Solve Your Toddler Behaviour Problems

A Canadian mother of 2 young children that I once met said: "Toddler behaviour problems are like colds and flu - you can never get rid of them completely, but if you get in there first, they won't make your life complete hell."

This section explains the origins of toddler behaviour. Understanding what makes your child tick is the first step to helping them learn self discipline.

For ideas and tips on coping with the not-so-nice side of your little one, go to toddler discipline

In This Section On Toddler Behaviour Problems

Understanding Toddler Behaviour
Before you can manage behaviour problems, you need to get to grips with why toddlers behave as they do. Find out why not all apparent 'naughtiness' is truly bad behaviour.

Understanding Younger Toddlers And Their Behaviour
Experts agree that, before the age of 2, playing up is not caused by malice or nastiness. Find out what is really going on in your younger toddler's head when they pull your hair or kick another child.

Attention Seeking
This is without doubt at the root of most discipline issues. Understand why it happens, what to do about it - and perhaps more importantly - what not to do.

Toddler Biting & Other Aggressive Habits
Find out what is going on in a toddler's head when they lash out at others - and reasons not to worry excessively about it

Follow the link to the tantrums section if you want advice on those tricky emotional outbursts that often seem to come from nowhere.

Sibling Rivalry

This is always a big topic to address. How will your toddler cope with no longer being the baby?

Question & Answer You May Find Useful


I have a 3 year old and I babysit one who will be 3 in three weeks. Both are boys.

My child is heaven sent and never saw the terible twos. The one I babysit on the other hand is so bad. He hits, screams, breaks my son's toys. You say "Don't do that" - he does.

Both have been potty trained for three months. Now he has pooped at nap time, played in it and thrown it across the room. One week later he pooped in the bathtub and turned on the water. The very next day he sits there on his riding toy and poops his pants while looking at me and laughing.

I don't how much more I can take. Please give me some advice on where I am going wrong or is it his Mom? When she is not at work she takes him to Nannies. Does he need attention?


In a word, yes. From what you say about the lack of attention his mother gives him, it sounds like he is desperate to feel significant and be noticed - this is perfectly normal with toddlers, but he is taking it to extremes because he doesn't get the attention he needs at home.

Have a look at the page on attention seeking for more about this.

What to do about this behavior?

You might find that distraction or keeping him busy works.
Positive Toddler Discipline.

I have to say that he has so many toddler behavior problems that it would not surprise me if you cannot resolve these issues alone - and why should you??

I think you need to talk to the mom. You should not be expected to manage this sort of behavior on your own. In your situation I would explain that he is really challenging, and that you need to work together to help him control himself.

If she is not cooperative, then I would consider stopping babysitting this boy if at all possible. There's no shame in it, especially if it's affecting your son. Everyone struggles with toddler behaviour problems, but you seem to have more than your fair share to deal with, and he is not your child, so there is only so much you can do. 

Further Information

Twins are a whole different ballgame when it comes to toddler behaviour problems. If you need some specialist advice on twin toddlers, I would recommend Raising Twins - this site has advice, support, help and information for parents who are expecting twins, or who already have them and love them!

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