Is This Temporary?
Sometimes, when your child behaves badly, his future flashes before your eyes. And it's not a pretty sight. If your toddler is terrorizing the kids in his playgroup, is he destined to be the boss who bullies his employees? The rude and obnoxious guy picking fights at the local bar?
"You have to be careful about overinterpreting early- childhood behavior when you don't know whether or not it's normal for that age group," says Marvin Berkowitz, PhD, professor of character education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and author of Parenting for Good. For instance, pushing and grabbing is actually a part of every toddler's development -- a phase he'll soon outgrow. That said, it's never too soon to start guiding kids in the right direction. Try these strategies to stop bratty behavior on the spot -- and learn how to raise kids who will grow up to make you proud.