You simply adore your tot but his irritating behavior is driving you crazy! According to Rosette Robles-Palmario, preschool teacher at The Little Gym Terrific Tots Preschool in Pasig-Mandaluyong, these behaviors are usually part of a phase kids go through. Most often, it may be due to how the child may be feeling at that particular moment. She says, “Being bored, stressed, sleepy, hungry, or frustrated, and finding ways to calm and soothe themselves can bring out these kinds of behavior.” As your child develops a sense of awareness of his environment and begins to explore, environmental factors may also come into play - the things he sees, possible exposure to aggressive behaviors, or in extreme cases, to violence or abuse. Even a low self-esteem may give rise to attention-seeking behaviors, she adds.
A child’s point of view “Such behaviors usually emerge at two years old. During this period, according to Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development, children are pre-operational in thought,” says Ruel Solitario, occupational therapist at Clinic for Therapy Services Adult and Adolescent Section of the University of the Philippines, Manila.
According to Solitario, “It is at this stage of psychosocial development when self-control and self-confidence are emergent. However, this need to develop control is sometimes mishandled by parents resulting to struggle and eventually temper tantrums.” While not every child may go through this phase, Robles-Palmario points out that these kinds of behavior should be addressed if and when they occur. “We should observe and assess these behaviors cautiously so that they will not get used to them and carry them on to their adolescence,” she says.