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Old Jul 22nd, 2015, 11:04 AM   1
Oxygen7880
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18 month old behaviour. Advice please.


My adorable 18 month old daughter is my world and I love her without limits. She is a loving, cheeky, lively and crazy little lady. I've always been pretty relaxed about my parenting philosophies. Tried not to worry about supposed milestones and not stress too much when she doesn't eat or messes with her food etc. I just want her to develop into the person she is meant to be. I don't believe that at 18 month old can be 'naughty', rather they test boundaries to see what is acceptable and it's my role to guide her in that. However I am finding it so hard to control her behaviour at times. It's kind of embarrassing to admit to that. She has total meltdowns when she is told she cannot have/do something. She won't be comforted and the only way is to let her calm down without talking to her etc. Today we went to my 4year old nephews sing along at nursery and it was awful. She wouldn't sit still (understandable I guess) but every time it went quiet between songs, she started to act up and try to get away. It was really embarrassing to have her screaming and shouting and arching her back away from me, when it was so quiet. I tried offering her a snack and she took it but had another meltdown when that was finished. I was so desperate I reached for her dummy which I try to only give her for naps now. Even that didn't work. She flat out rejected it and any attempts I made to calm her down. I felt so useless and unable to deal with the situation. It has really put me off taking her anywhere and has dented my confidence. I just don't know how to deal with her behaviour when we are out and about.
My youngest nephew is the same age and is so relaxed and laid back. He was so good and didn't make a fuss at all. I don't like comparing her to anyone but I'm worried maybe I am somehow creating or making the problem worse.



 
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Old Jul 22nd, 2015, 11:47 AM   2
SucreK
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I'm sorry I have no real advice (I have twin 17 month olds myself, so I'm in the same boat!). I read a lot of advice columnists, and I always see the parenting books "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk" and "123 Magic" recommended. I've read "123 Magic" and love it, and have the other on my bookshelf to read in all that free time I have! Maybe you could find some guidance there? One of my girls is totally laid back and the other isn't. If she's fussing, I'll take her out of the situation (sometimes never to return). But if we're home and she's losing it for no apparent reason (all basic needs have been met), then I just let her let it out. Sometimes my girl just needs to feel her feelings. It's tough though and you're doing your very best. I've learned that even with identical twins, you will end up with totally different personalities!



 
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Old Jul 22nd, 2015, 11:56 AM   3
Ameli
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Wish I had some good advice, but I think some of that is normal 18 month old behavior. I have an 18 month old girl and am experiencing some of this too. Like the poster above, I try to remove her from the situation when she behaves like that in public. So frustrating, but I try not to get outwardly frustrated.



 
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Old Jul 22nd, 2015, 12:06 PM   4
Oxygen7880
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I think removing her from the situation would have been best. Unfortunately we were right in the middle surrounded by people, with no route out. Must make a note for future that I must sit where I can exit easily if needed! I try not to show frustration too since it makes it all worse. I shouldn't care what people think but I felt so bad that she was spoiling the whole thing for the other families there and I admit I felt they were probably wondering why I couldn't control such a tiny little girl! She may only be 19lb but she's a real handful! She doesn't have many words yet either so that prob frustrates her too. It's a tricky age really.
And thanks for the advice sucrek, will look at some books



 
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Old Jul 22nd, 2015, 12:12 PM   5
Ameli
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Yes, I agree, I think it's a tricky age. They just get frustrated and have trouble communicating. We're all in the same boat!



 
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Old Jul 22nd, 2015, 12:15 PM   6
SucreK
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Ugh, the dreaded toddler trap! I think we've all been there--you desperately need to leave and you're stuck! I really think her behavior has to do with her age and frustration at not yet being able to express herself (I definitely experience this with my two). Even the parenting books say you can't really start "discipline" (like time-out) until 2 years old. Before that it just won't work, they're simply too young. (I still read the books, but mostly so I can be prepared!)



 
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Old Jul 22nd, 2015, 21:08 PM   7
Larkspur
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I wouldn't let that one experience damage your confidence. I think you just tried taking her along to something that she just wasn't ready for/interested in.

It's not so much an age thing as a personality thing. At 18 months, my son would have sat happily in one place through a singalong, though wouldn't have joined in. But he is an extremely laid-back child.

My daughter though - NO WAY. I would not even attempt it! My little girl seems similar to yours - constantly on the go, very lively, very funny. But she has STRONG OPINIONS. She might be content to dance in place/clap along at a sing-along for one song, maybe two. After that, all bets would be off.

There would be no "guiding appropriate behaviour" in that circumstance - it would just be way too much to ask her to sit still for several songs in a row. If I tried to hold her in one place or keep her quiet, she would have a meltdown.

In that circumstance, I would just leave, saying, "Righto, seems like you've had enough for today!"

I would just keep trying again at regular intervals, until she becomes ready to last longer. Just make sure there's a clear path to the exit in the meantime!



 
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Old Jul 22nd, 2015, 22:48 PM   8
greats
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Sounds totally normal to me! My daughter was in tot gymnastics at 18 months old... She was always the only one who would never sit still during quiet circle time, throw massive tantrums, never listen to me or my husband, etc. Now at 2.5 she does a phenomenal job listening to me, sitting quietly when need be, etc.

Hang in there!



 
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