Dear Crissy

Toddlers are tricky

It’s official, we have a Toddler, capital T, and he’s going through some major changes. I think some of it can be blamed on teething, but the number and intensity of Evan’s tantrums have increased quite a bit lately. Wrestling a writhing, screaming kid for ten minutes just trying to change his diaper is beyond exhausting. In fact, the last diaper I changed went down more like an exorcism, including wailing and gnashing of teeth.

We’ve also noticed him really beginning to test his boundaries with us lately. Generally he’s still a really sweet, happy, wonderfully well-behaved little squirt, but we’re seeing lots of conscious defiance.

Toddler

It’s funny, because while I’ve been a mother for fifteen-months now, it is still such an adventure to adjust and adapt to all of his changes. It’s going to be really interesting to see how his personality continues to blossom in the coming months. Aside from being slightly more prone to fit-throwing, I adore this age. He is walking, and communicating with us in a surprisingly eloquent way. He loves books, pushing things across the floor, and will generally kiss us on command, which is pretty much the best trick EVER.

Do you have any advice for dealing with tantrums? I would love to hear more about your experience, and how you navigated this phase of your kiddo’s development.

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15 Comments

  1. Linda — November 15, 2010 @ 12:57 am (#)

    My 3yo is coming out of the toddler stage. THe best effects I’ve had on her defiance, has come from calmly explaining. Loosing patience never helped me. Sometimes though, there are things that just have to get done, like brushing her teeth.

    Reply

  2. Karen — November 15, 2010 @ 10:39 am (#)

    love that photo! the best thing you can do is try to wait out the tantrum without giving a reaction yourself, and give the baby a hug and say you love him. soon he’ll just get over it. the good news is that as he learns to communicate with you better and figures out his own bearings in the world, the tantrums become a little less frequent. I’d say that Z went through a period from 14 to 22 months where we had a lot more tantrums. they don’t happen very often these days as he’s learned to communicate and figure out more of what he wants from us and from himself.

    Reply

    • Crissy — November 16th, 2010 @ 10:42 am

      Karen, I’m definitely hoping this is just a phase!

  3. Bree — November 15, 2010 @ 12:13 pm (#)

    I think trying to stay as calm as possible during tantrums, especially at this age (my kiddo is also 15 mos) is what is most important. Also, try to retain a sense of humor. If I’m in a good mood, sometimes its hard not to laugh when she throws herself on the floor whining — other days its my last straw and I want to do the same thing she is! Some days, redirection works. Other days, not paying any attention to it whatsoever is really the best way. Often I’ll just walk away, to the other side of the room, and quietly wait until she’s done. All I know is, I feel certain we haven’t seen the worst of it yet!!!

    Reply

    • Crissy — November 15th, 2010 @ 6:17 pm

      I am doing my best to stay calm, but wow, it’s a challenge after about ten minutes of intense screaming.

  4. Kelley — November 15, 2010 @ 2:07 pm (#)

    Oh yes, I remember the age when Jax first started to defy. Just wait until your lil guy hits 2…oh boy! Right now Jax is almost 2 1/2 and will not let anyone play with any of his toys “mine!”, “my turn”, ” Ball mine, car mine, bike mine!” It makes for some super fun playdates. Even other kids toys are his. haha. He is starting to understand alot more though which is amazing. I calmy explain why he needs to share or why its not ok to eat peanut butter M&Ms for breakfast. He gets it half the time. I have to say though, the newly acquired “I wuv you”, “Nie Nie Daddy, Nie nie Mommy” and his amazing living room dance performances make it all ok. :)

    Reply

    • Crissy — November 15th, 2010 @ 6:17 pm

      Kids are so amazing and funny, lol

  5. ivonne — November 15, 2010 @ 2:12 pm (#)

    if you think this is defiance, just you wait till 3-4. “mom, I want your computer!!!”. threenager was a test of our patience!

    the best thing for tantrums is to not give in to them. a lot of the times they do it for attention and if buy into it, they will continue with the behavior. A lot of the times we ignore it and she eventually calmed down cause she knew those crocodile tears were not getting her anywhere.

    When it escalated, we found the time out thing really worked for us and we roll with it. not all kids are the same though so what works for me doesn’t work for everyone.

    Reply

    • Crissy — November 15th, 2010 @ 6:16 pm

      Ivonne, I can’t imagine what age 3-4 is going to bring, whoa! Thanks for the tips!

  6. A Daddy Blog — November 16, 2010 @ 11:38 am (#)

    And it only gets better (I mean the good parts). LOL. I saw your tweet on this yesterday. Our little bundle of joy and tantrums is 27 months now. Hard to imagine you could love anything so much isn’t it? Great photo, btw. Count this daddy blogger among your fans. Have a great day, and enjoy the adventure. I know a good exorcist if it comes to that. ;)

    –Michael (aka: http://adaddyblog.com)

    Reply

  7. Julie @ Knitting and Sundries — November 17, 2010 @ 2:04 pm (#)

    I used to ignore tantrums .. it was funny, because I would walk away, then the bebe would look up and notice ME not noticing, and get up, walk to where I now was, and throw themselves back down into the tantrum. It’s what worked for me, because the tantrum didn’t accomplish the goal, so they figured “What’s the use?” LOL!

    Reply

  8. Jessica~Mom of all Trades — November 18, 2010 @ 12:47 pm (#)

    I’ve had 6 children reach toddlerhood so far with one more to go and somehow I’m still alive, not sure how but here I am lol. For the tantrums, over the years I have tried about every suggestion out there before I came to realize that just plain out ignoring it seems to work best for us. It seems that no matter what type of attention I give to the tantrum, positive or negative, it just increases or prolongs the tantrum itself so I just look the other way and when it subsides I’ll ask “ok are you done now?” and then try to talk to him/her about it. They still get tantrums, especially my 2 year old, and I don’t think there’s anything that would really stop them from happening – well unless of course I gave in to each and every little thing he wanted and this mama’s not that soft lol. Luckily most of the tantrums happen at home so it’s easy to ignore, but if we’re out in public I try to remove him from the building if I can and go out to the van until he calms down.

    Reply

    • Jessica~Mom of all Trades — November 18th, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

      p.s. It’s such a fun & exciting ……. yet very trying time, isn’t it?

  9. Kelley — November 18, 2010 @ 6:42 pm (#)

    My daughter just turned 16 months and we’re going through the SAME exact thing. Thank God it’s not just me!

    Reply

  10. jennydecki — November 27, 2010 @ 6:53 pm (#)

    I wish I could get my 14-month’s “poo face” on camera. She sprunches it all up and you just KNOW there’s going to be trouble. I think toddlers are so cute because they wouldn’t make it otherwise. And mine is a sweetie most of the time, too!

    Reply

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