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.


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.

    12 Comments on “Toddlers are tricky”

  1. Great article! I gave it to my daughter in law!

  2. 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!

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

  4. 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:

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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. :)

  8. 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!!!

  9. 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.

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