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March 21st, 2013, 01:09 PM
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ohnicole ohnicole is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,756
Is your little one currently doing any behaviors to test boundaries with you? How do you usually respond? Does it seem to be working?

Eleanor has really been in a testing phase for the past week. It is so funny to see her looking at me, just thinking about what she can do, and how I will react. Well, it's not funny to see her doing that all day, every day

One of her new things is to see how she can treat me physically. She will hit me, bite me, pull my hair, or scratch at me just to see if it's okay or not and how I will react. Usually it is when we are sitting quietly, nursing, reading, or singing, and I can just see her pause and then she will do something aggressive. She can usually be redirected to a "nice" behavior like kissing, hugging, or high fiving, and if that doesn't work, she does respond to a firm (but neutral), "That's enough hitting. That hurts mommy."

She also likes to try out different tactics for showing frustration. One of her choices is usually biting... she will often bite her own fingers or bite the furniture. Otherwise she decides to yell, "Move!" and knock everything off of a table or shelf. She will then calmly look at me to watch my reaction, so I think it is part frustration and part testing boundaries. I have been working on quietly waiting until she is calmer and then telling her that I understand that she is mad, that it's frustrating to not be able to do what we want, but that sometimes mommy can't let her do x because it is not safe (or whatever the reason is). Then I try to give her an alternate activity or food that is similar to what she wanted. And of course give hugs if she wants. I think this is going a little bit over her head or else it's just not quite the response she needs so I am thinking about looking up some more creative ways for toddlers to express emotions (like having her stomp or squeeze a balloon or have cards or pictures with different emotions for her to show me (I think it was Lost who had mentioned something like this?).
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