Channel Mum Chat

14 m/old has become a nightmare

My daughter is my first and we have another on the way in 3 months… We were doing great and everyone always complimented us on how calm and sweet she was but recently she’s a completely different child.
She screams and screeches and cries and hits constantly. She refuses to eat more than a few bites of even her favourite meals (she’ll eat other things or have milk so it’s not an appetite thing). When we do something she doesn’t want like move her or take something away she throws a tantrum, when we try change her nappy she screams and kicks, when we try dress her she screams and hits. Even when she’s tired now she’ll refuse to sleep but instead just cry at everything no matter what we do.
Everything feels like a battle and we’re a bit out of our depth…

Is this normal?? Is it a phase??

We don’t really know how to handle it as she ends up really hurting us sometimes and finds it funny, she never really calms herself down either if we try leave her be.
It’s like everything we can do is wrong for her… We feel so nervous about having a newborn around her with the hitting. It’s like the word no is a challenge.
She’ll do something bad and find it hilarious if we try tell her to use kind hands or be gentle or no ect.
Any tips would be great as we’re going a little mad now!

Hi there,

I am unable to give you a lot of advice or reassurance but just wanted to let you know that I know how difficult it feels and I am sorry to hear you have to go through this.

I just wrote a post a few minutes ago and it sounds like the problems you are experiencing are very similar to what we are going through! (And I am also expecting another baby very soon…)
Like I said, I am out of my depths as well and cannot share any magical solution, but maybe reading my post will help you to feel a little less alone with it all.

I hope you will find a resolution and it will change for you very soon!

It is probably just a phase she’s going through.

Hi @anonymous4014

Congratulations on your pregnancy - my name is Maggie the Channelmum HV and sleep and parenting specialist.

When is your next baby due? Do you think your pregnancy may have unsettled her? What you describe is not uncommon as developmental at this age they try to assert their independence and test boundaries. They also get easily frustrated as often their brain is ahead of their physical capabilities. They want instant gratification and struggle to cope with the word no or not being allowed to do something and they easily get overwhelmed and just have a meltdown. Tantrums or meltdowns is an important safety valve for them and allows them to let off steam and vent some of those powerful feelings. Have a look at the link below on my top tips for coming with tantrums which can start at this age.

Distract her and try to avoid saying no where possible but offer limited choices instead see the link above.

An angry child is an upset child and you need to understand the feelings driving this and WHAT may be triggering this. Anger is often a response to threat.

These are often called the antecedents of the behaviour or the ABC model Identify the troigges BEFORE this behaviours happen.

  • Antecedent- The events, action(s), or circumstances that occur immediately before a behaviour

*Behaviour- The behaviour in detail

*Consequences- The action(s) or response(s) that immediately follows the behaviour

Is is hunger, tiredness, frustration, boredom, feeling unwell, self-defence, lack of adult supervision. over stimulation, inadequate speech development, mirroring the aggressive behaviour of children around them, being placed in a stressful situation etc? Make a note of what you think may lie behind the behaviour.

If they are angry, they are incapable of calming down and listening to you, you need to let the tantrum run its course BEFORE you try to reason with them. Acknowledge how they feel and show empathy and respect for their feelings. Be kind and calm but FIRM,

Distraction can sometimes work. before the event but It is unrealistic to expect children not to argue or fight at times. Take deep breaths and try to stay calm.

Keep persevering with the kind gentle hands and be a role model of the behaviour you want, Praise her and pay lots of positive attention when she is behaving as you want her to. Praise is a magic ingredient for improving behaviour see below

Is she getting overtired at bedtime? Can you tell about her bedtime routine?

I will be back on Monday if you have further questions. Hang in there you are doing the best you can.

Maggie x

1 Like

One good thing to know 7s in my opinion (worked with children for 20 years, degree in early years and have 2 of my own) this us completely normal at her age :). It sounds like you have a bright chikd which us another good thing :grinning:.

She is now aching for independence and firm boundaries. She will test them…but it will give her a good sense of security to know what is and isn’t acceptable.

What you need to do now is give her littlr choices like would you like to wear the red top or the blue, would u like the pink cup or the green, on getting home could u put your shoes in the draw, on going to the car could you carry the keys please (avoid a tantrum) etc etc

Hi @anonymous1023

I agree with @susie_c offering limited choices which give then a degree or control works well. I thought I had added that in to my answer. Have a look at the link below

Keep it simple for a 14 month old. E.G do you want to stay indoors or put your coat on to go outside? Do your want peas or beans? A large spoonful or a small one.

This way she has a say in the choices you offer her.

How are things going?

Maggie x