Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Talking To Toddlers - Toddler Behavior Problems

By: Chris Jensen

Toddlerhood is a difficult, exciting, and interesting period of life. Fundamental learning processes develop as the child begins to seek autonomy, explores the world, learns how things work, begins to tolerate limitations, express desires, and develops relationships. It is also the magical time of childhood encompassing the tumultuous twos and the terrific threes. The toddler’s excitement and frustration make this a period of incredible challenge for caregivers, especially as toddler behavior problems begin to arise.

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Negativism is an expression of the toddler’s constant search for autonomy. The toddler resents being given directions or not being allowed to explore. The toddler delights in doing the opposite of what is asked and responding with a “no” to all requests. As disrupting as negativism can be, another characteristic developing simultaneously is ritualism, or the need to maintain sameness. Rituals or routines provide repetition where the child may gain comfort and security. Disrupting these rituals will make the child experience stress, respond by exerting autonomy, and frequently regress to dependence and negativism to cope with the situation. Regression is a return to an earlier, safer, and more familiar behavior.

Sibling rivalry which is defined as intense feelings of jealousy between siblings is also often seen when an infant is born into a family with a toddler. The toddler perceives that the arrival of the new baby as a competition for the caregiver’s attention. The toddler also begins to fear loss of love or abandonment. Temper tantrums are also common among toddlers. These are outward explosive reactions to inward stressful or frustrating situations.

Dealing with toddler behavior problems may indeed be difficult. One important part of toddler discipline is limit setting or letting the child know what they are able to do and not do in a particular situation. These limits may be established by the child, adult caregivers, or the external environment.

But regardless of the methods used, it is essential that the caregivers teach the toddler the reasons for the discipline.

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About the Author

This author writes about Talking To Toddlers and Dealing With Child Behavior.

(ArticlesBase SC #1371656)

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