Dear Counselor Mom,
My toddler is always cranky. He has a short fuse and kicks me sometimes. He even talks back to me. Is this the terrible threes?
Most children go through a stage of terrible twos or threes. Although going through the terrible twos or threes is a common occurrence, it is possible that external factors could be influencing his behavior. Make sure you take appropriate discipline when your child hits. First, is he getting enough sleep? Most toddlers need 12-15 hours of sleep. Getting enough sleep is very important for your child’s well being. Second, does your child have too many activities that could cause him overworked? Believe it or not, a child needs some relaxation time too. If your toddler is on the go all the time (whether it be sports, daycare, playing outside, etc), your child might need some more unwinding time during the day. Ensure that your child has some time during the day to unwind, play with toys on his own, or just relax! The flip side is your child too bored? Does your child have things to do during the day to keep him active? Children can get restless and need to burn some energy. If none of these ring a bell to you, are there any negative things going on in your life? A child can pick up drama quite easily and will act out on those feelings. Divorce, death, or any other negative life experiences can impact a child.