Everything I have read about the 13-18 month old age group is that they don't really understand lengthy explanations about why they shouldn't do something, or why they can't have something, etc., so the best bet is to redirect them toward something less dangerous or whatever. My 14 mo DS has become extremely stubborn when he wants something he can't have. Lately he's been erupting into whining, crying, and tantrums where he pounds the floor or says, NO NO NO NO! until I am ready to just give him whatever it is that he wants (I haven't actually done this, but this is the place the tantrums bring me to). Redirection is NOT. WORKING. ANYMORE. I tried the whole happiest toddler on the block technique which has had limited success. I'm not sure what to do anymore. He's been exceptionally irritable due to teething pain, but even when it seems to be under control he's still freaking out every time I have to say no. I have tried to make my house a "yes" place as much as possible, but obviously I have to say no sometimes. He fights me on every little thing, like getting dressed, getting out of the tub, changing diapers, etc.
Also, he's been super clingy and wants to be carried everywhere even though he's on the verge of walking, and had always been an excellent crawler/cruiser. This is also making me kind of wacky because I used to be able to put him down with a bunch of toys while I would do some light housework or something like that. He would follow me all over the house while I loaded the dishwasher, made the beds, etc., and find things to do in every room while I did my thing. Now he won't do that, he wants to be carried around the whole time. It's not just wanting to be held, he wants us to carry him into whatever room of the house he's pointing to or else he starts crying or whining. I can't wear him all day because he's just too heavy for that now, and I have back issues to begin with. I wouldn't mind if he just wanted to be held and cuddled but he wants to be moving, and only in the direction that he chooses.
So my questions are, is this normal for his age? If so, how do I handle those inevitable times when I have to say no? Is the desire to be carried around and the refusal to crawl due to his emerging walking skills and frustration with not being able to do it yet?
each child is different, but we went through this with both my kids to various degrees. Dd is almost two and I still can't do much around the house. What helped at this stage was nursing and getting out of the house. At least when they are outside they tend to be busy with something else instead of clinging to you.
I found there is not much I could do about it. My house hasn't been dusted in a long time. I do the basic housework, cooking, laundry, putting stuff away (toys, dishes etc). When I absolutely need to do something, I just ignore dd's whining, or talk to her while I'm doing what I have to do. With dd is better, because ds can distract her for short periods of time, with ds it was a little bit tougher.
Hang in there, it will pass.
Omigosh, I am so glad you wrote this post. I could have written it word-for-word! My DS is the same age (they have the same birthday in fact ) and I am having the exact SAME issues. When I have to take something away or remove him from a room and try to redirect his attention on something else - he has complete meltdowns. Like collapse in the floor meltdowns. I sometimes try to tell him why I took it away and just wait the tantrum out. There for a while, all I had to do is say the word "no" and he would start freaking out...like you, I try not to say it much, but sometimes you have to use it. Oh, man, there are times that changing his diaper really sucks - the minute he sees me heading for the changing table...freak out. I dread changing his diaper. Some days are better than others though. He cries when I take him out of the tub too. I think it all comes down to they don't like being interrupted.
Yup, DS is super clingy right now also. He is a walker (started walking on Easter Sunday) but he still wants me to hold him a lot and wants to direct me where to go so he can reach things up high. It's like I am his roving stool. He is fairly non-clingy in the early hours of the day. But, come 4 pm, he holds on to my pants leg and whines or pushes me away from what I am doing (like the kitchen counter) and says, "uppy uppy uppy." There are times where it feels really great to be needed, but it makes it hard to get things done. I know he is tired because we are struggling with naps at the moment. Maybe when I get the nap issues ironed out it will get a little better in the afternoon hours. Like you, it's rarely "hold and cuddle" moments now, it's like," hold and let me direct you where to go and don't even think about sitting down" moments. I am trying not to sweat not getting as much done around the house now.
Maybe this is normal for their age - since what you describe is exactly like my son. Hopefully it is a stage and will pass!
Thank you all so much for the replies. I was really starting to feel like I had failed somewhere in my parenting style. Sometimes the gentle discipline thing makes me feel like I'm just indulging his every demand which obviously isn't what I want to do. Finding the balance is really hard, and when he's acting out I feel like I did something wrong. So thanks for letting me know it's common with this age group...I guess we just have to live with it for now.
Toddler-ease is working for me for both diaper changes and nail trimming. I admit, I didn't think it would work, but it is. Sorry it's not working for you. My son is just over a year.
what is toddler-ease?
It's from Happiest Toddler on the Block, which the OP mentioned. Basically, when they are having a tantrum, you verbalize what they are feeling with a short, repetitive word, said with genuine feeling. So when my son starts to fight and twist because he hates it when I change his diaper (it's cool when anyone else does though), I say: "BORING, BORING, BORING, NO, BORING, NO," etc. According to Karp, it's the frustration of not being understood that makes them so mad. So if you can "speak their language" and make it clear that you do understand, they tend to calm down. Then, you can slip in a "almost done" or "thanks for lying still" type of parental response.
I'd like to know this, too. My daughter is almost to the toddler stage.
OP-- I don't have much advice for the rest, but for the wanting to be carried from room to room, etc., here's my take: I would personally just stop doing it. For instance, if we're in the living room and I go into the bedroom and he starts crying for me to carry him because he wants to go into the bedroom, too, I would just leave him in the living room. You know and he knows that he's capable of crawling in there if he wants too. I'd let him fuss it out....maybe you can even call to him from the bedroom to encourage him to come....and after a few times of him seeing that you aren't going to carry him around when he can otherwise crawl/cruise/walk, then he'll have no other choice but to either stay where his is or get himself in the other room where he wants to be.
ETA: Hannah, just saw your post explaining toddler-ease. Thanks. :)
Thanks! These replies have been very helpful. For the most part I am doing the things that you all suggested, but sometimes I feel like it's not working!!!! I just needed a boost to know that I am doing the right thing even if we still have tough days.
Just chiming in to say TOTALLY NORMAL!!!! This is so the age.... clingy and freaky-outy (lol). It will pass (and morph into other things.... best not to think about that too much, lol!). Distraction, re-direction, honouring the impulse, naming the emotion, etc. are all great tools. As is getting enough "me time" (for mama!) so you have the emotional reserves to deal. Learning to walk and becoming verbal will lessen frustrations and help in a general sense as well.