Parenting--Toddlers/Infants/Pre-Schoolers/sudden bad behaviors


Within the past month my 20 month old son has become, well, a brat. He has always been a good boy, says please when he wants something, he will actually pick up the house and throw any trash away, he has been very good. Anytime he did act up we would say " sit in time out" and he would walk over and sit in the corner we picked and would wait till he was told he could get up..Now he will still go and sit in time out, but now once he gets there he will rear his hand back and smack the wall or floor as hard as he can.
 I stay home with him and thankfully daddy's job allows him to be home most days of the week, so he is not getting the behavior from other kids. But I just don't understand where it came from, anytime he is upset now ( whether it be from him being told he cant have this or he cant do that) he will hit whatever is closest to him.
  He also began throwing things, he will have something, anything, and will randomly decide to chunk it across the room. I thought maybe he was trying to get more attention out of us but he has never been one of those needy kids. We always do activities with him and try to play with him but honestly he would rather you just go away and let him do it on his own and how he wants to do it.
 He is also ignoring people lately, you will tell him no or to come here and he will just continue on about his business. You have to go and grab him and he will then crack up, his hearing is excellent so I know he is just choosing to not listen. I know there is the terrible 2's, but he has been so good and nothing at home has changed, I don't understand why he is all of a sudden acting like this.

Hi Amber, It sounds like this is a normal development stage.  He is starting to display his individual preferences that may be why he is ignoring you.  

It is important that you stick by your 'rules' and continue to reinforce the time out or other methods as he grows up.  This will improve with patience and time.
It may be a good idea to make another rule about the throwing of toys etc, you can remove them if he throws them.  He can get them back if he is behaving well.  

When you notice that he is sitting nicely or behaving well, praise him for this good behaviour.

You may also try ignoring him when he does throw a tantrum, this will take some time but if you continue to be consistent and fair with him his behaviour will improve. You can find more at the blog Kind regards, Eleanor.  


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Eleanor Formaggio


I can answer questions where practical advice is sought in relation to behaviour issues of 2-10 year olds. I specifically look at the influence of personality in a child's behaviour and tailor advice to suit the individual child and parent. This is useful since not all children are the same. I can suggest techniques for tantrums, child aggression and sibling rivalry and adapting to change.


I am a counsellor and child behaviour consultant based in Sydney, Australia and mum to three boys ages 12,10 and 6. I have been involved in setting up and facilitating community support groups for new mothers and run parenting workshops so parents can better understand their children's behaviour. I have spent alot of time observing personality differences in children and understanding how these differences can be used to make parenting easier. I developed the Early Childhood Personality Rating Scale for identifying child personality types in children as young as two. I am the founder of Parent with Potential and developed the Prechooler Personality Kit and READ personality system for primary aged children. More info can be found at

Book: In this Present Moment: Quality Time Ideas for busy parents.

I have a Bachelors Degree in Applied Social Science (Counselling).

Past/Present Clients
Parents of 2-8 year olds. Mothers with Postnatal Depression or anxiety attending a support group or seeking individual counselling or advice in relation to their child's behaviour.

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