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Terrible Toddler Behaviour: Is This Normal?

Written by Jana Angeles 

Terrible toddler behaviour can get out of hand for us parents. Like us, kids can’t control their emotions and they can get happy one minute and upset the next. Toddlers are meant to chuck a tantrum here or there, crying over something small and insignificant. It’s a challenging journey to get through this terrible stage, and you’ll be glad to get it out of the way once they move on to the next phase of their development.  

The good news is terrible toddler behaviour is a completely normal stage. Though your sanity may not be intact at times, you can take a deep breath and know that this isn’t going to last forever. You can also learn that your toddler’s behaviour is contributed to a number of things. There are some factors to consider when trying to understand the normalcy of terrible toddler behaviour: 

They Feel Overstimulated  

When your toddler is young, they are exposed to so many new things. If you consider yourself the adventurous type, exploring constantly can lead to meltdowns from your child. Of course, it’s always great to take them outside of their normal comfort zone but it’s important to slow down and take regular breaks with them as much as you can. Meltdowns are a normal reaction and this just means your little one doesn’t know how to deal with this feeling of overstimulation; they are just trying to let you know to slow down.  

Self-Control Does Not Exist To Them  

You’re in this scenario where your child keeps throwing the ball when you ask them not to. You’ve told them twice and nothing has changed. This is because during the toddler stage, your child’s brain hasn’t gone through the maturing stage, so it’s unlikely for them to listen to you when they do something they enjoy a lot.

Of course, it’s important to set some rules and boundaries for your child but also remember that you have to be realistic about the outcomes. Placing high expectations can shatter your idealised world of how you want your child’s behaviour to be, so keep in mind that self-control does not exist to them. 

They Show Dramatic Emotion   

As mentioned before, toddlers are not able to control how they feel. Whenever they’re crying hysterically or throwing tantrums, we often assume that they only do this for attention-seeking purposes or the fact you’ve been spoiling them too much and have let them get what they want too easily.

Compared to us, toddlers are not able to regulate their emotions. It’s important to consider that showing dramatic emotion could also mean they simply can’t control how they feel so they just let it all out at once! 

They are Hungry or Tired  

Do you find yourself getting angry over no reason when you don’t eat or sleep for a while? It can be summed up that toddlers feel this too and it’s much harder for them to communicate this unless they have a meltdown or have a bit of cry.

Ensure that your toddler is well fed throughout the day, feeding them nutritious meals while also getting them into the routine of naps during those lazy afternoons. This can help so much if you’ve found that your children are extremely restless and are constantly misbehaving.   

They Lack Consistency in Their Life 

You are in control of your child’s diet and schedule and if you’re feeling like your patience is wearing thin, it could be because they lack a proper routine. Children need to have a predictable schedule when it comes to food or how they sleep, so their reactions of being upset is normal when they’re out of their routine.

They’ve prepared for the expected and didn’t get it: it’s confusing and can be upsetting. It’s okay if they’ve been occasionally in the naughty books for a while. As much as we all love to stick to a proper routine, a new day brings a new set of challenges to overcome.  

Terrible toddler behaviour is made up of a number of different factors. Our list doesn’t even scratch the surface because of how complex it can be when it comes to the reasoning behind our children’s behaviour. All we can do is try our best to accommodate their wants and needs for them and encourage good behaviour.

It’s okay to feel like you suck at the parenting game when your toddler is throwing a tantrum in public; all you can do is exhale the negativity and find the best solutions for the chaos that happens during this development stage.  

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