Toddler Aggression – Boys Town Pediatrics

A big part of being a toddler is learning
to assert some independence and kind of find out what you can get away with and test the
limits to find out what are the limits. It’s not uncommon that toddlers are going to have
some aggressive behaviors whether it is biting or kicking or hitting. Part of why they do
this might also have to do with they know what they want or how they want to do something
but they don’t yet have the expressive language to communicate that to you, so they get frustrated
or you are doing something that they want to do themselves, they might be quick to reach
up and swat at you. The second a bite or a kick or a hit happens regardless of where
you are, the most important thing is to get right down to eye level and say no whatever
it was, in your stern parent voice. So right away, no bite and then immediately they need
a negative consequence which is you know, usually we recommend a time out when possible.
We try to do a sixty second time out for a one to two year old, and longer if they are
a little bit older but using that timeout and as soon as the timeout is done, just flip
them around so they are facing you again and reminding them, no biting, we do gentle touches
and right back to play.