The toddler stage is tricky for children. There is so much they want to do, but so much that they can’t.

At the same time, their developing brain is pushing them to explore, try out things and express their new found independence in ways that can be a bother to adults.

Most toddler behaviour that concerns us is not “bad” – it is just what happens in this stage. But how we respond really matters – what was just exploring can become naughtiness if we react as though it is!


What’s the issue for toddlers, then?

Toddlers can now move for themselves, but they have to learn their limits. They now have their own ideas and plans, which is good – and it is hard to understand that other people do to, and that your parents’ sometimes need to insist.

Children are now more in control of themselves, but have to work out how that fits with the adults still being in charge. Nearly all children work this out in the end, but only with a lot of patience, kindness and help from the adults in their lives.

So some problems are common at this stage, and different children have different mixes. They are all part of the normal process of growing up. Depending on how we respond, they are not usually a problem or long lasting.


So what can we do?

We’ve put below some links to ideas about common issues with behaviour. If there is something missing, please get in touch and let us know.

Most common issues are

Any more?

The length of the list shows how much a toddler has to learn and how much their brain and body has to develop – and how much help they need from adults to get it right over time.

From August 2018, we will have some ideas for the following common issues. If there are others you’d like us to cover, please let us know!

quiet and withdrawn demanding attention kicks other people
Biting noncompliant flitting about
tantrums conflict over sharing turn-taking
hitting or fighting “NO!” running off
hiding away swearing clinging
having to win lies about behaviour fearful