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Old 04-07-2013, 08:16 AM   #1
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My 14 month just dumped out the dog water onto the floor... While I was picking up all the clothes he pulled off the drying rack. I now understand why moms feel like they yell all day. The thing is he doesn't seem to understand that mama is upset! He just giggles and does it again. I've tried looking at him and saying no very sternly, even angrily, I've clapped to get his attention, I've put him in the corner, the corner makes him upset but only after a while. when I caught him dumping out the dog bowl I even gave his hand a little smack because he just giggled when I said no and took it away (too late). I know I shouldn't have smacked his hand but I am so frustrated by him not caring how I react. It didn't matter anyway, he still laughed at that, then he just went over to the cat food and smacked his own hand before trying to pick up that too.


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Old 04-07-2013, 08:30 AM   #2
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Re: how do i make my toddler understand I'm MAD!

I really don't think it should make a difference that your angry, that may make him want to do it more.

If he does something you've told him not to, could you put him in a pack n play or something as a sort of time out? You need to find something that you can do to make him understand that doing that isn't okay. I hesitate to use the term consequence, because people tend to freak out about it on this board. But if he understands that it gets him something he doesn't want, he will stop. An angry mama probably just isn't something that he considers negative. I know it's hard, but I would try to remove yourself emotionally. He's testing his boundaries and cause and effect. If you can calmly show him it doesn't get any kind of effect he will want it will remedy itself soon.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:35 AM   #3
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Re: how do i make my toddler understand I'm MAD!

Good question. I know when I have raised my voice after being bit it makes DS cry. I also do not allow him to go far without me right there. I have him in his gated area or in a walker for the most part. If I allow him to crawl through the house I am right with him to tell him "no" on things and remove him before he gets into them.

Not sure how to get them to take you seriously at that age. My son is 12 months and everything is fun for him, even a cranky Momma. Hopefully someone has some suggestions. I am sure I cannot contain my DS forever in his gate....LOL!
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:54 AM   #4
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Re: how do i make my toddler understand I'm MAD!

Set the water bowls where he can't get them, or set up a bowl of water on a towel and let him play in the the water.

This stage, 12 months to 3 yrs, is messy, crazy and very entertaining, because they are exploring EVERYTHING! You'll want to take a deep breath and keep being consistent with time outs, but remember sometimes your life will be much easier to redirect or remove the object that is causing a behavior you don't like.

Essentially, if the temptation is to great to listen to Mama, then it gets removed or a substitute is offered. I always had to move the dog water bowl to a place my LO's had no access to, because they always, no matter what, would play in the water. They loved the feel, noise, learning and exploring water.

I would often strip them down and put a shallow pan of water on a towel in the kitchen and let them go crazy, because it is so entertaining for them and great for a distraction.

Language skills are still being built and getting angry is just entertaining him at this point. Time outs and redirection are good, but removing temptations is even better! Remove things that he's going to get into that you don't want him to, gate off areas etc. Then let him have access to something similar, but safe so he can explore and learn about it.

ETA: Often ignoring a behavior that is safe, but just annoying or messy, that they know sets you off, is a great tactic. No attention for it and soon they stop doing it.
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Last edited by rumblepurr; 04-07-2013 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:55 AM   #5
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Re: how do i make my toddler understand I'm MAD!

My 17 month old doesn't get it either. The thing that makes me the most mad is her dumping her food on the floor on purpose knowing we don't like it. She gets this look in her eye and whoosh, it's all on the floor. We smack her hand and she could care less. The other thing we've been trying to teach her is to not go on the dog bed (it's so furry and gross) and she'd keep going back laughing in this adorable laugh. I started putting her in her playpen for a minute or so and she hated that. That actually did work but you can't really do that with a kid covered in food. I have found sometimes an exaggerated sad face works. I've done that when she hits me. I think with time time out will be your best option. Once he relates angry with punishment then it'll be more effective. It's frustrating because there isn't much that you can do discipline wise that they understand. Just be consistent and keep one step ahead of them.

Last edited by chandni3; 04-07-2013 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:04 AM   #6
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Re: how do i make my toddler understand I'm MAD!

My 12 month old bit my arm so I told her no in a stern voice. She got a big smile and leaned in to me with her mouth open and ready to bite. I honestly don't think there is much you can do. Making mom angry is still new and fun. I'd remove the bowls or distract the child.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:39 AM   #7
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Re: how do i make my toddler understand I'm MAD!

Am I the only one wondering why a 14 mo old had unsupervised access in a laundry room and to a bowl of water
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:03 AM   #8
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Re: how do i make my toddler understand I'm MAD!

Originally Posted by raymark View Post
Am I the only one wondering why a 14 mo old had unsupervised access in a laundry room and to a bowl of water
I'm wondering why you think he was unsupervised?

Jammy did this too... I'd get stern and she'd laugh. I'd always read that they crumple after a stern word. HA HA HA.

She started to get it at around 16-18 months, after repeated "Jammy, that's naughty behaviour, I don't want you doing it". And now she goes, "OK" very gravely.

It was really irritating at first, like I think I was wanting her to show remorse or something (which I know is completely irrational).

Shay is clever and curious, you'll be able to reason with him soon. Sort of. Love that he smacked his own hand

Last edited by jam's mum; 04-07-2013 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:12 AM   #9
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I would continue with consistent discipline. Its totally the age and he's still learning the difference between good attention and bad attention. I found on those days things vastly improved if I set aside an hour to play with my kiddo giving them undivided attention. He'll start figuring out your feelings as he gets older.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:30 AM   #10
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I find that my 14 month old understands a lot more language than I give him credit for. If I give a brief 2-3 word "explanation" along with the "no", he usually listens. For example if he is going for an electrical outlet, stove, etc. I say "NO! Not safe!" in a loud, somewhat anxious tone, and I'll usually clap. Even if he didn't understand the words at first, the tone was clear. If he was to laugh and ignore, I would simply remove him from the situation and repeat "not safe".

For things I just don't want him to get into, like sister's things or dog water, I just say firmly "No, NOT for Peanut" (his nickname). Then I give him something he can have and say "here, this IS for Peanut". I emphasize the words "not" and "is" so he gets that I'm saying something different.

We usually only do time outs for him for hitting, biting, etc. Our version of a time out for him is me sitting him down away from the action and counting to ten. He's still a baby, and longer than that and you've lost the battle, IMO. They'll forget what led to the timeout. He totally understands the concept and will even heed a warning if he's acting up and I say "Peanut, do you need a time out?". He straightens up After the timeout we always hug/snuggle for a few seconds before I set him loose again.

But keep in mind that different kids have different temperaments, and some just test boundaries more. You might just need to remove the temptations or not allow him in those areas unsupervised.
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