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Toddler growing pains

  1. #1
    lisa88 is offline Registered User
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    Toddler growing pains

    My 14 month old is transforming from her happy self into a wilful frustrated toddler.

    1) she refuses to eat in her high chair and makes a big fuss. However when allowed to walk around the flat, she eats all her food as well as she normally does.

    2) she has huge tantrums when she does not have her way. She can be playing with dangerous things, or wants to enter off-limit areas at home (kitchen, bathroom), taking other kids' toys, etc. The tantrums are getting more frequent and longer, both at home and outside the house. Distracting her is not as effective as it used to be. Ignoring her at home is OK but not outside the house.

    What to do?

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    1) make clear rules
    2) make clear consequences
    3) make sure YOU follow through...EVERY time!

  3. #3
    AG2007 is offline Registered User
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    she's just trying to see how far she can go. i would remain firm. in terms of eating, insist its in her highchair or no food - she will realise this after a while. when it comes to her safety. she's too young to be disciplined but just explain to her each time. this is when your patience will start being tested (and trust me, it doesn't get easier!).

    just a question, why is the kitchen & bathroom off limit areas? we have an open kitchen and kids are allowed to roam around. just make sure all the cleaners are locked away and put door locks in cabinets. otherwise it's as safe as the rest of the home. the more you restrict them from going there, the more they get curious. besides, soon she will need to go to the bathroom to use the loo right? and the kitchen, well, soon she can help out!

    good luck!

  4. #4
    Shenzhennifer is offline Registered User
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    I TOTALLY know what you are talking about. My son started that around 1 year and is still going strong at 16 months, and picking up speed and strength!
    For eating issues...oh, somedays are really hard. I don't like him running around for feedings bc it's dirty and also I don't want to start that bad habit. I do it sometimes only for pieces of fruit (dessert) or just the occasional really tough meal. Otherwise I 'entertain' him while he is eating with talking or songs, or just give him a toy. He also really enjoys to have me take apart his cup and then plays with it. While he is distracted, I shovel food in.

    Also in my home (like the above poster), we have no off-limits rooms, but there are certainly off limits items and activities. My son also occasionally spazzes out when he doesn't get his own way. I usually ignore him because for me, that's just the way it is and his crying is not going to suddenly get me to allow him to bang on the TV. In fact, in most cases, crying and whining gets nothing. In public it's harder but I'm actually still fine to ignore him and hold my own(to varying degrees of succcess of course). For the most part, unless he is tired, he already knows the 'NO' items and activities so although he tests the limits daily, he usually isn't surprised when I say no or remove him. Sometimes he rather enjoys it, in fact, and even will shake his own finger or say no at the item.

    So, those are just some things I do. I above all try to keep it all consistent. But I am also struggling with him sometimes. Like yesterday when we hosted our playgroup, he didn't want anyone to touch his toys and cried or got angry when someone did. Can't wait to see the end of that phase:)

  5. #5
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    karmah1 is offline Registered User
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    I got rid of the highchair when my son was 12 months and bought a kid size wooden table with 2 chairs. I found my son was much more willing to eat his meals at the table rather than in the highchair. I sit oposite him and have a small plate of the same food he is eating.

    In the highchair he would throw his food around, but now he sits happily with his food on a plastic plate, on a placemat with his own fork and spoon.

  6. #6
    pixelelf is offline Registered User
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    my son hates the high chair around that age as well. good thing was, his high chair was detachable and we could take it down and put it on the floor with a table and feed him. after awhile he also refused to sit in it and we moved onto letting him sit at the dinner table with booster seat and he was fine.

    there are some power struggles i find not worth fighting and this is one of them. cos my son eats poorly and running around to eat, makes it worse cos he spits up the food! scolding or telling him firmly to sit and eat did not work for us, at that age all he wanted to do was the opposite, especially about eating. so you may have to try different sitting eating arrangement to see what works.

    as for setting limits and rules to dangerous stints and rooms, that was very clear. everytime he attempts to do something that was a clear NO, he gets stopped immediately, a loud NO, it's dangerous/ NO, you may get hurt/ NO, it's HOT etc. and it comes with a very fierce facial expression like "im not joking with you!" (tsk tsk) and we just have to repeat it over and over again. no letting up. cos when you do, just once, it's game over. my kid will not take it seriously anymore.

    truth is right, my son learnt best through experience. he tried to run into the bathroom thinking it was funny, and i wasnt on time to catch him, he slipped and fell just right outside. Huge cry. but he never did that again. and he understands when i give that NO expression means seriously "you can get hurt". from then on. sigh.

    good luck! it will get better :)

  7. #7
    lisa88 is offline Registered User
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    Thanks everyone! I think my toddler may be going through a growth spurt as well. Her sleeping patterns at night have changed a bit the past week or so, and today she absolutely refused to nap!

    I wasn't sure if it is too early to lay down rules and consequences, but I guess I may as well start early since there will be many months of tantrums ahead!

    The bathroom and kitchen are off limits because she can get up to mischief even when the safety locks are in place. In the bathroom, she will try to climb into the bath, play with the loo brush, and pull out the loo paper and unravel it into one long piece of paper (wheeeeee)! In the kitchen, she will play with the pedal bin for rubbish and the drain grill in the corner, not to mention coming into the kitchen when hot meals are being prepared. These are only examples, the list goes on. I know i can't keep these areas off limits forever, but this was just an example of her triggers for tantrums.

    As for eating in her high chair, I think I will do some trial and error. Try all means to keep her in her high chair, but otherwise find other eating places where she will stay put and eat properly. I think its important she learns to eat at the table instead of walking around or watching TV that I know lots of other kids get to do.

  8. #8
    Frenchy is offline Registered User
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    Same here... we've been, and still going through some opposition phase. I let it go sometimes, sometimes not, when it comes to security.
    90% of the time, he will eat with us on the living room table, on a booster seat (got rid of the high chair a long time ago). If his dad has a night out, I will prepare sandwiches and we will watch TV sitting on the sofa like a special treat, but the rest of the time TV is just off.
    Concerning the bathroom, I've put the loo brush in a cupboard and put safety on it... and concerning the loo paper, I've got a beautiful picture of my son pulling the entire roll all over the living room from the bathroom !
    In the kitchen, I just make sure the rubbish top is cleaned everyday with diluted bleach, and I've put a protection in front of the gas so he can not reach the pans.
    And for everything, I prefer to show him how things work than to forbid him to get close to it, generally, he looses his interest after.

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