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Thread: Challenging behaviour in a 12 month old - vent

  1. #1

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    Default Challenging behaviour in a 12 month old - vent

    Hello girls,
    Can I pick your brains?
    I have a headstrong 12 month old girl. I really do love her to bits and for the most time, she's a really good girl. She's always been very determined (you could call it pig-headed) which I think is one of the reasons she crawled at 5 months and walked at 9.
    But this same determination can also be so challenging for me. I do admire it, but I don't like it when it is aimed at me IYKWIM.

    Of course I can't expect a 1 year old to have patience. But it is so frustrating when she just screams until she gets something. In the afternoons she gets a bottle of milk (apart from that, she is BFed). She really likes it and when she sees it, she wants it. But I have to heat it, put the lid on etc. And she just screams non stop until she has it in her hands. It's not an upset scream, more like an angry scream. No tears.
    And then sometimes she just wants to be carried and if I even put her down for 2 seconds (when I need 2 hands to for example pull the rubbish bag out of the bin). Then she just sreams....
    Or when I have to change a poopy nappy. She hates it. Sometimes I can distract her enough, but other times she just screams and tries to get up and put her hands in the poo,...
    And when we feed her, she has a new habit of trying to climb out of her high chair. She loves her food, but loves climbing more. She's so strong,... it can send me up the wall. The pulling food out of her mouth and playing with it or throwing it on the ground, I can deal with that. It's the climbing, that gets to me.

    As I said. mostly she's a good girl. But I don't want her to think that this behaviour is acceptable. She's too young to reason with, so I don't quite know what to do. Any ideas?

    I know that she's at the height of separation anxiety, and that's why she wants to be held. But I have to be able to put her down for a few seconds every now and then. I know that sitting still is boring for her, so I try to give her a spoon or a lid or something to play with when feeding her, but sometimes nothing works.

    Sasa


  2. #2

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    Sasa, I have no answers, but sympathy! I thought mine was the only challenging, headstrong kid I look at these other, seemingly compliant, children and wonder what I did wrong LOL. Don't get me wrong, DS is a lovely kid, but he lets his feelings be known loud and clear ALL DAY LONG! Well, it feels that way anyhow

    Hope you can figure out some strategies soon. Actually, I'm currently reading Pinky McKay's book, 'Toddler Tactics', and it is excellent. I've picked up a few really good tips that have worked well. Try and get your hands on a copy if you can, it's great.

  3. #3

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    Thanks, Janie. I actually have Toddler Tactics. But I haven't gotten to it yet. Still reading "The Science of Parenting" which really like, too. it makes you realise that it's not something you did wrong, it's normal child behaviour. And it also gives you lots of tips on how to deal with tantrums and such. but I feel DD is still a little too young to get those methods. It's so hard when they're sort of stuck between baby and toddler...
    Sasa

  4. #4
    Hills Mum Guest

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    My little girl has just turned one and is also crying whenver I put her down, mostly just after a nappy change cause she knows that I have to leave her sight to wash my hands! I'm still looking for a solution to that one....but if I need the loo (as you do!) I find that I can usually enlist the help of my 4 yr old to "entertain" her while I go. Showers are out of the question until my hubby gets home from work, unless I try washing one-handed (very tricky to wash hair!).
    On the subject of your girl's strong will - my sister always had amazing tantrums when we were growing up and never did anything she didn't want to do...she is now a National HR manager and still never does what she doesn't want to! I guess what I'm trying to say is that a strong willed child is a blessing in a lot of ways - she will never be talked into anything she isn't sure of. Light at the end of the tunnel?
    Best wishes in finding what is right for you and yours while you go through this 'stage'...it will pass, I promise!!

  5. #5

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    Sounds just like my 12 month old son HA ! exaclty

  6. #6

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    I know exactly what you're going through, that was my DD down to a tee at that age. Thing only thing I can suggest is for you to try and include her as much as you can when you're doing things.
    So when you're getting her bottle ready, have her 'help' you. That way the distraction of her helping you make it up will hopefully stop the tears of wanting it NOW.
    When you need to put her down, before she starts chucking a tantrum, let her know why you're putting her down, and get her to help with what you're doing. So for eg, if you're taking out the rubbish, cleaning, etc, let her do something. I used to get my DD to carry the rubbish out with me. Or if I wanted to do some cleaning, I'd give her a cloth and she'd help me clean.
    I know it's very tiring and demanding having a child like this, but it does get easier. I found once I started involving my DD more, things got easier. And now, she's a piece of cake. She's forever helping me clean or cook.
    Good luck.

  7. #7

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    Awww, Jodi, that is sweet.
    i guess I was having one of those days this morning. Most of the time, it doesn't bother me, I just deal with it. As some of you have said, I distract her by giving her something to entertain her. But some days I am not at my most patient (they have a tendency to be the days following a challenging night with not all that much sleep - I wonder why)...
    Those days I start to worry whether I am teaching her to be this way, whether I am raising a little Nero (tyrant).
    I do usually let her carry the bag with the dirty nappy to the garbage and let her help put the washing in the machine (afterwards I have to pull out toys, magazines, etc before turning the machine on ) It just doesn't always work.
    Hillsmum, yes, I have thought about it from that point of view. And her personality isn't really surprising. I myself am very headstrong and have been known to be feisty (ask DH ). So I guess sometimes we have a battle of the wills on our hands and I don't like coming of second best
    But you are right, I am glad that DD is no push-over. Especially with her being a girl, I think it is a good character trait to have to know what you want and not be afraid to ask for it.
    I jsut want to know how to handle situations like these. If she does get all worked up, do I pick her up, carry her around? Or should I let her wait until I finished what I'm doing? If I do pick her up, how do I show her that I'm not condoning this behaviour (along the lines of: I always love you, but sometimes i don't like what you do)

    Hillsmum: I usually shower with DD. Most times she's happy walking circles around me and playing with a few special shower toys. Other times, I sit on the shower floor with her. But there are times when neither works. About your hand washing issue, why do't you try one of those antibacterial hand sanitisers? You know those gels where you don't need water? I used them all the time in the beginning as I didn't want to leave DD on the change table while washing my hands but also didn't want to pick her up with unwashed hands... I'm not so germophobic anymore

    Thanks to everyone for making me realise that most kids are like that.

    Sasa

  8. #8

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    glad i am not alone here....

    i have given up on the high chair and have taken to feeding her spoonfuls whilst she is playing in the lounge... if i put her in the highchair she just screams and spits the food out...

    if i sit on the couch and try to eat some food myself, she is VERY interested in the food on my plate, even if its the exact same thing i just dished up to her and she rejected in disgust.

    despite all that i must say she just gets better and better with age, each month i think 'oh this is my favorite age' and then the next month i enjoy her more.... 15 months is awesome she's talking and expressing herself and can say so many things... i love it when i ask her a question and she says 'Noooooo' in her scottish accent, hahahha.

  9. #9

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    Awww, I bet a Scottish accent just sounds adorable on a 15 month old. You definitely are not alone!

    As I said, I'm not really having a problem with the behaviour, more with how I should react to it...

    Sasa

  10. #10
    Hills Mum Guest

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    Thanks Sasa, I've tried showering with my one yr old, but she screams until I pick her up...I think she must have got shampoo or soap in her eyes at some stage (or maybe a mouthful of water?) cause she used to enjoy splashing around on the floor. My only other alternative is to have my 4 yr old in there as well, which is fine until the drying and dressing stage, when it becomes a bit challenging getting us all done! I've used the hand wash stuff quite a few times, mostly out and about and for camping, but I find it really drying for my hands.
    I don't think picking your child up when they are crying is doing any damage, I think it shows that you care about their feelings. I think it's more a matter of working out ways to prevent the crying in the first place, which is what makes it such a challenge! As they get a bit older, I think there are easier ways to show that some behaviour is not on, but it is hard when they are too young to 'get it'.

  11. #11

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    Sasa, will she drink the milk without it being heated - one less thing to do and avoids the demand tantrum? I don't think you have to heat the milk for a 1yo (I could be wrong, but DS never complained - I only started giving him cows milk after he turned 1 and it was always straight from the fridge)

  12. #12

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    SnowyLove, good idea, I might give that a try. I just usually warm the milk as from my own experience I find warm milk makes me quite sleepy and relaxed. Just what I want for her in the late afternoon. I also have to admit that in the beginning she refused to drink milk so I cheated by warming it and adding a little honey. I have since slowly cut out the honey and she just really loves her milk, but I guess I just got stuck in the habit of heating it. Will try it without.

    HillsMum, yes, that would be challenging getting 3 bodies dried, one of them nappied & then all 3 dressed...

    Sasa

  13. #13

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    Sasa, my DS often has his lunchtime bottle cold, and it doesn't seem to bother him one bit

  14. #14

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    HIya sasa,

    as you are well aware (from my msn convo's) i also have a little challenger on my hands.
    Maybe i can offer suggestions on each issue? just what we do to help make it a little bit easier.

    OK:

    Nappy changes if its just a wee, i generally do blakes when he is standing up. playing etc.
    If its a poopy nappy, i give him his pack of wipes to "help" mummy by holding them. Then i ask him to take one out and wipe his doodle. he actually does this, and has done since he was about myas age.

    High chair i am a firm beleiver that our childers give us the signs that they have developed new skills and we jsut have to catch up. And i hope i dont come off bad hun, but i think this is one of those times shes over the high chair so grab a little booster - can get great ones from kmart that strap her in and she will feel like she is part of the dinner table rather then a seperate entity (hope that doesnt sound bad) we are shocking we dont eat tea at the table, so we have a little table for blake, and he is getting the hang of it. Food still ends up on the floor but hes 18 months old, we cant expect too much else

    The arvo bottle unfortunitly i have had to teach blake that no matter how loud he screams or how hard he bangs his head on the cupboard door (yep he does this) its not going to make the milk heat up any quicker.

    I just pick him up and count down the microwave with him and go "beep beep beep beep" now he runs around the kitchen making this cute beeping noise maybe make up a "game" like that to distract her from the anticipation of it.

    And for you missy... your doing wonderfully! if you need a break, msn me and we can have a cuppa!! you need respite as well deary

  15. #15

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    Thanks for all your suggestions, Mummatotwo.
    As I mentioned on MSN, our highchair is one without a tray table, so it's a bit like those boosters. We do push it up to the table, which is exactly why she wants to climb onto the table. But I do like "sitting at the table together". Some things she can eat on the run, like biccies. Things that don't make too much mess and that she can feed herself. i have a little table an chai set. i might try and feed her there for her brekkie and lunch. Dinner we usually all have together and she's much better when all 3 of us are sitting down.

    Nappy changes, yes, i do often give her the wipes, a clean nappy etc. to play with. Sometimes it works. other times she just doesn't want to be there...

    The arvo bottle; funny that, I did the count down thingy for the first time last night. And she loved it, got big grins.

    Thanks to everyone for all your suggestions. Belly Belly is such a great resource.

    I guess sometimes other people can make you question whether you're doing the right thing. i think I have let my mum get to me. She heard Maya "demand" her milk one night when I was on the phone with her. And she kept saying: you can't let her get away with this, she'll e a little tyrant.

    Sasa

  16. #16

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    It's hard when others comment on how your children are, isn't it. It makes you doubt yourself as a parent. I had a 'friend' tell me the other day that she thought Nina was an evil child from something Nina did. As you can imagine, I was a blubbering mess that night telling DH about it.
    All we can do, is do our best. It sounds like some of the suggestions are working with you, which is fantastic. Like I said im my earlier post, it does get easier as they get older and are able to communicate easier.

  17. #17

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    others comment on blake all the time. i often get "i dont know how you do it every day" and i jsut say, because i love him to death thats why

  18. #18

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    Great answer, Mummatotwo!
    Jodi, I actually think it is quite evil saying that a toddler is evil. I would have been a mess, too. Then I would have gotten angry... I think it would be the end of this friendship. But seeing that you put the word friend in exclamation marks, this person wasn't really a friend anyway.

    I am all for calling things by their names and telling the truth. I'm not all that into political correctness as I find often it clouds things to the extent that they're unrecognisable. But having said that, criticism should be constructive. Calling a child evil is not going to achieve anything. Maybe it will make that child want to live up to that reputation - the power of suggestion. Or what they say: Nomen est Omen.
    As said in my previou post, I think we should make sure that we don't criticise our children, but we can criticise their behaviour. Just because a child does something naughty, doesn't mean the child itself is naughty IYKWIM.

    Sasa

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