Let’s talk about hitting and communicating and the frustration for your toddler and for you when you are having issues with both, shall we?
This will be a lengthy post, my apologies.
Henry is 20 months old and not talking very much. He says a handful of words; here I can list them for you because there are not that many. Dada, Mama, what’s that, who that, thank you, no, yes, ylub (love) you, dow (down), bye and he signs more and please. The only animal sound he makes is a lion and he roars. He use to say cat, but like everything else, my son is stubborn and will not say hardly anything on demand or just stop saying words. There may be a couple more words I am missing that he says on occasion, but that is the bulk of his language right there. Everything else he points too and squeaks in a totally non-annoying way (please note sarcasm). And even with those words, he doesn’t always use them to communicate to us when he wants something. For example, if he wants out of his highchair he won’t say down he either tries to climb out on his own or points and screeches. We ask if he wants down and he says yes. He will, however tell the cats to get down every single time they are on anything in the house that isn’t the floor :)
He babbles a lot and has for months. I mean, he will just ‘talk and talk” to his stuffed animals non-stop and even laughs during the middle of the conversation like he just told an extremely funny joke (and I imagine it is funny as he is my child) but basic words like cup, milk, and ball are all lacking in his vocabulary.
We took him to a speech therapist at 18 months because the doctor just wanted us to check him out. The thing is, even the speech therapist was impressed (unless he just told us that to make us feel better) and he got very high marks in a couple areas. Put the ball in the cup, cover the baby with the blanket, point to what you use to eat food with. He gets it. He is just low in speaking. The speech therapist said to not worry about it and if at 2 he still isn’t speaking much we can come back.
So we didn’t worry about it.
All kids develop at their own pace….WE GET THAT.
We were not worried and decided we would just work with him to try to get him to use his words. Well, as I mentioned previously, our child is stubborn. Extremely stubborn. Dang-it for both Terry and I being very stubborn people. You try to get him to talk, and cute Henry turns into raging Toddler Hulk.
And so begins the tantrums. And the screaming. And the crying. And the hitting. And the frustration…..from everyone.
During the last few weeks it has gotten worse. Perhaps now that he is spending one full day in school where the other kids in his class (who are a few months older which is HUGE) are talking he is getting more frustrated. After school he is very “talkative” which is great, but I also think he gets frustrated because it just isn’t completely clicking and HE knows what he is saying/wanting but we can’t understand him and he can’t fully express what he wants.
Little dude, I really get it!! I feel bad and WANT you to talk!!
BUT….because of the frustration we have hitting. Lots of hitting. And screaming.
Monday and yesterday were both bad days. Really bad days.
It all started Monday when Terry turned off the TV. Now, we have to take fault in that we leave the TV on much of the day. It has always been background noise, perhaps just out of habit that it is on and though Henry doesn’t watch it all day or very much, infact, he is use to it being on. So when Terry turned it off, Henry threw a huge fit that ended with Henry taking his plastic baseball bat and hitting Terry with it.
UH….WHAT THE, WHAT?!?! BABY HULK YOU ARE GROUNDED!!!
The rest of the day was downhill. For instance, he wanted up in his highchair, but when terry put him in there he screamed. He wanted a toy but then got mad at it and threw it. He wanted something but Terry didn’t understand what and he would hit Terry. And then when I got home it was the same. I came home with a bunch of groceries and he wanted to help, so I gave him a bag to carry and three seconds later he got mad for some reason completely unknown to me. I went to go upstairs and change my clothes which I apparently can’t do and he got mad and sat at the bottom of the stairs screaming and throwing whatever he could get his hands. I made dinner and gave him a pan to help and the lid didn’t go on his pan the first time he tried so he threw the lid. Of course when I took it away from him because he was acting a fool, he had to smack the bitch (aka, me). And even at night time, he wouldn’t go to bed because he kept pointing at the little sliver of light coming through his curtain and was mad because I couldn’t fix it.
After his meltdown....I don't think he could be hugging his friend anymore than he is.
Then yesterday….yesterday was my breaking point.
He was pretty good for Terry during the day. He had a couple mini-tantrums, but nothing too bad. And he was great for me when I got home and even through dinner. We were then in the living room playing and he wanted to stack blocks. He was doing an awesome job stacking blocks all by himself. But then one tower he made the blocks fell and he started getting frustrated because they were not stacking correctly. He started slamming blocks and then throwing them so I took them away. That was when Henry lost it. *Insert death metal music*
Minutes later....screaming and having a major meltdown.
And yes I took a picture.
He was screaming a scream I never heard from him. He was just SO ANGRY. I tried calming him down and of course he just started hitting. This went on for 20 minutes. I tried time out, ignoring, yelling…it just sucked for both of us. After 30 minutes I finally got him to calm down completely. Then for the next hour he was great. We cuddled on the couch and he had a snack and it was all good, like none of it had happened. We went upstairs and he did his bedtime routine perfectly up until the point right before bed when I went to put his shirt on and he lost it again. He didn’t want his shirt on and the battle all started again. I think by this point I was just drained. I forced his shirt on and we sat in the chair to read his bedtime story and I just cried and cried as I tried to read him his book. Of course Henry sees this and gives me a hug and a kiss, which just makes me cry more.
I don’t/didn’t want to cry infront of him and I don’t want to be frustrated with him and I REALLY want to help him and hate seeing that he is obviously going through something. I know he is such a sweet boy. THE SWEETEST. He gave me a hug when I was upset. He is so full of laughter and smiles and love. But right now, for whatever reason, the tiniest thing just sets him off. It is like walking on eggshells with him.
On top of this he also has allergies and we all know the pollen count has been high. I am sure he feels like crap. Plus he is getting some back teeth, so that can’t be good. Along with not being able to communicate….this boy is frustrated and trying to figure out how to express himself which I know explains the extreme outbursts the past two days.
I know the past two days are extremes and definitely NOT normal. Infact, I don’t recall him ever being this angry.
But the hitting and frustration is getting a bit out of hand and we have no idea to how to discipline him at his age. Even when he is in a good mood, he still feels the need to hit me in the face. And if I cannot guess what he wants the FIRST time he points to something, then he gets so frustrated and starts with the hitting, crying, screaming, throwing and/or attitude.
I know that for as frustrated as we are, he has to be 10 times more frustrated. I feel so bad for him and want to help, but I really don’t know how to help or what more we can do besides trying to encourage him to talk. It is frustrating as a parent to feel you cannot help or figure out what is wrong with your child. You wonder if something more is wrong with him or if this is normal.
And as for the hitting, I have no idea. I have tried calmly talking to him, I have tried saying “ouch, you hurt me” to which he laughs, I have tried timeouts, I have tried ignoring him which he HATES. I am just lost.
Perhaps patience and time is all we can do at this point. I know he will get past this, it is just tough sometimes….as I know you all know!
Talk to me.....please.
Were your kids late talkers? Did they hit? Throw extreme tantrums? What did you do?!?! Mama needs some advice....or wine.