what to do when your toddler becomes aggressive and poorly behaved at home and school: expert amber trueblood shares tips

What to Do When Your Toddler Becomes Aggressive and Poorly Behaved at Home and School: Expert Amber Trueblood Shares Tips

This is a guest post by author Amber Trueblood, MFT, MFA. She is the author of Stretch Marks and a mother-of-four.

A Mamas Uncut Facebook fan writes in with a question. She has a 3-year-old son who has started getting into trouble at daycare a lot. He has become aggressive towards other kids and seems frustrated overall. He is also exhibiting signs of other behavioral issues at home, and this mom can’t find a way to improve the situation. She has tried punishment, she has tried positive reinforcement, but nothing seems to do the trick. Read this mom’s question, and Amber Trueblood’s response, below.

what to do when your toddler becomes aggressive and poorly behaved at home and school: expert amber trueblood shares tips

“My 3-year-old son has been getting in trouble at daycare a lot. He hasn’t been listening, and he’s hitting and punching other kids…”

Hey, mamas. So I decided to try something new with my 3-year-old. He has been getting in trouble at daycare a lot. He hasn’t been listening, and he’s hitting and punching other kids. He gets very frustrated very easily, and he doesn’t listen at home. He will just act like he doesn’t hear us, or if we ask him to do something, he tells us to do it instead.

what to do when your toddler becomes aggressive and poorly behaved at home and school: expert amber trueblood shares tips

He back talks nonstop and screams at us. Now before I get judged, I believe in spankings and timeouts. Timeouts do not work, and spankings do not work as well sometimes. So, I decided to start a behavior board with stars to where when he does what we ask without fuss or listens to us and keeps his hands to himself he gets a star for each. If he has 5 stars by the end of the week he gets a small prize, and if he has 10 by the end of the week he gets something more like going out for ice cream.

what to do when your toddler becomes aggressive and poorly behaved at home and school: expert amber trueblood shares tips

Does anybody else have any suggestions? Before anybody wants to mention a therapist, I do believe he has gotten my anxiety problems, but I believe he needs more interactions and more ways to calm himself down.”

Mamas Uncut Community Member

what to do when your toddler becomes aggressive and poorly behaved at home and school: expert amber trueblood shares tips

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: How Do You Deal with a 4-Year-Old Prone to Uncontrollable Tantrums and Other Attitude Problems? An Expert Weighs In

Advice from Expert Amber Trueblood

Many young children display violent and angry behavior in an attempt to communicate with us. Unfortunately, this doesn’t often get the response they intend. Kids will get louder and more violent because they feel we don’t understand that they are upset.

Try this: Acknowledge his frustration as soon as it starts. Whether or not it is logical or makes sense to you, saying “I can tell you are super duper angry right now!” is a great first step. Match his level of intensity, as long as you can do it authentically. Be careful not to assume you know why he is upset. It’s all about you conveying to your little one that you get it, he is NOT HAPPY. Often, once the child believes that you understand just how angry he is, he can take a breath and explain calmly what is going on in his head. 

what to do when your toddler becomes aggressive and poorly behaved at home and school: expert amber trueblood shares tips

If the behavior is still happening, or your child is in a loop and cannot calm down, then waiting in a safe space without attempting to talk or discipline is ideal. His adrenalin levels are at a high and he won’t be able to absorb or remember what you’re saying. Imagine your partner telling you to calm down when you’re incredibly upset? It would likely serve only to infuriate you further.

Quick Tip: Some children respond well to a snow globe or homemade glitter in oil and water in a mason jar. Shake it up to exemplify his flurry of emotions and then he can hold it and watch it slowly settle down as his nervous system begins to settle down. Remember, you’re not alone! 

what to do when your toddler becomes aggressive and poorly behaved at home and school: expert amber trueblood shares tips

About Amber Trueblood

Amber Trueblood is an author, retreat-host, and the mother of four sons. She’s an unapologetic bibliophile, having devoured over 250 books on behavior, management, systems, parenting, meditation, and self-development. Her expertise, experience, compassion, and humor result in a unique combination of entertainment and effectiveness with her clients.

Interestingly, Amber wrote Stretch Marks, her debut book, while on a Broadway Tour with her husband and four sons, traversing over 60 cities across the U.S. and Canada. Amber is most passionate about providing mothers simple and realistic tools to guide them toward a happier, calmer parenting life. Her unique approach includes helping clients clarify their values and priorities, then showing them how to use that knowledge to make better discipline decisions, relieve mom-guilt, reduce self-judgment, and become a truly enlightened parent.

About Mamas Uncut

Mamas Uncut is THE online place for moms. We cover the latest about motherhood, parenting, and entertainment as well – all with a mom-focused twist. So if you're looking for parenting advice from real parents, we have plenty of it, all for moms from moms, and also experts. Because, at the end of the day, our mission is focused solely on empowering moms and moms-to-be with the knowledge and answers they’re looking for in one safe space.

.

Leave a Comment