Post # 16
londonchick : Child development person here. This is completely normal behavior and should not be taken personally. The reality is we have no idea the actual reason behind your daughter’s behavior. A few options for why she hit you:
-She misses her dad, and wants to hang out with him
-She is afraid that once she gets back to you, dad will leave
-She had different expectations for what she and dad were going to do, and she is angry that life is not according to plan (hint: it’s this one most of the time with toddlers)
-She doesn’t want to do whatever you planned to do with her (bath time, dinner, etc) so she wants to go back with dad
-She didn’t feel like being carried, and didn’t have the words to politely ask to be put down. If she was already emotional about dad, she may have forgotten the appropriate way to ask because she was so upset already. Hitting seemed like the simplest solution to her problem of being carried.
Toddlers experience anger when they can’t control the world. It’s a part of life. To avoid tantrums, give choices as often as possible. For example, dad could say “I have to go to work now. I will be back later. Would you like me to set you down on the floor, or would you like to go to mom?”
Not sure how you responded to her after that incident, so I’ll discuss that too. Make sure that you respond warmly and lovingly to her outbursts. Toddlers lose control of their emotions, and they need love in order to return to a calm, controlled state of being. Obviously, set boundaries with a firm “no hitting.” But don’t punish her emotion. Toddlers are a lot like adolescents. Continue to be stable, reliable, and loving. It may not feel like she loves you right now, but I promise you’ll feel the love again soon. Parenting toddlers is no easy feat, and you sound like a great mom!
Post # 17
My neice was calling my Brother-In-Law ‘Dada’ and ‘Daddy’ by 15 months, she didn’t start calling my sister ‘mamma’ until 23 months. It was tough for my sister but ultimately she had to accept/chalk it up to it being because “dada’ is a much easier sound and not anything to do with who they actually love more.
Post # 18
When she hits we tell her firmly “no don’t hit, hitting hurts” she doesn’t do the hitting thing that often thankfully.
Post # 19
londonchick : mine definitely learned “daddy” first. When he finally started calling me anything at all, it was “nana” for some reason. Lovely. For the last month or so, I’ve definitely been mommy, all the time, very consistently. It sounds like you’re home with her before dad, so there’s probably a bunch of “daddy’s home!” Conversation that makes his name get learned first. Dad can do that when you’re out of the room… here comes mommy, where is mommy, etc. it’s a little more planned out but the point comes across in the end. Labeling photos together helped too, though I was nana in those as well.
Post # 20
londonchick : It sounds like the hitting is the most upsetting thing for you and I just wanted to mention that you can totally redirect that kind of behavior. When my son was little, we used to constantly tell him “Soft hands!” or “Caress” when he would experiment with hitting and it worked really well. Even now, at almost 9, he’s very gentle. We’ve never had issues with him fighting or hitting other kids at school or at events. He does like to wrestle and roughhouse, but overall, his general nature seems to lean more toward gentleness.
When your daughter hits you, I would instantly shut it down “We do not hit mommy! We do not hit.” very firmly and then softly stroke her hands or face and say “Soft hands”. It’s challenging when multiple things are happening at the same time (if she’s reaching for her father, yelling or crying and also hitting).
Also, something my in laws would do that was really helpful was not hand my son back to me as soon as he started crying. It was frustrating initially, but they let me know that they didn’t want to train him that crying is how to get back to mommy, so if he was being held and started crying, they would calm him down and soothe him first (if possible) and then once he was relaxed, he came back to me. It did help quite a bit.
Post # 21
instead of saying “no hitting, hitting hurts” turn it into a positive. “hands are gentle” “hands are for hugs” etc. at that age, they hear hitting, they are not processing the no, don’t part.
when my son hits, i show him that hands are gentle, i show him that we gently pet the dog, gently pet mama, etc.
Post # 22
londonchick : my daughter switches who she prefers and watch out if the other one tries to sub in. If she wants daddy to read her bedtime stories she is VERY clear about it and basically shoos me out of her room lol. Toddlers are weird.
Post # 23
ajillity81 : “instead of saying “no hitting, hitting hurts” turn it into a positive. “hands are gentle” “hands are for hugs” etc. at that age, they hear hitting, they are not processing the no, don’t part.”
Exactly! If you say no hitting, they don’t necessarily understand the “no” part. That’s why I feel redirecting works much better.
Post # 24
Okay guys I’ll try that approach the next time little miss straps on her boxing gloves 😄
Post # 25
londonchick : I have an 18 month old and just recently he went from favoring me to constantly wanting dad and crying hysterically even if dad looks like he’s going to walk out of the room. However, when dad isn’t around, he becomes my little buddy and can’t get enough of me. Toddlers are weird. You haven’t failed, mama. As much as it breaks your heart to be the parent who “isn’t wanted,” it seems that it’s natural especially at this age.
ETA the hitting: when my son hits, I gently grab his hand and say “no hitting, that hurts mama.” He will then start softly patting/stroking wherever he hit me and it’s adorable lol
Post # 26
My son only wants mama and I would gladly trade places! He wouldn’t even let dada cut up his strawberries during dinner tonight. Mama had to do it. I’m also the only one who can read him bedtime books.
The grass is always greener…being the only parent your child wants is exhausting.
Post # 27
Yes when dad isn’t around she’s fine ! LorensAngel :
This must be hard on you! I have to admit it is nice being able to leave her with him knowing they are going to be okay