Difficult daugher

GeGe - posted on 11/29/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )




Does anyone's 17 month old daughter give you a hard time with basic caring for her. My daughter refuses to have her hair combed. It takes hours just to do three pony tails. She does have a lot of thick hair. You can barely touch it without her moving her head around like a mad woman. She hates getting her face washed as well. Many times, she gives me a hard time changing her clothes. She also rarely sits still in my lap and I can never really take her to church without her getting down trying to walk all over the place. Should I have her checked out?


Kate CP - posted on 11/29/2010




Cut her hair. If she likes having long hair she needs to let you take care of it. If she won't let you take care of it cut it off. Let her start dressing herself and have her wash her own face. She's looking for more control and independence in her life...give it to her.

Lisa - posted on 11/29/2010




Sounds pretty typical. My daughter hated getting her hair brushed and I've always believed that long hair needs to done. I finally cut her hair into a short little bob with bangs and we're both much, much happier.

As far as the rest of the basic cares such as washing and teeth brushing, I take an approach that we can do it the easy way or I will hold them still. For teeth brushing, I always pinched their lips together into a pucker and for face washing I hold their chin and just wash. Church, I have "church bags" that have quiet toys like colors, plain paper, books, cards, and little cars or a doll that they can play with in the pew.

I've also learned to not feel bad when they do get noisy...every parent has been there. We just walk to the back of the church and they can play and I can still hear the church service.

Laura - posted on 11/29/2010




Much of what you describe can be attributed to just about any toddler at some point or another. If these behaviors seem extreme to you (hypersensitive or hyperactive), then you can ask your doctor or pediatrician for a referal to a behavioral specialist. There they can evaluate your daughter for autism, for example.

In the meantime, you can try using different methods in dealing with her behavior. Instead of fighting to put her hair in 3 ponytails can you do it in 1 or 2 ponytails? With thick hair the constant pulling may actually be painful on her scalp. Try making a game out of washing the face by having her wash yours first. Let her pick out part of her outfit for the day such as the shirt. Again, distract her attention by trying to make a game out of the task. Making a game out of having to do something changes everyone's perspective of that activity and it helps to reduce the stress in getting it done.

As for church, you'll need to be a little more "authoritarian" with your expectations of her behavior. Simply saying "shh" or "be quiet" won't do the trick because there is no consequence for her acting out. You need to connect an immediate response to her poor behavior. This can be as simple as removing her from the sanctuary of the church until she settles down. Be mindful, however, that whatever you do should be somewhat unpleasant for her--you don't want her to associate her poor behavior in church with getting to go outside to play! For my daughter it was removal to the car--she hated just sitting in the car with me and would quiet down pretty quickly. We would then go over expectations for her behavior before going back to whatever we were doing. If you are consistent with your responses, it shouldn't take too long for your daughter to figure out what appropriate church behavior is. Hope this helps and good luck!


View replies by

Christy - posted on 11/30/2010




She's fine.. I cut bangs for my daughter as she wouldn't let me put her hair up, and when I DID put it up she took it down. Now she can wear her hair down without it in her face.

[deleted account]

Sounds very normal to me - and I've had 3 daughters. I think you might be making a rod for your own back by worrying so much you feel the need to get her checked out - for what?

[deleted account]

my daughter is exactly the same way. she screams and yells "no, owie!" when i wash her face and hands when shes done eating, even before ive touched her, and im very gentle so i know it doesnt hurt. she screams when i change her diaper because she doesnt like to lay on her back for a whole 45 seconds, and she runs away while im holding her hair to put it into a ponytail, and she pulls it out as soon as i put it in, so my husband cut her bangs because it was all in her eyes and she wouldnt keep it pulled back. the only thing shes behaved for is having her teeth brushed. oh, and sitting in her high chair to eat. im pretty sure shes just spoiled, and i just try to ignore her and finish what im doing then let her free to throw her tantrum... it seems to be helping a bit, her tantrums are shorter when i ignore her. ive tried making games out of the things she hates and iyt didnt work, so i just have to be tougher than her and get it done... it can be very trying, but its just a phase right and she'll grow out of it. btw shes 17 months too. at least you know you're not alone, and she seems pretty dang normal to me :)

Morgan - posted on 11/29/2010




checked out for what?
this all sounds like very normal behavior in a 17 month old?

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms