18 month old aggressive behaviour

(2 Posts)
FlowerGirl2005 Sat 26-Mar-16 22:32:25

Hi ladies

My daughter is 18 months & she has such a bad temper!! Literally if the slightest thing annoys her or she can't do something or even if I've done something for her which isn't the right way for example dressing her dolly in the wrong outfit she nips bites screams throws things at me and u can see the anger in her eyes!

Is this normal? I've tried the naughty corner but she liked it and took herself happily there, told her off, ignored the behaviour I've even tried nipping back etc obviously not hard just so she knows it isn't nice. None of the above has worked and now I'm at my wits end she doesn't do it to anyone else, it's upsetting because I feel like she doesn't like me because of how much she does it! She can be a lovely little girl at times too I just wish she would stop it! Any advice? X

stilllovingmysleep Sun 27-Mar-16 09:02:20

Hi flowergirl

I'm afraid aggressive / violent behaviour / tantrums at 18 months old are completely normal! You would be worried if your DD wasn't exhibiting such behaviours. It's her way to gain autonomy & become a bit more independent, bit by bit.

Of course you do need to slowly start teaching her about how to deal with her intense emotions and aggression (as I said completely normal at this age) but the main thing that will help her is is you really really accept within yourself that this is how she should be at this age, rather than expecting far more from her than she is able to master at this age. Otherwise she will feel her healthy, ordinary aggression & wish for independence are not acceptable which is not good as little toddlers need to be aggressive in order to grow up. Slowly they become able to channel their aggression in healthier ways.

In terms of how to deal with it (because obviously you don't want to encourage hitting): I think she's far too young at 18 months for naughty corner or any time out technique. I'm also not a massive fan of ignoring at this age as it doesn't help them work through their intense emotions: you, the mother, should ideally be helping her work through her turbulent emotions as she can't do it on her own, she's too little. When you ignore her for too long you are not working on the goal which you yourself wish to achieve, I think. Of course sometimes if you're at your wits end you could ignore and go to another room so you could calm down yourself (as it can be so frustrating) as long as she's safe.

I also absolutely wouldn't bite back. That gives her the message that biting is acceptable so it's not at all a clear message. She is not at all at an age where she can understand that it hurts you and can feel concern. Developmentally 18 months old are completely egocentric and that's how it should be. Thus the message is not clear & you're simply confusing her.

When she hits & is aggressive I would just firmly say NO we don't hit! And just repeat. I would physically remove her (not aggressively though) when she hits / bites and stop her from doing it. If she is very angry I would reflect that. I would say something like I can see you're so angry!! And if it's an obvious thing that's making her angry I would add that too e.g. 'you're so angry that this or that happened!' (said with intensity so that she knows you really get it). Reflecting back kids' emotions can take you a long way and that's how you help them build up an emotional vocabulary and slowly become able to control their own emotions (which as I stressed before though, at 18 months she simply won't be able realistically to fully do for a long period of time still)

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