The Biggest Toddler Surprises
An inside look at 6 second-year shockers by Deborah Skolnik
You knew your child might turn into a terror at two-year mark. But many kids begin acting surly around 15 months. Why? "They begin to feel powerful at this age, partly because they're doing new things like starting to walk. So they begin to try to influence what happens around them," says Dr. Briggs. If in the first year, your child did things like fake-cough to get your attention, he may take it one step further now, throwing tantrums to take center stage (and to try to get his way on having blueberry pie for breakfast). Don't give in, but stay sympathetic and help him put a name to his feelings, says Doug Albrecht, Ph.D., of the Arizona Institute for Early Childhood Development in Phoenix. "He needs to learn that with your help, he doesn't have to be overwhelmed by his anger," he says. Stay by his side and calmly say, "I know you're frustrated, but pie is for dessert." Eventually he'll calm down -- and start to realize he can't bulldoze you by throwing fits.