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The terrible 2's & going out in public

Our Daughter is 18months & it seems as if she is already going through the terrible 2's, she is teething & waking us up at 3am.

Last night we went to wal-mart to do some Christmas shopping & it was terrible. She refused to stay in the shopping cart, threw things(broke an ornament), yelled & cried. I'm at my wits end & I don't know what to do or how to break her. I tell her "No" and it doesn't work and time-out she plays with the chair. I need some new ideas!!! It's so hard to go out in public anymore....

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Asked by marcnsarah at 10:18 AM on Dec. 4, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 3 (17 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • I don't have much advice for as I"m not to 18 months with my daughter. But you said you went last night and I wonder if it was too late for her? Was she possibly sleepy? Does she have a set bedtime routine? That really helps with their tantrums. I also bring snacks to the store so she can eat them while I shop.
    You might want to buy or check out the Supernanny book too. She has loads of advice.

    Answer by MamaChamp at 10:38 AM on Dec. 4, 2009

  • Persistance is about the only thing you can do. If she acts out in public, put her in time out in the middle of the asile (if it's not busy) Just keep doing this. She will realize that no matter what she does, you will not give in and alter your schedule just because she is acting out. If another person mentions her screaming, just politely say "would you rather me teach her how to correctly behave now or deal with a bad mannered teenager later?" As for the cart, let her know that getting out of the cart is a privelige and if she misbehaves, she cannot get out. Don't give into the "I'll buy you a toy if you are good" either. It only reinforces the thought that she can get something everytime you shop rather than being a gift.


    Answer by Jademom07 at 10:44 AM on Dec. 4, 2009

  • One other thing, the terrible two's are just a phase in which they know what they want to say but just don't know how to yet and want to exert some independance. How about giving her a task to do when shopping like looking for a certain color.. Make it into a game

    Answer by Jademom07 at 10:46 AM on Dec. 4, 2009

  • hon, they ALL go through it... and it sucks! my youngest is just exiting that phase, fortunately.
    i know it sounds too easy, but like most "easy" things, it is incredibly hard... IGNORE her tantrums, and try to redirect her behavior. when you're shopping, have her help put things in the shopping cart, pick things out 9simple choices between 2 things). reward her GOOD behavior, even if it only last a moment, with hugs/kisses and verbal praise, not candy or toys. completely ignore the outbursts, and do not give her any attention- it WILL take a while, but you can retrain the bad behavior.
    anyone who says something to you, or gives you an evil look either does not have kids, or has grown children and doesn't remember this phase... always keep in mind that this too shall pass. they grow so quickly. just take a deep breath, grin and bear it.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 10:48 AM on Dec. 4, 2009

  • it's prolly gonna be rough for awhile- I went through it with both my kids-but you have to MAKE them stay in the cart - I would give them jobs-like hand them stuff and let them stack it in the cart, or give them something to munch on or even a take a toy to play with
    good luck *and try not to go when they are tired...

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 10:49 AM on Dec. 4, 2009

  • as far as teething, if she is cutting molars they hurt like heck!!! funny remedy, but works AMAZINGLY WELL (just cut my wisdom teeth, and had to use it on myself, so i personally vouch for the effectiveness) is to rub 1-2 drops of liquid benadryl (or the generic form) directly on the affected area. don't give it to her as a dose... it takes down the inflammation, soothes, and slightly numbs it. you can do that on the hour as needed. also, things like frozen blueberries are GREAT, the smash easily, (unlike peas) and are wonderful for teething! (and great nutrition!). having just gone through the teething process as an adult, i feel her pain. it is horrible.
    whatever you do, just keep in mid that no one important is judging you- the only important thing is that you do the best you know how, and take any useful advice you can, forget everything else... and smile! a smile goes a long way.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 10:52 AM on Dec. 4, 2009

  • She goes into time out until she is done with her fit. She wants to play with the chair? Make her STAND there until she's done with her fit. If it takes 30 minutes, so be it. If this is in the store, so be it. Until you show her that you will not tolerate this inappropriate behavior, she will continue with home and in public. Time out and ignore her. I have parked each of my kids on the floor in the middle of a store only took one time each, now a threat and "the look" are enough for them to knock it off.

    And yes, she IS old enough to learn. Toddlers are not stupid, they know how to manipulate parents very well when allowed.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:04 AM on Dec. 4, 2009

  • sounds like my outings... it was really bad from 22 months to 24 months.. still some days vary

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 12:30 PM on Dec. 4, 2009

  • It's a rough stage... She's starting to understand that independence is something that exists and she wants it, but she by no means ready to be independent! It's so frustrating for her because she can't do the things she want's to do (isn't physically capable, verbally mature enough, etc) but she's not willing to be just along for the ride either. Hang in there. There are different parts of the "terrible twos"-- it will get both better and worse. Just keep being firm with her, try to remain calm no matter what she's doing (and no matter how many people are looking at you). It won't last forever. (I had a 3 month old when my daughter was your age. I remember wearing the little one while dragging the big one -- literally kicking and screaming -- out of the library. I didn't understand why the crowd of people staring at us showed no signs of sympathy...) I feel ya, mom.

    Answer by EmilySusan at 12:46 PM on Dec. 4, 2009

  • oops, I meant to say I had a 3 month old when my daughter was your daughter's age (not your age!!)

    Answer by EmilySusan at 12:48 PM on Dec. 4, 2009

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