. It's not a toddler's way to punish you, be difficult, or drive you crazy. Once you have more clarity around this you can go even deeper to identify the trigger. What do you think could be triggering this behavior?
💭Is this outburst happening because of their environment?
💭Could the schedule cause confusion and cause them to be clingy to you or their belongings?
💭Did something scare your LO without you realizing it?
💭 Is your toddler just trying to connect with you but doesn't know how to ask?
Taking time to look below the surface and get to the “why” will help you understand your child on a deeper level. When your little one feels supported in having big emotions, their behavior becomes better regulated.
Here's an example:
This might look like a toddler coming over to hit their newborn baby sibling, seemingly angry. What’s really behind this is confusion (“Why is this baby still here?!”), jealousy (“They take away my mom’s attention.”), or overwhelming stress (“Our routine is altered and I’m unsure what’s going to happen next. So much crying and it’s not my own!”). On the outside, you’re reacting to their actions and anger, and if you don’t seek out the root issue and address it on an emotional level, you may continue to see the same behavior and emotions.
When you get down on the level of your child and get curious, that can be the shift needed for resolution without punishing the behavior.
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