Thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am sorry that you are having difficulty with your 18 month old. Some of this could be due to her age. There are a lot of changes that happen in the first couple years of life and often when a child is on the verge of a developmental milestone (perhaps a surge in vocabulary) they tend to regress and/or have behavioral issues and/or exhibit more separation anxiety. If she has not exhibited these behaviors before now (and if there are no other major changes in your life such as new job, moving, etc), then it is likely that this phase will pass. But, I will give you some ways to help you all get through it. If you don't already do this, try and give her one-on-one time each day - a special 15 minutes a day where you play with her and let her lead the play. If you are interested I have a handout I can attach that gives specific play techniques to help you connect with your daughter as well as teach her skills such as language. Since she seems to love the word no (very normal at this age!), I would try and avoid it yourself when disciplining. Save no only for times where there is a safety issue and the other times use other types of discipline: redirection, framing the command positively (walk, instead of no running). I also have a handout about discipline techniques that I can attach if you are interested. As far as the separation anxiety - it should get better, but in the meantime, tell her where you are going and that you will be right back (don't ever sneak away - it's easier in the moment, but increases the anxiety in the long term). As far as the middle of the night, I would try and be consistent in your response. Mommy can change your diaper or you can stay in your crib. If she says no and hits you, either sit in her room while she cries or leave the room (because she is having separation anxiety it might be better to stay in the room) remind her that you are here and if she calms down you will change her diaper. I also would consider holding off on transitioning her to a bed if you can at least until she seems a bit more settled. Also, in terms of the hitting, remind her that there is no hitting and to be gentle. Show her how to be gentle by taking her hand and gently touching yourself where she hit you. It takes some time, but with consistent teaching she will learn. You are dealing with a lot right now so hang in there. If you are satisfied with my answer, I would appreciate a positive rating. And, please ask follow up questions/clarifications, I know there is a lot going on for you. And, let me know if you are interested in those handouts. Best, Kerrie
Are you still online?
If so, I would be happy to "chat" with you further about your question
I would definitely be interested in the handouts. Thank you so much!
Great. I will attach them in just a minute
Here are the handouts. I actually am attaching three. One is on discipline techniques, one is on play techniques and the final one is on temperament. Please feel free to ask any questions about them. They are handouts I have created myself - my clients tell me they are helpful so I hope you find them useful.
I am having a little trouble attaching them. Please give me another minute.
Thank you so much for that.