The year between ages 2 and 3 is exciting for all parents. During this stage, children achieve new milestones and skills. This is also the time when toddlers begin to realize that they are separate individuals from their parents.

While exciting events in a child’s life happen during these ages, this is when parents must brace themselves for their toddlers’ difficult behaviors. Managing your child’s behavior at home is already a challenge, let alone when you are not with them.

So, what happens when you leave your child at daycare?

Tips on how to handle a toddler acting out in daycare

The thought of having someone handle your child’s outbursts is scary. But don’t worry. There are plenty of things you can do to handle a toddler acting out in daycare.

Talk to your child

When a child misbehaves, most parents resort to giving them timeouts or any sort of punishment. Most of the time, this approach is ineffective, especially in a daycare setting. Doing this might lead to your child not taking you seriously or not learning anything at all from their behavior. Instead of timeouts, try talking to your child. Make them understand why their behavior is inappropriate. Explain how their actions impact others. Then, teach them better ways to behave. Taking this route does not mean you are letting your child get away with their behavior. It helps them better understand why their behavior is not acceptable as well as train them to develop empathy.

Recognize their positive behavior

Little children are used to having their parents’ attention all to themselves when at home. But it’s not the same at daycare. Kids at daycare have to share adult attention and this is one of the possible reasons why they act up – they want to get noticed. Whether positive or negative, children want attention. What you can do is to ask their teacher to notice and recognize your child’s positive behavior, regardless of how simple it is. Praise them for the things they do right, even if it is as simple as putting away their toys, standing in line, listening to instructions and so on.

Treat them with respect

When our children do something they are not supposed to do, we adults tend to launch into discipline mode right away. What we fail to remember is the fact that we need to respect them like we would any adult. Instead of using a tone of voice you think makes your kids comply, talk to them calmly and ask why they needed to exhibit those inappropriate behaviors. If they hit someone in the classroom, let them explain why they had to do it. Ask if there was anything that triggered the behavior. Then, make them understand why their actions are not right. Also, let them know of the consequences of their actions if they are to repeat them. But do not scold them or embarrass them in front of others.

Monitor the class discreetly

It might be difficult to manage your child’s behavior, especially when you have to rely on the accounts of their teachers. What you can do is to stay at least an hour and observe them. Watch how they interact with their teachers and classmates. This way, it will be easier for you to determine whether or not they act out because they need attention, or if there is something else that triggers the behavior.

Help them build a relationship with the daycare staff and teachers

Helping your child nurture a relationship with their daycare teachers can help them feel comfortable and safe. What you can do is highlight all the fun things they can do at school with their teacher. Also talk about their most favorite activities given to them by teachers. By securing a strong relationship with the daycare staff, you are also making sure that your child gets similar attention as they would from their parents.


Controlling your child’s behavior when you are not with them may be overwhelming. But these tips for preschool parents should help you handle situations when they are acting out.

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