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My toddler has always been the sunniest kid around. Teething only seemed to bother him at night because he was too busy playing. For the last 2 days he has been getting progressively crankier. He screams if he doesn't get his way immediately (he has always been pretty patient). He starts crying for (to my eyes) no reason in the store. He has never been much of a crier, so I totally don't know how to handle this change in behavior.<br><br>
So what is going on? Is this normal toddler behavior emerging suddenly? Is he teething? I gave him Hyland's teething tablets today just in case...he does have one incisor left to cut. Is he hurting (no fever or visible injuries)? I'm at my wits' end from the crying today. Any suggestions? I've been babying him and trying to do whatever he wants since this is such unusual behavior for him but nothing seems to make him happy.<br><br>
Help!
 

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Ah yes, I feel your pain, mama. My little guy was the picture of innocence and joy <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> ....I had been thinking, 'wow, I'm lucking out, no tantrums, no hitting or biting..." and then he turned 19 months old. :LOL<br><br>
You are NOT alone. He is now 20 months old and although he is still a joy 95% of the time, he has tantrums and even hits sometimes (well, actually 'flaps his arms' is more accurate) when he is frustrated and isn't getting exactly what he wants right away. And yesterday, for the first time he wigged out in a store. Ugh. I know mostly it's because his vocabulary hasn't caught up with his emotions or newly discovered individuality and although conceptually I can grasp that and it makes it a bit easier to handle, in practice it is still frustrating and draining emotionally.<br><br>
The only good thing about his tantrums and hitting is that he is fairly easy to redirect, so at least they don't go on forever. With the tantrums, I empathize and explain to him why he can't have or do or keep doing whatever it is and offer him an alternative. With the hitting, I physically stop him from hitting me, saying "hitting hurts, we don't hit, use gentle hands" or something along those lines - sometimes, however, even that reaction is funny to him and he'll think it's a game and try to hit me again, so then I say "no hitting", and walk out of range of his flapping arms (an idea I got from the wonderful mamas here). Most of the time that surprises him a bit so then I say, "I won't let you hit me. I know you're frustrated, but hitting me is not OK" and I'll offer him a drumstick and his drum or something like that.<br><br>
So, you are NOT alone - just stay calm (it's SO hard sometimes), DON'T give in to the tantrums, sympathize, redirect....and repeat as necessary (sounds like shampoo instructions :LOL ).<br><br>
Sometimes figuring out any exacerbators (tired, hungry, bored) helps out a bit, even if just getting me to understand where he's coming from and trying to help him out that way. Other times, it's just cause I won't let him catapult himself over the top of daddy's recliner. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">
 

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My thought was that he is entering the twos. My DD got very difficult at about 18 or 19 months and we've been up and down since then. About a month ago I realized that things were much sunnier than they had been, and she hasn't been nearly as contrary. She's 28 months old. There could be some other underlying thing, but I suspect he's just developing his sense of self.
 
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