Help with a cranky 20 month old

User - posted on 08/18/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )




Any suggestions on how to deal with my 20 month old frustration tantrums? He's been scratching me and pulling my hair everytime he doesn't get his way or doesn't want to do what needs to be done. It goes for everything, from nappy changes to feeding, you name it! He is not very vocal yet and cannot explain how he feels of what he wants. I do understand that when they get older you can ask them to use words instead of physicality, but it doesn't help right now. I tried saying No firmly, show that I am hurt or upset at his scratching and even tried light hand smacking to see if that would discourage him, all to no avail. I tried to time-out and it doesn't work either as he doesn't understand the concept and gets even angrier when I try to hold him down or get him to stay in one spot! I love my little angel but this is kind of taking its toll on me. Any help on how you dealt with this situation would be much appreciated. By the way, he only does that to daddy and me, not to others.


Tina - posted on 08/19/2012




I know it's hard but just need to be patient and persistant. I have a safety gate on his door which kinda helps with time out. He's goes in until he calms down sometimes. It's hard because they're frustrated and don't know how to communicate what they want. Even when they're older and can talk this still happens. I try to walk away from these tantrums. I will go back to him afterward and say mummy love you but I don't like it when you get cranky with mum ok. Or hit or scratch and so on. He may not seem like he understands but eventually he will.

Amy - posted on 08/19/2012




When he's throwing a tantrum,hitting or scratching say no, put him down and walk away. If you ignore the behavior eventually he'll realize he's not going to get any reaction from you do he'll stop. Toddlers don't care if they get good or bad attention they just want attention, so if you completely ignore the bad he's getting no attention. You can also try teaching him some signs so that it makes it easier for him to communicate. My daughter wasn't very verbal at 20 months but knew 30 plus signs so she could communicate her needs.


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