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Why Is My 2-Year-Old So Mean To Me?

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Have you ever wondered why your 2-year-old has become so mean? Well, at this stage, your 2-year-old needs constant attention, which is caused by the fact that they are overwhelmed by the changes around them. At about two years, most toddlers start talking and are trying to figure out how to express their emotions. 

As parents, we want to try our best to be good parents, and you can feel you’re a big fail when something goes wrong. A two-year-old can make you feel like raising a well-behaved child is impossible. 

When your 2-year-old becomes mean to you, your first thought is they don’t like you or they’re trying to hurt your feelings. But that’s not the case. On the contrary, your child is trying to communicate their feelings to you. 

In this article, we will explore why your 2-year-old is mean to you and how you can respond to aggressive behavior in 2-year-olds. 

Reasons Your 2-Year-Old Is Mean To You

There are several reasons why your 2-year-old is mean to you. Some of these are:

They Need Your Attention

If your toddler has tried all avenues to get your attention, they know the only way to earn it is by acting mean towards you. 

If you’ve at one point given your child attention after they threw some tantrums, then they know being mean will make you bow to their demands. 

Unable To Express Their Emotions

As I said earlier, 2-year-olds become mean not because that’s what they want to do but because they don’t know the best way to express their emotions. Any aggressive behavior you see in your child is just a normal part of early childhood development. 

Your Child Is Testing The Limits

A 2-year-old is simply exploring the world and testing their limits to get what they want. It’s about pushing their limits, yours, and the whole environment. 

If your child oversteps the limits and you pull them back, they respond with tantrums and sometimes can go overboard and hit you. 

Your Child Is Frustrated

A two-year-old doesn’t know how to voice out their heavy emotions. And even though your child may try to express themselves,  you might not understand what they are saying. 

Besides communication, your child may be trying to do something, and it’s not going according to their expectations forcing them to pour the frustration on you. 

The mean behavior might continue as long as your child is:

  • Angry
  • Overwhelmed
  • Tired
  • Bored
  • Scared 
  • Overstimulated

You Give In To Your Child’s Demand All The Time

If you’re the type of parent who gets scared because your child is acting mean and you try to keep the peace by giving in to their demands, they’ll keep throwing tantrums. 

Giving in to your 2-year-old demands sends a signal to them that they can get anything they want by throwing tantrums. 

How To Deal With Your 2-Year-Old’s Mean Behaviour

It’s shocking when your two-year-old starts misbehaving. You might have known your child as a calm and well-tamed child, but that’s not what you think anymore. There are simple and effective ways to deal with your 2-year-old’s behaviors without hitting or shouting. Check out these tips below:

Stay Calm

I agree that your 2-year-old was a well-behaved child months ago or even a year ago, and these sudden changes are throwing you off the boat, but you need to stay calm. 

You expect this journey to be smooth as a parent, but that’s not when the “terrible two” stage sails in. 

Avoid being dramatic and handle the situation calmly.

Don’t Allow Aggressive Play

Violence starts with simple, aggressive play. There are so many ways violence can go into your child’s play; soon, they start thinking it’s okay to be violent. One of the easiest indicators is your child using her toy to hit another toy. Discourage the behavior as soon as you spot it by letting your child know it’s not good for their toys to beat each other. 

Know Your Child’s Triggers

There are many reasons why your child becomes mean and aggressive.  It might be anger, hunger, tiredness, stress, or overstimulation. Keep track of the signs and handle them early to avoid aggressive scenarios.

Give Short And Sweet Warnings

You don’t have to shout and hit your 2-year-old because they are mean. According to experts, hitting is not the best way of punishing a child because they are yet to understand the relationship between their behavior and physical punishment. 

You can try time-outs as punishment or remove the child from the scene after being aggressive and tell them it’s not good to do what they just did. 

Cultivate Good Behavior

You don’t like how your 2-year-old is being mean to you, but raving and ranting about it won’t offer a solution instead, it worsens the situation. 

An aggressive response shows your baby that being mean or rude is okay, so teach them self-control.

Don’t stress yourself if your 2-year-old has started to be mean. This is just a normal stage; they overcome it as they grow. Ensure that you follow the right procedure when minimizing bad behaviors, and try not to use hitting as punishment.

Gloriah Mnyaki
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