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Being a parent comes with many different obstacles. Some are easy hurdles and others seem hard and scary. It’s a blessing to have children, but what do you do when you find your 2-year-old is mean? Is it normal?

The truth of the matter is yes. Although it may seem shocking to you, your significant other or the random person at the mall, aggressive behavior is actually a very normal part of your child’s development. With a new desire for independence, emerging language skills and impulse control not quite developed yet it is completely normal for your child to become agitated frequently, have outbursts or even become physical.

While some degree of this behavior is normal, that doesn’t mean that it should be ignored. You need to ensure that your little one knows that this behavior is not ok and show your child different, more positive ways to express their feelings.

my toddler is mean

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If you find your little one becoming aggressive, moody or destructive, make sure to respond immediately. Remove your child from the situation for a short timeout. This will give the child time to relax and cool down and after a while, the child will start to realize that the behavior is connected to the consequence. Consistency is key here, or you are just going around in circles.


Remember that the behavior you choose is what is being modeled for your children and children are virtually mirrors of us. If you blow your stack frequently, your children will believe that it’s OK for them to respond to frustrating situations the same way. The best thing you can do in this situation is to remain firm but also calm.

help! my 2 year old is mean

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Make it very clear when your little one chooses a good behavior. It is important that we don’t only respond to our children’s behavior when it is negative. Positive reinforcement goes a long way. Reward a good choice and soon your child will see that both behavior choices have consequences.

Remember, it is not uncommon for 2-year-olds to start being aggressive or mean, but it certainly shouldn’t be ignored.

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Ivy L

Thursday 8th of October 2020

My 3-year-old daughter has always had and still has tantrum episodes every single day. It’s humiliating. Bedtime is so stressful EVERY DAY! And this is not the only time she is out of control. I have tried it all; routine, stories, positive reinforcement, games, etc., still, nothing works. We can't figure it out...we would appreciate your input... I'm all ears!!! Thanks!!!


Saturday 6th of January 2018

We had a tough time with this with one of my twins. She acted out a lot, would hit and say mean things. It's all part of growing up, but it sure makes your worry! We found being consistent with her really helped - letting her know what she said or did hurt someone/someone's feelings. She still has her moments, but they aren't as frequent.

Jody @ Mommy Moment

Sunday 7th of January 2018

Kristy, It can be so difficult to go through. It sounds like you being consistent really helped. Thanks for leaving a comment and all the best as you continue to raise your children :)


Friday 5th of January 2018

Rewarding good decisions is so important I think and hard to do too because we take them for granted!

Chandra O’Connor

Thursday 4th of January 2018

My 2 1/2 granddaughter has started to push a few limits to see what she can get away with. You can see the wheels turning by the look on her face.

Sarah alexis

Thursday 4th of January 2018

It really helps to know that it's "normal" lol - sometime you wonder right? I am starting to teach my son that his behaviours and his words can hurt people and that it's not okay to talk to mommy that way - he's finally old enough to start to understand that now!

Jody @ Mommy Moment

Thursday 4th of January 2018

I think a lot of moms feel isolated and like something is wrong if their little one is acting in a mean way. Thanks for leaving a comment. It sounds like you are doing things right! Good job mama!