Toddlers are tiny and their emotions are huge. When they don’t know what to do with those emotions, they often burst out as physical aggression.
And who can blame them? Their brains are underdeveloped and those feelings must feel AWFUL. We’ve all had some road rage right? We impulsively shout and swear when someone drives poorly near us because we’re experiencing acute anger and shock that we don’t know what to do with. And we’re fully grown adults. If it happened 10 times in one morning, we’d be ready to hit someone too. And that’s what it’s like for a toddler.
THEY NEED OUR HELP. It’s obviously easy to enjoy and love our kids when they’re being calm and friendly. But they need us to be there for them and be that calm for them when they’re losing it. Just imagine they’re shouting “please help me” every time they’re acting out, because that’s essentially what is happening. Behaviour is communication and it truly doesn’t feel good for them when they’re misbehaving. Even if it looks like they’re laughing - it doesn’t feel good inside.
These are our superhero parent moments. And it’s REALLY HARD. I absolutely struggle with it daily, behaviour is triggering for us. But when you reset the expectations in your brain to accept that this is typical toddler behaviour, and you remind yourself that this is your moment to be their hero, you’ll find it easier to cope.
If in doubt, don’t say anything and move them away with kind calm hands.