Tantrums, grabbing, and scratching

Elizabeth - posted on 03/14/2013 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My 19 month old daughter is sweet 98% of the time, but she gets in "moods" every now and then. Sometimes she grabs and scratches me for no reason, we will just be playing and she will grab my face and scratch it. I currently have infected bumps on (or pimples) where she has scratched me.

Sometimes she throws fits and grabs my face and scratches it because she doesn't want to go to daycare or when doesn't want to go to sleep or stop running around or whatever it is that she is doing or not doing. This morning I was trying to drop her off at daycare and she scratched my face and drew blood! Her teacher told me to put her in the baby room and explain to her why she was there so I did and it seemed to work.

What kind of forms of punishment should I use for this behavior? She is almost 2 so I am not opposed to taking things away or time out with a valid explanation as to why that is happening to her like, "mommy is taking away your princess doll because you have been scratching and hitting, and that makes mommy sad, you need to be a nice girl." This morning I told her, " You have to go the baby room because you are not acting like a big girl when you scratch and hit."

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Cecilia - posted on 03/15/2013

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MY husband does the cake trick more than me. Well he doesn't use cake he will buy her toys for doing as he asks. Mine only cost 20 cents!!! Mine will only eat Zebra cakes. I keep a stock in the diaper bag in case of emergencies.

Do what works though. You'll figure out how to get to her eventually.

Oh another suggestion which i don't use right now (for behavior, we use it for potty) but i have in the past for others, sticker charts. Make a chart with a few problem areas. Such as day care , listening to directions, no hitting, ect. For each task that she completes for the day she gets a sticker. After x # of stickers she gets a treat. Make the number reachable within a few days. Go to the dollar store and shop in the part favors section, you can find bags with 10 goodies in them.(bracelets, stamps, rubber dinos (some little girls like these too) Throw those into a box or bin and let her choose one. The page of stickers shows her the progress she is making. Oh grab stickers while at the dollar store too, you can sometimes get 300 for $1 :) Anyways when she begins to kick off you simply say if you keep this up you won't get a sticker. Sometimes they will not care at all, other times they will stop right away.

Elizabeth - posted on 03/15/2013

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That's true. Yet another great idea from you! Btw I am not opposed to bribery with Little Debbie, it has helped me many times. My fiancee gets mad at me, but hey... if it can get me through a tough spot with her I am all for it. She only likes the oatmeal cream pies anyway... at least they have oatmeal, right?

Cecilia - posted on 03/15/2013

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I know sometimes it feels like we're giving in but the truth try to keep compromising with her. Yea sometimes i've said if you do this i'll get you cake ( you know lil debbie cakes) It's the wrong way to do it and I know that. But if i do it once in awhile it's okay. When she does get older you'll be able to compromise better with her.

Use the potty training against her. Tell her you need to go into daycare so you can change her. This will get her wanting to go inside so she can be dry. usually at 19 months they understand much more than they can say.

Elizabeth - posted on 03/15/2013

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Thanks these are very good ideas! I realized the daycare fits happen because she wants to bring a toy from home to daycare (which is not allowed unless it's Monday, which is show and tell), but today I let her bring a small stuffed lamb that they wouldn't mind and that helped a lot. I just don't want to keep giving in to her. I can't wait until she understands verbal instructions more.

I will also think she is getting mad because she is ready to be potty trained, she gets very upset if she goes in her diaper.

Cecilia - posted on 03/14/2013

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I have found that time outs don't really work to well at that age group. They simply can't fully understand what is really going on. They work best for about 3 years old, maybe 2 and 1/2.

You know which situations she is being set off about usually. Pay attention to those times. Explain ahead of time what is going to happen. For example "in 10 minutes we are leaving the park." no she does not know when 10 minutes is. It does prewarn her that she should be prepared to leave. When it comes to day care let her know she is going to day care today and you expect her to be a big girl.

If she does scratch do like you said, tell her it hurts you and makes you sad. As she develops her verbal skills, tell her to use her words to tell you she is angry and why. When she does tell you verbally that she is angry say to her that you understand that she is angry but we have to do it because [insert reason here]

When we leave the park i don't pick her up and force her (my daughter) I tell her it's time to go and lead her by her hand to her stroller. I then ask her to get inside. Sometimes she says no. I then explain that if she doesn't listen I won't want to bring her to the park if she is going to act this way when it's time to go. Usually this works. Sometimes to avoid the issue we bring bread and say we're leaving the playground to feed the ducks. The ducks are easier to detach from than the play ground. Why? because when the bread is gone time is up, so there is no need to explain. (having her move herself along also will keep your face out of the way, since i assume she's doing this because you are picking her up and forcing the issue.)

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