Your tot’s behavior is his/her way of communicating to you — in actions and in words — his/her thoughts, needs, impulses and feelings.

This is influenced by the child’s temperament and ability to adapt, as well as their Mom’s and Dad’s parenting style, family situation, various stresses and transitions in their lives.

Quick Tips

• Make eye contact and approach tot calmly rather than angrily.

• Use non-threatening body language — a very calm voice and a gentle touch.

• If the problem is between tots, put yourself between them.

• If the problem involves a toy or object, calmly take possession of it until the problem is resolved.

• Acknowledge the tot’s feelings — “You look very angry.”

• Ask questions to clarify the problem for you and the tot — “What happened?”

• Listen to what the child has to say.

• Restate the problem — “So the problem is you both want to play with this toy?”

• Remind the tot of the behavior you expect.

• Ask the tot for ideas about what to do and choose a solution together.

• Put the solution into action and follow up to see if it is working. If it is going well, praise the tot for solving the problems.

Great Reads

• “But Why Can’t I?” by Sue Graves, 4-8 years. Encouraging book joins Noah and his babysitter, Jenny, who shows him how rules help keep people safe, healthy and happy.

• “Challenging Behavior in Young Children: Understanding, Preventing and Responding Effectively,” by Barbara Kaiser, 2016. Deals with behavior of children, why children behave the way they do and how to handle situations.

• “You Are Fantastic,” by Sabrina Moyle, 2021, Baby-2 years. Celebrate all things that make YOU special in this vibrant board book.