Toddlers: 24 Months+


So for the past little while we've been dealing with tantrums that are (I'm pretty sure) associated with jealousy... or at least jealousy is the initial trigger.

When DD is with one of us (myself or DH) one on one, she is great, but whenever we try to do things as a family (DD, DH and myself), it's chaos. I think that DD is jealous of not being the absolute center of attention when DH and I are together with her.

It results in a lot of attitude and leads to tantrums whenever we try to do something as a family. Or just makes things difficult in general because she just doesn't want to agree with anything when we're both around.

Has anyone else been experiencing anything like this? I'm not sure what to do. DH and I plan to spend more family time with her instead of one on one so that we can try to teach her how to "share" essentially, but any other tips would be greatly appreciated.

We're also dealing with tantrums of epic proportions at the moment, which have been super fun <insert sarcasm> when DD doesn't get her own way. I guess we're carrying the terrible two's on in to the terrible threes.

Re: Jealousy

  • I think my kids are better behaved when it's just me than when we are all together.  I think part of it is when I'm alone and I have to be more on top of behavior because it's just me.  But when we're together it's easy to think the other adult is watching them closer.  I also think kids are just hams and want attention, positive or negative, so they feel like they need to try harder for it when DH and I have each other to talk to on top of them.  

    For us 3s are way harder than 2s.  DD was much easier at 2 but once she got closer to 3 it was like sass city.  Tantrums were less frequent but like 75x more dramatic at 3.  She rolls out with things like "No, you cannot play with me EVER!".  DS is 2 and throws out lots of "no" but it's way more dramatic at 3.  
  • I don't think it's jealousy.  I think she's a toddler.

    I also think, to an extent, toddlers are exceptional manipulators of situations.  They spend a lot of time testing their boundaries so they know just how far they can push it.  And they do.  Along the lines of what @Ashiscute said, she might "get away" with more when you're both around because you're less concerned with paying attention to the signs leading up to the unwanted behavior.

    Then again, it could just be because she's a toddler.  And toddlers aren't easy.
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  • We are having some epic tantrums here too! My daughter is 2 years 7 months old. Honestly, the only thing that gets Renee to stop misbehaving is a time out. We don't really do the typical time out though. I take her into her bedroom alone and the two of us sit and talk about what is wrong and what kind of behavior I expect from her. Usually just that pause and fresh scenery changes her behavior. 9 times out of 10 she will leave her room with a "I'm sorry for not listening Mommy" and then she goes and plays nicely. Of course, it doesn't always work, but consistency is key!

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  • my experience is different, b/c i think my kids are better behaved when both of us are around. i attribute it to more attention overall, even though we obv have our own conversations and they are not getting 100% of our attention.

    have you tried talking to her about it? not very high level, but just preparing her for family time (that's what we call it when we're all together) and talking about what you'll do and what you're excited for, etc. emphasize how special it is and how nice it is when you can all do things together without any crying and fighting.

    i've never tried a rewards chart but maybe something like that could help the overall tantrum situation? 

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