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HELP! My Toddler didn't come with a User's Manual!

I know that toddlers are known for going through a difficult stage, but I am at my wits end! He gets so wrapped up in his own world that I have to ask him a question about 6 times (practically shouting). He seems to look for reasons to disagree with us, even if he contradicts himself doing so. He refuses to eat what we ask even if it's something he loves, and he'd rather lose his toys several nights in a row than pick them up. The combination of these usually add up to several time outs, removed toys, and a lot of tears and screaming.

I know all toddlers go through a difficult stage, but when does it start to get better? My son will be 3 in the spring, and I am hoping to have some of his behavioral issues cleared up, or at least know there is an end in sight. If you can think of ideas to help or even just relate, please respond.

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Asked by nimk99 at 10:30 PM on Dec. 10, 2008 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (6)
  • I feel soooo bad because I'm starting that stage with my 2 1/2 yr. old daughter. Sometimes I just have to sit down and cry I get so frustrated! If it's due to get worse I'm just going to lock myself in my room and hope when daddy gets home there's still a home left to come to. Actually I've tried times outs, spanking, early bed times, we don't have toy issues like throwing or not picking them up just behavioral problems with everything else! Meals are the WORST!!!!!!

    Answer by watersgirls at 10:34 PM on Dec. 10, 2008

  • if you have to ask him something twice, go up to him and get down to his level and ask him. that way you have his attention, and less shouting. Every kid goes through the picky eating stage, my son is 20 months and hopefully finally getting out of it (i finally got him to eat speghetti again tonight! yay me! lol) Just give him what you make. if he doesn't eat, he doesnt' eat. he won't starve himself, when he gets hungry, he'll eat what's in front of him. no need for mom to slave over a stove just to keep him happy.

    Answer by armywife43 at 10:39 PM on Dec. 10, 2008

  • what i do through this stage, i get him to drink V8 fusion, and pediasure,so i know he's getting what he needs. as for picking his toys up, do you tell him to do it, or do you show him? sometimes kids like to do things if they're directed by mom or dad. like my son, he'll pick his toys up sometimes, but other times he won't do it unless i start. normally i just have to pick up a couple of toys and he's got the rest of the room. Don't worry, this will end. just wait till he's 3! i think that's worse than 2's....i call it the horrific threes. they know how to talk back at that age. lol. but it will end, i promise!

    Answer by armywife43 at 10:39 PM on Dec. 10, 2008

  • Ask only once. Get down on his level, take his chin in your hands (gently!) so he is looking at you, and whisper what you need or want him to do.
    Don't worry about what he eats. Offer him only good foods and let him choose to be hungry or not. It won't hurt him and is a natural consequence of his actions. If he whines and throws a fit for candy or cookies, offer him apples or whole wheat goldfish.

    And you are right, he is looking for reasons to disagree with you. He wants to know what the boundaries are, where his independence ends, where the "because I said so" line starts, and that you will love him no matter what. Sad to say but toddlers usually behave better for relatives since they do not trust them to put up with bad behavior. Try to think of the fits as a badge of honor - he loves and trusts you enough to have a melt down.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 10:47 PM on Dec. 10, 2008

  • And from what I've read, the "independence thing" cycles through every 6-months or so. Many, many parents think someone switched their child for a little demon at 1.5 years, 2.5 years, 3.5 years - only to find the original, sweet child returned to them 6 months later. So there is hope for you. Mine turns 2.5 years in another month.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 10:47 PM on Dec. 10, 2008

  • My son is a little over 3 years and still is a pain. He absolutely refuses to constantly pick up his toys, and he knows how to. So, last night I told him, "ok you're not going to pick them up, then you will have no toys." He still didn't pick them up so I put them in his sister's room, we always keep her door shut. I gave him less than 5 toys back today and will slowly give him more back. I figure this is the only way he will learn. Because he always makes the mess and just looks at me and laughs and says mess, haha. Its very annoying!

    As for the eating, I still have no idea as to what to do. My son has been that way since he was 1 year old and its gotten worse. My daughter who is 16mo still pigs out all the time and hasn't slowed down on eating yet. She loves her food.


    Answer by kimikylemama at 11:13 PM on Dec. 10, 2008

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