My toddler's actions are so confusing to me

Roxana - posted on 03/13/2013 ( 8 moms have responded )




My son's 2 going on 3. Lately I've noticed that he can't make up his mind about different things. An example, he'll ask for pizza and once he gets it he doesn't want it, he wants something else. Another big one is staying with grandma and grandpa. He LOVES staying there, and lately right when I'm about to leave he starts crying. Once we get in the car he wants to stay. Its so confusing! Is this normal? I need help, I'm losing my patience.


Liz - posted on 03/14/2013




Yes this is definitely normal! It has driven me crazy over the last few years as 3 of my 4 kids (my youngest isn't old enough to do it yet) have been in this phase. My rule has become this: "I will ask you once what you want, but after you've made a decision, your decision sticks". Otherwise I would go nuts trying to please each one all the time. It's just not possible. And while it's good for your son to be allowed to make decisions, it's also good for him to understand that you aren't going to oblige his every whim. Not everything in his life will go as he wishes, and the earlier you start teaching him that, the better.

Tracy - posted on 03/16/2013




One word. Consistency. Give him two choices for lunch, whatever he picks stick with it. If you constantly give in to his demands he will realize you are easy to manipulate and it will just spiral out of control. When my daughter was that age she would spend weekends with the grandparents and she would cry and make a huge fuss when I went to leave, but the secret is to MAKE IT QUICK. Don't linger, don't drag it out just give him a hug and a kiss and leave. Once you are gone he will calm down and be just fine. That's why he wanted to stay with his grandparents once you got him back in the car, he didn't actually want to not stay he just wanted you to know he would miss you (in his 3 yr old way).

Elfrieda - posted on 03/14/2013




Are you giving him too many choices? I find my son does things like that when he feels overwhelmed. I fix it by for a few days giving him very few choices, like usually he gets to choose what he wants on his morning toast, but now I've been deciding for him, etc. Or if I give him a choice, it's only between two specific things, like "Would you like to play with your blocks or a puzzle?" not, "What would you like to do now?"

Cheryl - posted on 03/21/2013




My son went through a similar thing. As he is very head strong and stubborn, I find I have to pre-warn him about things i.e. tell him before bed that you are staying with grandma and grandpa. Then he knows what to expect.

With the food you need to let him know that he needs to make a choice and stick to it - he can't change his mind. In this regard the first couple of times say to him are you sure you want pizza, I'm not making you anything else. And biggest point - follow through with what you say you are going to do.

Hope that helps.

Shawna - posted on 03/16/2013




this two choice thing has been my "go to" when my son and I need to go and he isn't ready. Choice 1, say goodbye nicely and walk or, Choice 2, I carry him out (usually fireman hold). At first I had to carry him out mostly, now its a rare thing.


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Laura - posted on 03/21/2013




I'm a big believer in "2 choices method" as well. "Do you want grilled cheese or tuna for lunch"...."the red shirt or yellow shirt?" That gives them the opportunity to learn to make decisions and stick with them.

It sounds to me like your child is testing the limits. Kids are born manipulators. Set the boundaries and stick with them.

this too shall pass.

Chastisy - posted on 03/15/2013




My son is 2 and his birthday is in October. His biggest issue is asking for something then when he gets it he throws it and walks away!Lots of sponge bob sippy cups have died from this.but I have 6 kids and I know its just the terrible twos beside he is very cute!!
Though I will say none of my other kids had it this bad!!1
But Yes Very Normal!

Michelle - posted on 03/14/2013




The joy of children growing up and realizing that they can make decisions but then changing them every 2 mins!!!! Yes, it's completely normal. You need to make sure that when you are giving him a choice you do it at a time when you have time to spare. Don't give him a choice when your are rushing as that's when you'll get stressed.

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