Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

Am I too harsh?

I was talking to my mother the other night and it seemed like all I did was complain about DS (a week shy of 12 months).  He has been sick a lot since going to daycare, so he is whiny.  He has also started throwing his food on the floor, would get upset for seemingly no reason and starts screaming/crying, and is fighting naps.  He is terrible at sharing and would cry/scream if another child takes his toy and/or doesn't give him the toy the minute DS wants it.  But then again, it's not as if he is terrible.  Most of the time he is relatively content.  He also adores me and always wants to play with me.

I love DS to pieces, but I always hear parents talk about how good natured and sweet their LO is, and I honestly don't think I can say that I see that in DS.  I am an only child myself and have never been around small children before, so I was wondering if my expectations are totally out of line.

Re: Am I too harsh?

  • My DD throws food too.  I asked my hairdresser about that (she has 5 kids) and she said that won't stop until they're two.  During this conversation, DD was throwing Cheerios all over the salon floor and she said how good DD was.  Apparently she classifies not screaming as good. 

     The getting upset for no reason thing could be teething.  DD has no patience when she is tired or teething.  With the naps, maybe he is trying to adjust his schedule some.  

    I am an only child too so this is also my first time around little ones. For what its worth, I think your kid seems normal.   

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  • Nicb13Nicb13
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    I personally think that once you realize this is exactly how a toddler is, you can accept it a little better. I read an article about toddler behavior and it literally changed me.

    Sure it's annoying when DS throws tantrums but it's the only way he knows how to express that he's frustrated. When I look at it from his perspective I kind of feel sorry for the little guy and it's easier to be compassionate rather than pissed.  

    Maybe you need to focus on the good things about your son rather than what bothers you....?

     

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    DS born 3/10/12 - DD - born 10/7/14!

     

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  • Oh don't get me wrong - I know this is typical toddler behaviour and that's exactly why I'm wondering if I'm being too harsh.  I'm not mad or annoyed at him about it, I am genuinely just curious as to when other parents gloat about how adorable and sweet their child is, exactly what they are referring to.  I mean, generally DS is quite good and fun; but I don't know if I can say he is particularly sweet or good-natured since he doesn't really do anything that illustrates that...?

  • Nicb13Nicb13
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    Oh don't get me wrong - I know this is typical toddler behaviour and that's exactly why I'm wondering if I'm being too harsh.  I'm not mad or annoyed at him about it, I am genuinely just curious as to when other parents gloat about how adorable and sweet their child is, exactly what they are referring to.  I mean, generally DS is quite good and fun; but I don't know if I can say he is particularly sweet or good-natured since he doesn't really do anything that illustrates that...?

    Then to answer your question, yes, I think you might be a little harsh. I don't know you and I really am not trying to be mean but you DO sound annoyed in these posts. You are listing all the things your kid does wrong (or what isn't pleasant) and then you are referring to other parents behavior as "gloating" when they say good things about their child. Just what I get from a couple posts from a stranger on the internet :) It's very easy to misunderstand what you're getting at...which I might be doing.

     

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    DS born 3/10/12 - DD - born 10/7/14!

     

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  • I whine about DD all the time when she's being a crank or throwing her food, and she's a great baby generally.  She has a very strong personality.  She's super cute, and I know it's normal toddler behavior, but it's still difficult.  I don't think it sounds like you're expecting more of him now than he's capable of, it sounds like you are hoping for him to grow out of this phase sooner than later :).  Nothing wrong with that!  I think it's healthy to get your frustrations out, and your mother is obviously a safe place to do that, which is awesome.  Better to get it out to her than to keep it all inside and end up being really frustrated with your LO.  I think you're fine :)

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  • Nicb13Nicb13
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    image Lilygrace48:
    I whine about DD all the time when she's being a crank or throwing her food, and she's a great baby generally.  She has a very strong personality.  She's super cute, and I know it's normal toddler behavior, but it's still difficult.  I don't think it sounds like you're expecting more of him now than he's capable of, it sounds like you are hoping for him to grow out of this phase sooner than later :).  Nothing wrong with that!  I think it's healthy to get your frustrations out, and your mother is obviously a safe place to do that, which is awesome.  Better to get it out to her than to keep it all inside and end up being really frustrated with your LO.  I think you're fine :)

    Now I feel like an a-hole with my response!

    I do think venting is great and I don't think my child is perfect by any means but I understand his moods and can deal with them. Generally speaking though, he's a loving and caring little kid and I hope he always is.

     

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  • ZimgerZimger
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    Oh don't get me wrong - I know this is typical toddler behaviour and that's exactly why I'm wondering if I'm being too harsh.  I'm not mad or annoyed at him about it, I am genuinely just curious as to when other parents gloat about how adorable and sweet their child is, exactly what they are referring to.  I mean, generally DS is quite good and fun; but I don't know if I can say he is particularly sweet or good-natured since he doesn't really do anything that illustrates that...?

    After years of experience in daycare I'm able to look at DS and say yes, he's pretty mild mannered...at least compared to some other children I've seen. He does things that are adorable. However, he is not always happy and easy going nor is he always doing something adorable. He can be a downright cranky little guy. 

    I think it is okay to vent to family and friends. They can usually either sympathize with you or offer a different perspective that may help. 

     As far as gloating goes...I think we can all find something to gloat about when it comes to our children.

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  • Nicb13 - I dind't think your comments were the least bit mean ^__^.

    I'm a very rational and logical person by nature, and I tend to over-analyze everything.  So I don't know if I'm complaining more than the average parent because DS is more difficult or that other parents just don't complain.

  • I have not been around very many toddlers , and I have been beside myself lately with how fussy and exhausting DS has been lately. I love him to bits, but we had a couple of weeks where I was ready to pull my hair out every day. A very good friend has a DS 15 months older than mine, so I read her blog entries from last year to see what her little guy was doing at this age. I was so depressed to see all of the fun crafts they were able to do, how they could go to library story time, etc. I thought something was either wrong with me or with DS. Then DS and I got to hang out with my friend and her son last week, and she flat out told me that this age is hard! I cannot tell you what a burden this lifted for me. It seems silly to me now, but just to hear that my very "together" friend who has a very perfect little boy verbalize that even he was tough at this age made me feel 100 times better. She also assured me that it gets easier when they can communicate and walk better.
                 

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  • Nicb13Nicb13
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    Nicb13 - I dind't think your comments were the least bit mean ^__^.

    I'm a very rational and logical person by nature, and I tend to over-analyze everything.  So I don't know if I'm complaining more than the average parent because DS is more difficult or that other parents just don't complain.

    And I think I read into your OP wrong or took what you were saying the wrong way. DS was very difficult right when he turned 1 and I do remember thinking man, I don't even want to be around my own child! Well, he's drastically improved and he's a joy to be around but I really think lots of parents (at least ones I know) put on a front. They make the outside world believe their lives and their children are damn near perfect. It drives other parents crazy.

    Whether it's a baby STTN or eating better or growing faster or walking first, parents always "play up" how great their kid is. I think it's just the nature of the beast :)

     

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    DS born 3/10/12 - DD - born 10/7/14!

     

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  • My DS is a typical toddler.  He's super active, always into everything, imitates everyone, always tags along and wants to help, wants to be involved in everything, always wants attention, and is constantly trying to control his world and dictate his way.   He is a super sweet boy though he can be a handful and is hard to parent becuase he is sooooo busy!  I also read an article about toddlers and it really helped me see that these things are really good things and mean that he's learning and growing.  As an adult, it will be great that he has a lot of energy, is smart and inquisitive, and knows what he wants.  It's just hard to parent now.  So, DH and I are learning how to set appropriate boundaries (safety issues, playing nicely with others), encourage his curiousity and helpfulness (including him in daily chores/activities, reading to him, counting and playing iwth him), and find good releases for his energy (playing outside, running around with the dog, swimming).  It's up to us to encourage him to be who he is naturally and set appropriate limits, not change his nature.

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  • DS is a little hit sometimes. Other times he is the most easy going happy little boy. The other parents gloating have good times and bad times too but you are another parent and everyone wants their child to be perfect. Your mom is a safe outlet but try to get the other moms to release a little. You all need to join forces in complain rants and bragging.
  • shannmshannm
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    It is totally kid dependent. My son was easy going and I could take him anywhere. DD is a Diva. So much fussier and difficult to please.

  • My child has way more tough times than easy times right now.  And when people ask me "how is your little one doing?!" I always respond with the good stuff but in the back of my mind I am thinking "it's so hard right now!  He's very whiny!  He's not a happy camper 90 percent of the time!, etc."

    My son is getting his third and fourth molar in which I think has a lot to do with his mood right now (nearly always unhappy, cries a lot, very senstive, etc).  We've been in this tough phase for a good month.  But I have concluded a couple things in the last couple of weeks after posting on the Bump, talking to close friends, etc...

    1. Most parents don't talk about how it really is...so don't try to compare to what you're hearing from others because you're comparing your whole picture to their (positive) highlight reel.

    2. One year olds are hard for all the reasons you've listed and the other PP's. Somedays I can laugh about his mood and be totally patient and sympathetic to whatever he has going on...and other days I'm mad, frustrated, sad, impatient, etc.  I am just trying to do my best and take it one day at a time lately!  Plus, I think just how our babies are totally different from one another, so are us mommies...what might frustrate you might be nothing to me and vice versa.

     Good luck!  You are not alone:)

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  • image Nicb13:
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    Oh don't get me wrong - I know this is typical toddler behaviour and that's exactly why I'm wondering if I'm being too harsh.  I'm not mad or annoyed at him about it, I am genuinely just curious as to when other parents gloat about how adorable and sweet their child is, exactly what they are referring to.  I mean, generally DS is quite good and fun; but I don't know if I can say he is particularly sweet or good-natured since he doesn't really do anything that illustrates that...?

    Then to answer your question, yes, I think you might be a little harsh. I don't know you and I really am not trying to be mean but you DO sound annoyed in these posts. You are listing all the things your kid does wrong (or what isn't pleasant) and then you are referring to other parents behavior as "gloating" when they say good things about their child. Just what I get from a couple posts from a stranger on the internet :) It's very easy to misunderstand what you're getting at...which I might be doing.

     

    Totally don't think you're an a-hole!!  Just a different way to look at it :).

     I also think that OP should remember that all those other parents who gloat are probably also venting to their own parents/siblings/close friends.  Regardless of how wonderful all of our children are, they all have their moments and we all need to vent about those when they happen. 

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  • I don't think you're being too harsh--I have felt the same way many many times.  It seems like since DS was born we've been waiting to catch a break.  He came out screaming, and never stopped.  Seriously.  Screamed ALL.THE.TIME.  He was put on IV antibiotics immediately after being born b/c I spiked a fever and they were worried about infection.  He was diagnosed with colic.  He was diagnosed with reflux and has been on meds ever since he was a few weeks old.  He was diagnosed with milk/soy intolerance and we've been through the gamut of formulas to find one his little body can handle (and going through the "formula experiment" process was NOT easy...again--screamed ALL.THE.TIME).  It was miserable.  Now that he's older and a bit more independent in that he can crawl around and stuff on his own (and he's outgrown the colic, and he's on formula that agrees with him) it's WAYYYY better.  But, I will tell you, that boy has the strongest personality of any baby I've ever met.  He knows what he wants, and he wants it NOW.  He's already started throwing tantrums--full out, body on the floor, head banging the carpet tantrums.  He doesn't sit still.  If you're holding him he wants to be touching everything and anything in a five foot radius so "holding" him really translates to trying to "contain" him.  Car rides?  Forget it--he screams the entire time he's in his carseat unless we have a DVD playing.  Being in the high chair? You better have food ready to give him because if you don't he'll scream and arch his back to get out because he does NOT like being confined.  DH and I are first time parents and we are ALWAYS wondering if something is wrong with him...  Why is he fussy NOW?  Why won't he stop crying AGAIN?  What hurts him this time?  (Is it his tummy?  Is it his teeth?--which he still only has his bottom two but he's been exhibiting all signs of teething since he was 3 months old!)  It is EXHAUSTING to the point that DH and I are 95% one and done, which we never thought we'd be.  I vent to friends and family because I HAVE to.  I absolutely love DS to pieces and I wouldn't trade him for the world, but when we go to our parenting group meetings every other week and see the other babies all calmly playing together and sitting nicely and not screaming every time they have to go in the carseat it wears on us a little more. 

    So, OP, vent away.  I get it.  And you gotta do what you gotta do!

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  • This is exactly how I felt from birth to 6 months. I remember asking my SIL who has a daughter that is 10 months older than DS, "Do you ever feel like this is just so much work and no reward?" She said, "All. The. Time." We both agreed that it felt good to say it out loud. I've come to observe that people tend not to talk about how frustrating having a newborn/infant/toddler/child is because it makes them feel inadequate. No one wants to admit that their kids drive them bonkers. Yet I bet every single person who has a child has those days where they want to put them to bed at four and crack open a bottle of wine. Parenting is hard. Kids are hard. Good thing they're cute.


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  • My first DS Has a temperament that makes him a little hard to like sometimes. He's needy, whiny, moody, always looking for a reason to be mad it seems. He's also really physically affectionate and funny and introspective. Those things didn't come out until later. When he was a baby he was hard to be around, frankly. I used to feel really guilty that I didn't really enjoy spending time with him all that much because it was just a lot of emotional energy and it always seemed really negative. We still definitely have times like that.

    DS2 is also all of those things but not so much time. I think he has just has a more even temperament. He throws food and is unpleasable especially when teething. He's especially clingy on the days when I send them to the babysitter. They are just toddlers and they are emotional and don't know how to manage themselves. My guess is that your child is just more like my first one and will always be like this to some degree but it does get easier as they get older it learn how to manage their emotions and just get more mature.

    Hang in there! Being a mom is not at all easy especially don't have a very easygoing child!
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  • Maybe you can start framing how you talk about DS in a positive manner. Kids can pick up on tone...and if he's labeled a troublemaker...by the person that loves him best...manifest destiny. You need to highlight his good attributes and encourage those...if what gets your attention is his bad behavior, he'll continue that.  That being said, as long as it wasn't in fornt of your DS, and was just to your mom...she probably has good advice.

    Normal toddler behavior isn't technically bad behavior, they don't know the proper way to express anger, frustration, and beyond that don't have the words to express it any other way than the most primal way as in whining or hitting, it's up to us as parents to model and encourage the proper way to behave.

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