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Old Dec 21st, 2015, 14:12 PM   1
newlywedtzh
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How to gently deal with defiant 15 mos old


My DD has always been wildly independent and strong willed but lately she has been so unpleasant. I have just become a stay at home mom and I thought that being home would help but to no avail. The rundown lately has been refusing to get dressed, refusing to get her diaper changed, refusing to brush her teeth, has all of the suddenly stopped eating solids n wants to nurse a lot but is always using her teeth and no amount of "no teeth please" will do the trick. Lots of meltdowns n tantrums, does the complete opposite of whatever I ask or what she knows is what we're expecting (for example holding hands to walk across the street she will run the other way) my niece is so well behaved and listens to my SIL it makes me wonder what I'm doing wrong? We believe in gentle parenting/ AP. She also stopped saying the couple of words she was saying recently which I can't understand? Is this just a phase? She is funny and loving and happy but does not like to do what she doesn't want to do. And I'm a little worried about how she stopped saying any words. Any advice? I feel like majority of the day with her becomes a battle of wills which I hate and do not want to force her to do anything and then me losing my patience



 
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Old Dec 22nd, 2015, 18:55 PM   2
AnneBurg
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I really learned a lot of great tips from the book Toddler Calm. It explains a lot of the types of behaviors you are describing as the child's need to exert some control over their lives. I find I've coped with similar behaviors (eg not wanting to get dressed) with offering choices and being lighthearted. For example, I'll say to my 18 month old son: "oh you don't want to get dressed right now? Ok do you want to sing a song or play on your xylophone first?" Then when he is distracted and having fun, I find a way to get him dressed. Obviously it doesn't work well when you're pressed for time but I try to avoid that!
About holding your hand when crossing the street, my son always wants to go by himself, so I say "you don't want to hold hands? Ok! Then do you want me to carry you right side up or upside down?"
I find these things work at least in the short term!



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Old Dec 24th, 2015, 07:55 AM   3
wookie130
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Hey, Newly! Sounds like you have a pretty typically-developing toddler girl on your hands, really! Toddlers are TOUGH. I know this, because I have two of them. AT ONCE. LOL!!!! I have an older toddler (she's 2.5 months), and I have a young toddler boy, my 16 month-old. They will drain you. They will test you. They can be the world's most delightful human you have ever encountered, and in the same breath, turn into rotten demon spawn that you barely recognize. It's their nature. One thing to remember, is that a lot of their behavior serves as a function for communication. Keep signing to her, and encouraging to use words, rather than behavior, to communicate her wants and needs. Their stinkier behavior often is them trying to establish their place in this world, and what limits you are setting for them, also. Be firm, redirect often, use distractions, and know what needs to be ignored...pick your battles. If toddler girl is doing something with a big naughty grin, you can bet your bippy she's doing it for attention, and you'd be better off not rewarding the behavior with a big overaction or too much attention. Sometimes the more attention you provide the little naughty moments, the more intense the naughty moments become, so if it's not an immediate threat to their safety, a quick "no" and swift redirection / distraction usually works. Toddlers are also acutely aware of mommy's buttons, and will push them "just because" they LOVE getting that reaction from you...that's a huge pay-off to them...they just made something fun HAPPEN! It's cause and effect, and highly rewarding to the little stinkers. Again, do not react strongly to the button-pushing behaviors, and handle things as neutrally, and as calmly as you can. Learn to walk away sometimes.

Breathe, and repeat after me: "Everything is a phase." Because it is!



 
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Old Dec 24th, 2015, 15:32 PM   4
newlywedtzh
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Thanks Wookie!! So funny, the past couple of days she has been a complete angel ?? Lol I'm going to definitely check out toddler calm and am reading positive discipline now. Thanks guys!



 
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