Doing Battle with a 15 Month Old

Updated on August 06, 2011
H.1. asks from Des Moines, IA
4 answers

Life with my 15 month old has become a series of battles! He is getting so strong willed and makes a huge deal out of everything he doesn't want - from diaper changes, coming inside the house, getting in the car, etc. It also is a new thing that anytime he cannot do something (open his toybox, steer his toy cars, etc.) he will screech. He throws food, tests limits, and seems that he is forever whining about something even when NOTHING is wrong!

Don't get me wrong - I LOVE being with my little man and I understand he's becoming a toddler and asserting his independence. I just am looking for advice, stories of your own, or words of encouragement for handling what seems like endless battles. This is a very general question I know - but did you other moms out there remember a time or currently experiencing something similar? I'm hoping its just a phase!

Also - he has been to the doctor to ensure he's well. He's had lots of ear infections so I always check when he's super irritable. He sleeps and eats fine - just CRABBY constantly even when he's slept, eaten and being played with. Basically, I feel like I can't win or make him happy :/

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answers from Minneapolis on

My 15 month old is also getting into the tantrum stage. He throws food that he doesn't like even if he is hungry. If he is done with his food , he starts throwing the remaining on the ground. If he is done playing with a toy, he throws it and then cries.Same with sippy cup. He screams until I give him what he wants. I have not been able to control his throwing, I tell him no , but he always thinks it's a game or something.sigh! But other times when he screams for something I don't want him to have, I don't give it to him. I give him something else. He continues to cry for just a bit and then gets distracted. My son screams as well when he can't open his toy box etc , I help him when I can and teach him how to do it, other times I distract him with some other toy. He easily gets distracted. I have realized his screaming is a way of him communicating with M.. Earlier if he couldn't open the toy box, he would try a bit and move on to something else. But now he knows that it can be opened and wants it opened , so he screams. I have realized that if I ignore his tantrums he stops on his own and finds something else to play with. Sometimes he keeps crying for M. to pick him up. When I do pick him up , he wants to get down and play. As soon as I let him down , he is crying again to be picked up. I have now started to ignore him for couple minutes when he does that.Ignore as in not sit on the couch and ignore. I don't have the heart to do that. I ignore him when I am busy with something, cooking or doing the dishes etc. Beleive M. he doesn't cry any longer than a minute or two when he realizes mom is busy to pick him up.The other day I was washing my hands in between doing the dishes just to pick him up so that he stops screaming and was surprised that he suddenly had stopped crying and started playing on his own. The times he just doesn't stop crying - he is either hungry, sleepy or not feeling well.My son doesn't cry all the time though- he is generally very happy.But yes, I remmeber him being fussy all day when he had ear infections.He continued being fussy for few days after the infection cleared up and his doctor told M. that there 's still be some pain because of the pressure in the ears, so it will take him time to get better.He wouldn't eat well too those days.Also are you a stay at home mom? My son could play at home all day before without getting bored. Ever since he started daycare, I have realized he loves interaction with other kids a lot. He loves playing at daycare. Last week I had to keep him home for few days as he had fever , he got bored with all his toys and would cry for my attention. This week back to daycare, and he is happy again.
Oh I have heard this is just a stage. but then I have also heard it only gets worse. I am already worried about terrible twos!:)



answers from Boca Raton on

My daughter, who is now 18 months old, took to throwing things when she didn't get what she wanted from them. An example of this is her sippy cups... When she would drink the last bit of juice, she'd just chuck it at the ground and cry. So on top of giving her a stern "No, don't throw", I'd actually take the sippy cup away for 10 minutes, so she wouldn't get a refill, then after the allotted time I would give it back to her, empty, and say "Do you need more juice?", and she'd and it to me. Now if her juice is empty, she hands it to me nicely. Sh doesn't throw things much anymore either.

So from my experience your best bet is show your little man that you won't give into what he wants if he gives a reaction like that. Try and get him to give you the proper behavior and reward only that with what he wants.

Hes just testing you now to see what he can get from you and how. But not letting him get over excited will save you a lot of stress and him a lot of tears.


answers from Williamsport on

Back to Basics Discipline by Janet Campbell Matson. Put this in the rear view. He's the perfect age to learn the right way to behave and spare you oodles of discipline later. He' being perfectly normal for his age, and he's old enough to learn better!
I have three who all learned quickly not to throw food, tantrum, and all that basics stuff. You can do it! Read it!



answers from Minneapolis on

My son was the same. He's now 3.5 and he has improved, but he is still very strong willed at times and can be a little grouch. Three has been better than the two's, we had lots of tantrums. One thing that helped us with the whining when he was whining just because he wanted help with something, was to teach him the sign for help. Once he learned that, he got less frustrated and would come "ask" for help and resulted in less whining. But overall, it's mostly a phase and once they are able to communicate more and you can reason (kind of) with them it improves. I do agree with the poster below, in general don't give in to the whining otherwise they will use it more often.

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