Observing and understanding your toddler is the key to your ability to positively react to inappropriate behaviors with the hope to resolve the issue. The first step is to recognize your child’s behavior. Recognizing with a stern – “I see you are angry; however, you may not bite your friends (or adult that is involved).” Now it is time to tell your child the appropriate behavior that can calm frustrations or stress. Your instruction depends upon the situation. For example – “When you are angry or upset, you have choices. You may….” Everyone wants to be noticed and wants feelings to be recognized. In addition, many times our immediate reaction is to say “NO” without first letting the child know that his/her feelings are important. In addition, we tend to give negative behavior choices in times of stress. Negative choices are consequences or punishments. No child or adult would choose a punishment. Therefore, remember, first, let the child know you understand the stress and second, offer more positive choices to deal with the stress. Behavioral changes take time and consistency. Stay calm and exhibit the behavior you want to see your child exhibit.

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