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Concerns over 14 month old's behaviour, looking for advice please.(6 Posts)
My 14 month old DS is extremely willful, I think he has been since birth. I always found him very difficult right from the start, he had/still has reflux so he cried a lot as a baby and now that he is a toddler... well the crying has turned into either constant whinging or major major tantrums. It's the tantrums I'm concerned about as they are beginning to wear thin on me and I'm starting to feel very worn out by it all. They probably started at 11 months, with the rageful piercing screams and headbutting the floor or the walls and throwing himself around but now they have escalated to being a lot more dramatic and a lot more often. For example, if I take him to the park and he goes to walk into the path of a swing that's in use and I try to guide him away he will meltdown and do the things I've described, or whenever he has to go back into his pushchair to go home. Or when we are at home and he's told no or not to do something. The thing is, he doesn't listen at all, I tell him no and he just smirks at me and carries on. I've tried things like remaining calm, distracting him, placing him in the hallway, ignoring the tantrums to telling him off and so far nothing seems to work. I'd say there are probably 3 to 4 full blown tantrums a day that last for a good 10/15 minutes. He is my first child and I don't have many other friends with children so I have no idea what to expect, if this is normal or if he is just more prone to tantrums than others. It seems like other parents I see with their children of a similar age are calmly enjoying their time together and aren't having such extreme meltdowns constantly. I'm beginning to not want to take him out anywhere in public as I find it so embarrassing that you can hear him from the other end of the supermarket. I guess what I'm looking for is advice on how to deal with this behaviour and perhaps stories of other mums with similar children so I know it's not just me haha! I am also a little concerned by the fact that he hates to be held (he will scream and thrash until you let go of him) and he won't hold your hand when walking so if I try to take his hand to stop him running into the road he will again throw a tantrum and drop to the floor so I can't hold his hand. He also has no words yet so perhaps is frustrated by a lack of communication?
I've just realised how long and rambling this post is, I think I just needed a good moan!
If he’s not talking yet, I’d try some signing with him. Your library should have sone books on baby signing or makaton both of which should help him if he’s frustrated because he’s finding communicating difficult.
If he tantrums, I’d just ignore it, especially if he doesn’t want to be held. If you’re at home, leave the room and go and make a . If you’re put, don’t worry. Every parent has had a childchave a meltdown in public and it’s human nature to look, it doesn’t mean they are judging you
Just try to be consistent and if you want some techniques to try, have a read of the No Cry Discipline Solution.
I’d also talk to your HV. She may refer him for a hearing test so that you can rule that out. She may also be able to assess him for you.
I think you need to expect a whole lot less from him. He is only a 14 month old baby with no sense or self-control. He is too young to be given out to. He might have even more difficult phases to get through when he is 2 and 3 or older.
I would just focus on distracting him when he does something you don't want him to and ignoring the tantrums if you can.
Some children are just like that and some children are not, I believe it's all down to personality. My son is/was like yours and I know how extremely difficult it is. Does he sleep well? As I found the less sleep my son got the worse his behaviour was. Its normal for his age not to want to hold hands, it just has to be reiterated, what you can do is make mock scenarios at home of what's expected and try to get him to play along like if your playing with his toy cars "oh look the car is coming down the road towards us, now we need to hold hands to stay safe, let's do it!" and try to hold his hand while you push the car along, this way it gets into his little mind but in a calmer environment where its not forced on him etc. Having a tantrum when told no is totally normal at his age, my son at 3 & 1/2 still sometimes meltdowns if told no but nowhere near as much as he did when he was 1, it takes a while for them to understand that there are certain rules in life and you can't always do whatever you please because mum/dad is trying to keep you safe, its hard for them to understand that at that age, they think you're just doing it to spoil their fun. I promise as he gets older and has more understanding he will get easier in this department.
Hi, my ds was like this. Just generally seemed very hard work, constantly irritable and wingy, tantrums over the smallest thing. He is my third ds so I knew my other two weren’t like this. I think I’m my ds case it is just his personality - he is very opinionated and feels things very strongly. However things are quite a lot better now as I seem to have realised how to help him - and that is to realise that all this wingy tantrum stuff doesn’t feel nice for him either - and so I try and see it not as bad behaviour but as a sign of his distress. Therefore I try and respond with a combination of very firm boundaries with reassurance. I think this has really improved things. Getting down on his level helps as me changing position reminds me to not just react with crossness but to be firm (very strong low voice) and reassuring. But my ds is 6 now so i’m not sure if that helps!
I would also keep some rules that are non negotiable - such as hand holding - no matter how long he tantrums for.
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