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What the typical eighteen months old do

Popularity 5Viewed 5800 times 2014-2-26 23:33 |Personal category:Growing with my daughter|System category:Life| eighteen months, development

By eighteen months, Nicole has become more verbal and sociable. She seems understand most of what I say, although she can say a few simple words only. She can use gestures or grunts to communicate as well. She has begun to realize that every thing has a name, therefore she constantly points to different things, until I name them for her. She plays simple pretends, such as mopping the floor with a piece of cloth as I do, feeding her barbie doll with a bottle... She likes listening to stories and always asks me to tell her stories by handing her book to me. She likes painting too, though it is hard to tell what she paints. She is mastering a long list of skills: stacking three or four blocks in a tower, throwing and kicking a ball, opening and closing containers, turning pages, fitting shapes into a sorter, etc. She's funny, has likes and dislikes -- and shows a clear personality.

 

But sometimes she is all emotion and no reason, which makes me constantly wonder what has turned my sweet and beautiful baby into an impatient and emotional toddler. She is easily frustrated and shows this through tantrums. Sometimes the littlest thing will trigger her. When she fails to fit the star shape into a circle sorter, or fails to stack the fourth of fifth block to a tower, she will become upset and scream. If she is interested in something, no matter what it is, she has to have it ‘now’. And if I refuse her request, she will even throw herself to the floor. These are not what I want to reinforce. 

 

Initially I guessed that maybe she was affected by her elder playmates in the playgroup. But later I find that there is nothing to do with them after observing her performance in the playgroup several times, because she behaves properly  there: politely, cooperatively and is easy to get with. It seems that she knows where is her territory and who is the person to be bargained with!

 

Is it normal for her to have temper tantrums so frequently? I consulted my concern with several professionals. The conclusion is that 18-month old is among a special period during her social emotional development, which is typically from the middle of the second year to the third year. Sometimes the 18-month old may feel like emotional extremes. Tantrums will occur this month, no matter how hard you work to avoid them.

 

I believe that every child is rarely purposefully naughty. At this age, she is unable to comprehend that some things are too advanced, or difficult to accomplish right now. And frustration plays an enormous role in their presence. In the meantime, she lacks the life experience and language skills to moderate her emotions. Maybe because she can't tell me what she wants, she begins to have temper tantrums. Things are getting better to us now, the more words she masters, the less frustration she gets.

 

Besides mood swings and tantrums, Nicole also shows other typical features of this special period. She wants to be independent yet still wants me around all the time. Sometimes she asks me to help with building a tower, but when I help her, she is upset with my joining in, and even more complicated, she bursts into cries when I walk away. It seems that she is constantly struggling between wanting to depend on me or not (I can do it myself! But, I need your help). There comes also the telephone interference. Every time the phone rings, it’s like a signal for her to start demanding attention. I have to complete a conversation as soon as possible. She shows fear of the doorbells. She is nervous and is unhappy with my talking to visitors, too, especially when they are strangers. Around one-and-a-half, her emotions are becoming more and more complex. She is becoming a little people!

 

As what I did before, I would walk to her when she cries, gently pick her up, cradle her in my arms and reassure her that it's going to be alright. At times, this can make her feel more in control, and put an end to her erratic behavior before it truly begins. But sometimes this tactic doesn't work. Then I would do my best to remove anything that she could hurt herself on and just "walk away" (out of her sight but still in her range of hearing), because without an audience she will end the antics on her own and forget about what upset her in the first place. It is important for her to practise to work things out independently, and I don’t want to interfere with her succeeding alone. What I need to do is to be patient while waiting for her to develop patience.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Comment Comment (12 comments)

Reply Report Vivien.Zhu 2014-2-27 02:57
  
Reply Report Dr.Bill.Shen 2014-2-27 09:34
Only totally dedicated mother can be so discerning. What a lucky girl!
Reply Report gtn 2014-2-27 13:27
Beautiful language, insightful reasoning, great article!
Reply Report gtn 2014-2-27 13:28
And good mummy!
Reply Report voice_cd 2014-2-27 17:12
Thanks for sharing your story here! We have highlighted your story to the homepage.
Reply Report Chubby_Betty 2014-2-27 19:22
cute little devil
Reply Report Judy_Zhu 2014-2-27 23:04
gtn: Beautiful language, insightful reasoning, great article!
Thanks for your comment!
Reply Report Judy_Zhu 2014-2-27 23:05
voice_cd: Thanks for sharing your story here! We have highlighted your story to the homepage.
Thanks a lot! My pleasure.
Reply Report Judy_Zhu 2014-2-27 23:07
Chubby_Betty: cute little devil
Thank you!
Reply Report Judy_Zhu 2014-3-1 03:46
Dr.Bill.Shen: Only totally dedicated mother can be so discerning. What a lucky girl!
Thanks for your visit! I'm happy to be with her, although sometimes wonder what's the effect of this gap/ blank to my career. But on second thought, the most important thing for me right now is to try my best to give good care to her .
Reply Report Dr.Bill.Shen 2014-3-1 07:02
Judy_Zhu: Thanks for your visit! I'm happy to be with her, although sometimes wonder what's the effect of this gap/ blank to my career. But on second thought, t ...
It is a very exhausting job to be a full time mother. As long as you feel great, give it another year before decide heading back to your career or not ... :)
Reply Report Judy_Zhu 2014-3-2 12:36
Dr.Bill.Shen: It is a very exhausting job to be a full time mother. As long as you feel great, give it another year before decide heading back to your career or not ...
Thanks! I totally agree with you.

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