The 5 Most Annoying Things Toddlers Do to Their Mothers and Why


annoying toddler behaviorYou're in a safe zone. Go ahead and admit that there are days you look at your kid and think, You are really getting on my last damn nerve. As annoying as they can sometimes be, though, there's usually a logic to their madness.

Let's take a look at five of the most irritating habits toddlers inflict upon us and see if we can figure out why they are trying to drive us -- loving, nurturing mothers that we are -- completely freaking insane.

Author's note: These are my particular tot peeves. Please (I beg of you!) share your own. Together we are strong.

Number 1: Hitting, Face-pulling, Biting, Scratching, and Other Alarming Displays of Aggression

"Oh my god, my kid's going to be a bully!" Not necessarily. Believe it or not, her alarmingly aggressive behavior is a normal part of her development. Toddlers can only say so much and yet they have so much to say and explore. In case you haven't noticed, they're also total control freaks and have an intense need to assert their independence, often with their hands, feet, or teeth.

"Toddlers often perceive aggressive behaviors such as biting and hitting as communication tools," says Dr. Sears.

Add to that their impulse control issues and there you have it. Think of these aggressive outbursts as teachable moments for the both of you, but don't let her off the hook when she lashes out like Lisbeth Salander if another kid touches her dolly. Just try to understand where she's coming from.

Number 2: He's Joined a Hot New Rock Band! They're Called The No, No, Nos

Yeah! He finally understands that no means no. Should be good news for you, right? Wrong.

At a certain point, toddlers say "no" just because they can. And they might get a little kick out of seeing you squirm.

Annoying as this may be, I found a rather heartening perspective from the folks at the University of Illinois. "Toddlers and 2-year-olds are learning to think ...they have opinions and ideas."

We do want them to be independent thinkers, don't we? While the endless "no" phase shall pass, let's hope they take that spirit with them when peer pressure gives us a whole new can of worms to wrangle.

Number 3: Throwing. Need I Say More.

Between 18 months and 3 years old, toddlers adopt the habit of throwing just about everything. Unlike saying no just because, they don't throw spaghetti just to annoy you. Rather, they're testing fundamental theorems of Newtonian physics.

What's it going to be, young lad ... Cambridge or Oxford?

Discovering the fine-motor skills and hand-eye coordination required to throw things is pretty like, wow, eureka! for your tots. So they do it again. And again. And again.

How many apples did Newton eat in his lifetime before he figured the whole gravity thing out? And he was a Cambridge man.   

Number 4: Static Clinginess

The What to Expect team calls this the Carry-Me Syndrome.

It usually happens at around 2 years old when they suddenly decide that walking is for 18-month-olds and mommies.

They explain, "She may be torn between her independent impulses and her very compelling desire to be attached (literally) to you."

Don't worry, she will eventually walk again. In the meantime, enjoy the workout. I know my arms look fabulous.

Number 5: Night Waking, Screaming, and Hollering

A lot goes on in a day in the life of a toddler. There's the potty to master, slides to slide down, Brussels sprouts to throw. When it's time for bed, all of that developmental action can lead to interrupted sleep patterns.

Dr. Robert Needlman, specialist in pediatric development and one of Dr. Spock's experts, also says, "Sleep disturbances are one way that toddlers often respond to stress."

You see. They're just like us, only smaller.

Image via mdanys/Flickr

toddler development, toddler sleep


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Phils... PhilsBabyMama

What drives me NUTS is Maddox telling me "I DON'T HAVE TO!"  AGHHHHH!  That and I can say something like "Don't do (insert dangerous behavior here) because you'll get hurt."  and he responds with "Why?"  Uhhh...because you will get hurt...?  I'm looking forward to the day when he actually just listens and follows directions.

Jeffe... JeffersonMom

whenever i tell my 3 year old no.  he looks at me shocked and says "no mommy.  you supposed to say yes!"

squish squish

The "no" thing was tough, until I figured out a way to combat it. My Annie (22 mo.) started saying "No Mommy, " to everything, even things she wanted to do!

Well, I decided that I would try to "trick" her into saying something-- anything-- else. So when it started up again, "No, Mommy," I responded by saying, "Say No, Annie."


It worked so well! She listened to me. I told her to say "no" a few more times, then changed it to "yes" and "I love you" and "yay!" It was a happy day, and totally switched her little brain into listening to me again! :)


Lokis... LokisMama

My three year old has gotten into the "Act stupid and maybe I won't get in trouble" phase.  He'll just stay silent if you ask him about something that he did, won't talk at all.  It's driving me NUTS!  I try to explain why he shouldn't try to climb in the dishwasher and he looks at me like I'm speaking Klingon.

gypsy... gypsy_woman

OK, so how do you handle the big GIANT meltdown in the middle of the store?  Yell, spank or just leave your basket of groceries and head to the car?  Last nite was just HORRIBLE.  My 3yr old boy just turned into a giant puddle on the floor and cried like a little girl!   I really wanted to die and didn't know how to deal with him the right way so that he would remember it and not do that again.  I ended up leaving the cart and literally drug him back to the car.  BOTH of us were crying in the end.  PLEASE help!

Chasidy Lewczyk

take him to a quiet place in the store and give him his time out

tazdvl tazdvl

glad my kids wanted to walk when they were 2.

nonmember avatar Scarlett

Please, show mercy oh toddler... I've tried everything (but hitting sense i'm the 13 year old babysitter) to correct behavior of my 2 year old client... But he just won't do what i need him to do! He acts like an angel infront of mom, but then she leaves and BAM! Turns into the brat from hell (sorry, but this is the point i'm at!) HELP!!?

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