How do I control my 19 month old?

Bethaney - posted on 02/13/2010 ( 43 moms have responded )

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My son is definately one of those kids that you see kicking and screaming in the grocery store! lol he's 19 months old, but he's already in his "terrible 2's" =) he doesn't want to listen to me, and doesn't respond to any discipline. Is it just a phase?

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Jes - posted on 03/02/2010

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Keep in mind, every kid's different. Time out works great with my 19 month old son when he acts like that. But when he was in a hitting phase I tried to smack his hand to show him that it hurt, but he thought that was very interesting, even liked it. So, I went to time out, which I ended up calling, "time in the room by yourself." And he understands when I ask him if he wants to go there, and says, "no." And I say, "well then, don't...." and I usually don't even have to put him in time out. But when he pushes it, like beyond asking him 3 times, away he goes, for 1.5 minutes, and it works. Because he hates it. Other kids, if you give them a stern look or raise your voice in a firm tone, they'll immediately give you their attention. But for my little ball of fire, being alone, without any attention, even the stern kind, is more of an uncomfortable situation.

Sara - posted on 02/24/2010

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You should read James Dobson's book The Strong Willed Child. He has a new version out. I read the old one but it greatly helped with my son who is now 4. It was reasuring to know you are not alone and that what you are doing is helping them in the long run. He really stresses consistency and not being afraid to discipline appropriately for their age. You will feel mean and awful but if you want your kids to grow up to be responsible citizens it has to be done. It breaks my heart when I see kids who don't get boundaries and discipline because it will only hurt them in the long run.

Candas - posted on 02/28/2010

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My son throws everything and jumps off everything. And he never listen, I've found a wall sticker that is a red circle and every time he acts up he has to put his nose on the circle and hold it there until i tell him to go play. You really have to stay consistent and never give up. it's just a phase.

Chikodi - posted on 02/28/2010

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Hi Bathaney, its certainly a phase that all active kids pass. There is actually nothing to worry about. He will come off it with time. Best of luck.

Cindy - posted on 02/22/2010

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Wow. I would laugh if it wasn't in my home as well.
What I can say most of all is "Welcome to parenthood."
We ladies really need to ask our mom's how did you put up with this? We know 75% will say a swift smack on the butt. But we all know this is not permitted anymore.

My 19 month old Aidan is a bratt. He knows the buttons and he will push them. He has been so bad that I look him in the eye and I say.."Really? Are you serious?" He has ignored house rules...such as... don't hit, don't open drawers/doors, don't grab the dogs tail, and don't scream at all. These rules seem crazy to you, but honestly, they are just common sence.
When he has the "twinkle in his eye" I know he's about to do a no no. He's not the only little boy in the house, his older brother was a great teacher.
What do I do?
If he throws his dinner on the floor? He's done, he is removed from the table and his dinner is the property of the dog/garbage.
If he hits/pulls dog tails? He has to hug and kiss the item he hit and he has to say sorry, then he has to sit for a time out. 19 months = 1 minute.
Opens Drawers or Doors? he has to close them and he is removed from the no-no.

Screaming in Public? This is so hard not to let him win. I have learned to ignore him. You can't sit there and buy him off. What is he learning - I WIN.
I have walked through a Walmart, During a Tantrum, completed my shopping, paid for my goods, walked out to my car. And a Parent walked up to me and told me "You are awesome, I watched you never give in or scream at him, I wish more parents were like you." And that made my Day. It was so hard not to pick up a toy and give it to him. But I stuck to my plan.
If you are taking a 19 month old to church and they don't want to be there - get a sitter. Church is one of the places you can't win with. God will forgive you for leaving your child with a sitter.

Is this a phase? Yep, it can last anywhere from 2 months to 20 years depending on how you respond to it.

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43 Comments

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Gemma - posted on 10/09/2012

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Hi my son is 19 months he is having temper tantrums and won't listen to me what's the best way to deal with this? He keeps hitting ppl of they try and pick him up and If he grabs something he is not aloud and I take it away from him he goes mad what's the best way to deal with this? And he is going through a stage where he won't eat anything morning or dinner he only eat his tea is this just a phase? Xxx

Kari - posted on 03/04/2010

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My daughter is the same as your son, I thought with a daughter it'd be easier than it is but she's a little troublemaker. And I don't know about your son but with my daughter when she does something that she isn't supposed to I tell her to stop and if she does it again I put her in timeout for 1 minute. While we're out at public and she's being bad I just completly ignore her. The first time she threw a temper tantrum in the store it was over me replacing her hands on the cart so she could push it but where i put her hands she didn't want them there so she threw herself on the floor started screaming and rolling around on the floor, the worst tempertantrum I've EVER seen so I just walked off to where she couldn't see me but I could see her and once she noticed that I wasn't paying attention she stopped.

Sara - posted on 03/03/2010

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My dad always tells me: You're the parent. Your will is stronger. Keep standing your ground. Kids will push as long as you let them. For the most part this is holding true. Just remember at this stage kids are trying to figure out where their boundaries are and you are the one to put them up.

Jessica - posted on 03/03/2010

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I am having the same issue with my 19 month old daughter. If I tell her No, she stares me down and does it again. She is the youngest of 3 girls and I am just bewildered by her defiance. I really feel like it is just a constant power struggle and I am concerned that she might be winning...HELP!

Ameo - posted on 03/01/2010

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Oh my gosh, my 19 month daughter is thankfully right on track with everyone else's kids! Mine challenges me in 2 main ways; 1) everything on a plate or in a cup will be dumped onto the floor or table (then swept to the floor) no matter what we do, and 2) scratches, hits and bites me if I pick her up, console, or even look at her (prefers dad). I try to stay consistent and I know this is a phase because I also have a 3 yo, but it's testing every last nerve. I'm dealing with #2 OK because I've learned to not take it personally, but #1 is driving me batty! At the dinner table when she dumps her plate we turn her chair around so she cannot participate, or we put her in timeout - which she won't stay in -, and we repeate "no." I KNOW she knows it's wrong, I'm going to try the sticker on the wall trick. Thanks!

Lisa - posted on 02/28/2010

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At home there is always the time out approach but in public there is no corner or time out chair to use. My husband and I have found that removing them from the public eye work. They are looking for attention mostly, taking them to the restroom and just making them stand there seems to work for now. They can yell as much as they want and there isn't usually a lot of people in the restroom. But make them stand there, no buggies or strollers, and if you have to turn you back to them so they are not getting your attention either. After a while they will realize that the screaming is getting them no where and stop. It is to the point now that all I have to do is ask my daughter, do we need to go to the bathroom and she usually, not always but usually, calms down.

Dannielle - posted on 02/27/2010

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omg...my son is just the same and i am a wits end at what to do and reallt hope it is a phase :)

Lynette - posted on 02/26/2010

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It's one of many phases, just remember to hold your ground you are the boss. If your son gets you to give in to what he wants he'll keep doing it and you will have a spoiled brat. Make sure you stay on top and I agree that time out and consistancy are the keys to getting them to recognize there behavor. My 19 month old girl is my second child and pretty well behaved however when she acts us and throws herself to the floor I put her in her room. She can open her door but not when she's really upset so that's what I've been doing for tantrums and timeouts don't seem to phase her but she sits till I tell her to get up. Good luck!

Filiz - posted on 02/26/2010

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it is if you handle it the right way... ofcourse the " right way" all depends on tne individual child. the terrible 2 is only a guideline of about when to expect rebellion at its worst ( until the teens ) . the best advice , I or anyone can give you, without knowing you and your child , is that no matter how you decide to handle the situation, be consistent. Your son is pushing buttons to see what happens, and if it always a different reaction or course taken, he's going to keep pushing. CONSISTENT

Linda - posted on 02/26/2010

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as a mother of three 2 of them are boys i find the best solution is to bear hug them until they say ok i will be good but mean it or you could also put a chair in the corner and tell him this is time out spot you will sit here until you stop he wont like it so you may have to sit there with him. . . Not a phase some biys are just like that.

DeAnna - posted on 02/26/2010

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My son is exactly the same way! He is so independant and just wants to do anything and everything he can on his own. He gets so mad when I try to tell him to do something or show him what he needs to do. I totally agree that it feels like he is already in his "terrible 2's". I hope for both of us it is a phase!!! Some days it's very hard to keep my cool and many days I dread just the thought of having to take him anywhere because I know he will throw a fit!

Rachel - posted on 02/26/2010

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i sure hope its just a phase but i have come tofind the older they get the more they push your very last buttons i have freedomwho is 3 and he doesnt listen either i have heard that they are just being kids and kids dont listen they constinly push your buttons that just what kids do when they become teenagers i think it gets worse. your kids are 10 times worse to you then you wre to your own parents so if you wre a hellien when you were little then you are in for a hell of a ride but just remember that they love you and that they will grow up to be hopefully decent people and that the temper tantrums only last so long that end some time

Anita - posted on 02/24/2010

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my daughter is also 19mths and I have a 31mth old son as well and they egg each other on in the naughtiness dept so they both get time outs (go stand in the corner facing the corner for 1min & 2min) and they both hate them and have to give a kiss & cuddle for sorry when they finish their time/whinging whichever is last :) They hate it which makes the corner work because they don't want to stand there by themselves. The earlier you start disciplining children the better... like puppies really :) They need to know where they stand and no matter how well they're raised they will always push the boundaries... they're children and its what they're born to do unfortunately :)

Becky - posted on 02/24/2010

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My daughter has just turned 19 months and has seemed to hit her twos early as well. If I know that she's not acting out because she's in pain (teething or what not) then she will get punished. We are firm believers of spanking. It doesn't take much, just enough of a tap to hurt her feelings and bring attention to the matter. It works very well for us and she seems to respect and listen to us more. I don't believe her attention span is long enough at this age to put her in time out. Good luck!

Chanel - posted on 02/24/2010

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Well i cant really say much about your son, but my baby girl is the same age and she tired that when she was 12 months and i put that to an end quick. I just feel when you let them start that they will continue to do it. When she first tried it i told her to stop and then i got to her level and told her with a firm voice that she needs to stop and that its not nice. NOW i realized that it was for attention i just ignored it. she soon stopped. Now that she is 19 months she knows to stop when i say stop.

Robin - posted on 02/24/2010

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my baby krissy is the same way she has been having tantrums since she was 13 months old we send her to her room and make her face the naughty wall then close the door partially, when she calms down she comes out and kisses us and we have cut down from about 5 to 2 times a day- a tantrum is due to frustration so we just let her calm down.btw when shes in her room she is on video monitor

Heather - posted on 02/24/2010

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My pediatrician says that my daughter is right on track and has melt downs and temper tantrums like you wouldn't believe. It due to the fact that the kids can't express what they are feeling or what they want all the time so they act out. Eventually they will grow out of it

Stephanie - posted on 02/24/2010

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Consistency is key, you need to let him know what you expect of him and the consequence for negative actions. Toddlers are like teenagers testing the waters, so be firm. Tantrums happen, but maybe he's acting out because of his inability to communicate. Give him rules for public places, words he can use when he's upset, and let him know when his behavior is not okay.

Karen - posted on 02/23/2010

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Hi, I find the best way to deal with supermarket behaviour is to give then their own shopping list and let them help you do the shopping by getting things off their list and putting them into the trolley under your supervision of course. Same at home get him to help as much as possible because i have found that my 19 month old just wants my attention and if i'm busy doing things he will act up to get it. other wise in our house 3 stikes and it's time out. 1st time i ASK him to stop what he is doing e.g. "Thomas please stp what you are doing, it's making mummy mad", 2nd time i TELL him to stop or otherwise it's time out e.g. "Thomas stop what you are doing or you'll go into time out" and if there is a 3rd time then into time out for about 30 secs. Hope it helps

Laura - posted on 02/23/2010

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hi my son is 20months old and has been feeding himself since he was like 10mnths old, we just sat him in his high chair an let him get on with it, it was hard work an prob dint eat much to start with but jus keep it up and you'll find out what he likes by trying him with different foods but he'll soon get the hang of it and wil realise if he doesnt eat it he will go with out, he wont starve! my little boy is is very good at eating now and couldnt imgine him not eating himself. good luck.

Jackie - posted on 02/23/2010

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I tend to carry Jaxon in the sling or have him help me push the cart. I also try to inculde him in picking stuff out (red box or blue box) and snacks. If he yanks something off the shelf- I make him pick it back up and put it back. In the past- I've made him sit on a square on the floor- we don't have to do that anymore. If he is having a tantrum- I ignore him. Whatever you find that works for you guys- just remember to be consistant.

Shalaunda - posted on 02/22/2010

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My daughter has also started, she is 19 months old. I have to tell her things more than 2 or 3 times and it drives me crazy! Her dad can say it once and that's it! It is very frustrating, but I am optimistic that it will get better. I was thinking that she is going through the "terrible 2's" early and we will be out of it soon.

Valorie - posted on 02/22/2010

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Any ideas for the wild screaming during Mass? I seem to spend more time outside than inside.

Kimberly - posted on 02/22/2010

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I was warned before birthing my son that the boys are harder to tame than the girls. I now see exactly what they were talking about. I too have a 19 mo. old and he's a hand full. LOL. This is just a phase. The same person that told me this now has a very calm 6 year old. Enjoy the many stages of your son. God Bless

Carmen - posted on 02/21/2010

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I think ignoring and removing/distracting is the best way to go at this point. Saying no repeatedly, time-outs, any kind of discipline often just gives them attention and encourages them to do it again. I learned this the hard way with my 3 year old, when he was a year old. He didn't start responding to time-outs really until he was 2. This is a challenging phase but it doesn' last too long.

Aezi Hani - posted on 02/21/2010

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Thank god! i thought that only my 19 months old daughter are the worst! throwing stuff, and scream whenever she likes. i felt so ashamed when she scream out loud especially when i took her out for a shopping. that was the moment when i told myself that will be the last time i took her out. i'm so glad that is actually a normal behaviour for a 19 months old kid!

Courtney - posted on 02/20/2010

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Yes it is a phase most boys go through it a little worse than girls but our daughter was kind of the same way she is 19 months too. We found out that giving your child something to hold or letting them put some stuff in the back takes their mind off of being bored and just sitting in the front. We would go to the hat area and try different hats then let her hold onto it or keep it on the whole time sunglasses too... What kind of discipline do you use? Time outs work for us because our daughter likes to always be moving around. We just put her in her old playpen and let her scream it out. After about 5-10 minutes we go in and ask her if she is going to be good and usually she is. Don't forget your child is smart he is testing you and your limits but as a mother you have all the control. Speak calmly to your son and tell him he is about to go to time out, eventually he will learn to stop if you hold to it. Their is nothing worse than being bored to a child.

Sarah - posted on 02/19/2010

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I sure hope it's just a phase! My little guy is going through the same thing...and it's so frustrating. I think he's realized that he's independent of mommy and he is testing all his limits! As far as his tantrums go...I just let him have it out on the floor and ignore him. He stops when he realizes I'm not paying any attention to it. When he gets really upset/frustrated or I tell him "no" and he gets mad he will sometimes hit me...then he goes in time out. He usually cries when I put him in time out and I just wait until he settles down and then pick him up and remind him why he was put there..."you can't hit, hitting hurts" and he says sorry and gives hugs. It seems to be working but it's been a tough few weeks. Like I said...I really hope it's a phase he's going through!

Brandee - posted on 02/19/2010

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We have not instituted "time out" yet because we decided to wait until Brandon is closer to two.. When we go to the grocery store I try to keep him involved.. "Will you hold these bananas for mommy.. Will you hold mommy's list... etc" We also play little games like "Where is Brandon's nose, eyes..?".. and I always bring a couple of cars or snacks in with me.. Anything to distract.. Our biggest problem is he wants to climb the stairs at home.. He use to laugh at me when I told him to get down until one day he pushed my buttons and I finally found my deep, serious voice.. From then on I don't have to touch him at all.. I just find my deep, serious voice and he listens pretty well.. When he does pitch a fit I generally ignore it, but stay close enough that I can still keep an eye on him until he calms down.. Just be consistent and eventually he will learn that you won't give in to his tantrums..

Kerry - posted on 02/19/2010

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My son is 19 months old too and driving me mad what with not letting me feed him but throwing food himself & he's been worse this week as my 4 year old son is on half term and he seems worse when they're together.Lee had the biggest tantrum in the doctors waiting room yesterday and he head butted me when flinging himself around.He was even more unhappy after his swine flu jab just afterwards. What advice can anyone give on the eating front? He must be starving but just being stubborn.

Amanda - posted on 02/18/2010

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Hi i'm so glad to hear your son sound's just like mine. i also have the hitting and throwing thing's. i put him in is cot for a minute then get him out. but it doe's not seem to do any thing.

Tracey - posted on 02/17/2010

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My son has started too, he is 19 mths. He was sick for a week and had lots of extra mum time as I had time off work with him.. Now he thinks he can throw himself on the floor and get the same attention he did before when he was sick. I have two older boys, I have learnt to walk away and this brings William to stop and sit up and then go find something els to do as he does not hold my attention. If he does it in the shop, I just keep shopping and you would be supprised to see how many other older mothers say Good on ya for not giving in. It gets better then they turn 6 and then 8 and you go through it all again. They are always testing the boundries as they realy dont know how far they are until they get there. We do it every day, we just dont have someone watching us. Good luck.

Nancy - posted on 02/17/2010

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At that age, they just discovered that they can do a lot of thing! So of corse they will scream and do whatever they want! It is normal! BUT of corse it is the time to introduce the time out corner...It is working but you have to keep doing it. It will not work from the first time. I do it with my 19 month old little girl. I'm a firm beliver that it is not too mutch...I have a daycare and Fanny saw another kid slap somebody and she saw me put the little guy in the corner...She came to me, looking into my eyes and slap me in the face, then she turnaroud and went in the corner by herself! So I belived she DO understand...Good luck!

Amanda - posted on 02/17/2010

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my little girl is 19 months & gets time out. she has to sit on the setee (tv off) for 1 minute (as per super nanny) & then when her minute is up she has to give me a hug & a kiss as an apology. it works but i know other mums don't agree with me & say she's too young for time out.

Crystal - posted on 02/16/2010

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i think its just a faze. im dealing with my son screeching in grocery stores its embarassing. he wants everyone to know he is there. i start saying, " aiden ssshhhh." and put my finger upto my mouth and he knows what it means and copies me. sometimes he quiets down and sometimes he doesnt. its really hard to discipline children at this age, i asked the Dr.about this because we didnt know what we were doing was bad or not. my guy likes to throw food when he is done and we'd say no and tap him on the hand. they said just to continue to say no, but its really not worth while to really discipline because they will continue to challenge u

Rebecca - posted on 02/15/2010

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time out and concistancy is the key when they act like that... my daughter is 19 months and she does the same thing not very much but when she does its BAD.... I just remover her from the sition or distract her.... good luck.

Jo - posted on 02/15/2010

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i think so, my son is the same age and going through the same thing. never listens to me when i tell him no. we now give him to the count of 3 to stop whatever hes not supposed to be doing, if he doesnt, we have a travel cot set up as a naughty cot. If on 3 he doesnt stop he goes in for 2 mins. Seems to be working. Hope this helps. Good luck x

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