• Lauren Severs

Managing Your Toddler’s Behaviour

Updated: Jul 6


Is your toddler busy, messy and very energetic? Do they love to explore and are they curious about things? If you answered yes you are in good company. These are typical characteristics that can be expected during the phase of toddlerhood (1-2 years of age).


A Growing Sense of Independence

Toddlers are learning how to be more independent. This means they will want to do things by themselves, in their own way and in their own time - which at times may not be what you want. Part of this growing independence involves testing limits and pushing boundaries. For example, they may refuse to get into their car seat, not want to leave the playground, or say "no" a lot.


Toddlers Communicate Through Behaviour

Since toddlers are still developing words to communicate, they need an outlet for the big feelings that they are dealing with. Toddler express their emotions through their behaviour. For example, when a toddler becomes upset it is normal for them to throw a tantrum. When a toddler is angry or frustrated, they may resort to hitting or biting to express their frustration.


How to Encourage Positive Toddler Behaviour


  • Praise and encourage your toddler when you see them behaving well. For example, say "Great work tidying up!" when you see your toddler packing their toys away after playing.

  • It is important to give clear guidelines and consistent guidelines. This ensures that your toddler understands what behaviour is acceptable and what isn’t. For example, "Walking feet inside, running feet outside".

  • Have a good plan. This keeps you one step ahead and helps you avoid potentially stressful situations. For example, it may be a better idea to visit the supermarket after your toddler is well rested and fed to avoid them getting irritable or upset midway through your grocery shop.

  • Use distraction when necessary and avoid minor issues. It helps to be realistic about what your toddler can do at their age. For example, expect that meal times will be messy as toddlers are still in the process of learning how to feed themselves.



If you would like more practical advice and guidance on how to work through these, or similar issues, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team. We have a parent coaching service available for those who are looking for judgement-free, practical support.

Follow more information head to www.redrobin.co.nz/parentcoaching

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