Problems with a 17 month old expecting a new baby sister in a month.

Temeshia - posted on 09/05/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I'm about 36 months pregnant and have a daughter who will be 17 months in a week. She has recently started having outrageous outbursts and has started throwing things incessantly. It is now getting the point that my partner and I are now arguing over discipline. When I smack her hands I'm "beating her" and when I put her in time-out I'm "torturing her". He works 6-7 days a week and often isn't home until she's already in bed. I've tried explaining that when she throws a tantrum and he picks her up and coddles her that he is teaching her to throw a tantrum to get her way, but he insists that my discipline is too brash. I do feel that the hand smacking is not always necessary and a lot of times I do it out of frustration after repetitively firmly telling her to stop throwing things. I know this is wrong, and do feel guilty, however, I don't smack her hard enough to make her cry. It just doesn't work at all. I tried putting her in her first time-out today, and of course she cried, which then sparked an argument between my partner and I. Now that the baby is literally weeks away from arriving I've become terrified that she is going to throw things at the baby. She throws everything from food, to toys, to hard and soft balls, and her sippy cup. She has also started throwing these objects directly at our two dogs. I'm not sure how to handle her throwing of objects or the arguing over discipline. I feel like I'm being undermined when he scoops her up to coddle her when I'm trying to teach her that her behavior is wrong. Any advice and all advice would be much appreciated on either front. I think it would help in my effort if he could see that other people with children the same age put their children in time-out and even smack hands on occasion. It's very frustrating and stressful and being pregnant certainly doesn't make it any easier. I want things to be as peaceful as possible when baby gets here. Thanks SO MUCH!!!

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Carolee - posted on 09/05/2010

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You and your husband need to agree on discipline. I, personally, think that, since he is not home for the majority of the time that she is awake, YOU should have the major say in how and when she is disciplined, and he NEEDS to back you up when she needs to be punished while he's home. I do not feel that there is anything wrong with time-outs and slapping on the hand as punishment.

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Karen - posted on 09/07/2010

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She's probably sensing that her whole world is about to change with the arrival of another baby. She probably doesn't know what to think or how to deal with her feelings. Talking to her about this would probably help.
I agree that she is likely really frustrated with communication (so common at this age. They have so much in the brains that they can't get out of their mouths).
So, I would constantly remind her that she can carefully put her toys/whatever she's throwing on the floor. Show her how to put things down. Maybe give her something to throw and show her how/where it is appropriate to throw them. Then when she's throwing redirect her to what you want her to throw. I would suggest you need to help her find an appropriate outlet for her overflow of feelings. I don't think smacking/time outs will accomplish this and would probably just make her more upset.

Corinne - posted on 09/07/2010

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Time outs and hand/leg smacking are acceptable forms of punishment in my eyes. If my kids smack each other I smack each of them and ask if it was a nice thing for Mummy to do. Of course, they both say no, so I ask if it was a nice thing to do to each other, they say no. You have to explain their punishment to them. For instance, if your little one throws something, sit her out of the room and explain that she could have hurt somebody and you will let her back in when she has calmed down (2 mins or so). You are the main care giver, so you should have the majority vote on how you deal with behaviour issues and your husband seriously needs to start backing you up. Even if my husband and I disagree on something the other one has done, we back each other up and discuss it later. Good luck :)

Erin - posted on 09/06/2010

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I think time out is an appropriate punishment. About 1 minute and a half would be plenty of time for her at her age. The general rule is a minute for every yr they are. I'm not a fan of the slap because how are we supposed to teach our children not to hit when we're not setting that example.
You and your partner need to agree on discipline.
I think time out is more than acceptable. And after the time out give her a hug and calmly explain why she was in the time out. She's throwing things because she's frustrated. She probably wants something and has no idea how to tell you what she wants. Imagine how frustrating that would be if you were in a position where you wanted something, couldn't do or get it yourself, and had no way of letting someone know what it was you wanted or needed. That's what a tantrum is. It's our job to let them know and teach them how to appropriately express what they want. I know that it can be hard believe me, but the important thing is to remain calm through the discipline process. If it's easier on your partner you could even call "time out" time to "chill out." Because that's all she needs is time to calm down. Hope this was helpful.Good luck with everything and the new baby.

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