19 Month Old Fights Me on Almost EVERYTHING!

Updated on April 04, 2008
K.S. asks from Huntington Beach, CA
4 answers

Help! My Strong willed 19 month old fights me on almost everything. Her favorite word is "No". I've tried giving her choices ("Do you want the pink shirt or the blue shirt"), begging, strong arming, pretending I don't care, making a game of things...it almost never works. This goes for mostly for getting dressed, but also walking/riding in the basket (like at the store), getting into her car seat, eating, etc.

We've tried time out, praise, ignoring, explaining why and nothing seems to work. My hubby says it's just a phase but I'm usually the one that ends up having to wrestle her into whatever needs to be done and there's yelling and crying from both my daughter and I.

Is this just a phase? Anyone else going through this? For the most part she's a great kid and I love that she's so strong willed. I know this will help her in the future and I don't want to break her spirit. However, one must eat, get dressed, bathe, etc. Please help. I feel like I'm failing my mothering duties.


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So What Happened?

Thank you for your responses and encouragement. Sometimes I feel like we're the only people going through these stages. It helps to hear that our daughter is normal. And yes, she's a pretty good kid at school so it might be that she needs to blow off some steam and she feels comfortable with having her melt downs at home.

More Answers



answers from New York on

What is expected of her at Day Care? If she is "good" all day at daycare then its possible she needs melting down time with the only person she can truly trust.
Until my daughter was old enough to understand the rules of running errands she stayed home with Daddy while I got things done. You deserve to get your work done with minimal resistance since you're working full-time too.
I like what the other mom said, stay strong you are the mom and she needs you to be in control. She needs a role model and a person to help her make sense out of this world. Sounds like she's got the perfect mommy!!!



answers from New York on

This is DEF a phase. My daughter will be almost 3 in this summer and when she turned a year and half all hell broke loose. I stopped doing food shopping and other shopping on my own, it was still difficult to get her in and out of the car seat, you name it. They are trying to be independent and spread their wings. Just be patient. It is def a phase. Now that my daughter is 2.75, she is much more relaxed and tamed! I say that BC it was a growing spurt and it is natural! Just be patient!! My daughter got out of the phase just recently, I'd say at the 2.5 mark, so like 2-3 months ago and I am SO happy!
Good luck!



answers from New York on

Welcome to the world of terrible "2's". Some children are just more stong willed then others. You aren't failing your "motherly duties" she is just stubborn. I have a 3 going on 4 years old and she still has these tantrums sometimes. The only thing you have to remember is that YOU are the mother and you cannot allow her to overtake you. Coaxing may work to a point but when she puts her mind to something there may be no talking or punishing her out of it. You have to do it by force. I am not talking about spanking or hurting the child in any way but you have to take charge. If not she will walk all over you and think she can get her way. It takes a lot of patience and a lot of chamomile tea. When she gets like this take a step back a few deep breaths, and very calmly and sternly take charge of the situation. You don't want to be the mother of a 5 year old that screams and hits their mom in the grocery/department store (I know you have seen these women). Good luck and stay strong.

PS..my hubby doesn't help me in this situation either so you are not alone in that aspect.



answers from Syracuse on

Hi Kristal, Hang in there- I was just where you are and its SO hard and exhausting. It is a phase- try not to yell- save it for when you really need it. I ignored the tantrums as best I could- if home I walked away just into next room. No audience for tantrums. Also I read somewhere to set expectations ahaed and this seemed to help- I would tell my daughter "ok now we are getting ready to go to Target "school" Nannas" "get in our car seat" whatever it was. Dont give in to what she wants is she pitching a fit to get it- NEVER reward the bad behavior - praise her when she is doing something good. My daughter now 23 months was fighting me on EVERYTHING just as you describe. We also started 2 minute time outs. This combination of NEVER rewarding a tantrum, praising anything good "oh your being so polite while you eat your cereal...since youre being good would you like me to.... read a story...(whatever it is that she does like) etc... hang in there:)
Single Mom to a 23 month old adopted from China

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