How to Raise a Troublesome Toddler: 8 Steps - MakeSureHow
Edit Article

Toddlers like to go their own way, at their own pace, which can make them very challenging.

Baby and toddler expert Dr. Harvey Karp, author of "The Happiest Toddler on the Block," describes toddlers as "little cavemen." It's developmentally appropriate for them to be selfish, opinionated and unreasonable. No toddler is easy to deal with, but toddlers who are more sensitive, independent or strong-willed can be especially challenging. Though your toddler may seem especially troublesome, you can shape his behavior to make him at least a little bit less so. And remember, the toddler years don't last forever.


  1. 1
    Remove the temptations. It will be easier to get into the habit of storing the TV remote on a high shelf than it will be to wrestle your child for it five times a day. Hide or move breakables and electronic gadgets.
  2. 2
    Rearrange the furniture. Does your toddler love to climb? Are you wondering if he's part monkey? You're not going to be able to change his nature, so change the environment instead. Move the couch away from the bookshelf, hide the footstools and do whatever else it takes to strand him on the ground.
  3. 3
    Create a consistent routine. Imagine if you had no concept of time, no idea when you'd get to eat again or when you could play with your toys again. You'd probably be a bit cranky, wouldn't you? That's how your toddler feels all the time. With a consistent routine and verbal reminders from you, though, your toddler won't feel quite as stressed out because he'll know what to expect.
  4. 4
    Keep a record. Some days it may feel like your toddler has a tantrum about everything. Write down or snap a picture with your smart phone each time your toddler is being especially troublesome. Do this over a few days and look for patterns of misbehavior.
  5. 5
    Adjust your routine. If your kiddo is always fussy at five o'clock, don't try to go grocery shopping then. Change nap times or bed times to help a toddler who seems sleepy a lot.
  6. 6
    Praise when possible. Did he sit still and eat breakfast for three whole minutes? Did he play without having a tantrum for five whole minutes? Tell him how much you appreciated it. The more attention you give when he's being good, the less he needs to get your attention by being troublesome.
  7. 7
    Make him an assistant. It can be hard to deal with a toddler's demands, or a toddler's propensity for trouble, when you also housework to do. Asking your toddler to help you do the dishes or sweep will help him feel valued and keep him occupied.
  8. 8
    Give yourself a break. Take some time each day for yourself. Read a book, exercise or watch some trashy television after your toddler goes down for nap or bed. Ask a partner or friend to give you a longer break on the weekends so that you have time to recharge.


  • Remember that the toddler stage is short and that your kiddo is not actually trying to drive you crazy -- it just feels that way sometimes.


  • Don't forget to stay calm. Take a deep breath, count to 10, walk into another room; whatever you need to do to keep from escalating the situation is fine.

Article Info

Categories: Education and Communications

Did this article help you?


an Author!

Write an Article