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1 year old advice needed! Please!!

Posted by on Nov. 24, 2014 at 3:36 PM
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So im finding that my 13 month old's screaming is not getting any better as the months go on. Now he just basically screams when he doesn't get his way..to put it simply. How in the heck do i stop this behavior??! I've gotta be doing something wrong! I doubt scream back at him. ..if anything i will calmly and politely tell him 'no' or say a few quick words. Yes, within seconds or a minute he's over it, but it is INCREDIBLY frustrating and I'm getting to the point where i almost can't speak to him nicely when he does this and i want to scream at him to stop it...i dont want to do that because i know that me yelling back will not make things better, but i need some suggestions on how to stay calm when he does this. Please!

How many times should i have to tell him 'no' when he, say, shouldn't have a particular item (i.e. our Christmas tree is up and decorated and he continues to grab ornaments off the tree like all day long)?? Saying 'no' or a variation of that is like my entire day.... am i raising a spoiled brat or something? Should i just give him what he wants when he wants it to keep him quiet? Is he a bad listener (Haha, well yeah apparently!)???

Oh. He also likes to make these grunting noises a lot. Hmm, im not sure how to explain the sounds--its like grunting, or a 'roooar', or kind of a 'vroom' sound or it even sounds kind of zombi-ish if that makes sense! Anyone else experienced this?? I don't know if any of this is normal behavior! I'm worried im doing something wrong! Im just trying to raise a nice, quiet, polite, happy young boy/man but i currently feel like im failing at that!! :(
by on Nov. 24, 2014 at 3:36 PM
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by Silver Member on Nov. 24, 2014 at 4:30 PM
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I wrote this for my friend so it says "her" lol, just change it to him.

"Well, first- you don't make it stop. You accept that it's a part of growing up. Her brain is underdeveloped and going through a period of big changes.

So what I really focus on with parents of toddlers is first changing their perspective! At this age it's really the most important part.
So first and foremost it's important to understand where your toddler is coming from. At 1 the brain is so underdeveloped. I'm sure you know this but I'll tell you what that means developmentally and behaviour wise. First the parts of the brain of a 1 year old do not work seamlessly together. In fact seamless interaction doesn't happen closer until 25. This process is called myelination. Because the brain doesn't work all together it means they can't always use all the parts together. So although in one part of the brain may know this is wrong, other parts don't. Second the part of the brain that controls impulses and emotions is very very underdeveloped. So when they get really really emotional or impulsive higher brain functions such as logic turn off, and lower more impulsive ones turn on. What this means for your toddler is that although they may seem like they understand “no” they really don't. Because although they know in some part of the brain they aren't supposed to do something, it's not a thought that goes through their head before doing something.
So that's part of the reason why things like time out don't curve behaviour. For it to work they need to be able to cognitively think something through before they do it.

So what I do with parents is really change their thinking first. Stop seeing your child as bad when they make the wrong decision. Instead see them as learning. Did you get angry with her if she fell when learning to walk? Probably not. So think about it that way. She is not being bad, much like learning to walk, she is learning a new skill. As a parent you are the teacher. Take on your new role as that. You are there to guide and teach.

When she does something wrong, correct her instead of punishment.
"Hands aren't for hitting, they are for clapping! Let's clap together"
"We can't jump on the bed but we can jump on the trampoline, let's go do that"

Instead of punishing her for what she can't do, show her what she can do.
With toddlers you also have to be very hands on. You can't just leave the room and expect them to clean up. Sometimes you have to sit beside them and walk them through every step. Their attention span just isn't there yet.

Don't expect miracles. Your toddler is a toddler. You wouldn’t expect them to walk without the muscle strength, so don't expect emotional or impulse control without the brain development. There are ways to encourage that development :) and they will for sure help, but again do not expect your toddler to behave 100% of the time.

More on teaching is that children learn through watching, they learn through you. This is called mirroring. Behave how you would like your toddler to behave. Don't want her to yell, hit, etc, don't yell or hit.

I see a lot of parents yell at children for throwing tantrums. What they don't realize is they are having a tantrum themselves. They will scream and stomp their feet, grab their toddler by the arm etc. Through all this the toddler isn't learning what the parent is saying, they are learning how to react when angry.
If you truly do start seeing your toddler as learning it gets a lot easier! You will find you don't get as mad.
And trust me when you don't get mad and yell you will see a complete difference in your toddler. When I get frustrated and raise my voice to my 2 year old he gets defensive and it makes it 100x worse.

You will mess up, and that's okay. What I do is I ALWAYS make sure to apologize.

"I'm sorry mommy lost her temper, she forgot her breathing." Etc.

Apologizing when you make a mistake is a huge thing.

The next things I'm going to mention is for she gets a little older, although you can start some of them now.

Always remember that behind every behaviour is a reason for the behaviour. If we deal with the reason instead of punishing the behaviour it is more likely to deal with the issue.

For example Tommy gets his toy stolen from Sam and in term hits Sam. Now most parents in this situation would punish the behaviour (the hitting) the problem with this is it doesn't deal with the bigger issue which is emotional control. When the parents punish the behaviour they are only teaching Tommy that hitting is wrong- which is good, but it doesn't curve the hitting. This is because when children hit they are in a very emotional and impulsive state. So when they get angry again in the future, they aren’t thinking about the consequence to their actions. They also were never given an alternative to their behaviour. They may know they are angry, and that being angry makes them want to it. Giving an alternative to the behaviour can help them find other ways to get those really big emotions out.

With my son at one I really focused on redirection and distraction when he started to tantrum. So for example I would start counting to 10 slowly. After I would take 3 deep breaths. Then I would put on my crazy happy voice and say “Oh no!!!! I lost the colour green! Can you help me find it? I can’t find it anywhere.” Sometimes he would say “there” and point to something green. If not then I would point out something. I kept doing that with all the colours and shapes until he was calm.
I know he knows the behaviour is wrong. My goal is to show him how to calm himself down. At 2 he still needs a lot of help ad guidance from me. I don’t expect perfection and that expectation helps a lot.
I hope this helped even a little bit. If you have a more specific question please ask! I just went through the basics.

Also I forgot to mention something important I think. Tantrums are coping mechanisms. Kids scream, and hit, and bite because it releases endorphin. Thats why you often see kids on the floor banging their fists or their head. The pressure releases those endorphins. Thats why finding other ways to cope is so important. You find other ways to release those endorphins. Things like hugs, cuddling, breathing etc. all release those same endorphins. Does that make sense? You know I see many parents ignore their children during tantrums and I think this is an okay tactic depending. I think if the child WANTS hugs and cuddles and such its very important to give that. Because the goal in the long run is to teach coping skills. I know its hard because we live in a very punitive society so many things really focus on that. Does that make sense at all? I feel like I am rambling lol. Its also different, some kids want to be alone. If my child is hitting me though (which he did a lot at 1, but not much anymore) I usually resort to a hold. I do this by crossing me legs over his, and then hold his arms. This is good because it stops him from harming himself and others, and he also gets that pressure. I would often breath deeply in his ears to mirror what he should be doing."
by Barb on Nov. 24, 2014 at 4:31 PM
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The roar sound could be typical boy sounds, my boys were dinosaurs and cars when they were little. :)

Other suggestions I've heard is to say more yes and less no.  "This is not a good ornament for you to play with. You can play with this one, though."  "Look how you put those toys away! Good for you!" a lot of positive talk, even if you have to stretch finding something to be positive about.  If you possibly can,  turn away and ignore him when he screams, if it is a bid for attention, this will help.

Back to the grunting. I wonder if he could have sinus drainage that catches in the back of his throat. I'd ask his doctor next time.  Also, is his hearing OK.

Good luck!

by Silver Member on Nov. 24, 2014 at 7:49 PM

My son was like your son at 13 months, being very tactile with touching of ornaments.  My son has high functioning Autism though.  He rarely screamed but was angry when things didn't go his way either at 3-4 years.  He would hit me and his father or try to.   I would have your son evaluated for Autism by a child psychologist. 

My son is 6 now and doing much better with his behavier.  He uses his words but now makes noises at times but not like your son.  I taught my son to use his words, "I'm angry," when he hits.  We taught this during a time out when he was 3.  Now at age 6, 99% of the time he doesn't hit.

For the ornament issue you just have to make sure the ornaments are not breakable and teach him we do not touch the ornaments.  He will eventually learn.

Every child with Autism is different so there is no need to compare.

by Mom2boys on Nov. 24, 2014 at 10:57 PM
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Sounds like a typical toddler. We redirect.
by Platinum Member on Nov. 24, 2014 at 11:10 PM
It sounds normal. I would keep redirecting and saying "no, play with this." for screaming, just ignore it. I mean do not react at all
by Member on Nov. 24, 2014 at 11:14 PM
Totally normal. Except I have girls, so change "scream" to "screech" and "grunt" to "shriek" lol.

Eventually it'll get better - I promise.
by Member on Nov. 25, 2014 at 3:39 PM

It sounds pretty normal behaviour, it sounds like your handling it in a sensible and sensitive way, it's a hard lesson for them as they learn they can't have all they want, it does get easir, redirection has always worked well with mine and I have put items up that I've not wanted them to play with it, 13 months is very young to understand .. 

by Member on Nov. 26, 2014 at 8:29 AM

No, you dont want to give in to him and definitely dont yell back. My 11 mnth old does the grunting noise too. He is just being a normal child. Unfortunately he will grow out of this phase in time.

by Member on Nov. 26, 2014 at 4:17 PM

I don't know about the behaivor but my son sounds like a Gremlin all the time. So I guess it's normal the sounds.

by on Nov. 27, 2014 at 5:52 PM
I dont know if anyone else has mentioned this....sorry im too lazy to read...but have you tried praising him when he isn't screaming? Like when hes sitting watching tv or playing you say 'well done for being quiet...I like it when you do that...' my little sister had the same problem and that was how my mum fixed it. She never shouted at her or punished he when she screamed. She just ignored it but praised her when she didnt scream. :)
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