Canadian Moms Insider: Top 3 Tips for Dealing with a Troublesome Toddler

Becoming a parent is an incredible experience filled with excitement, curiosity and absolute contentment but at the age of 2 to 3 years your little one turns from easy to manage to stubborn, hard to manage and often times, outrageous.

Raising a difficult child is certainly no laughing matter and with the right approach, trying situations can be made easier. You wish the best for your children however, when facing situations that you do not have the ability to manage, many caregivers experience guilt, frustration and disappointment. With 3 tips for dealing with a troublesome toddler, you can learn the tools and techniques needed to prevent problems from escalating, assist children with their difficulties and maintain your sense of peace and good parenting.

Understanding the Emotional Needs of Toddlers

To effectively manage poor behaviors in children, it is important to understand this crucial developmental stage. Toddlers are considered from 18 months to 5 years of age.

Any child can experience a meltdown or become unsettled but when these outbursts are frequent, unexpected and difficult to control, it becomes problematic. Emotionally intense children are often agitated by the smallest changes. Whether a disruption in their regular routine, a refusal to eat their lunch or over-excitement, when such youngsters reach the extreme end of the character scale, it is near impossible to contain.

To learn how to manage difficult toddlers, it is important to take a step back, breathe and to understand for most little ones, it could be a trying developmental stage or simply, genetics.

  1. Learn to Manage Emotionally Intense Outbursts

For many toddlers, sensory sensitivity, poor adjustment to change and an emotionally intense personality could be the causes of difficult behavior. Parents are encouraged to identify triggers in the immediate environment. Whether it is a specific noise or frustration being unable to execute tasks, it must be explored. Introducing new sounds, objects and places gradually and explaining activities to your child may ease an intense behavioral response.

Always explain where you are going, what you are doing and what specific activities mean in a manner your toddler can understand. Preparing them for even the smallest changes can provide the greatest rewards.

  1. Introduce Stimulating Activities

Dealing with a troublesome toddler may include managing excess energy. Keep little ones stimulated with age-appropriate activities including simple puzzles, reading stories they can follow, painting, and exercise.

Outdoor activities encouraging running and playing ball can eliminate pent up energy. Allow older toddlers to choose between activities. Keep these choices simple such as selecting between painting or puzzles. Make your child feel part of the process. Teach your child the importance of relaxation through quiet play.

  1. Be Consistent

From discipline to daily routines, maintaining a pattern helps children learn what is expected of them. When your toddler begins to act up, place them in the naughty corner for the time equivalent to their age.

For example, a 3-year-old will require a 3-minute time out. Stick to the procedure and afterward explain what they did wrong and why they were punished. From breakfast to play time, stick to a strict schedule. If a change of plan is in order, explain to your child what you will be doing to prevent complications.


Understanding the unique needs of your toddler can help you best manage their behaviors. While dealing with a troublesome infant can be tough at times, investing in a few simple behavioral strategies can make all the difference.

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