Toddler issues - HELP

LoloDSMLoloDSM Posts: 3,778Registered Users
:help:

DD is a little less than 19 months old, and I don't know what to do with her. I think this is all normal toddler behavior, but I need help on how to handle it.

First, she suddenly hates her bath. Just hearing the word starts her screaming and crying. DH has held her standing up in the tub so I could wash her hair for her last two baths; she's screaming the entire time.

She's also having meltdowns when she gets home from daycare; she'll sometime hit me; she screams and cries; throws herself down and kicks the floor; hits her head against the wall; and refuses to sit in her high chair for dinner.

We've done good at staying calm and putting her in a short time out when she hits, but I wonder if I'm doing something wrong. Is this just a control thing? Normal? HELP! :help:

ETA: She gets plenty of sleep and behaves perfectly fine at daycare. Her teacher just told me today how happy and well-behaved she is. :roll:
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Comments

  • SweetPicklesSweetPickles Posts: 850Registered Users
    It doesn't help make the short-term any easier, but that all sounds perfectly normal for a child of that age; and it sounds like frustration coming out. My daughter went through very similar issues - down to the bath freakouts and the acting *fine* all day at daycare - and she just had to grow out of it all. The bath thing was pretty short-lived, maybe a few weeks. The other behaviors, especially the sudden tantrums for no apparent reason, well those took a lot longer. She still has them sometimes, at almost 3. But overall, now that she's matured and gotten more *skills*, she's a much less volatile child than she was even a year ago. So IMO, it sounds like you just have to wait her out. I wish you much luck and patience!
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  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    LoloDSM wrote: »
    :help:

    DD is a little less than 19 months old, and I don't know what to do with her. I think this is all normal toddler behavior, but I need help on how to handle it.

    First, she suddenly hates her bath. Just hearing the word starts her screaming and crying. DH has held her standing up in the tub so I could wash her hair for her last two baths; she's screaming the entire time.

    She's also having meltdowns when she gets home from daycare; she'll sometime hit me; she screams and cries; throws herself down and kicks the floor; hits her head against the wall; and refuses to sit in her high chair for dinner.

    We've done good at staying calm and putting her in a short time out when she hits, but I wonder if I'm doing something wrong. Is this just a control thing? Normal? HELP! :help:

    ETA: She gets plenty of sleep and behaves perfectly fine at daycare. Her teacher just told me today how happy and well-behaved she is. :roll:



    Yeah, all normal. The "terrible twos" actually starts at about 18 months. I like distraction and redirection for a lot of toddler discipline. Distracting them from things they hate and redirecting them to something else usually works. If bath and eating becomes too much of a battle, then try to make them more fun, and quicker. I used to make my kids sit at the table in their highchair for dinner, but I'd let them down after 5 minutes if they really made a fuss. Getting some new bath toys may help bathtime. Maybe get a plastic pitcher for hair washing instead of using the fawcet or hand-held showerhead. Make a big deal out of getting a fancy washcloth out of the cupboard that she can hold over her eyes for rinsing, assuring her that it is the perfect solution...works wonders.

    Meltdowns...well, they're best handled by ignoring them. I stepped over tantruming toddlers and left the room if it happened at home. If it happened while out, I took them right home. Tantrums go away by 2.5-3ish if you are consistent with ignoring them. Try minimizing the amount of choices that she has. Give her a choice of 2 things, not dozens. Like, when choosing clothing, lay out 2 outfits and ask her to choose which one, rather than asking what she wants to wear out of an entire closet. They like to have a little control (hence the tantrums), but they get overwhelmed easily.

    I don't abide hitting. At all. Hitting earned my toddlers a firm face-sqeeze, with a deep NO right in their face with my mean-mommy-voice, and an immediate trip to their crib for a timeout. I liked to be dramatic when putting them in there for timeout...a big dramatic swing into the crib, telling them they could come out when they stopped crying, turning my back on them, and leaving the room with a flair and a firm closing of the door. It's all theater. Once or twice of that was usually enough.

    Really...drama and theater work great with toddlers. You already have all the solutions to all her problems...you just have to sell them better.
  • ruralcurlsruralcurls Posts: 2,574Registered Users
    Sounds like she is tired from holding it together at daycare and waits until she is secure with you to let all out. I used to work in daycares and parents would tell us about this a lot. It's a good thing!! She holds it together until she with you. Typical of that age. :roll:

    Baths, would she like a bath if you would take one with her? Could you let her play with something in there she doesn't normally have? Bubbles, or if that is too rough on skin what about blowing bubbles in the tub? I have a 2 1/2 year old and the last year has been rough. Good luck.
  • WileE-DeadWileE-Dead Banned Posts: 24,963Banned Users Curl Neophyte
    Oh, yeah...
    Great advice here...hang in there!
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  • sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
    My older DS went through those same things at that age. I thought he was adjusting to the new baby, but maybe it was developmental, who knows?

    As far as the baths, DS went through a stage where he didn't like them at all. He had previously loved taking a bath. I thought it was because my MIL was staying with us to help after I had the baby, and she did things a little differently when she bathed him. He really hated getting water in his face.

    He also went through the temper tantrums. Every little thing could set him off, especially being told no when he tried to get into something he shouldn't have.

    We went through a couple difficult months, but he got back to normal. I mean, he still has his tantrums and cranky days, but it became a lot less. I totally attributed it to his adjustment to the new baby, so it's very enlightening to hear that other moms are dealing with difficulties at that age!

    Good luck! You'll get through this stage.
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  • cymprenicympreni Posts: 9,609Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    All good advice so far. I just wanted to mention 1 more idea. One thing that helped my boys tantrums was giving them a choice, and/or more responsibility. For example, you said she threw fits going into the high chair. Have you tried letting her eat at a toddler sized table instead? Or maybe letting her attempt to wash herself in the bath? And with the choices, I don't mean a lot, just 2. Like take a bath or go straight to bed. Let them feel like they have some power over their lives.

    I'm not saying to give in to power battles. But sometimes they have a good point but don't know how to express it yet. As parents it's so easy to still see them as the helpless baby that used to be, and not see the big kid that they are now. This is one of the things along with the other suggestions that helped with my boys tantrums.
  • medussamedussa Posts: 12,993Registered Users
    My brain must be fried. I don't remember any of that stuff at 18 months or even 2 years. All hell broke lose at 3 for each of my kids. :lol:

    Every child is different, so I try not to assess what's "normal" for anyone else's kid. But here's a question for you. Have there been any changes, however slight, in your household or in her routine (at home/daycare) lately?

    With regard to the aggression, some of the best advice I've gotten is to use the incident to model appropriate behavior. When she hits, take her hand and have her stroke your arm or face, as you say, "gentle touch." It has worked with both my daughters. My oldest actually started stroking my face when I least expected it, while saying "gentle touch."

    With all of these behaviors, it could well be that your daughter is trying to assert her independence. You've gotten some good advice. I would try the joint bath idea. My daughter loves her baths, but when I'm in there alone, it's her cue to start ripping off her clothes to try to hurl herself in.

    Good luck and hang in there!
  • MagooMagoo Posts: 2,173Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I agree with RCW, the terrible 2's started WAY before 2 for us. I think around the 18 month mark they understand so much but have a hard time expressing themselves so this leads to a lot of frustration so they resort to tantrums, crying and hitting to try to "let it out". Everyone has made some great suggestions.
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  • LoloDSMLoloDSM Posts: 3,778Registered Users
    Thanks everybody! DD just got a new table and chairs, so maybe we'll let her try eating there instead of in her high chair.

    Also, when she hits, we tell her "we don't hit; nice touches" and then stroke her face. :) She knows what nice touches mean and does very well except when she's worked up.

    We're going to get some new bath toys today and I might get the bath set for her Baby Stella too. Maybe if she gives her baby a bath, she'll enjoy it more.

    As far as changes at home, DD was out of daycare for two weeks because she was sick and then we had company for Thanksgiving. That probably made it hard for her to go back to school.

    It helps to know we aren't alone with this. It's hard not to feel like I'm doing something wrong.
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  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    medussa wrote: »
    My brain must be fried. I don't remember any of that stuff at 18 months or even 2 years. All hell broke lose at 3 for each of my kids. :lol:

    I really think its a "pay for it now or pay for it later" thing. I had a toddler just like Lolo's - ages 1.5-2.5 were just a nightmare. But from then on its been easy-peasy. But most other Moms I know just loved the young toddler age and are having a harder time with the preschooler attitude/drama.

    So Lolo, to answer your question, yes, its normal for some kids to go crazy at 1.5 years old! Mine did exactly as yours and saved all her misery for me at the end of the day. It was rough, especially because I was pregnant at the time. Once DS was more verbal, things go so much easier!
  • shellibeanshellibean Posts: 4,500Registered Users
    My 18 month old has totally hit the Terrible Twos. He says,"NO!", throws himself on the ground, hits the wall, stomps, etc. I am astonished b/c he has always been so even tempered and sweet!
    A closed mind is a wonderful thing to lose.

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  • sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
    You have to keep your sense of humor, and sometimes toddler tantrums can be really funny. Connor also went through that stage where he would get mad and throw himself down on the ground. Well, he learned pretty quickly that that was a better idea on carpet, not on a hard floor. So when he wanted to have a tantrum in the kitchen, he would run over to the living room carpet and throw himself down there. Once we were at my parents' house, and they have hardwood floors everywhere. Connor got mad and started looking around for a good place to fling himself down to the ground. He couldn't find a place, so he walked around whining for a minute, then got over it.
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  • medussamedussa Posts: 12,993Registered Users
    sarah42 wrote: »
    You have to keep your sense of humor, and sometimes toddler tantrums can be really funny. Connor also went through that stage where he would get mad and throw himself down on the ground. Well, he learned pretty quickly that that was a better idea on carpet, not on a hard floor. So when he wanted to have a tantrum in the kitchen, he would run over to the living room carpet and throw himself down there. Once we were at my parents' house, and they have hardwood floors everywhere. Connor got mad and started looking around for a good place to fling himself down to the ground. He couldn't find a place, so he walked around whining for a minute, then got over it.

    Well, how can you not find the humor in that? He's brilliant! :lol:
  • TrenellTrenell Posts: 3,562Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    It's funny. I know it's normal, but there are times when I'm like "IS THIS NORMAL!!"

    His spiral into bat ish crazy came out of nowhere! He was about 18 months. He had a bit of a cold and it become one of most miserable days of my parentinng life. :sign5: I just stood there ,as he ran through the house, flinging his body hither and thither, stunned. I was so thankful that the houses aren't that close together. They would have thought I was killing the child.

    I'm pretty sure I cried a little.

    He is a few months past 2 and I know little things that set him off. He is all about flushing the toilets when you do your business. He will run though the house to flush your toilet. The day I found out his new obession, another horrible day. The child even has dreams about it. He mutters "Me do it, me flush" in his sleep.
  • natural2anatural2a Posts: 154Registered Users
    Yep, totally normal. There are lots of great suggestions here. It doesn't surprise me that this behavior started earlier, especially for a girl. I have two boys, and I observed how much more quickly the little girls in their peer groups reached those developmental stages. Their language and social skills tend to develop earlier, and all the good and bad that comes with it just does!

    Two things:

    I read somewhere that it is really normal for kids to act their worst for their parents, esp. at the end of a day at daycare. They save their most passionate feelings for their parents. Try to consider it as their way of telling you how much they love you and missed you. I know it is tough, but sometimes a shift in interpretation will get you through it.

    Also, I read some books (not cover to cover, but referred to them in my "oh, god, what is THIS" moments) that really helped me understand what my boys were going through at each age. This is the first of the series, and there is one for each age:

    http://www.amazon.com/Your-One-Year-Old-Fun-Loving-12-24-Month-Old/dp/0440506727/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1228684217&sr=8-1

    Oh, and there is also a great kids' picture book called "Hands are not for Hitting" that was a help for us, too!
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  • TrenellTrenell Posts: 3,562Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    natural2a wrote: »
    Also, I read some books (not cover to cover, but referred to them in my "oh, god, what is THIS" moments) !

    During the Flushing Fiasco of 2008, I was so stressed by the severit of his tantrum that I grabbed my "Happiness Toddler on the Block" It was as though Isaiah KNEW I was trying to get inside his head, he tried to take the book away from me.
  • WileE-DeadWileE-Dead Banned Posts: 24,963Banned Users Curl Neophyte
    LoloDSM wrote: »
    Thanks everybody! DD just got a new table and chairs, so maybe we'll let her try eating there instead of in her high chair.

    Also, when she hits, we tell her "we don't hit; nice touches" and then stroke her face. :) She knows what nice touches mean and does very well except when she's worked up.

    We're going to get some new bath toys today and I might get the bath set for her Baby Stella too. Maybe if she gives her baby a bath, she'll enjoy it more.

    As far as changes at home, DD was out of daycare for two weeks because she was sick and then we had company for Thanksgiving. That probably made it hard for her to go back to school.

    It helps to know we aren't alone with this. It's hard not to feel like I'm doing something wrong.
    Absolutely I think is key here.
    Is she big on routines & schedules?
    Mine is & has been a pill since being off schedule [is what I chalk it up to!] or could be the age..lol
    The teachers at school say the little one is big on routine, as well...and, of course, they are always different around us...

    lol @ Trenell...love your soh
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  • LoloDSMLoloDSM Posts: 3,778Registered Users
    Who knows what's going on in her mind? :confused5: She wouldn't get out of the tub tonight even though the water had gotten cold and she was all wrinkly. She had new bath toys, plus we got rid of the "baby" tub and let her have free reign of the full tub. She had a ball.

    *sigh* Parenthood is very humbling.
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  • mayimmayim Posts: 2,301Registered Users
    though i don't have a little one of this age yet (lydia is 8 1/2 months, but she already has her moments!) - i do work with preschool age children, and i love aletha solter's work. she has very useful insights regarding tantrums, etc. here's a page from her site about them, and it has a link to her book 'tears and tantrums.'

    best wishes in navigating toddlerhood!

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  • nynaeve77nynaeve77 Posts: 7,135Registered Users Curl Novice
    LoloDSM wrote: »
    *sigh* Parenthood is very humbling.

    Ain't that the truth? Man, nothing like a two-year old acting crazy to make you feel like a completely inept moron. I used to get aggravated with people whose kids acted up in stores until I had to peel my kid off the floor one day. That's what I get for being judgey, huh?
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  • MagooMagoo Posts: 2,173Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Trenell wrote: »
    It's funny. I know it's normal, but there are times when I'm like "IS THIS NORMAL!!"

    His spiral into bat ish crazy came out of nowhere! He was about 18 months. He had a bit of a cold and it become one of most miserable days of my parentinng life. :sign5: I just stood there ,as he ran through the house, flinging his body hither and thither, stunned. I was so thankful that the houses aren't that close together. They would have thought I was killing the child.

    I'm pretty sure I cried a little.

    He is a few months past 2 and I know little things that set him off. He is all about flushing the toilets when you do your business. He will run though the house to flush your toilet. The day I found out his new obession, another horrible day. The child even has dreams about it. He mutters "Me do it, me flush" in his sleep.

    I can't help but laugh at the flushing obsession. My son went through this when he was first potty trained. Absolutely OBSESSED with peering into the toilet and looking at what you'd done and then wanting to flush it. There were a couple of times when I'd just flush out of habit without thinking and he'd have a complete meltdown.
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  • inheritedcurlsinheritedcurls Posts: 2,954Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Wow, this sounds like Chas at that age. I don't have any different advice except to say just hang in there. We still have days like this every once in awhile but at least now it's not every day. Welcome to the terrible 2's. :D
  • KitathenaKitathena Posts: 1,666Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Ug, I was just going to make a post about this, but did a search and found this thread.

    I see all of your posting saying this is normal, but why does it seem when I'm out in public that I am the only one wrestling with a toddler screaming his lungs out? And everyone stares at him with the occasional "Bless his heart!" How about bless my heart? lol

    It's really started getting bad since I've gone back to work on the weekends. His daddy and grandma give in to him and then I feel like I have to repair the damage during the week.
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  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    Mine is getting there too - he's hitting a lot and pulling my hair. I'm trying to discipline him gently but firmly. When he hits, I say "no, no, nice touching" and direct his hand to gently stroke my face (or that of the other child he's with) and say "nice touching, nice boy." He likes that and will smile. He occassionally has an evening back-with-mama meltdown. I think it is his way of recognizing that he can let his feelings out with me as to whatever happened in the day while he was being a happy little angel at daycare from the outside. He also gets violent when he is bored or tired and distraction or quiet time help in that case. I think as they get more verbal and able to express their needs and feelings they get better. It sounds totally normal and you sound like you're dealing with it fine, but it is exhausting!
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  • marielle448marielle448 Posts: 1,823Registered Users
    you will only wonder if it's normal until you have a second. Then despite personality variations you'll notice a total pattern of development that will melt the doubt away. LOL

    Once they start to tantrum around 18 months old it's all about "how can I control myself" and I'm all for letting them control what THEY do. I do a lot of "Can you do X yourself or do you need my help?" when they get stuck. With an under 3 year old that usually kickstarts them right away into, "No! Me do it myself!" OR if they are truly stuck then I help them (which means I make it happen). For a three year old it becomes all about "how can I control others?" and that's when I let them know that their control only extends to their person. In a gentle way I still make things happen and I direct them. At three I find that limited choices are key as a three year old will respond to an offer of ice cream with a barage of "yes, no, yes, no ice cream" until they melt down sometimes.

    By the age of four they start testing the boundary of the spoken word which is hilarious sometimes and crazy driving at other times. Gotta love how it never stays the same and is always a challenge.

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