My 18 MO has been so spoiled in the last 6 months(thanks to COVID). He doesn’t sit and eat, doesn’t nap on his crib, and kinda runs our house. How do I get back him on track and following orders ? Few examples - he would want to go on a walk, but screams bloody as soon as we step outside. Asks for milk, but will spit it. Asks for dad when I am watching and asks for mom when dad is watching. We all look so exhausted and unhappy. What you all do at this age to keep them engaged?

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You and his dad need to get on the same page about discipline and consistency. D1 suggestion for book is good.

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Agreed 100 💯

You’re saying a lot of things that he asks for and then he gets. At that age, he doesn’t know what he wants anyway, so I’d start by working with your husband to create a routine that the two of you can use together to add structure to his day, and start enforcing the rules you’ve been flexible on. -Out of the crib at 7:00 (for example). -Breakfast at the table with Mom and Dad at 7:30. He must stay at the table until Mom and Dad are done. If he doesn’t eat, he doesn’t eat. -8:00 free play -9:00 snack at the table (if appropriate) -9:30 play outside/walk -10:00 structured activity (maybe playing with crayons, reading books, building a Lego tower together) -10:30 free play -11:30 lunch at the table -12:30 nap in crib with suitable pre-nap routine of a story, cuddles, etc. -2:30 wake-up, snack at the table -3:00 free play -4:00 outside time -5:00 help with dinner -5:30 dinner -6:00 free play -6:30 bedtime, bath, books, cuddles, etc. This is just an example, kind of based on what we do, and there’s usually a trip to the store or out of the house in there somewhere everyday, but it really helps. And it will give your son a lot of comfort when he knows you’re in charge and he has boundaries. Definitely crying and resistance at the beginning! But it will pay off if you are firm and consistent (both parents!).

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We do something similar with our 3 year old. It’s hard with both of us WFH but we try to give him some set of structured activities everyday or he’ll run wild.

I have 2 toddlers (4 and 2) and feel this way occasionally. I recently started following Big Little Feelings on Instagram and am considering investing in their program. It definitely gives good tips on getting back the feeling of control vs letting the dictator toddler run the show. I also like the Janet Lansbury’s podcast, Unruffled.

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Highly recommend the book Positive Discipline and/or the Positive Discipline for ages 0-3 version. Really great strategies for being kind and firm and helping your kiddo adjust to house norms.

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Thank you for this book recommendation

He’s not spoiled, he’s just a toddler! Testing boundaries is their job and you and dad haven’t given firm, consistent boundaries so he’s just pushing all of your buttons figuring out what your reactions will be. I love Janet Lansbury (books & podcasts) and no drama discipline book. Helped me realize that setting boundaries and sticking to them was actually the kindest and most loving thing I could do as a parent.

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