Please Don't Do That! How to Handle Inappropriate Toddler Behavior

The Bigmouth

No topic is off-limits to your toddler. If you and your spouse have an argument, your child will make sure everyone from Grandma to the pharmacy cashier knows about it.

Why she does it: Two- and 3-year-olds love to jump into a conversation just to be part of a social situation and to test out their growing verbal skills. Unfortunately, they have a natural urge to share things that made a big impact on them -- like when Mom and Dad yell and scream at each another.

The fast fix: Squat down to your child's level and calmly say, "That's not something we need to talk about right now. Why not tell Grandma about our trip to the zoo?"

What to say later: Don't just lecture about taboo topics. "Tell your toddler what she can talk about," says William Coleman, MD, professor and specialist in child behavior and development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Explain that she can share happy family news, but info that may not make people feel good, like a fight, should be kept to herself. (Also, you may want to argue in hushed tones next time!)

Manners & Responsibility: 3 Manners Toddlers Should Know
Manners & Responsibility:  3 Manners Toddlers Should Know

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