Can we talk toddlers..

Discussion in 'Ages 0-2' started by eyesoftheworld, May 17, 2010.

  1. Is it normal that Hunter has a tantrum when it's time to get dressed for the day?? I would let him run around in just his diaper, but he takes it off and pee's on the floor a lot. So I keep a onesie on him. He hates getting dressed, screams and crys. I've tried to make it fun, I've tried to let him do it his self. He doesn't want to get in his stroller, or highchair (were looking for a booster seat for the table) or carseat. He tries to climb out of them all. I get that all these things are restraining. So it's more of a power struggle. I need ideas on how to reason with a 21 month old.

    I feel like my happy baby is not happy anymore. We do fun things, I've given him more freedoms, and I'm trying to get him to eat more and offering him more snacks. When will this stage end? I feel like a bad mom because he throws fits a lot over simple things? It's frustrating.

    Any suggestions? He's not even two yet, is this normal?
  2. IrishAngel

    IrishAngel Not broken, just bent Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,391
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    An nì chì na big, ‘s e nì na big
    Once you figure it out, let me know!!! It usually takes 2 people to dress Bubba, he flips over, screams, cries, then once he's dressed he runs away laughing. He doesn't mind his car seat, but Jordan, HATES it. It gets to the point where I don't want to bring her anywhere cause when it's time to get in the car to leave, she kicks, screams, hits... it's embarrassing.
    Its normal, unless both of mine are the odd ones out, which could be it! :lol: Just roll with it. Don't react, and he'll realize soon that nothing will come of it. One thing our ped told us about dinner time with dd is not to fight it. If she doesnt want to eat at the table, then she can eat on the floor. She's happy there, and it saves us a fight. Once she's older and able to understand that shes a person, not a dog (which she truly thinks, she barks and licks like one!) then we'll get her back to the table.

    Breathe. Soon he will be older and you wont even remember this stage. At least thats what I keep telling myself!
  3. I'm glad to know I'm not alone! Tonight when it was dinner time, I asked him if he could get in his highchair to eat dinner. Then I sang happy birthday while buckling him in. He got in happily :lol:

    When my mom comes over he gets dressed with her help no problem!
  4. 3boysnagrl

    3boysnagrl Amity's Focus Member

    Messages:
    5,996
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Sunny, Beautiful Hawaii
    Totally normal. :0 They are realizing that they have a will. :heart smirk:

    As for reasoning with a 21 month old... um... not gonna happen. You can tell them what you want while you strap them in, "I know you dislike your car seat, but this is how Mommy keeps you safe." And just say it over and over and over. Reasoning with a child really doesn't work because they don't have your life experiences to understand. So a year from now, Hunter might throw a fit about the car seat and after you say your schpiel, he might say, "we won't crash." or "I'll stay still." They just don't have the life experience to reason through a lot of situations. The red cup or the blue cup - absolutely.... but safety issues, eh.

    You know, the cool thing about parenting a toddler now (as I've seen 4 others come out of toddlerhood a-okay) is that not much is worth getting upset/worried about. It's cool to see them exerting independence. And it's completely normal and expected. They are figuring out who they are, what their boundaries are, and how to interact with the world around them.
  5. 3boysnagrl

    3boysnagrl Amity's Focus Member

    Messages:
    5,996
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Sunny, Beautiful Hawaii
    Oh, you'll remember it. ;) (I know, I am no help, am I?)

    You know... someone once told me (when I was a teacher) don't as a question if you really only want one answer. So instead of asking "Can you get into the high chair for dinner?" you might say, "Do you want to get into the high chair yourself or with Mommy's help?" looking for the same outcome, just only giving them one option - getting into the high chair. ;)

    And of course, kids will do ANYTHING for Grandma. sigh... my teen still does this and so my mother thinks I make up these horrible stories about him, he would "NEVER" do that. :badidea:
  6. mamagael

    mamagael Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,224
    Likes Received:
    6
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Linville, NC
    Sounds pretty normal to me. I try to give choices a lot. Tractor shirt or bulldozer shirt? Walk or be carried? They want to be big boy one minute and a baby the next, it's very confusing to the little dude's. I also try to give less attention to the fit throwing. "you have to be in your carseat now, would you like a book?" If not, "well, you can cry if you want to." I just turn up my music and drive.
  7. Good suggestions! This is so new to us, all of it. I like the idea of giving him options and the opportunity to do it himself.
  8. houdini

    houdini New Member

    Messages:
    828
    Likes Received:
    5
    Gender:
    Female
    Sounds normal. :) I know we went through this with both of my kids, but I don't remember it well now.
  9. tracey

    tracey no worries on my mind

    Messages:
    15,086
    Likes Received:
    5
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    A quick glance A big chance My heart beat like a d
    yep. totally normal. i went through it 3x with my 3 boys. i remember it enough that i can agree to what everyone is saying.

    the options you give...make sure they are innocuous options with the same result. like heather explained about the high chair...both options end up with the child in the chair but gives the child the option of how it's done so they feel they had a choice.

    options about things that don't ultimately matter, like gael said...red cup or blue cup. you want to hold a book or your car after i buckle you into your carseat? both? ok.

    see?

    there are some great books by the authors ames and ilg. your one year old, your two year old, your three year old, etc. i can find them sometimes at thrifts here. totally worth it to buy new, if you have to do it. i'd suggest it for you. get the 1yo AND the 2 yo. they both apply at the age you have.

    trust me...and then wait for the oh so lovely phase a year from now...:lol:
  10. tracey

    tracey no worries on my mind

    Messages:
    15,086
    Likes Received:
    5
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    A quick glance A big chance My heart beat like a d
    i'm spending a lot of time right now with a 14-15mo boy and he is his parents' first child. oh my. they're stressed about everything. i keep reminding them how normal it all is and to just breathe and relax. it's really not as bad as it feels when it's your child...the more stressed and upset you get with how they behave, truly, the more they degrade and behave more poorly. it's amazing how that happens.
  11. golden

    golden Active Member

    Messages:
    2,782
    Likes Received:
    6
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    abcd
    Totally normal. Maddening. But normal.

    I found with this age to always try to provide a choice. Using the highchair or the carseat as an example, give him the choice about how to get in it. Do you want me to lift you up into the highchair or do you want to climb or use the stool to get in yourself?

    Carseat: do you want to the do the top buckles or the bottom buckles first? Or do you want to open the car door to get in or shall I?

    Getting dressed: Do you want to wear the red shirt or the blue shirt? Or if he needs to wear a particular outfit for some reason, do you want to put your shirt on first or your shorts?

    And if he still throws a fit, add a third sentence where you say you will chose for him, reminding him that he has a choice and he is about to lose it.

    Many times this really did work to at least begin to engage him in a task he didn't want to do, or at least peak his interest, allow him to feel some independence, and get what you needed done also.
  12. I'm so glad it's not just my kid. Jason and I were really starting to wonder. Hunter is a very sweet, smart boy. But he has been making the simple things really difficult at times. I'm going to get the books that you recommended Tracey! Great idea!

    I'm going to work at giving him options even if they both lead to the same result, he will have a choice on how we get there!

    Thanks mama's!!
  13. mommymelly

    mommymelly Amity's Focus Member

    Messages:
    6,119
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Female
    :flowerkit
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011
  14. sweet~potato

    sweet~potato Active Member

    Messages:
    2,415
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Female
    My ds1 had very few tantrums, but ds2 started having them before he was a year old. What a difference in their personalities!

    My ds has hated having his diaper changed, getting dressed or being in the carseat for quite a while. It is annoying but I just tell him "Time to get dressed!" or whatever it is we're doing in a happy voice and try to keep my attitude positive.
  15. sweet~potato

    sweet~potato Active Member

    Messages:
    2,415
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Female
    Oh about the food, I feed Gabriel a lot when he is on the go. A lot of times he'll ask for a snack but doesn't actually want to sit in the highchair to eat it. So I'll leave a few pieces of food for him where he can get it, and put out more as he eats it, or give it to him while I'm holding him.

    With my ds1 I made him nibble trays (he was a little older though) where you can put a variety of foods in a muffin tin or whatever compartmentalized container and leave it out for him.
  16. heythereheather

    heythereheather A reading family

    Messages:
    8,514
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    No. Indiana
    Lindsey, at that age I had to talk Erik (my eldest, now 8 1/2) through every step of everything we did. Oh, my. example of going to the grocery store:

    Erik, in 10 minutes we're going to go to the store. It will be time to be all done playing toys. We'll put on your coat, and then we'll go downstairs and get into your carseat. 10 more minutes.

    Erik, in 8 minutes we're going to go to the store. Don't forget, it's almost time for the store.

    Erik, in 5 more minutes we're going to the store. Toys are almost all done. then we will put on your coat, and it will be time to get in the carseat. I will put you in your carseat and put on the buckles so we can go to the store.

    4 more minutes...

    3 more minutes...

    remember, Erik, in 2 minutes toys are all done, and it's time to go to the store. Time to get into your carseat.

    1 more minute...

    OK, Erik, it's time to go to the store. Remember, toys are all done. First let's get on your coat, and now it's time to go get in your carseat. Do you want to walk, or should I carry you? OK, you walk to the car. I will put you in your seat and do the buckles.

    ...if he still fought getting into the seat, I would say, "OK, Erik, remember, it's time to go to the grocery store. Time to get into your seat. Here we go."

    Then, we were on our way to the store. It went like this.

    Erik, we're driving to the store. Time for Wiggles [CD] now, and in 15 minutes we'll get to the store. I will take you out of the carseat, and it will be time to sit in the cart so we can get groceries! We need yogurt today! (that was his favorite)

    Erik, 10 more minutes until we get to the store. Remember, Wiggles now, and then Wiggles all done and it's time to get in the cart so we can get yogurt.

    We're almost to the store, Erik. Wiggles will be all done, then you will get out of the carseat and into the cart. What will we get? That's right, yogurt!

    OK, here we are, Erik! it's the store! It's time to get out of the car seat, and get into the cart. What do we need? Yes! We need yogurt! We're also going to get strawberries! Yum! You can help me find them.

    ...now he's in the cart, and we're going into the store...

    Erik, it's time to get groceries. Let's look for the strawberries first. What other fruit do you see? Yes, I see bananas. Let's get some! Then we need to get some noodles before we find the yogurt. And what else do we need? We need some Cheerios! Can you help me find them? Yes, there they are! OK, it's time to get yogurt!

    As we were checking out, I would continue...

    We're almost done at the grocery store! It's almost time for more Wiggles. We'll go out to the car and put the groceries in the car, and then the cart is all done and it will be time to get into the carseat. I will buckle you up and then it's Wiggles time!

    .....

    Anyway, I know it's a lot of talking! I figure it really contributed to his advanced verbal intelligence, at the least. :lol: But really, talking through every single thing, and giving him lots of warning really helped him through those transitions. My other two had no need for it, but he really wanted to know exactly what we were doing, and when, and needed warning.

    For a diaper change, or getting dressed, I wouldn't spend necessarily 2o minutes on each, but I would give a few minutes warning before doing so. "Hunter, it's almost time to get dressed! In 5 minutes I'm going to put on your shirt and your pants. You can help me choose. It's almost time! " kind of thing.

    And then otherwise--remember that a toddler tantrum doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't do it. If it's important, then you consistently KEEP doing it. The tantrums will diminish. Don't fight a battle that isn't important, but stick to it on things that are.
  17. THANK YOU Heather!! I think that's a great approach. I'm going to share all this advice with Jason so he will be on the same page.

    Tomorrow I am going to make a picture chart of what bedtime looks like, using pictures of Hunter and our routine. I was talking to Jason tonight about how we don't tell him what we are going to do ahead of time. I really think that will help.

    Today when he woke up from his nap, he had wet through his onsie. So I took it off and talked to him about putting a clean diaper on and a clean onesie on and then going downstairs to say hi to the dogs. I got two onesies and told him he could pick which one he wanted to wear. It didn't work. He grabbed both of them and even with me asking him to pick one, it just didn't work. But I'm not going to give up, I put a onesie on him while he screamed and then we went down to see the dogs.

    I'm trying to find the 'your one/two year old' books used online and I'm going to check our local library.

    I really really appreciate all of your advice!! Thank you!
  18. 3boysnagrl

    3boysnagrl Amity's Focus Member

    Messages:
    5,996
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Sunny, Beautiful Hawaii
    Just make sure that both options you give are perfectly fine to you. And don't give too many, because it's overwhelming to have too many choices.
  19. 3boysnagrl

    3boysnagrl Amity's Focus Member

    Messages:
    5,996
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Sunny, Beautiful Hawaii

    Ahhhh... 3 year olds. Never met one I didn't - um - love?

    :lol:
  20. OMG! I really don't know anything about three year olds. I babysat for a family down the street for 10 year. The youngest I started watching when she was 4 weeks old. She is five now and was ALWAYS good for me, I loved when she was three. So I thought three was a good age.. am I wrong lol

Share This Page