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What do you suggest I do?

My 17 1/2 month old son has a serious attitude problem. Whenever he doesn't get his way or he finishes eating he will get mad and knock over whatever is in his eyesight. How do I reprimand this behavior. I have tried spanking him, telling him no-no and timeouts. What do I do?


Asked by Anonymous at 6:23 PM on Mar. 1, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

This question is closed.
Answers (4)
  • The first line of defense at this age is distraction.
    When you can see a tantrum coming, you try to distract him. For example, your going to take something away from him and you know he'll throw a fit. Plan ahead. "Sweetie, you can't have the scissors. Let's play ball instead." Then follow through by playing ball with him for a few minutes.

    If he does throw a fit or breaks the rules (throwing, etc), he is old enough to be punished. He's a toddler, not an infant.
    Pick a time out spot. A quiet corner, a chair, a mat in the middle of a floor, an empty play pen. But not his crib or room.
    Pick him up and plop him in his timeout spot.
    Stay in the same room but do not look at him or talk to him. Pretend to read a book or something.
    Let him yell and scream as much as he wants. If he leaves his timeout spot, pick him up and put him back without saying anything or making eye contact.
    - cont -

    Answer by kaycee14 at 7:43 PM on Mar. 1, 2009

  • That's normal 17 month old behavior, he doesn't need to be punished or hurt because of this,that will not help him learn.

    When he gets frustrated at a situation, take him away from it, and start on something else.

    Answer by ladysavage at 6:31 PM on Mar. 1, 2009

  • Once he calms down, timeout starts. Set a timer for 1 minute per year of age. Half minutes are allowed so, since he is 1.5 years, you can use 1.5 minutes.
    When the timer goes off, pick him up and say three sentences like this:
    I know you were angry when mommy took the scissors away.
    Throwing toys is against the rules.
    Let's find something fun to do together.

    Then reward his calm behavior by playing with him for a few mintues.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 7:45 PM on Mar. 1, 2009

  • In general, it's best to ignore tantrums. The sooner he learns that they're not getting him anywhere, the sooner they'll stop. That said, if he throws a toy/object because he didn't get his way, tell him to pick it up. If he doesn't pick it up, put your hand over his and help him pick it up then move on.

    As far as at the dinner table, if he throws his tray, cup etc. have him pick it up and end the meal. If he won't pick it up, put your hand over his and help him pick it up.

    When he's behaving, practice saying/signing "all done". Say/show him the sign: take your hands, palms facing down, and cross them in front of you then uncross them and say "all done".

    Answer by twinclubmom at 8:10 PM on Mar. 1, 2009