my 2 year old is out of control
Discipline Techniques Toddler

My 2 Year Old Is Out Of Control

Many parents constantly think “My 2 Year Old Is Out Of Control”. It’s very common to question your two-year old’s behaviour as they are forming their own characteristics and testing boundaries.

Children can go through a wide variety of developmental changes while they are still young. Toddlers, in particular, are hitting milestones almost every month and can change behaviour almost every week.

They are in the learning zone both cognitively and physiologically.

Related: How To Discipline A Two Year Old

Here are the strategies you can use to cope effectively with a discipline a toddler

My 2 Year Old Is Out Of Control! 5 Simple Solutions

1. Self Control

Learning how to parent a 2 year old involves a huge amount of self-control.

When you encounter challenging behaviour it’s easy to get caught up in the outcome of the behaviour instead of the reason behind it.

If your toddler is ‘throwing all their toys out of the toy box’ and will not pick them up, it’s easy to get upset. But instead of shouting or tidying it yourself, try to stay calm and re-evaluate the situation.

Ask yourself:

Is your child acting out because they are tired?

Are they hungry?

Do they just need that extra incentive to tidy efficiently?

The angry approach won’t translate well to a toddler and usually, the anxiety will just transfer from you to them.

Remember, your child is still learning how to express their feelings in an appropriate way. Instead, try to show them it’s ok to be upset and frustrated sometimes but there are better ways of expression.

Example

Try getting down to their level and talking about his reaction.

‘Sweetie, I know you are a bit tired right now and you are frustrated. But, if you don’t put your toys away now you’ll be even more tired. Let’s put the toys away together and we can put you to sleep as soon as possible. How does that sound?”

Try and label the feelings that your child is feeling. I.e. “You are frustrated” By doing so your child can better label the reasons behind how they feel and they will learn to cope with them better.

This is one of the effective toddler behaviour management strategies.

2. Validate Feelings

When your child is very upset try and validate their feelings by showing them the reasons they are feeling it.

Toddlers need much more help to learn how to deal with feelings. This is important for stronger feelings like anger, pain, stress, guilt and fear.

These have a very big influence on their character and will help them form into smarter and more well-rounded teenagers and adults.

A child that can learn to express himself effectively will have better communication and social skills. This will inevitably lead to less 2 year old behavior problems

Examples

“You are very upset now I have taken the TV off’

“You seem frustrated now because I have to take you out of the bath”

“You look very guilty now, did you take a sweetie from the table?’

It is a great idea to teach your children to vent their anger and frustration in a positive and safe way.

Try giving them an activity that will help them do this. For example:

  • a pillow to bang,
  • a bed to jump up and down on,
  • a picture to paint in any way they want
  • some toy drums to play with (that one works well as they can hit them until their heart’s desire)

This will give your child fewer reasons to act out and show defiance. Consequently, it will reduce your concerns of, “my 2 year old is out of control”

3. Empathy Works

Try to emphasize with your child.

The best toddler behaviour management strategies involves what works best for your child. Show them they you understand their feelings and that you are there to help.

For example, if they are very hungry and you’ve just made some hot soup they may be distressed to see the food but unable to eat it. 

You can say this:

“I know you are hungry and that can make you sad because your tummy hurts but the soup is very hot and you can’t drink it just yet. Look at the steam coming off of it, it’s not yet ready to eat. Let’s wait for 3 minutes and then we can taste it together. How does that sound?”

Giving your child in-depth reasons behind your actions will give them context on the reasons you do the things you do. This will help frame an environment that they learn doesn’t just revolve around them.

Younger children still have a hard time with self-control and sometimes struggle to understand the logic. By being as descriptive and empathic as possible highlight other important things that they need to be aware of.

4. Age-appropriate Decisions

Many parents who think “my 2 year old is out of control” forget the barriers young children have. Toddlers love to explore the world and the variety within it.

However, sometimes they will become frustrated when are given something that is not suitable for there age group. A good example of this is a toy that is not developmentally appropriate for their age.

Try and give your toddler age-appropriate decisions and choices to make.

This will help them to develop their character and allow them to feel more in control, helping with independence and growth.

Example

Instead of letting them play with small pieces of Lego or an electric toy car that is not age-appropriate, give them the choice of water-based paints or a bigger toy block set.

The more complicated toys will frustrate their minds as it’s too complicated to handle. Age-appropriate toys are better suited for them at this developmental stage.

5. Toddler Behaviour Management Strategies

Here are the 6 best toddler behaviour management strategies you can use today to help you manage your day to day routine with your toddler/

  • Stick to a routine – Toddlers love routines and can act out when they are out of sync with it. Keep to a strict routine that you can use as a framework for daily structure and clarity for your child
  • No Means No – When you discipline your child try and stick to the things you say. If you don’t, they may see your threats as empty and act accordingly.
  • Be Consistent. If you give him a time out for hitting but then don’t give him the same punishment next time it will confuse him. Be consistent and follow through each time to prevent disruptive behaviour
  • Distraction Works! Distraction is a smart way to keep order in your house. Toddlers are easily distracted and can forget why they throw a tantrum very quick. Distract with toys, food, song, anything to keep the peace
  • Stimulation is Key. Try to give your child plenty of stimulation both indoors and outdoors. A highly stimulated child is less likely to throw a tantrum as they are too highly engaged in their play.
  • Stay calm. Children copy parents both verbally and non-verbally. Your best weapon to teach self-control is to practice it yourself. This will show your children the appropriate way to express their feelings. 

2 Year Old Behavior Problems

Your toddler is learning about themselves and the world around them at an alarming rate. This can sometimes be very overwhelming and cause a variety of anxiety, frustration and many temper tantrums.

It’s a cognitive strain as your toddler is very capable of knowing what they want but incapable of expressing this correctly to you.

It is in this vocabulary learning zone that many disruptions can occur. Your toddler wants to communicate effectively but has not yet formed the words to do it

Parents who think ‘my 2 year old is out of control’ are not alone. Many parents find the terrible two’s most challenging part of parenting.

Here, you both struggle to find a safe and secure environment to learn, seek expression and have fun.

Remember, the best toddler behaviour management strategies are ones that proactively intervene before the behaviour gets too bad.

Learning how to parent a 2 year old takes time and patience. Thinking “my 2 year old is out of control” won’t help you to manage your expectations.

Instead, try to show empathy and more in-depth communication so that your toddler can learn the correct ways to interact with you and other people.

Ava Miller

Mom of 2 who enjoys blogging, travelling, cooking and spending time with Taylor & Olivia

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