Podcast Episode #150

Why is my toddler so ‘naughty’? Discussing challenging behaviour in toddlers with Courtney Nightingale

Why is my toddler so 'naughty' Discussing challenging behaviour in toddlers with Courtney Nightingale

Kids aren’t ‘Naughty’

In this podcast episode, I chat with Courtney, a holistic parenting consultant, sleep and behavioural specialist, and instigator of The Parenting Edit. And Courtney helps stressed and exhausted parents step into their power of parenting.

Today we discuss:

– Why is my 2 year old being ‘naughty’?
– Are kids ‘naughty’?
– What causes challenging behaviour?
– Impact of hunger and fatigue with challenging behaviours.
– How do we help support our children during these ‘challenging’ times.
– When should we seek help?
– What are some red flags that something more serious / something that needs to be looked into is going on.

In this insightful blog post, we delve into the intriguing realm of toddler behavior and challenging behaviors. Join us as we explore the causes behind these behaviors and discover effective strategies to prevent and manage them. Our guest for this discussion is Courtney Nightingale, a holistic parenting consultant and sleep and behavioral specialist. With her expertise, we gain valuable insights into this topic and gain a deeper understanding of how to navigate the complexities of toddler behavior.

Understanding Challenging Behavior

The conversation begins with Courtney sharing her background as a parenting consultant and teacher, setting the stage for an enlightening discussion. One of the first points addressed is the use of labels such as “naughty” to describe children. Courtney expresses her dislike for such terms, emphasizing the importance of understanding the underlying causes behind challenging behavior rather than labeling children.

Exploring Triggers and Strategies

The impact of various factors on challenging behavior is then explored, including hunger, fatigue, and emotional states. The H.A.L.T. strategy (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired) is introduced as a helpful tool for identifying triggers that may lead to challenging behavior. Furthermore, the influence of nutrition and the microbiome on a child’s mood and behavior is discussed, shedding light on the significance of a well-balanced diet.

Preventing Challenging Behavior

Our host shares her personal experience as a parent of older children, highlighting the evolving nature of parenting and the different stages of challenges parents may face. The importance of providing one-on-one connection and ensuring children feel heard and seen is emphasized. Simple strategies like spending dedicated, undivided attention with your child for at least 10 minutes a day are shown to greatly improve the parent-child bond.

Establishing Routines and Space

Creating rhythms, rituals, and routines in your family’s daily and weekly schedule is highlighted as a powerful tool to help children anticipate and find comfort in their daily lives. Slowing down and providing moments of stillness, calm, and boredom are also explored as beneficial practices for easily overstimulated children. Additionally, reducing after-school activities and allowing for more unstructured time can help alleviate stress and improve behavior.

Dealing with Challenging Moments

In the heat of the moment, it’s crucial for parents to pause, be present, and acknowledge their child’s intense emotions. The blog post offers practical tips such as checking your own energy, grounding yourself, and taking deep breaths to remain calm in challenging situations. Waiting with your child as they calm down and validating their emotions are crucial steps in helping them make sense of their feelings.

Tailoring Support and Conflict Resolution

Understanding each child’s individual needs and providing support accordingly, whether they require space or physical comfort, is emphasized as a key element in addressing challenging behavior. Moreover, the focus shifts from demanding immediate apologies to modeling sincere apologies and empathy, enabling children to learn these important social skills naturally. Additionally, the approach of turn-taking rather than sharing is explored as a more effective method for managing conflicts between children.

Empowering Parents

The blog post concludes by reassuring parents that they have the agency to remove their child from a situation if they are not ready or comfortable, even after attempting to address the issue multiple times. Each child is unique, and parents are encouraged to trust their instincts and make decisions that best suit their child’s needs.

Through this engaging discussion with Courtney Nightingale, we have gained valuable insights into the world of toddler behavior and challenging behaviors. By understanding the underlying causes, implementing preventive strategies, and responding thoughtfully in challenging moments, parents can foster a nurturing environment for their children’s growth and development. Remember, every child is different, and with patience, understanding, and a holistic approach, parents can navigate the challenges and embrace the joys of parenting.

Episode Links

Telehealth with Physio Kath

Preparing for birth Pelvic health checklist

Free 7 Day Trial Pregnancy Workouts

Free 7 Day Trial Postnatal Workouts

FitNest Mama Website

Instagram @fitnestmama

Courtney’s website: https://theparentingedit.co/
Courtney’s Instagram: 



All information is general in nature and doesn’t substitute individualised assessment, treatment and diagnosis.  If you have any questions or concerns please consult your healthcare provider.

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