Prevent Behaviour Problems In Toddlers

This section outlines some effective ways to prevent behaviour problems in toddlers.

Thinking ahead and working out what pushes your child's tantrum buttons means you have fewer outbursts to deal with.

This page has some very easy, practical tips for you.

The main one we feel is simply a toddler routine. If you can stick to it, then your young child will be able to cope better with their day, if there are fewer unknowns. Read more below...

General Tips On How To Prevent Behaviour Problems

Stick To A Routine, Then There Are No Unknowns In Your Toddler's Day


Imagine a supermarket with opening times that changed daily, and tills that were self service on alternate hours.

What a nightmare! - nobody would shop in this chaosmart because it has no routines. Toddlers - who are going through a period of intense physical and emotional change - really need the stability of predictable routines.

Decide what are the areas of potential conflict with your toddler, and create routines around them. For example:

  • Brushing teeth - always straight after breakfast
  • Holding hands when crossing the road
  • Bath then 1 story only before bed
  • Your toddler will come to expect these daily events and - even if it takes a while - not argue about them.

Do Not Overload Your Toddler

...with too many choices. While asking her what she wants to wear for example is a good thing, you should restrict any choices offered to 2.

Young children cannot cope with too many options - so close the wardrobe and lay out 2 dresses instead.

Same goes for breakfast, forget a long list of food options, it will only be you getting frustrated. Keep the menu short.


Diverting your toddler's attention from any potential conflict is effective, because at this age their attention span is short, while their curiosity and interest in just about everything is limitless.

Distraction is one of my favourite ways to prevent parent-toddler conflict. You may need a variety of tricks up your sleeve (especially for older toddlers)- click here for a list of failsafe distraction tactics.

"It's The Way You Tell 'Em"
As Comedian Frank Carson Would Say

The way we speak to toddlers has a big impact on their behaviour - do not underestimate the effect of this. Go to using language to tackle behaviour problems for more information on this.

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