Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I am having such a hard time with Lucy. Suddenly, she is TOTALLY two. At least that is what I am hoping explains her increasingly defiant behavior. Because if this is an emerging personality trait, she’s a short block away from being disowned.

Tantrums, spitting and throwing food are just a few of the daily events I deal with. The food throwing is the worst. If you don’t have a plate of food in front of her when she sits down, she tosses her placemat. If you do have food in front of her and she tastes a piece of pasta and it’s too hot, the bowl is on the floor. Sometimes, she’ll just take one look at her plate of food and throw it. Then, the food throwing is followed by screaming and pushing her feet against the table so that her chair slams into the wall behind her. If that doesn’t get your attention, she starts spitting. On the table, the floor. I am waiting for her head to start spinning next.

I have tried everything. Scolding her, ignoring her, putting her in time out… it doesn’t seem to matter. I know I have to be consistent so I am trying to choose one technique and stick to it. I have decided ignoring is the best practice, but it’s hard. Her food is on the floor, she is screaming and slamming her chair into the wall. Eventually, she will calm down or get distracted by a sound or something and pull herself together. But her food is on the floor and now she wants to eat it. I have been calmly picking it up and giving it back to her. She will sometimes eat it, sometimes throw it again.

If I take her out of her seat, she wants to be held. Then, when she calms down, she wants to eat sitting in my lap. I don’t want to get into this habit. So, I tell her she needs to eat in her seat. Back to the tantrum.

I am at a loss. What I don’t want is to get in the habit of her not eating at mealtimes and then demanding to eat an hour later. Any suggestions here?

There are also many tantrums over nothing. I can ask her something as neutral as does she want to sing a song and that is enough to set her off – “NOOOO!!!!” followed by screaming and laying on the floor and kicking her feet and then screaming for “lovey” (her blanket). These tantrums I just ignore. I mean, come on.

Man, this is hard work. Drake is like a dream toddler compared to her. He likes to say ‘no’ to everything, but that I can handle.


Katy said...

I thought it was just my kid! Charlie whines the entire time you're fixing his food. It makes me NUTs! Also, little tantrums over things that just didn't used to be a big deal. Like you, I'm hoping this is just two and not a sign of things to come.

Discipline. Consistancy is key, but you know that. I'm pick some back up food that she can have if she doesn't eat dinner and gets hungry later--something like bread or a peanut butter sandwich. Same thing every time. If she misses family dinner, then she misses the yummy food that you serve then. It's just a suggestion, but the more information she has, the better able she'll be to make good decisions.

Gotta go--someone's back with the whining!

Anonymous said...

Just one (little) idea: video her tantrum. Show it to her and discuss it. Can't hurt. Barbara

GingerB said...

I don't mean to be negative but my now three and a half year old is vastly worse than she was at two. Not every day, not all day long, ever, and rarely is there more physical behavior than a foot stamp (cute) or she hits me (way less cute), but she says no to things she loves, wants to do, etc., and in a way that lacks all sense or reason. I am finding this age way harder than two. I'll keep watching you guys for tips.