my 22 months old has turned into a monster!

Molly - posted on 10/10/2010 ( 23 moms have responded )

21

6

0

I am really hoping there are more people out there with the same problem. My adorable and friendly little girl of 22months has turned, as if over night, into a tiny monster. Is this normal? Is this just the start of a phase or the teribble twos??? I can't seem to do anything with her anymore. In the mornings, getting dressed is just a battle. I still haven't worked out what works without her crying, and getting dressed was never a problem. She has resorted to not allowing me to put her in the car seat. Exceedingly frustrating. Especially when the car is parked on a busy road, it scars me. Screaming blue murder when she doesn't get something she wants, but won't tell me what that something is either!
Is anybody having similar experiences? I would love some, if not help, then moral support. The added problem is that I am a first time mum. By husband has a job in mexico and travels alot. So I am stuck here quite alone in a foreign country. I have friends but not like at home and the one person who I feel I could always count on to love me back no matter what has turned into little miss naughty!
I am dealing with it but I do wonder sometimes if I am doing the right thing. I have resorted to putting her into the guest bathroom when she is naughty. This seems to work quite well and she understands why I have put her in there. She knocks on the door when she is ready and when she comes out she does the thing she was supposed to do before.
I just absolutly hate doing this to her because she really does cry. Has anyone got any other methods?
I really would appriciate any once of help or advice. Thanks Moll :)

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Joana - posted on 10/22/2010

35

0

1

I have to say I haven't read all of the comments/advise people have given you but I have a 3 y/o son who was having a LOT of behavioral issues starting just before age 2. It's too much to go into here but I heard all the same advise as far as "it's his age" or "he'll grow out of it" - even his pediatrician was hesitant about giving any real term/name for it and told me to be more stern with him which NEVER worked but only escalated him more - in the end it turned out he has Sensory Processing Disorder which means his brain has a hard time processing all the sensory input he encountered on a daily basis (abilities we typically take for granted) and his wires get a little crossed - he COULDN'T describe it to me because he didn't understand it himself. If you get a chance, check out http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.c... to see if any of these descriptions sound familiar. Once he was diagnosed, we got in touch with early intervention specialists and they were EXTREMELY helpful in giving us useful advise to help him. For one, he had a really hard time with transitions - such as "it's time to get dressed" - while I was moving on to the next part of my day, he was still tyring to make sense of what was happening NOW and had a really hard time changing his focus. They told me to give him a pre-warning that next we are going to get dressed - if he protests something, we simply count backward from 5 and then said ok time to get dressed now. YOU WOULD AMAZED AT HOW WELL SOMETHING SO SIMPLE WORKS but it gave him enough time to stop thinking about what he was doing NOW and be ready for what was coming next! Good Luck!

[deleted account]

Welcome to the terrible two's which really should be the terrible toddler phase since it starts as early as 18 months these days.
I suffer through similar battles on the clothing end, sitting down to eat and getting ready to go outside daily.
All you can do is keep as calm as you can and be consistent. I send my son to his room for a few minutes when he gets too much and is totally out of control (which just as your daughter was, he was a sweet and fun carefree boy previously to this starting up). He screams bloody murder for a couple of minutes and will call me or knock on his door when he is calm and also complies and does what ever it was he was asked to do that started the whole thing in the first place. So I see nothing wrong with you using the bathroom in a similar situation.
I do home day care and my son refuses to stay in the time out spot when he full out tantrums. He will get up and try and hit the other kids. If the kids are all gone home he will sit in the time out spot with out much issue other then screaming bloody murder.

Try to give her choices when you can. For example when it comes to getting dressed pick out 2 out fits and have her choose what she wants. And if she chooses the pants from one and the shirt from the other go with it. It's really not a battle worth fighting.

And then repeat to yourself the saying my Mom keeps saying to me when I call to vent about the monster my son has become, "This too shall pass."

Hang in there. It does get better. I know this from years of working in child care.
Ironically our own children will behave worse for us then other people.

Good luck!

Leanne - posted on 10/23/2010

4

3

0

Forgot to mention. I braved a trip out in public today to have lunch. Perfect little boy with a few rules set down before we got into the shop. YAY

Mandy - posted on 10/15/2010

4

2

0

It is very normal. You are doing the right thing putting your foot down like that. Always be positive that she will not be able to hurt herself with anything while being locked up. Be proud of your self but be strong it takes a lot out of one especially when you are on your own, Keep well - God Bless!

23 Comments

View replies by

S.de - posted on 08/01/2014

2

0

0

Make sure you put them in a safe place - I'd suggest a bathroom is anything but safe for a toddler on it's own - too many hard surfaces. There is a difference between a time out on a so-called 'naughty step or chair where they can still see you, and a timeout behind a closed door where, so far as they are concerned, you have ceased to exist.

Rosanna - posted on 10/24/2010

14

21

3

Hi, I am a mother of a 2yr old! & i COMPLETELY have gone through the same thing's, or shall i say Still Am! Haha... I think it definitely has to do with the TERRIBLE TWO"S,,,my girl was always so gentle, and now she is a SCREAMER! so, I know what your going through! I too would like to find out way's to control the situation! just know I understand:)

Leanne - posted on 10/23/2010

4

3

0

This is a great site. The advice on here is helping. I've stopped stressing about my little man. I think I've finally worked out how to cope with his strange behavior. When he bites, hits himself I cuddle lots and tell him not to hurt my baby, seems weird but it's working.
The evil stare I get when I ask him to stop doing something is slowly disappearing with me now constantly saying don't look at mummy like that. He starts but now stops quickly SO YAY for that.

The throwing things I now get onto immediately by picking him up and taking him to another room to look at things. Seems to be working.

I must say one feels useless at time when it comes to kids. Having no one to help makes it more difficult.

Thanks everyone that puts their ideas on here, it really helps to know others are going through the same and there are ways to stop the bad, naughty behaviour.

Ah back to happy mummy again :)

Mandy - posted on 10/23/2010

8

21

0

At least we all know we're not the only ones! My girl is 3 next week and she grew horns at about 18 months! It seems like you get one challenge sorted, then another one pops up! We used to have the problem getting her into her carseat, but now she is happy to climb into it herself and do the top buckle herself, so it was about being independent. They are just starting to learn their boundaries, and putting her into the bathroom is showing her where the boundaries lie, you are not being a bad mum! It is us to us to teach our children right from wrong....
We now also have the problem of clothes, and were being late to work every morning because of the battles to get out the door. The other morning she went to Daycare in a singlet and leggings as she wouldn't get dressed and we didn't know what else to do! Now I get her to pick her clothes the night before, if they don't match, that's ok because that's her choice.
It's very hard when they can't/won't tell you what they are crying about, I also ask my daughter to "use her words" but it doesn't always work... GOOD LUCK, be patient, consistency is key!

Heather - posted on 10/22/2010

178

68

36

oh, Leanne, hang in there, this will end and you will get your sweet boy back. Can you see his bad behaviour before it escalates or does it feel like it comes out of the blue? If you can see it com ing then maybe you can start to go back to having outting just keep a close eye on him and watch for signs the redirect adn exit before there is an embarrassing situation. The other thing i can suggest is when he does something innaproriate whether it is at home or in public make sure you address it sternly IMMEDIATELY adn CONSISTANTLY. You are probably already doing it adn if so then it will end more quickly but kids just try to test their limits and see what they can get away with so if everytime he slaps you he gets a response "it is not OK to hit, that hurts mommy, i understand that you are feeling frustrated but this is not the way to handle it, if it happens again you will go sit by yourself for awhile", make sure you are at his level adn making eye contact during this interaction. If he is still flailing and hitting and being unkind then bear hug him or leave him alone (depending on kids personality type) till he is calm and then sit with him adn sternly give him the talk. After the talk i would leave him by him self for a min or 2 then come back and hug him adn tell him you love him and you want him to be happy and behave appropriately...good luck

Sharon - posted on 10/22/2010

22

11

3

My little man has just gone through the same terrible stage. It seemed that overnight our happy, smiley wee boy turned into a grizzly, whinging child that fought over everything we did from getting dressed, to changing nappies (diapers), to eating his dinner and more. My husband and I were despairing of where our lovely little boy had gone. I would be embarrassed about his behaviour in public, like yelling and screaming and then throwing himself on the groud and refusing to move until we physically carried him out kicking and screaming. I was upset that he cried alot and was miserable and uncooperative most of the time.

I had to pick my battles with him and learn to recognise when he was being deliberately naughty and when he was just overtired or not feeling well, in which case I took a softer approach. I just had to stand my ground in a calm manner, not by yelling, but by being firm and consistant. I believe you are doing the right thing by putting your daughter in the bathroom until she calms down and has a chance to think about why she was put in there. It comes down to a battle of wills and you have to show that you are in charge, while still showing compassion to her feelings.

The good news is that my son has finally turned the corner and we are seeing our happy, chatty, delightful little boy again. He still gets frustrated and misbehaves from time to time but it's less frequent and he responds to our requests much better. If he starts getting angry and defiant I ask him to tell me what the matter is and to use his words and tell me what he wants. He doesn't always get what he wants of course, but at least he's telling me as best he can what his problem is. Often, it's just that he wants to do things for himself, such as climbing in his carseat on his own, trying to put his own clothes on or brushing his teeth himself.

You're doing a great job, hang in there it certainly is a phase which will pass, and once your daughter learns to tell you what the matter is you'll find it easier to deal with her.

Leanne - posted on 10/21/2010

4

3

0

It's so good to read this. I'm feeling very stressed about my little man at the moment. He yells, screams, kicks, punches and now is starting to bite when ever something doesn't go right. And the looks he gives me oh dear ! :( sometimes I think he has turned evil LOL

I am not coping well with a naughty boy, he use to be so perfect and I was proud to take him out now I find myself staying home. Having a 2 year old slap your face, kick and punch you in public is not something I wish to do. It makes me feel very isolated.

All the best with your situation I know patients is an important thing but I don't appear to have alot of them lately :(

Jamie - posted on 10/19/2010

169

87

14

My 22 month started this about 4 days ago! I have to admit it is hard to deal with. My husband works from 5am to 3pm and isn't home till 4pm. On top of my 22 month acting like she has gone mad, my 8 month old has started crawling! Its a bit of challenge but you have to take it one day at a time and try to focus on the things that are becoming a hassle. Like my 22 month old used to love to take baths. I could never get her out and now I cant get her in the bath! It is a horrible fight every night. But all I do is ignore the fact that she is screaming (It is very hard but you have to try) and continue with her bath like any other night. She notices I am not paying attention and she stops and starts playing with her bath toys. It takes a lot of patience but you have to try or as she gets worse (she might she might not) it will be 10x harder to deal with.

Vikki - posted on 10/17/2010

8

3

1

Take a deep breath and relax! This is the dreaded terrible twos but think ofit from a childs point of view. Your daughter is learning to be independant and discovering she can do all these things for herself. Choose your battles wisely. Getting dressed in a morning, do you have a schedule that means you have to be up and out early and can you be a little more relaxed?? make it a game, tell her mummy needs some special help from her, let her choose her clothes even if it does clash and look awful, she is more likely to wear something she wants to wear. when it comes to putting on coats and shoes tell her its race, set an egg timer and see if she can do it before it goes ping. If she likes rewards and stickers as my son does I made a really simple reward chart and whenever we got through a day without a huge battle he won a prize, just something small. A little chocolate bar, a small cheap tot such as a ball or a magazine. When we got to him being good for a week (with only a few stumbles lol) he would be aloud to got o the library and choose a dvd for the weekend, it seems so silly but it works. As for the major temper tantrums its totally normal. It could be frustration because she doesn't know who to communicate what she wants and then she gets so caught up in the crying and screaming she forgets herself what it is all about lol, but whatever it was ment the world to her at that moment in time it was the be all and end all of everything!! The meaning of life was climbing in to the car by herself to her. It sounds silly but its true. Think back to how important the simple things in life ment to you when you were little?? It starts young. My son has a little black dog that he takes everywhere with him, if we try to stop him taking it somewhere (for fear of losing it) he goes into meltdown! He's 5 inmarch lol. So now he's aloud it in the car, but it must seat on his seat and wait for him when we get out. We make this clear before we leave and we reinforce it several times. My daughter is 2 and half and loves to carry a hand bag with her 'precious things' in. so to stop the loss of lots of toys we brought her a little rucksack. Its on her back it can't be put down and her hands are free to hold.
Try to rememeber though it really doesn't last forever, and these are the stories to embarass them with when there older lol. Take care Vik x

Lori - posted on 10/15/2010

1

0

0

A friend offered me some advise as I faced this same stage with my son. She said, when she got frustrated, she would try to look at things from her child's point of view and empathize at how frustrating ourlife would feel if we had lots to say but couldn't communicate. It didn't make the issues go away, but it did help me keep my sanity:)
Good Luck!

Jaiy - posted on 10/15/2010

68

5

20

A thought: my son is usually my little angel. Not that he won't tackle me when we're doing tickle time, but he's not particularly aggressive. One morning, my husband decided to put the movie "Where the Wild Things Are," on the TV. We only watched about twenty minutes of it, because Aidan didn't seem interesting. For the next two weeks, he kept acting like the little boy in the movie. He would scream and throw his toys on the floor. He would run at me full force and nearly bowl me over. He'd never reacted that way to seeing a movie before, but he'd just reached that age where he was imitating what he saw and it hadn't occurred to us that would include something like a movie he's only seen once.

At that age, children are acting out because they're frustrated over communication issues and testing the boundaries of what they can get away with. But if it happened overnight, there may have been some kind of outside stimulus - either a movie, or maybe she saw another child acting out. Be patient with her and I hope she gets through the phase soon.

Heather - posted on 10/14/2010

178

68

36

Have you tried praising all the good behaviours you see adn disengaging when she is being terrible? I found with my kids they would have extreme behaviours either before they hit a new phase or when they were sleepy or hungry or needing some cuddles. I would say something like "im sorry your feeling frustrated right now because you don't want to get into your carseat but this is not a choice, later we will have a choice that you can choose" (then soon after I would come up with something they could choose). Or "hey big guy are feeling frustrated cuz you want to help me buckle your seat? You do the top and i'll help with the bottom, sound good?" or "it seems like you are angry right now, are you feeling like you need a quick cuddle before we transition to the next thing?" Or "sounds like the hungry monster is in you, i have some carrots and apples which would you like for a snack?" or "i understand that you are feeling really sleepy and upset right now but we have to do this then we will have a cuddle and a rest very soon". these all worked really well with my kids (or at least something similar to this). I also found that getting them as much outside gross motor time as possbile helped and making sure their diet was as natural as possible helped (i found they were extra difficult when they ate things with food dye and preservatives in them, i think both my kids are sensative to that). The better their nutritian and exercise the better their behaviour. good luck, this soon will pass :)

Kim - posted on 10/13/2010

23

23

3

my son started early with the terrible two's; patience and perserverance is the only advice I can offer you. They are entering that stage where they are feeling independent so it is frustrating for them to take orders; they want to do things their way or no way. Don't let her control you. Grit your teeth and stick it out because there are going to be months of this behaviour. Hope things get better for you soon :) Remember that this too shall pass

Leigh - posted on 10/13/2010

24

3

2

You are not alone!!! When my daughter turned two ..... on her B-DAY she turned into an evil little girl. I felt the same as if it happened in 1 moment. Biggest thing I can tell you is PATIENCE... it does pass, I promise.

Stacey - posted on 10/12/2010

8

11

2

Don't take it personally, she is just asserting her independence. Choices work well, this shirt or that shirt. naughty spot, and giving her chances to do things like, helping to fold laundry or prepare meals may give her a sense of being a big girl, which is what she is trying to tell you. good luck, my daughter is 3.5 and this is still an issue sometimes.

Melissa - posted on 10/12/2010

29

36

0

*chuckles and passes you the tequila*

Being a great mom is all about learning what your child cares the most about so you can more effectively discipline them. For example, with my son "I swear to God if you don't get in that car seat this instant I am going to take and WASH Blankie!!! I mean it! You have until the count of 3 or Blankie is going right in the WASH the second we get home!!!"



Every time my son reached a new level of jack-hattery I thought to myself that this was what they meant when they were talking about the terrible twos....and then his behavior would get worse.



Hang in there. Some days will be better than others. But rest assured, your mommy patience will adjust and grow with the size of your child's shenanigans....and if it doesn't? Well there's always the tequila!



Okay, I don't really recommend tequila if your mommy serenity doesn't adjust to the terrible twos...but I do recommend going to see a doctor if you find yourself constantly at your wits end or a slave to your emotions. I'm not saying that you are, I'm just throwing that out there because I read that you've moved to a new country, have no support system, and are frequently left alone with your child. And oh my goodness, who could blame you if you were stressed out??? If it were me, I'd definitely be at my wits end! If that's the case, I'd talk to my doctor. I'd ask about something called situational adjustment. It's kind of like depression, but it usually only lasts for a little while...I actually had to do this when my husband took a job where he traveled and I was alone all week long with our 1 year old (now 2). I was in your shoes except for being in a different country. I went to the doctor because it seemed like all I ever did was yell at my child, I was unhappy all the time, always stressed out, and just not myself. And of course, my mood set my son's mood. I can honestly say I'm a better mom to my son because I went to the doctor. She was able to help me balance things out and give me back some of that mommy patience...and then I discovered how well the threat of washing Blankie worked...Just sayin...

Molly - posted on 10/10/2010

21

6

0

Thanks soooo much. It is nice to hear, or read I am not the only one experiencing this, which I imagined, but it is still comforting to here. Some people had frowned on me whne I told them I shut her in the bathroom for a couple of minuits, so its good to read that other people do that too and I am not a terrible mother :) Thankyou very much for your time and advice.

And i will tel myself, this will pass :)

thankyou and take care :)

[deleted account]

My daughter is 15 months old when she is frustrated she makes herself known very well. She hits, throws things, grabs, kicks, n bites. Terrible twos early I suppose this is my 1st baby I hope this is juz a stage. GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!

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