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How to get my 20 month old to STOP acting like an infant??

My son's 20 months olds and crys for everything like an infant. He is small for his age (20lbs) but I dont think thats a reason for him to act like this. When we have playdates with kids his age all the kids are playing a jabbering and he's sitting there whining and crying like a baby. He's in a toddler bed now and he won't even get out of bed until I pick him up, he'll justy lay there and cry! He will not eat unless I feed him. If I dont do it he really just wouldnt eat! He can walk but but he doesnt he throws himself down and cries! I hate that he's like this when I see all these toddlers his age doing so much more for themselves than him. Is there something I can do to help him mature a little more?


Asked by Anonymous at 7:13 PM on Feb. 21, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (7)
  • I would first rule out any developmental issues and autism before getting too upset. He may very well be doing this because he gets attention when he does, even negative attention is attention, so only give attention to the positive behaviors. My DD is 20 months and she won't get out of her bed either she just doesn't seem to know she should. Independent play is the way children this age play so don't be worried he isn't playing with others. If he doesn't have autism or something along those lines he will not starve himself a day or 2 without food because he won't feed himself won't hurt him and he will eat when he is hungry. Just only give attention to the good behaviors, ignore crying and tantrums all together. When my DD throws a tantrum I put her in her time out spot for a minute and then go get her and tell her not to do that and she quits hugs me and says sorry and is good for a long time. It takes work GL.

    Answer by truealaskanmom at 7:19 PM on Feb. 21, 2010

  • Stop enabling him.  Put his food in front of him and walk away. Tell him to eat. Give him a half an hour to just sit their with his food.  About the bed thing. Do not pick him up. Walking , the same thing do not pick him up. Start teaching him how to do things for his self.


    Answer by louise2 at 7:22 PM on Feb. 21, 2010

  • I agree with louise.
    He's not going to do anything for himself as long as you're doing things for him. Teach him how to be a big boy. Teach him how to do for himself.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 7:32 PM on Feb. 21, 2010

  • Maybe if you stopped pressuring him to act like a "big boy", he wouldn't be having these problems. 20 months old is still a baby. You're comparing him with his peers and that's not fair. All children grow at different rates.

    It sounds like there is more going on than you're telling us. Are you spanking him perhaps? Calling him bad names because he won't perform the way YOU think he should? Are you damaging his self esteem? He may have a developmental disorder. Have you discussed this with his pediatrician?

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:40 PM on Feb. 21, 2010

  • I agree rule out any developmental issues first. You don't want to make an issue out of something that he has no control over. Ruling out that, I agree with ignore him. It will be hard and first and he will cry more because of it. Till he figures it out. Heap on the praise and love when he is doing things more by himself. He will get it. Ensure you talk to a doctor to rule out any developmental issues or talk to head start, they specialize in those type of issues.


    Answer by DevilInPigtails at 7:43 PM on Feb. 21, 2010

  • It doesn't sound like you are being very nice to him. Maybe you need to learn some more parenting skills. Toddlers often react to how they are being treated.

    Answer by Gailll at 8:29 PM on Feb. 21, 2010

  • OP::Um Gailll, what did I say that doesn't sound like I'm being nice. He has a therapist that comes and works with him and I do what she tells me to do as far has how to handle the way he acts. he does not have any mental disorders... The therapist said he's lazy and stubborn. I don't think it has anything to do with the way I parent and NO Mrs. Anon:40 I do not "spank" or "call him bad names" I am his foster parent! He has been with me 1 1/2 years. If I wanted to do things like that I wouldn't have the child but yea thanks for that accusation! I'm just worried about how far behind he is and wanted to know little things I can do to help him catch up!

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:05 PM on Feb. 21, 2010

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