You've gotten a lot of great advice that I won't duplicate. What I DID want to mention is that HTOTB also runs through some techniques for interacting with your toddler - pretending to need help, letting her win, being just plain silly...I can't remember them all. I find that these work better than anything else as distractions for my 17 month old. If you can do something super-silly or buffoonish WHILE you pick your little girl up and remove her from the situation, you might be able to avoid the tantrum. Works for us....sometimes!
Is this an age thing (19 months) or a strong spirited child pushing buttons or both? - Page 2
They might be onto something ;)
I remember putting a lot of effort/thought into that kind of thing with my first but honestly just picking the child up and moving onto the next fun thing is a good choice, IME.
Lots of great advice here. I also think this sounds like very typical 19mo behavior.
<<I guess I didn't think at all about picking her up GENTLY. I see picking her up and removing her as such a power play on my end. Like what if someone was doing that to me, would I like it or would I feel demeaned?>>
But you can be reasoned with, correct? If your husband wanted you off the train, he wouldn't have had to pack you, right? I think that's something we sometimes forget in our (very good) goal of respecting our children: we assign to them feelings that they may or may not have when we know full well that they don't have certain commeasurate skills. I wouldn't like wearing diapers either - I would certainly feel demeaned if someone bigger than me tried to put one on me. My 19mo doesn't, however, have an issue with it. That's life at her age. It's also life at her age when she cannot be reasoned out of something and I need to gently pick her up and move on. She may even throw a tantrum, but that leads me to my other point:
Tantrums are a natural response (for most children) to disappointment. While I don't like tantrums, I do like my children to face disappointment - solely because I don't want them to pitch tantrums when they're disappointed at 25 and they've rarely had opportunities to process disappointment. My former MIL protected my former husband from most childhood diseases. She didn't want her precious little boy to get the Chicken Pox. Well, he got them when our oldest child was 4. He would have MUCH rather gotten them when HE was 4. He ended up in the hospital twice as a result. The same was true for him facing disappointment. My MIL tried to protect him from disappointment all of his life and to this day (he's to turn 48) he still calls an attorney any time he thinks he's been mistreated (which is regularly - like, when he get's tickets for ignoring red lights, or when he gets fired from a job, etc..). Tantrums are not fun and we certainly don't want to set our children for them, but they also shouldn't be avoided altogether, imo. We learn a lot from disappointment - and it's a good thing, because while we might be able to protect our babies from disappointment, we can only do that for so long and how much better to give them skills to deal with the inevitable disappointment in life!
Someone once gave me some awesome advice: make your parenting decisions today while looking down the road to the man or woman you want to see in 10 or 20 years. If my children always get to do what they want to do as long as they want to do it, what kind of adults will they be? What kind of a husband/wife/father/mother will they be? Boundaries (we can ride as much as we want, but we have to get back in line after each turn...we don't touch other people's property without their permission) are AWESOME - because life is full of them! I think you're doing a fabulous job, mama!
I very much agree with this! I
Also, IME, there is a HUGE difference in "how hard" a child is when you factor in the distance between that child and their youngest sibling. Infant + a child who technically just got out of the infancy stage = hard.
I was thinking about my 22 month old today. She is very cooperative, speaks in full and specific sentences (so our baby talk has worked out well . . .I have no idea why people want to give it up . . .they learn to say things correctly WAY too fast, and then all the cute speech is gone) and when she does have the occasional tantrum, it's very brief. Today we went to an indoor play area set up like a little town, and it was 3 blissful hours of relaxation. My toddler, 4 y.o., and another 4 y.o. friend were so happy, and only had to be reminded once to walk. The rest of the time, zero redirection was needed. (It helped that it was pretty empty, too!)
BUT, afterwards, when we walked to pick up my older kids from school, my toddler wanted to be carried. This was no problem, but guess what? In three months, I bet anything that she will still need that, yet she will have to put up with not getting what she needs because that's when my next baby is due. All of a sudden, my toddler will seem hard, even though she has not changed, but my ability to care for her will.
I have 2 others that are closer in age (22 months). Hands down, I thought she (22 months at the time) was the hardest toddler I had. Funny that I remember her being very laid back until her sister was born. Even now, she does have way more energy and a different kind of neediness, but I often wonder if those toddler months sort of shaped her to be this way.
Anyway, you are quite right, all kids are built differently. But here is one thing they ALL have in common. None of them come out of the womb speaking fluent human. They need to learn it, and throwing them in at the deep end, ESPECIALLY when they are stressed because they are upset or mid tantrum or merely mid-impulse, is not fair. Limiting the opportunities to have to fight impulses and limiting complex language when they are stressed are two really good ways to ease them into our world, and keep our expectations age appropriate. She's not even 2. You may have another baby, which makes her seem like not such a baby...but she is still a baby. Let her be one for a while longer.
I see that as really normal (even desirable) toddler behavior, not her being a spirited child. My DD is pretty easy (she's 20 months) and is totally into exploring, running around, etc. It's how toddlers learn about their world, make connections, develop, etc.
If we need to get somewhere, I pick her up. If she tantrums for a bit, so be it. Being gentle doesn't mean meeting the wants of your child in every moment.
Yes, especially if you have more than one child. I had a friend who would wait literally hours for her child to get into her car seat (in the car). She had one child at the time. I had three children by then, and could not fathom being able to do that.