Struggling with my 20 month old daughter

(9 Posts)
AliceMay83 Fri 09-Apr-21 09:36:13

Ok so here goes.
I'm 37 with 4 children, 18 Years, 15 Years, 12 years and my 20 month old Daughter Ebony.
A little back ground, I was sterilised after my 3rd child, my first 3 children are with a previous marriage and I was set that I was happy with not having any more children. Fast forward 9 years and I met my current partner, after being together for 2 years we decided to go down the route of sterilisation reversal ! This was a success and after only 3 months I fell pregnant! My pregnancy was rough, I had severe sickness, developed high BP and my already anxiety escalated, due to all this I was induced at 38 weeks and gave birth to my beautiful daughter Ebony-Rose.
So fast forward to around her first birthday and her behaviour became hard work, however we rode it through, tried to work out the best way to keep her occupied, entertained, happy etc etc, however its come to a point now that at 20 months I'm struggling, she is such an angry baby, she screams, her tantrums are out of this world, she throws, hits, scratches, she climbs everything, if she can't get her own way she will go insane. I play with her, she has lots of toys, we have loads of garden play, she has the tele on, but none of this is good enough. I'd say that this behaviour is about 80% of our day. I can't take her to shops, its not worth the stress for us both, I dread leaving the house with her. It starting to effect my mental health, I cry alone wondering what I did so wrong, I'm becoming afraid of my 20 month old daughter ! She is such a clever girl, she speaks so many words, she understands me, she sleeps well, eats well.
Is this normal behaviour for a 20 month old?
Does any kne have any advice, tips on what I can be doing?
Sorry for the long post but this momma is really struggling 😪

OP’s posts: |
NewMum0305 Fri 09-Apr-21 20:55:43

Hugs to you, toddlers are HARD! Can I ask how you respond when she’s behaving like you describe? x

AliceMay83 Fri 09-Apr-21 21:31:09

Hello NewMum0305
Thankyou for your reply. Usually I try and ignore her behaviour however she likes to throw herself around and head headbutt what ever is closer her so if this is the case then ill try and intervine. Its so hard, ignoring her behaviour is hard but sometimes it gets that bad I have to just walk away for my own sanity (obviously ensuring she is in a safe place) xx

OP’s posts: |
skkyelark Fri 09-Apr-21 22:04:07

That sounds really intense! Obviously toddlers are full-on, but to me this sounds like more than your average toddler, especially if it's been going on for 8 months – I think most parents would be finding it hard. Hopefully someone with more experience will be along soon, but I'll throw out a few ideas, and hopefully something will be useful.

What is going on in the 20% of the day when she's happy? Perhaps there are clues there – you might even want to keep track for a few days, see if you can spot any patterns. Does routine seems to help at all? If not getting her own way sets her off, do you do the 'toddler's choice' technique, e.g., you need her to put her shirt on, so you ask if she wants the green shirt or the pink shirt? (Mine is starting to get wise to this trick, unfortunately!)

Frustration at not being able to communicate what she wants is a common one at this age, but you say she has lots of words. Are there any clues in what she says she wants?

Does she struggle when she has to stop doing one thing that she's enjoying and do another? You can try giving advance warning 'in 2 minutes we're going to stop playing trains and go have lunch', 'in 1 minute...', 'now...'. I also started using 'first/then' or 'now/next' with my daughter around this age, something I knew she wasn't going to be that thrilled about, followed by something she'd like.

Jannt86 Sat 10-Apr-21 13:43:56

Does she get her own way if she kicks up enough fuss OP? Including with the older kids? I think it's imperitive that she doesn't and learns that this isn't the way to get something. I wouldn't punish her as it sounds like these outbursts are just her losing control of her emotions so she needs your support and understanding. However that DOESN'T need to be in the form of her getting her own way. I would offer her love and support whilst she's emotional and when you think she's composed enough to understand just acknowledge the emotion but rationalise why she couldn't have it and suggest ways she can deal with it better next time and if there's a natural consequence (not an illogical punishment) then enforce it. Eg 'you were so angry when I turned the TV off. You really like that show don't you and it makes you sad and cross when we switch it off. It's ok to be sad and to tell me you're cross but it's not ok to hit and scream. If that happens again we will have to stop watching TV for a few days so you don't feel so upset' She is only a baby though at 20MO. If you just stay calm and offer comfort and distraction then chances are behaviour will improve as her maturity and communication skills increase. Good luck zx

Sillymummies123 Wed 14-Apr-21 09:06:56

Hi OP

I’ve had similar problems - basically, you could be describing my (male) 20 month old. I am tired, as you may be, of other parents either being superheroes or having not been through quite as intense a toddler experience. It cripples me with absolutely despair and feelings of utter failure as a parent ALL THE TIME, because other parents are like ‘yeah, yeah, toddlers are hard - I remember mine didn’t like x, y’ but it’s more than that with ours isn’t it? It’s a feeling that the child is angry. Pure and straight miserable and angry with the world, and it gets in the way of the bond.

You aren’t alone - it’s hell and it’s miserable. I’ve tried to ignore tantrums at not getting his own way. We end up in hysterical crying - the longest tried was about half an hour and you could just tell he was struggling to breathe with crying and had long since forgotten why he was upset so the exercise was pointless. I have family members tell me I should use reins or buggies while out and im like... you’re f*****g kidding me!? Do you not realise the monster I have to deal with? If he didn’t want to be somewhere, there’d be no ‘let him realise he doesn’t get his way’ just an absolute shit show of hysteria which would mood him out for the following two days.

Can I ask - is your daughter quite non-verbal?

From asking MANY Qs - looking at many threads, the combination of having a grumpy temperament, stubborn nature and being non-verbal appears to be the recipe for an absolutely miserable toddler-parent experience. It just feels like every day is a battle.

Can I ask -

Is yours non-verbal?
Is yours oddly resistant to being shown new activities or skills - like run off shouting if you want to try something new?
Was yours difficult to get eating, crawling etc. ?

Jannt86 Thu 15-Apr-21 08:30:25

@Sillymummies123 I can see what you mean but I'm not sure what else you expect other people to say though? There is no magic cure for a 'difficult toddler' and despite the fact that people seem desperate for their children to have a medical diagnosis every time their child dares to deviate the tiniest bit from the norm there isn't necessarily a tangiable reason for this behaviour. My own dd is on the whole a delight but she too has had the occasional long tantrum. I think the longest lasted about 1.5 hours. I don't honestly think that's especially abnormal.... I still stand by what I said. They need to know you're there for them and love them unconditionally but that negative behaviour ISN't going to get them what they want. It can't be pleasant seeing a kid making themselves physically uncomfortable through a tantrum but I have worked on paediatric wards and A and E in the past and I promise no child has ever made themselves even remotely unwell having a tantrum. It's irrelevent how much more difficult your child is than others. Staying calm and staying firm is really the only solution IMO otherwise they'll learn that this drama is the way to cope with life

Sillymummies123 Thu 15-Apr-21 08:58:07

Jannt86

*@Sillymummies123* I can see what you mean but I'm not sure what else you expect other people to say though? There is no magic cure for a 'difficult toddler' and despite the fact that people seem desperate for their children to have a medical diagnosis every time their child dares to deviate the tiniest bit from the norm there isn't necessarily a tangiable reason for this behaviour. My own dd is on the whole a delight but she too has had the occasional long tantrum. I think the longest lasted about 1.5 hours. I don't honestly think that's especially abnormal.... I still stand by what I said. They need to know you're there for them and love them unconditionally but that negative behaviour ISN't going to get them what they want. It can't be pleasant seeing a kid making themselves physically uncomfortable through a tantrum but I have worked on paediatric wards and A and E in the past and I promise no child has ever made themselves even remotely unwell having a tantrum. It's irrelevent how much more difficult your child is than others. Staying calm and staying firm is really the only solution IMO otherwise they'll learn that this drama is the way to cope with life

Thanks for proving my point. It’s not relevant saying your child is more difficult unless they are and you live it everyday. I don’t think you’ll understand or have much to add as you say - yours only has the occasional tantrum, and trust me that we parents of high needs children would breeZe through that wink

Sillymummies123 Thu 15-Apr-21 09:52:21

Btw OP I recommend ‘Taming t he Toddler’ the book. Really useful for practical skills and just making clear that - as the comment above - there is a huge scale for ‘normal’ and some parents just get dealt a really really tough hand and then just have to power through without support as most parents don’t really get it unless they’ve been there. The book has been a lifesaver for us.

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