As a mother of a six year old, I too have had certain behavioural issues with Prince A when he was about three years old. However, I was adamant that I will not let his issues grow with him, so I ensured that I sweet-talked him whenever he made a mistake, disrespected any elder and spoke rudely to anyone because I found that it is better to talk in softer tones and make them understand the repercussions, which they can relate to, instead of hard punishments, which will only make them resentful. The age between two and three years was the most difficult stage – one, because he was too young to understand anything, and two, my parenting style was different from his grandparents so we used to have loads of conflicts in the house.
How can we as parents deal with toddlers’ behavioural issues and teach them to be well behaved and mannered? The best way to deal with this is to talk to him in soft tones and lovingly. Here are some of the common behavioural issues that your kid may be experiencing:
Rough language: Your kid will be using rough language, as he is still testing the new words he hear, so be polite yourself when talking to him and others. Be courteous even to him, a child has a strong sense of self-importance and pride and if they are hit he retaliates with the rough language. Reduce and monitor his TV time. When my kid was three years old I told him that certain cartoon programmes were off limits, as they showed a spoilt brat of a kid who didn’t listen to his parents, teased his younger brother and was always getting in trouble in school.
Anger management: At this age your kid understands what anger is but what he doesn’t understand is how to manage that anger positively hence he may resort to hitting people with his limbs. And when he or she does that please remove them from the situation and let them cool down on their own. Once they have cooled down enough to listen to you, then you can tell them that it is alright to be angry but it is not alright to hit somebody, as it can hurt them.
Bloated Egos: What is an ego? Do we as parents recognise our egos? Then how can we expect a three year old to know what it is? It is us parents who say “oh he has an ego, he won’t say sorry to elders.” Dear parents, please understand your child still doesn’t know what is right or wrong, it is you who have to teach him and you won’t achieve anything by nagging. The child doesn’t know what an ego is, but parents, grandparents and everyone else do, so when a child does something wrong and he is asked to say sorry he doesn’t understand what he has done wrong and why he should say sorry. In his eyes, he is right. So then how do we deal with this? Well again you need to sit with him and tell him that it is not right to be rude to elders or use their first names (jokingly or not), using disrespectful language is not allowed, etc.