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QUESTION: My child has become aggressive towards me: Advice?
“Hello, I am a single mom of a 2-year-old. I work a lot, so my mom helps me to pick up my son from the daycare and stays with him until I get home. Normally I get home when he is already sleeping; I co-sleep with him, we live with my family. Every morning I wake up and get him ready to take him to the daycare.
My problem is that my son has become so aggressive towards me. Also, when he is upset, he throws himself to the floor and starts hitting his head against the floor really hard. I have tried everything to make him stop doing that, but he still does it, and it’s getting worse. He cries and screams, and I am scared someday the neighbors will call the police because he is always doing that when something upsets him.
I am desperate; at night, he sometimes doesn’t let me sleep, he wakes me up because he complains, and I have to give him his bottle, or he has to hold my finger; otherwise, he starts complaining again or start crying in the middle of the night. He is two years and three months old. He doesn’t speak yet, but he understands everything I tell him or order him to do in Spanish and French. At this point, I am desperate and really frustrated. He does that just with my mom and me. At the daycare, he is well behaved, and he is very nice with other kids and very lovable. I don’t know what to do; please help!!!”
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The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.
“He wants your attention, and can’t verbalize how he is feeling, when kids pitch fits and can’t speak it’s usually out of a frustration of some kind that he cant communicate.”
“Sounds like a typical toddler. This is how my daughter is. The tantrums and dropping to the floor was very common in my house. My cousin and I both decided it was for attention and we didn’t want to reinforce bad behavior. In turn we tell her when she’s ready to use her words that she can come to us. We then leave her to finish her tantrum. Within 5-ish minutes, she’s up and coming to one of us to sit in our lap and calmly tell us whats wrong. We explain we don’t understand when she screams and yells.
The angelic behavior at daycare versus home is also normal. Mini is an angel, quiet, helpful, and sweet at daycare, hardly talks unless necessary. At home she’s got her volume up to 11 and sometimes Mariah Carey octaves, runs, plays, and doesn’t ever stop talking. It’s a comfort thing with being at home where they know they can fully express themselves in a safe space. The not speaking at 2 would be a concern for me. Definitely, something to address with your pediatrician.”
“Sounds normal, even the head banging part lol. My kids both did that. They stopped and they are healthy, fit boys, so don’t worry. You’re doing a good job if he’s behaved at daycare.”
“I would get a spot for timeouts/cool downs. Also, I would have him checked for a speech delay. He is probably frustrated he can’t communicate with you.”
“Sometimes if a child is learning multiple languages there is a little speech delay. You may want to teach him sign language for kids to help him express himself, or have a chart with different emoji faces he can point to to tell you how he feels. Get him screened if you want, but this sounds like typical toddler behavior. I saw little T-shirts in a catalog that said, “Warning! I am two”. This should pass eventually.”
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