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February 28, 2006

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Susie

Dude. They. Run. The. Show. We are the monkeys here to entertain them.

z.

Not a parent here so my suggestion is: Put some holes in the box.

Nina

I'll consider myself warned.

But the Peanut sure is a cutie!

AdventureDad

Hey MD,

You're a smart guy and you know she's just testing the limits. Although you might want to slap her around cosntantly I think the wiser (and it will kepp you out of prison as well) is to do exactly wht you're doing. Talk to her and it will pass soon. Hopefully before she's 15......

I'm back in Suecia and did not work any more in NYC so I guess it's your turn to come to Sweden next. Just convince the BossLady

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Shimmymama

Mama of a boy here - this has **NOTHING** to do with the fact that the Peanut is a girl, and EVERYTHING to do with the fact that she's hitting the twos. Which start anywhere from 15mos on up.

I read everything I could on suspected allergens, disorders, etc.,'cos there HAD to be some reason WHY he acted the way he did. He would take everything beyond the extreme, past what the "experts" would have considered "normal". The only thing that worked was riding out his tantrums (bottle of wine in my hand). Distraction, discipline, talking, yelling at/with him, time outs, etc. - NOTHING worked. Nothing wrong w/him except being sensitive & hitting the twos. Oh, and being the 4th generation in a very stubborn family (on all sides)...

I would tell Monkeyboy that I was gonna ship him UPS overnight to Grandma's house 500 miles away...if he was good, I'd even poke airholes into the box. Then I found out neither G'ma wanted to deal with him at that age...

Stock up on the alcoholic beverages now - you'll need some on hand for the next year or so. ;)

Liz

I remember this happening to my perfect, sweet little baby boy. I bought one of those developmental, month by month books, opened it up and read "The 17 month old is DEFIANT". Oh, lordy, was he ever. It lasted for a while too. I was already pregnant with the next one by then, luckily, or I might not have had another one. He's now a pretty well-behaved sophomore in high school, so it does end.

Girl in the Locker Room

M-Dad
WARNING this tantrum thing happens again in the teen years. And it's worse because they not only stomp, yell, cry and throw things around -- they also say the most terrible things.
Then they get over it, if you haven't thrown them out of the house already.
(parent of an 18-year-old)

Leo G.

Welcome to the wonderful world of parenthood, MD! Unfortunately, it's not all hugs, smiles and kisses. The tantrum thing is something you and BossLady should get used to. It's going to last throughout the teenage years. My advice? Ignore tantrums and don't encourage rewarding them by giving in. Good luck!

Red

Dude, this is only the beginning. She will continue to be like this until she is 20 something and on her own. Been there, done that, and still suffering from Post Traumatic Syndrome.

*twitches twice*

Leslie

I agree with what a few others here have said. If you think it's bad now, wait until she's a teenager!

Sarcastic Journalist

I doubt it is spoiling. My daughter (19 months) did and still does the same thing.

I've been busy making up a sign that reads "Free to home."

Let me know if I can get you one.

Rbrown

Put her in her crate and give her a chew toy.

Shit! that's what I did for my dog! (see? now the pressure's off you and the playa hatas will come after ME)

Naturally, Peanut is WAAAAYY too adorable to crate. So this single, childless girl has no clue. she's adorable though. Hard to imagine the two of you screaming it out like 2 hyenas....

S

I remember Nanny 911. There was an episode with a kid like that and she used the "naughty spot" technique. When he acted up, she just picked him up or told him to go to his naughty spot. He had to sit there until he was cried out. You ignore them while they carry on. You might want to find the episode. It seemed to work.

binary

dude, the graco stroller? not very metrosexual of you. wassup with that?

Queen of Ass

MD, welcome to the Terrible Twos part of child rearing.

Captain Stinky's six, and it's STILL not over.

Melanie B.

It ain't the molars, MD!

Dollymama

OK, I'm gonna blow the other theories here.

A. it's not just a girl thing. Boys do this too.

B. It won't last forever. My daughter is 10 and delightful most of the time.

C. You can either ignore this, reward this, or try to get it to stop.

For the getting it to stop, the theory is to basically never do anything that she wants you to do when she's behaving badly for it. Sometimes that's not completely practical, but overall if you can go against her until she stops the boogeritis, it may help. the worst case scenario is for her to get results from behaving badly. Then you'll totally be screwed.

gina

OH, just wait until she starts using the sharp wit she is sure to have inherited from you! They get really clever with their insults. And when they are sucking up.

When my children were two, I distracted them by giving birth to another child. That seemed to calm them down. Have you thought of that?

Or are you scared now?

Tom N.

but there's another part of me that thinks this is just a phase that she'll quickly outgrow.

That part of you is correct, except for the "quickly" part (unless by "quickly" you mean "in less than 5 years").

And yah, welcome to the club. My girl turns two next week, and she's been an on-again/off-again hellion for months now - just like you described the Peanut. Sometimes it might be teeth, but sometimes...she's just cranky. And my god, the screaming. I know now why old people are deaf. :-)

Anyway, the little girls are still cute, and some days that's the only thing that saves them.

Tom N.

Oh, and I forgot to recommend "Happiest Toddler on the Block" by Karp. The author talks about child development, and compares them to Neanderthals (but in a good way). He basically recommends talking at their level (but you should read the book to really understand).

It has sort of worked with our daughter. Not 100%, but it is interesting to see her suddenly clam up and just look at us quietly when we start talking like cavemen.

Neal Patrick

Every child and situation is different. I did write an entry on one specific siuation which helped...sometimes.

http://www.the-patricks.net/sweetstuff/2006/01/temper-redux-ion.html

Good luck, and remember, when to going gets tough, the tough go grocery shopping. Trust me on that one.

Sandy

Hello...MD.
I have been lurking around here for awhile now..not even sure how I stumbled across your site. As a mom of two adorable girls..age 7 yrs and 14mths... it will pass. It is good that your little one is so aggressive and demanding. You wouldn't want it any other way, trust me. It shows she is healthy, alert and of strong character..like her parents. My little one is now entering the yelling stage and I love every minute of it as she was so very sick not many months ago (cancer..but she beat it). I don't think she is spoiled at all, just my personal opinion.

Krissy

Dearest MetroPop,

Welcome to toddlerhood. It's her job to try and be the boss of everything. It's your job not to let her, through time outs, ignoring or whatever works for you.

A few tidbits for your information: She is going to do this for at least six months, probably longer. Whatever path you chose please keep in mind that it's not going to be a quick fix and that you will have to do time out/ignoring/whatever for possibly up to a year before she starts dialing back the drama.

Remaining calm in the face of her tantrum is a very good thing to do. She does not currently have the skillz to control herself and needs you to help her find the edges of what's appropriate.

This is the start of what they call the "terrible twos". It's normal developmental behavior and has nothing to do with you spoiling her. As long as you set boundaries for inappropriate behavior she will eventually knock it the fuck off.

Signed,

Mother of screaming, hitting, kicking, jacknifing, tantruming, biting nightmare of a nogoodnick child whom the angels weep for; who also happens to be the cutest sweetes little cuss on the face of the earth he is LUCKY HE IS CUTE.

Alexandra

I add my voice to those who have recommended that you remain calm and ignore her when she's throwing a tantrum. My niece got into that phase at about the same age - problem is, she could speak in full sentences, which only made it worse. It was like having a bossy, demanding 16- yr-old in the body of a 16-month-old. Sometimes the EEEEEEE and WAAAAAAAH are better - you don't take it half as personally...
She's now a little over 2 and throws the occasional tantrum, but not as bad.

MIM

Dude. I haven't read the other comments cause I gots limited time, but you did NOT condition her to be this way. It's a phase. Tod-lar went through it, In-fant is going through it now (at only fucking 14 months, God help me).

All you have to do is tell Peanut how to appropriately respond or ask for things (even though she doesn't speak yet). Then, if she doesn't change her tune, tell her she is whining, you don't like it, and she can whine in her room. I know this sounds strange since she's only 16 months old, but we did this with Tod-lar, and it worked -- after about a month. The first few times, we had to take him to his room, explain to him that he could whine all he wanted in there, and then'd we'd leave. After that, all we had to do was give him the opportunity to stop whining whenever he started, and if he didn't stop, we'd tell him to go to his room, which he would do on his own. Sure, he'd cry and all, but he got the message that whining was not the appropriate way to communicate. And, as I said earlier, we'd TELL him the appropriate way to communicate ("Say 'Up please.'" "Say 'No thank you.'")

This is also the time when they can't seem to make up their minds. First they want up, then they want down. Then they want up again. MIM don't play dat. "You said you wanted down, so I put you down." And then you keep them down. They learn to start making up their minds pretty quickly (okay, after a few months, but still).

the weirdgirl

MD, my deepest heartfelt condolences. I haven't hit this stage yet so I can't offer advice. But I will reach it soon and I'm dreading it. Though I do have to say I don't think this is a girl vs. boy thing, just a toddler thing. (And for the record, I'm a girl and I never threw tantrums as a teenager. I hate that stereotype.)

P.S. MIM's advice rocks, as always.

Franni

I feel better now that I am not so alone in the world. My formerly sweet 15 month old has given way to a pms-ed bride of chucky. The husband and I just had a discussion last night as she was channeling the un-dead that maybe it was time to impose some boundaries.

kittenpie

this just started at our house a couple of months ago, too. My feeling is that while I won't give in to her request/demand, I do still want to give her my support and help her calm down, so I will sit with her, give her a cuddle if she needs one, and tell her calmly to "slow down." When she has, then we talk and I can reiterate the rule while she can focus.

With some things, there are consequences related to the action. For example, if she throws a toy that is not a ball, it goes away for 15 minutes by the timer.

The thing I can't figure out how to solve is that she will literally hit us and then lean in immediately to kiss us better! Can't tell her no, I don't want your kiss - I won't withhold affection. All I can figure out is to keep telling her that hitting is not okay and that if she wants a kiss she should just ask for a kiss!

The Aitch

hi! New here, nice to meet you.

I was just thinking this ther other day about my 20 month old. That she has become a diva. I can;t help but wonder if a little bro or sis would stop that behavior. What's the word in the game for you and boss lady concerning that?**

Also, I am completely jealous of Peanut's wardrobe. if only I could dress that cool I'd got that job!

** Yikes, I just realized that's extremely rude of a stranger to ask that, go ahead and ignore it if you'd like.

panthergirl

Isn't it funny how that happens? With my kids, it was the DAY they turned 18 months (ok, Lucas was a PITA from day one, but it got worse at 18 months. Emma was an ANGEL until that very day. Then she learned "NO".)

It's why they make 'em so damned cute...

Lori

I'm obviously late with the comment, but this came up when I did a search on "17 months defiant" - and it sure is good to know that we're not the only ones with an out-of-control toddler!!!

I thought it might be spoiling...sounds like it's just what it is. For the next 18 years. *sigh*

Irma

Having problems pnositg a comment but wanted you to know I've been thinking about you over the weekend as we induldged in the usual bank holiday rituals; what you, Josie and Eva are doing is amazing, you should be so, so proud.The hospital trip is an instant call as to why everyone should help to raise much needed awareness xx

Will

Beautiful picture of Sanjita - it was imgaes like these than made me realise I could not leave Bangladesh and pretend to forget what I'd seen.I like Yan To's comment, that it's important not to get lost in statistics, that saving just one life makes any trip/fundraising effort worthwhile.I look forward to hearing about tomorrow.

Vicky

Fetch! Joey Posted on ~ I have changed all of my rcuese dogs name. Most don't sound any where near their old name.I just changed my Chihuahua's old name from Taco to Joey and he is already responding really well to it. It has been less than a week.My dog Frasier was Grant when I got him and my other girl Daphne used to be Midnight. They are respond to the new name as long as you reward them, look at them and keep saying the new name to them.If you don't want to change it completely you can do Cody, Kobe, Jodi, Rowdy, Brody.

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