Coping with unwanted toddler behaviour

The terrible twos!

Toddler tantrums and unwanted toddler behaviour can be common problems during a toddler’s ‘terrible twos’. Take heart – it’s not your fault and certainly doesn’t mean they’re destined to be horrible! It just means that they haven’t learned to express themselves yet, and they’re showing their emotions in the only way that they know. A regular routine, and a healthy balanced diet, can also be a big help, by keeping energy levels steady throughout the day. 

Developmental reasons for bad toddler behaviour

There are lots of reasons why toddlers sometimes bite, grab, kick and push. It’s sometimes down to a simple curiosity about what happens when they do one of these unwanted actions. It could be sparked by someone else holding their favourite toy, or if they feel frustrated through not being able to communicate their needs.

Your toddler is going through lots of incredible changes and learning a huge amount of new things. Yet there’s often a natural delay between what they see others being able to do, and being able to do this themselves. For instance, wanting to run with the bigger kids yet not having the strength and size to do this activity. This can be difficult for them to understand, leading to that frustrated feeling, causing a toddler tantrum.

Your toddler’s brain is also still on a steep learning curve. They are only just acquiring the words to explain how they feel, and so their emotions can build up quickly, like a little tornado. Releasing this energy in any way that they can is sometimes all they can do. 

The right food for a good mood

Your toddler’s diet plays an important role in their development in many ways. One of these is by affecting their energy levels. Of course, toddlers need lots of energy because they have lots of sofas to climb and things to prod, but making sure it comes from the right kind of foods will help limit the energy rushes and tantrums. 

Foods like sweets, cakes and biscuits can cause sugar highs and lows, which can send a toddler’s moods all over the place. Healthier options for snack times include bananas, cheese, fruit pouches and low-salt crackers. Not only will these give them extra nutrition, they will also give them a slower releasing energy. 

We’ve got lots of great tips about giving your toddler a well-balanced diet, and some tasty easy recipes that will help keep them full of beans for longer.

Remember, it’s just a developmental phase

Toddler tantrums and unwanted behaviour are a normal phase of toddler development, especially during the ‘terrible twos’. It’s easier said than done, but try not to worry too much. 

We’ve also got lots of helpful advice about the importance of sleep and a regular routine. With lots of love, cuddles and a bit of guidance, this phase will soon pass and you’ll have a happy, loving toddler again.


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  • 1-to-1 support from our dedicated Careline team, 8.30am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday.

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