10 Signs Your Toddler Is a Brat: Ask Mrs Manners


signs your toddler is a bratThe toddler years are the perfect age to start teaching your kids manners and good habits. And MrsManners aka: Angela Pitrie, owner of the CM group Manners for the Modern Family and FamilyMannersMadeFun.com, is here to help.

No one expects toddlers to be perfectly behaved angels, but have your little ones crossed the line so many times that they could technically be called ... dare I say it ... total spoiled brats?

MrsManners is way too mannerly to use that term, but I'm not, so I'll take the blame. For some kids, there's just no other polite way to describe them.

Here are MrsManners' 10 Signs Your Toddler Is a Brat.

1.       If your little one thinks clearing his plate means throwing it across the room.

2.       If you haven't heard the words "thank you" yet, but you do hear the phrase "get that for me" repeated at least a hundred times a day.

3.       If your tiny titan knocks every other toddler down at the playground.

4.       If your toddler is mistaking the furniture for her school jungle gym.

5.       If the neighbor kids run for the hills when they see your brood coming.

6.       If your toddler thinks you are his personal maid.

7.       If bath time looks like a scene from the movie Waterworld.

8.       If she thinks sharing is the name of a one-way street.

9.       If the only dining out you can do is in the backyard.

10.     If you find the need to fetch some brie to go with that whine.

Sure, every toddler exhibits some of these behaviors -- even more than once in a while -- okay even a lot. It's normal and healthy to push limits and test boundaries. But if mom fails to push back and your toddler displays more than a few of these symptoms on a regular basis every single day, you could be headed for trouble.

"It can be far too easy to say, they are so young, it's okay for them to throw, push, hit, climb, not pick up after themselves, splash and even sass," MrsManners says. "But that would be laying a rocky foundation for your child to build on. And with the way things are in the world, your child deserves every advantage possible."

Giving your child the gift of good manners isn't even that hard, she explains. It just requires a little planning, consistency and some patience.  Start by sitting down as parents and deciding what you want to tackle first, make your plan and stick to it! For starters, read some of her past columns (below).

So, what do you think? Is your toddler a brat?

As always, leave a question for MrsManners here.


Past Ask Mrs Manners columns:

Banish the Burp

Should Kids Be Forced to Share Toys?

Winging the Pacifier

Should Parents Say 'Thank You'?

Toddlers Eating Everything

Throwing-Obsessed Toddlers

Are You a Hypocrite?

Pushy Toddlers

Taming the Messy Eater

How to Have Well Behaved Toddlers

My Son Won't Stop Touching Other Moms' Breasts!

Is Shyness Impolite?

Stop Peer Pressure Early

discipline, learning, tantrums


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laura... laura7485

My toddler is a brat. I give in far too easily when she whines for something. Lately I have started to let her scream. She needs to learn that she isn't going to get anything for that type of behavior. I love her dearly, and I HAVE learned from the experience.

RanaA... RanaAurora

MrsManners, have I told you lately that I love you?
I get so damned tired of my friends saying, "I can't do anything about [that behavior] - he's too little to understand!"

Underestimating your child is worse than overestimating them and then backing down to their highest level of understanding.  If you can teach a 3 month old baby not to bite while breastfeeding, you can teach a 13 month old not to touch the computer.

PennyMom PennyMom

My youngest was 15 months when she could say "pea's" please and "dat dow" thank you. They can learn good manners at any age. I agree that it is rough. I have had to walk out of store before because they were misbehaving. But I did it with my head held high because they are learning that I will not give in. I agree that every child will do these things here and there, but if it happens frequently. It is time to crack down.

Please do give you child the advanage of manners. It is a gift that helps us all! Great post!

Willy... Willywonka06

my son has his momments but over all he is very polite just not with me sometimes! I think some people start manners too late and that makes it harder. I waited a little too long with my son but he is coming around

heydo... heydooney

I think my ny nephew's first words were please and thank you. He is one polite 2-year-old. My son is the same age and he's getting there. We've worked on it from the beginning, with sign language.

TheSh... TheShryocks

if Barney didnt do anything he definetly helped on the manners =)

lilys... lilysmom2607

I am huge on "please and thank you's" but my 2 year old does have some sharing issues and I'll admit I let her do whatever she wants to my crappy furniture.  For the most part she is a good kid though..

JPsMo... JPsMommy605

I do my best to role model the behavior I expect from my son and so far, we've done great!  I need only to remind him to use his manners and he will.  He's been trying the whining thing lately, to no avail.  He's also been practicing his Ma'am and Sir - he only recently worked out that women are Ma'am and men are Sir and sometimes calls me Sir.  Now we're fine-tuning Ma'am vs Miss - but is there an alternative to Sir?  He's a beautiful work in progress!

madam... madamekatekate

I'm pretty flabbergasted when parents don't realize their toddlers behavior is bad. I know they're your kids and all but you can't possibly be THAT biased, can you?


Kaytl... Kaytlynsmommy

My daughter is 50/50. Depends on her mood...if she's had a nap, if she's hungry...etc... For the most part she behaves pretty well. She whines a lot though. (grr...)

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