Anonymous asked in Pregnancy & ParentingToddler & Preschooler · 1 decade ago

Is it possible for an 18 month old to hit the "Terrible Two's" early?

I have an 18th month old who for the past month has been pitching hissy fits over the smallest things. He gets mad over almost anything. If it's time to clean up the playroom, he wants to go behind me and throw everything out of the toybox. If it is time to eat, he wants to throw his food on the floor. If it is bedtime he screams and kicks until he cries himself to sleep. If we are in the grocery store and he wants something he will cause a scene unless he gets it. My husband is very strict with him and my son does not act like this when his dad is home. I feel like I need to establish my authority before our second baby arrives in July. I hate yelling constantly and while I do believe in spanking, I dont like using it on an every day basis to make him mind. Does timeout work on kids this age? Is there anything else I can do to make him see who is boss??

15 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    My kids had terrible twos from about 15-16 months til they were 3ish..

    The only method of punishment i have had to use on my children is the time out thing.. all children are different in how they react to different punishment..

    I would *personally* only use the spanking thing if he is in danger.. about to run out in the street.. or something like that.. so he knows its wrong.. a little tap will let him know.. if you use it on everytttttttthing it wont really work as well..


    Source(s): mom of 3
  • 4 years ago

    I vividly recall my child hitting the "terrible two's". He was 11 months old and was crawling towards a door to go outside. I ran ahead and shut the door and said "no, its getting too cold to go outside". He screamed so loud that my father came running thinking he had seriously hurt himself. Now, lets look at the facts 1. he had never done this before so it wasn't a tried and tested means of manipulation 2. he had certainly never seen me throw myself on the ground and cry so he didn't learn it from me! Basically he was a little baby that really, really wanted to go outside and was so overwhelmed by the disappointment that he screamed in frustration. Your daughter is the same. All children are different and some parents have angels with much gentler temperaments so just smile and nod when they give you advice. They know nothing about the hard stuff! Babies and toddlers start having tantrums because they are overwhelmed by the power of these new emotions. You need to evaluate the situation and act accordingly. At 15 months you can't discipline them. Smacking just teaches them that hitting is an acceptable behavior. Time-outs don't work because they forget what they've done wrong about 2 and a half seconds into the time-out. Do whatever you can to distract them (eg. no you can't watch cartoons but you can read this great book). If the tantrum continues do not give in because that is when they learn to repeat the behaviour to get what they want. When she hits you hold her hands and force her to gently stroke your face and say "gently, good girl" and whenever she hugs you, kisses you, touches you nicely give her excessive praise for it. Soon she will start to be gentle and then if she's anything like my son she'll start it all over again in six months time (sigh). When she hits other people ensure that everybody stops looking at her and make a really big deal about the person that she has hit. This shows her that hitting actually gets her less attention. The golden rule for this age is they want attention. So give them loads of attention when they do the right thing and as little as possible attention when they do the wrong thing. If they throw a tantrum on the floor at the shops and you can't just walk away pick them up, hold them away from your body and calmly say "no".

  • 1 decade ago

    Yep My first started at 18 months my second at 15 months. The second one learned early on from his brother because honey let me tell you, you can think you will get a handle on the terrible twos but upcoming are the Troublesome Threes and to me there is nothing that compares to the 3's. I tried time out but they did not work much and I was consistent but at 2 he was always getting up and down and I had to sit there with him and with a newborn that is just not feasible. My oldest will be 4 in a couple of months and if I hear no I wont, or because I am too tired to do it, I am going to check into an institution. They push these buttons with you because you (even though daddy is in the picture my husband works and by the time he gets home they are almost in bed) are their main caregiver. Also just a note, my oldest when he was 2 would obey his dad at the sound of his voice, NOW at 3.5 he has gotten bolder and even pushes him. So it will round towards your husband as well the older he gets. Once my youngest came it still (even after 15 months) is a battle of jealousy with him. Because if the baby takes a little too much attention on a day that he is not so giving, the world shall come to an end ( HE BECOMES STEWIE FROM THE FAMILY GUY) Seriously. Well I hope it works well for you, I think its a phase that they will go through and you have to find that niche that makes him "somewhat" listen. I say somehwhat only because they are determined little creatures that will stop at nothing until they get what they want

  • Sylke
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    If my children had a terrible three, why not be early, but I think that sounds more like a typical reaction to having another baby coming. So a little more special time and more cuddling and telling you are very special to me might work better than time out. The different reaction to dad may also be because he is not having the baby that is your fault entirely (well at least for a 18 month old). Being stricter with your son and putting him away from you in time out might make things worse if the problem is the baby and not the terrible 2 early.

    If you want to do time out I think you should stay close to put him back every time he gets up.

    Just try what works and be open to see the real problem. And welcome to the world of terrible two's in another 12 month. :-)

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  • 1 decade ago

    Obviously the yelling and the spanking aren't working for you and I'm not surprised. You should use the timeout method. What you should really do is watch Super Nanny. She has it down pat. You need to set rules for him first and when he breaks a rule he needs to be put into time out. First you warn him then you put him onto either a mat or a carpeted step or a time out chair. He will run off but you need to pick him up, not making eye contact and put him back. Keep doing that until the time is over. Use a kitchen timer so he will understand the concept of it. Explain to him why you put him there "I put you in time out because you threw food". etc. Now he has to say he's sorry to you and then that's it. It will work.

  • 1 decade ago

    Honestly i don't know why they call it terrible twos. Most kids start it around 12 months old and then eventually get past the "terrible twos" by around age 3-4 years (that is a whole new level of preschool years lol). No timeouts rarely work but you can start to introduce the idea of the cooldown period that is used in timeouts. Reward him when he is good and give lots of attention when doing positives so he sees that you want him to be "good" but try to ignore the fits if he isn't hurting himself or anyone else so he sees that negatives don't get attention.

  • 1 decade ago

    My son hit this when he was about 13 months old. His first tantrum is actually caught on video, i couldn't help but giggle :) Ignore it. When they start to throw their fit, stop whatever you're doing, wherever you are, and put them in a safe place to thrash about, like a playpen. Make no eye contact, say nothing, in fact, go on with your day. Go do some dishes, watch tv, anything but pay attention to them, cause that's what they want, they want to see your reaction, testing you out. When he finally stops, and he will, make eye contact againg, get down on his level and ask him if he's ready to resume the activity. If he starts again, continue to ignore. It's hard, I know, to hear them scream :( My sons first tantrum lasted about 30 min, by his 4th or 5th, we were down to 5 minutes. He's 17mos, It's all but obliterated now, no tantrums whatsoever. And while i was not a parent that would let my son "cry it out" when he was younger, I think tantrums are a whole other monster, and need to be dealt with head on. It's harder to train a 5 year old than a 2 year old! Good luck to you! :)

    Source(s): Former childcare provider
  • 1 decade ago

    My daughter is 15 months old and is in her terrible twos.. doing exactly what your son is doing.. just because its called "terrible two's" doesn't mean it will happen when they are exactly 2!.... I also have a 4 month old and my 15 month old is just now starting to get jealousy issues... so I am spreading more and more time out for both of's time to start cracking down on time-outs... do a timeout rug or stool or timeout corner... make sure you send them to one particular place that is considering their timeout each time he gets in trouble... we are currently trying this with my daughter and it's not working out as well as I hoped!!.. but we just have to keep working with her.. good luck!! and congrats on your soon to be baby

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Hey Belle, it ain't the "terrible two's, that ususally hits around the 3 yr age, what ya have is the Try 'em out' One's. A very intelligent child ya have there, did ya know? The trick is ge them interested in something else to dissuade the behavior you mention.

    Source(s): Face it, the" kid has it all over you", and now intellectual minds must prevail
  • 1 decade ago

    Most definitely! Time outs will work, we use a crib or playpen and he stays in there for about two minutes. Also, using a sticker chart with rewards works well.

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