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  • Pasaway Ba Talaga? 4 Times Your Kid's 'Bad' Behavior Isn't Actually Bad

    No, your child isn't growing up spoiled or matigas ang ulo just yet.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Pasaway Ba Talaga? 4 Times Your Kid's 'Bad' Behavior Isn't Actually Bad
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  • When your toddler goes from being a giggly, playful angel to a screaming, tantrum-throwing diva, it’s easy to assume that they are becoming pasaway. Parents even think that raising a toddler is the hardest stage of parenting! But do these “bad behaviors” mean your child is naughty, or is it just a case of a kid being a kid?

    4 times your child’s bad behavior is actually ‘normal’

    Your child’s frequent shift in attitude may be a reaction to various factors: a change in environment, developmental phases, and most importantly, their parents’ actions. Keeping these in mind will allow us to better respond to their needs and with much more compassion and understanding.

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    Here are four times your kids may act makulit and pasaway but really aren’t.

    1. They do the opposite of what you ask.

    Ever told a toddler, “Don’t throw that!” and they throw it anyway? That’s because they lack self-control at this stage. The part of their brain that runs it — the prefrontal cortex — isn’t fully developed yet.

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    Developing self-control takes a lot of practice and is a “long, slow process,” according to experts. If you forbid your toddler from doing something (for example, “Don’t play with your food”), you can’t expect them to resist the urge to do that forbidden thing right away. Instead, build trust, set reasonable limits, and model good self-control so your little one can follow your lead. (Read more tips to develop self-discipline here.)

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    2. They have meltdowns.

    Dealing with a child’s emotional outburst leaves most parents frustrated, but your kids often throw tantrums and have meltdowns (yes, there’s a difference. Read it here.) because of various reasons. Most of the time, it’s because they are overwhelmed.

    “The child has pretty much lost all control at this point and doesn’t even know what they want — or don’t want — anymore. And he or she isn’t doing this behavior in any strategic sort of way,” explains Amori Mikami, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, to Today’s Parent.

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    It’s up to us parents to figure things out. They might be “hangry” (angry because they’re hungry), tired, or sick. When they are emotionally exhausted, their ability to self-regulate also deteriorates. Before you lose your temper, acknowledge their feelings, attend to their needs, and show them love. They need you!

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    3. They yell and say, “I hate you!”

    When adults are overwhelmed by emotions, they can easily find ways to manage it. Toddlers, on the other hand, cannot. This is why tantrums happen.

    “Akala ng maraming magulang, kapag nag-tantrum ‘yung anak nila, love na love [ng anak nila] na mag-tantrum. [But] when a child throws a tantrum, it is their way of telling you that ‘I need your help. I need your help to control my emotions,” shares Tina Zamora, Directress of Nest School for Whole Child Development.

    It’s easy to shout back and react with annoyance whenever your child throws a tantrum, but according to Zamora, what often works best is the no-drama discipline approach. It doesn’t involve any yelling but instead addressing the situation calmly and setting clear rules.

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    You can also try to “let feelings be,” according to early childhood educator and parenting expert Janet Lansbury. Don’t react or punish kids when they express powerful emotions like yelling, crying, or screaming. Instead, wait for them to calm down and validate their feelings to let them know they are loved and understood.

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    4. They are stubborn and defiant.

    Does it seem like all your child says these days is “No,” or “Ayaw!”? It can make you start questioning your abilities as a parent—is she growing up spoiled or matigas ang ulo?

    Don’t worry — defiance is part of a child’s normal development. “Kids this age are realizing that they can assert themselves, and arguing with you is one way they gain confidence,” shares Dr. John Sargent, a child psychiatrist and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, in an article by Parents.

    Saying “no,” is one of the ways kids test their independence. They do it to learn mom and dad’s limits and it also helps them learn cause and effect. While it’s frustrating, it’s better to take control of the situation and avoid a power struggle with your stubborn toddler. Try giving them choices to satisfy their need to feel in control or using verbs to get them to listen. (Learn how to turn those ‘nos’ into ‘yeses’ here.)

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    Does your toddler always throw a tantrum? It may be the result of an empty emotional cup. Click here for ways to fill it.

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