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Toddler Behaviour – Understanding Your Child’s Weird Actions

Toddlers are unpredictable beings. One minute they are in a good mood and then the next, they are acting strange and crying their eyes out. Here is a guide to help you understand toddler behaviour.

Your Toddler Avoids Eye Contact

What It Means

When a toddler does not look someone in the eye, he either feels overwhelmed or guilty. For instance, if it is his birthday and he is receiving gifts, your toddler may not be able to look at you because he is excited. Or, if he knows you are angry because he forgot to put his toys back in the cabinet, he may look at the wall or somewhere else because he feels guilty or embarrassed.

What You Can Do

Wave your hand or place his favorite toy in his line of vision to catch your toddler’s attention. Recognize his misbehaviour using short, simple sentences – “We do not scatter our toys.” and then help him make it right. This helps him understand that everyone commits mistakes, but it is important to take steps to mend the damage. Explain to your child that making eye contact shows he is polite, respectful and paying attention to what the other person is saying. Constantly remind him and praise him when he remembers.

Your Toddler Throws A Tantrum

What It Means

It is shocking when your usually sweet child transforms into a total brat – hitting, screaming and throwing things. These reactions are a toddler’s way to tell you he is bored, hungry, tired or needs attention. It can also indicate that something is bothering him.

What You Can Do

Figure out what is going on. If he is throwing a tantrum because he is bored, go to the park or plan a daytrip. If he wants attention, do a fun activity with him. Talk to your toddler. If he misbehaves for no reason, put him in time-out, withhold his privilege or just ignore him. This sends a clear message that you will not tolerate bad behaviour.

Your Toddler Raises His Shirt Over His Head or Hides Behind Furnitures

What It Means

When toddlers do this, it can only mean one thing – they are nervous. Toddlers are still developing their social skills, hence, they feel anxious when meeting new people.

What You Can Do

Reassure your toddler that everything is okay. Relax, say “Hello.” to people and smile. Give his hands a tight, comforting squeeze. This lets him feel that he is in a secure and friendly place. Do not pressure him to interact, give him time to warm up.

Your Toddler Takes All His Toys To Bed

What It Means

The main reason why toddlers do this is because they are scared. A child’s imagination is at its highest during toddlerhood. He may think monsters will creep into his room or he may have night terrors and keeping comfort items nearby makes your toddler feel safe.

What You Can Do

Saying monsters are not real will not work, so just let your toddler surround himself with as many familiar objects he needs. Or, give him a monster spray and ask him to use it before he sleeps or whenever he feels scared. Put up a “No monsters allowed.” sign on his door. Install a nightlight in his room.

Understanding a toddler’s behaviour is not always easy. But, as long as you pay attention, you can help crack and handle the toddler behaviour code.

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