Shocking as it may be, biting and kicking are pretty normal behavior of children between the age of one to three. It is in fact part of their normal development. To be able to react properly, parents need to understand some situations that usually lead toddler acting aggressively. Here are some reasons why toddlers act out:<!--break-->
Emerging self-awareness. As kids get bigger, they will start to realize themselves as separate individuals. Their aggressive behavior at this stage is the product of their eagerness to show others that they can act independently and express their own opinions. They need to make
Limited self control. Children have undeveloped self control ability. They probably knew that hitting others is not good but just can’t stop doing it to playmates who give them hard times.
Lack of social proficiency. Social concept such as patient, sharing, taking turn, and waiting are new to toddlers. They need times to learn this skill through experience and by adult’s instructions.
Undeveloped communication skill. Toddlers have so many things to say, so many feeling to express, so many emotions to be communicated but their vocabulary is limited and they have not yet developed skill to form a complete and understandable sentences. Toddler uses actions more to speak their mind. Inability of others to understand the meaning of their words and actions could lead to frustration. When overwhelmed, children tend to resort to more physical means to show their feelings such as kicking, biting, yelling ,pushing, etc.
Inability to control environment. Your child wants to play with a big teddy bear in his classroom but other kid is playing it. This inability to get what he wants can upset him and responds by biting the kid who hold the teddy bear.
Lack of empathy. Toddler thinks himself as the most important people in the planet. They tend to have no ability to care for others. He cannot understand that if he wants the teddy bear, other kids may
Lack of parent’s attention. Toddlers may act out only to get their parent’s attention, especially when they think that they will not get enough attention if they are acting well. So don’t forget to appreciate your kids whenever he does something good.
Hunger and lack of sleep. A tired or hungry toddler tend to be cranky and more aggressive. Make sure that your kid has taken a nap before taking him out to play in the park.
Child’s stress. The new caregiver, new school, new baby in the family, new home, and other changes in a toddler’s life can distress him and make him more aggressive.
An overly-controlled or uncontrolled environment. Parents who do not allowed their kids to make choices or parents who do not set limit of what is acceptable and unacceptable might encourage aggressive behavior of their toddlers.
Hostile environment. Toddler will imitate behavior of parents or adults living around him. If parents or people living in the house show violent behavior, the toddler will too. Family problems, for example: unsettling divorce, drugs addition, parent’s depression can also make the kids act aggressively to their peers.
Now you know that aggression is normal, now you know what the cause of it, should you ignore it? No. Tell your toddler that his behavior is unacceptable and teach him how to communicate his feelings in non-aggressive ways. If your child seems to enjoy hurting others, you probably have to get professional advice.