Toddler Anger Management

Yes, you read that title right. If you have a three or four year old in your home, you probably are all too familiar with the clenched fists and whiney-scream that result from a frustrated toddler who is trying to express their emotions.

I have worked with another doula client when her little guy was experiencing some anger and frustration when his new brother came home, and we looked at a few different scenarios.

Yes, our attention is split when there are multiple kiddos in the house and yes...the baby always wins. For her, her eldest would act out agressively whenever she was nursing. For me, our oldest turns on the whine whenever we are feeding the baby. Jealousy? Of course, but look at how it manifests in your little one.

What worked for her little guy was a Caught You Being Good jar. He really took to this idea and his behaviour changed dramatically when he started getting caught for being good, had positive reinforcement, and his good behaviour became the focus as opposed to the less-than-great behaviour.

To make your own Caught You Being Good jar, there are loads of ideas on Pinterest.

For mine, he clenches his fists and starts swinging. It might be at me, it might be at himself. Strangely, it is never at his baby. (thankfully!)

Around here, we have a rule. If you're feeling angry, ask for a cuddle.

So what do we do? We ask..."Owen are you angry?" when he says that he is, we ask what he needs. With the angriest of voices, he says "a cuddle". He seems to need that physical touch, that little bit of pressure of mom or dad's arms wrapped around him so that he can take a big deep breath, and settle down.

Then we talk it out, and talk about a new learning angle. This is something that his teachers use at school, a new learning angle every week. So, sometimes we will say "this week, your learning angle is to cooperate" and we talk about what that word means.

Sort of like the word on the street on Sesame Street. He seems to really get it, and is able to settle down when we use a couple of key phrases.

How do you deal with an angry toddler? If you have any tips to share, please do!!