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My child is throwing things

Q: My 20 month old is throwing everything he can get his hands on.  No matter how many times I tell him to stop he keeps doing it.
A: The behavior might be telling us that he wants to work on his throwing skills.  Instead of telling him what he can't do, tell him what he can do (throw balls outside, toss cotton balls into bowls).  I made bean and rice bags with my children to throw while they were practicing this skill. They threw them into a laundry basket or large mixing bowl. They also enjoyed throwing recycled paper made into balls.

Another possibility is that your child is frustrated.  Throwing things is something humans have done forever.  Talk to your child and find out what is frustrating them.  Then teach them a replacement behavior.  Instead of throwing what you are frustrated with you can walk away, take a deep breath, put it aside until later, etc.).  Young children will act on instinct and do what they have seen their family or teachers do when frustrated.  Acknowledge their feelings and help them find a replacement behavior that will work for them!


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