My DD (21m) is going through a phase. Everything is Nope, or Why. She is whining a lot during the day, and she is hitting (again). It is very draining. I try to keep things positive, but she is already a bit high energy and needy, so adding these behaviors has become somewhat overwhelming for me. She also has some "quirky sensitivities" so I am having a hard time figuring out if these are emotional needs, plain old acting out, or just typical behaviors that will pass.
Everything has become a whine...I waaaant Yooooogurrrrrrrt. So I will get her some yogurt. Nooooooo. Huuungrryy. (What would you like to eat?) Nooooo thhiiiisss... So on. This is with everything. So things I have tried. "DD, I can't understand you, can you try to talk a little clearer?" I have also tried acting like I can't hear whining, but then it will go to an all out scream fest.
Everything is No...or Nope...or why. If she asks why, I will explain, which sometimes works. When she gets into really bad No fests. I will sometimes go into a silly No...what do you mean no....and tickle tickle tickle. Just to break this "mood". This sometimes works.
However, these tactics aren't really working anymore, and she is becoming overly defiant and lashing out. She has gone through some hitting phases before, but we did short modified time-outs or "hitting hurts" talks and they seem to do well. She is very active so sitting her in my lap with a gentle wrap of the arms to make her immobile seemed very effective. These were always very short, just long enough to say, "you are in a Time Out. You are in a Time Out for hitting. We don't hit because hitting hurts, and if we can't control our hands, we have to take a time out, until we can. Are we suppose to hit? No hitting right?" ("no hitting") That's right...(let her up) say sorry to XYZ (mostly me)..."Sorry"....Thank you, I forgive you...give me big hugs...I love you very very much...
Okay, so now things are out of control. I went to the store yesterday and she punched me (actually close fisted) in the face numerous times (10? 15?). I first started with hitting hurts...then I did some time outs, first one was outside, the other were....yep, right on the floor in the middle of the store. 3 times. She continued to punch me, I ended up having to pull the cart from the back of it. What was even weirder was she was in a great mood. She was dancing, and singing, and laughing, Then she would just look at me clench her brows and wham. She continued this even at home...it was crazy. I was so incredibly upset. I kept trying to remind myself not to get out of control, I was upset because I didn't feel in control, but I was about to really loose control yesterday, I had to try really really hard to remember not to start all out yelling at her. Also, she will look at me a say "time out?" and then punch me....now what? If I put her in a time out it almost seems like a reward. What else can I do.... AND she thought it was all funny, laughing when I said "that hurt"...
Also, she seems to be having this thing with dolls and stuffed animals, she has to have them all... I don't know what this is... It takes forever to get downstairs in the morning because they all have to be downstairs, during naps (which she is forgoing a lot now) we have to bring them all back, and at night. I don't know if this is a sensitivity issue or a normal thing. (I don't know if she feels like she really needs to know they are okay, or if she is just trying to prolong going to bed) She will cry for hours if just one is missing, I will add it to her bed, and then she will go to sleep. Last night I tried to "make them disappear" before she went to bed, and let her have a few, and the tantrum she had was so bad she left a knot above my eye from throwing her head back.
Combine all these behaviors, and I am having some really hard days...
Sooo...are these all typical behaviors? Am I dealing with a problem here? Am I doing something wrong? Really at a loss, and don't even know what questions to ask, does someone see something here that I may be missing? Thanks!
First off, many hugs!, it does sound draining. It is so challenging when we put so much into connection and our kids seem so discontent. I have to remind myself many times that my toddler is a toddler, the things he does are developmentally appropriate for him, and it's not always my job to make it better, sometimes it's just to be there with him.
One thing I was going to ask you even before I got to the part where you said she has been forgoing some naps. My son (now 26 months) also recently seemed to be heading toward giving up his nap, and at the same time the fussiness etc was escalating. But he just wasn't falling asleep at naptime. I finally wised up and started waking him earlier in the morning (45-60 mins earlier), and miraculously the nap is back, and the fussiness has lessened somewhat. Just a thought.
Thank you so much.
I think that is a great idea, I have actually been letting her sleep in, (when I can) because I know the naps are really hard. I think I am going to try that tomorrow morning. She really always has been a sleeper, and does best when she naps. I will try an early rise, with hopes of a good nap!!!! Thank you for the advice!
Her personality is really SO loving and affectionate, it is hard to see her go through this development. I feel she is testing her Independence and boundaries, and I don't want it to always be negative.
Today we were out shopping and she tried to hit me. She missed and hit the shopping cart. It hurt her hand. Not that I was glad she got hurt, but it provided the opportunity to say...see, hitting hurts. My neighbor also had to leave from a visit yesterday, because she kept throwing things at her. I was giving her time outs, but as soon as they are over, she just does it again. ;(
I just found your post through google and am going through a similar thing. My son is 23 months and is constantly hitting, whining or having a tantrum. I feel like all I do is say no to him all day long. He laughs when I put him in time out and thinks it is a game. He pretty much ignores the "no hitting" and keeps hitting. He also finds it amusing when I say it hurts mommy. He does hit and whine with other people some but I seem to be the main target. I have no advice but it was nice to hear that you are feeling out of control as I also feel completely out of control. I also feel like I am doing everything wrong and overwhelmed. Mine is still taking long naps so I don't think that is the issue with us. Hopefully it is a phase that won't last too long.