Screaming and Hitting 20 Month Old

Updated on November 06, 2010
L.W. asks from Cortez, CO
8 answers

I am the same mom who wrote the other day about weaning from night time feedings, well I have another problem, she has developed I think what most would call the 'TERRIBLE TWOS" and she has just started to do this over the Christmas break while our son has been home. She screams when she doesn't get what she wants or if her brother (8)is sitting too close to her and she also will kick or hit him. When she does something wrong she has also started to throw fits, falling down on the ground and kicking and screaming. This is not the child I knew just a few weeks ago, what happened? Anyways, she was getting into something she wasn't supposed to be getting into, her brother told her NO and she started screaming, I set her down on a chair that I have decided (just recently due to this) is going to be the time out chair, she just kicked and screamed and hit the chair, finally I put her into her bed and shut the door, she is still screaming and banging on the walls as I type. I am at my witts end.....What happened to my little princess?

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So What Happened?

I would like to thank you all for your responses and advice. From talking with a lot of mom's and seeing your advice I am coming to the fact that this is just a phase. You all did have great idea's and points, i.e. more sugar due to the holidays, and having to split time with a brother who is now home full time instead of being home with just her and me all day. I will try the ignoring and the time out's, and we will see where we go from there!

THank you all again!


More Answers



answers from Las Vegas on

I am a grandmother of a 3 year old, and I had the same problem with her. Like you said, it pretty much happened overnight, and was very shocking. I did alot of research on the supject, and everything I read said to just walk away, and ignore her. Let her know that you are not going to watch her throw a fit, and definately let her know that she is not going to get what she wants, and don't give in. The next time it happened, just like you said, with the screaming, and kicking, and flayling of the arms, we were in the kitchen, and I told her I was not going to talk to her right now, and I left the room, and went into my living room. Well, get ready, because she started screaming louder, and crying more for awhile. I began talking to her 9 year old sister, and ignoring Summer, and after about 3 or 4 minutes, she moved into the hall way near the living room, and we just kept talking like she wasn't there, and after another couple of minutes, she stopped, and just sat there pouting. I finally walked up to her, and told her that when she behaves like this, grandma is not happy, and she needs to apologize for her bahavior. She did,and I gave her a hug, and a kiss, and she was fine. I had to do this everytime she threw a fit, for about a week, than, Finally, she stopped doing it with me. Believe me, it takes alot of work to keep this up, but it is worth it in the long run. Don't worry, she will still love you, but she will learn that that behavior doesn't work with Mommy. Of course you cannot do this in public. Then I would just leave the store,and go home.



answers from Tucson on

Hi Leana,maybe your little girl feels alittle left out.First,her nightime feedings stopped,which was less personal time with you.Then,she feels jealous when she sees you paying attention to your other children.Tell her to be good and just the two of you will eat a snack and watch a cartoon together or play a game together.Maybe she can keep you company at the kitchen table while you're fixing lunch or baking cookies.She just needs reassuring that she has your love & attention.Right now,the fits that she is showing is getting your attention,thinking maybe negative attention is better than no attention at all.Of course,you can't spend all day with just her,since you have other children and a husband who also likes to have your attention for awhile.Maybe you can give her a snack right before bedtime,while reading her a story.Then give her a little baby doll to sleep with,so she doesn't feel alone.Hope everything works out.I know it's hard to be everything to everybody.And you have to have more sleep.Maybe you could talk to your family dr. or pediatrician.Good luck to you.



answers from Phoenix on

Do not give up, persistence will pay off! Continue to have her a time out chair. If she gets up, put her right back on it. It may take many times, but you can't give in! Get at eye level and explain to her why she was put in this chair.Tell of the time she is to set in it and also tell her she will need to apologize when her time is up as well. When the time is up ask her if she is ready to apologize. If she is not, she can set a little longer. I know this sounds mean, but it will help her to know that she needs to abide by this. Make sure to stick to a routine of discipline and not change it. Just a suggestion.




answers from Las Vegas on

My youngest went thru the SAME thing at age 2! He would launch himself backwards and go into a fit of screaming. There was no reasoning with him when he got like this. We tried the time out chair shutting the door of his room etc... Finally one day we just ignored him. The bugger laid on the floor for 2 straight hours (he fell asleep in the middle of his fit) we just stepped around or over him. He woke up and got over his fit. That fit was over putting his toys back in the box they belong in before getting into something else. He seemed to fit for less and less time and then the behavior stopped... The big thing is to not play into the fit... Dont give her attention for being in a fit. Give positive attention for positive behavior. And no attention for rotten behavior. The Supper Nanny on TV uses the time out chair/beanbag chair one minuet for each year old the kid is. Try it!



answers from Colorado Springs on

Bless your heart! I know that the 2's can be a tough time. This has worked for us.... just some thoughts.

When she hits or does something that is not allowed then use the time out chair. It may take you several times putting her back in it and the time out may last an hour until she sits there like she needs to.... If she is just having a melt down from a "no", then I would just put her in her room and explain when she calms down she is welcome to join the family. That no one wants to listen to her fits. When she calms down acknowlage her feeling "I know you were frustrated from not getting brother's game, but that is his and you have your toys". This will help give her language to her feelings. My guess is with this starting over Christmas break... brother was home full time and she had to share space and time. Just in the few months older kids are in school, younger ones forget that older siblings get to be home full time too, and it is hard to adjust to the "new" routine.

I hope this helps.. I hate to sound pushy... just advise from a mom who as been and is there now. Daughters 7 & 4 son 2.



answers from Chicago on

I have one of those and she's two months away from being 2...She screams and totally freaks out when we don't give into what she wants. She tends to be that way more with her dad, but I think it's starting to be pretty even these past few days. She throws thing around like markers, food drinks anything to get a negative reaction. Oh, but when I ask her to pick up the mess she just made she just stares at me and doesn't even move. I've been telling her to go to her room and she will cry and scream the whole entire time. I think the more times we do this, she'll understand that it's a bad behavior and she will hopefully grow out of it before she drives me crazy. I'm trying to get play dates together so she can have kids her age and she is soooo good when I have other kids here. She behaves like an angel. So, I'm trying this: when she throws stuff like she's been doing, I ask her to pick it up...give her a couple chances and then I put her in her room and she will eventually get it. I hope there will be more post with better suggestions =)



answers from Pittsburgh on


She is probably getting in her two year molars, we forget this teething, and I noticed my little one being more aggressive, went to the doctor about her nose, and mentioned she was more aggravated, etc. The peditrician said, oh her molars are coming in. Try giving her some tylenoyl, (sp?) I did and it really helped my little one. When your in pain you act out, my husband had seen her go from kicking, screaming and then twenty minutes later after the tylenoyl kicked in, a happy go lucky sweet girl.. Hope that helps



answers from Colorado Springs on

Hi L.,

Just wondering if there is a fair amount of sugar in her diet. That can certainly play a role. Sugar is in everything! Kids consume, on average, 5# of sugar a week! Sounds impossible but when you start dividing the grams of sugar out it really is happening. Divide the number of grams of sugar by 4 and that will give you the # of teaspoons of sugar that is in something. I'll just use a can of Mountain Dew as an example. It has nearly 40 grams of sugar which equates to almost 10 teaspoons of sugar in one can! You can do the same with yogurt, etc. Anyway, that's just one thought. Hope it helps.


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