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Strong willed 14 month old - is this normal or is he just a jerk..or am I?

13 replies

NumberSocks · 29/09/2022 20:37

Ds used to be a really easy going, cheerful baby but in the last few months he's become quite "bad tempered". I don't think I can call a one year old bad tempered but I'm worried that he's becoming bad tempered.

He screams his head off if he doesn't get immediately what he wants (and he always wants something), throws things and bangs his head against the floor. I didn't know one year olds already had tantrums. He isn't easily distracted from what he wants and basically keeps screaming and head banging till he gets what he wants. Maybe it's normal but my older DC wasn't like this. She'd cry or look sad but she never seemed so angry.

All of this has become much worse since he's joined nursery so maybe it's stress?

I don't know if this is just his personality or a stress response or developmentally appropriate (maybe DD was the abnormal one though I haven't seen other kids get this angry) but I'm not sure what I should do about it. Saying no and distracting doesn't work very well. If I say no it just makes him want something more (and I guess that is normal..they are testing their and our boundaries aren't they), he's too young for explanations (though I do that anyway but I don't think he understands. I don't think he's even figured out what no means yet).

So what can I do to stop my sweet little boy from becoming a bad tempered jerk?

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RagzRebooted · 29/09/2022 20:38

Yeah, he's going through a jerk stage. It will end. There will be more.

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NumberSocks · 29/09/2022 20:42

RagzRebooted · 29/09/2022 20:38

Yeah, he's going through a jerk stage. It will end. There will be more.

So is this normal? All the screaming and throwing stuff (he has even bitten DD) and just going absolutely crazy if be doesn't get exactly what he wants immediately (and sometimes we don't even know what he wants)?

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IDontDrinkTea · 29/09/2022 20:45

Yes it sounds normal, it’ll come and go in phases

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gamerchick · 29/09/2022 20:47

The first kid usually can lull you into a false sense of security like.

Don't give in every time. No good comes of it. Screaming won't hurt him.

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MrsTerryPratchett · 29/09/2022 20:48

Completely normal.

Were you one of the poor souls that thought your great parenting caused DD's lovely nature?

Those of us with the ummmmmm strong-willed one first knew.

Flowers

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BrokenLink · 29/09/2022 20:52

I think tantrums and anger are common in this age group. Now he is more mobile and inquisitive, he is hearing the word no much more than when he was an infant, and he doesn't understand why. He has huge feelings and very little ability to communicate or understand what is going on. Nursery is a massive change to process. His sleeping and eating has probably changed and his immune system is being challenged. Hunger, tiredness and illness are major catalysts for tantrums.

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NuffSaidSam · 29/09/2022 20:53

It's normal.

Pick your battles, only say no when it's really necessary.

When you say no. Stick to it. No has to mean no. The last thing you want is to teach him that screaming and hurting himself means he gets what he wants.

Comfort him if that helps, you can sympathise, use a soothing tone, rub his back etc. if he doesn't want to be held. Or ignore if that works better.

I'd guess it's a bit of frustration at that age as well, they know so much more than they can say. Make sure you're doing lots of talking and repetition of key words, the quicker he learns these the better!

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NumberSocks · 29/09/2022 20:55

MrsTerryPratchett · 29/09/2022 20:48

Completely normal.

Were you one of the poor souls that thought your great parenting caused DD's lovely nature?

Those of us with the ummmmmm strong-willed one first knew.

Flowers

No, I thought all babies / young toddlers are like that.

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NumberSocks · 29/09/2022 20:59

BrokenLink · 29/09/2022 20:52

I think tantrums and anger are common in this age group. Now he is more mobile and inquisitive, he is hearing the word no much more than when he was an infant, and he doesn't understand why. He has huge feelings and very little ability to communicate or understand what is going on. Nursery is a massive change to process. His sleeping and eating has probably changed and his immune system is being challenged. Hunger, tiredness and illness are major catalysts for tantrums.

Yes, I think, it's all of this. He's suddenly very mobile, wants to get into everything and explore everything (hmm...that kitchen knife looks tasty ...) And we have to say no a lot more. And yes, he's been ill non stop since joining nursery.

Does it get better or will it just smoothly turn into the terrible twos?

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NumberSocks · 29/09/2022 21:00

NuffSaidSam · 29/09/2022 20:53

It's normal.

Pick your battles, only say no when it's really necessary.

When you say no. Stick to it. No has to mean no. The last thing you want is to teach him that screaming and hurting himself means he gets what he wants.

Comfort him if that helps, you can sympathise, use a soothing tone, rub his back etc. if he doesn't want to be held. Or ignore if that works better.

I'd guess it's a bit of frustration at that age as well, they know so much more than they can say. Make sure you're doing lots of talking and repetition of key words, the quicker he learns these the better!

Thanks. Lots of good advice here.

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shivawn · 29/09/2022 21:24

I'm starting to see this transition in my 11 month old (not the head banging part but he's a few months behind your son, I'm now praying he won't start this!), he screams when he doesn't get what he wants or screams when he's bored. It's so hard to bring him anywhere right now, even the supermarket is stressful. He was such a cool little dude as a baby, nothing fazed them Reading the replies here with interest!

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shivawn · 29/09/2022 21:25

*nothing fazed him.

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TheFirie · 29/09/2022 23:05

Toddlers and young children are not able to control emotions at that age. They will shriek with joy and scream with rage. As a parent or society, we don't mind extreme emotions when they are positive, but are very unsettled by negative emotions, when at the end of the day, it is the same thing, expressing a feeling.

Somehow often, we make things worse. When a child is having a positive emotion - a gift, Santa , a new puppy - we build on that and have big reactions. Yet we are surprised when there is a similar intensity with a negative emotion.

The way you react now will help him deal with frustration, impatience, disappointment. I wouldn't console, because there is no reason to. He didn't have a fall, or a loss.
Stay super chill, super cool and just say " I know you want that, but right now we can't" and if he hurts his sister, turn your back on him, and cuddle the sister.

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