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MarJones
MarJones asks:
Q:

What do you do for a 16 month old that cries and fusses all the time - it's not due to any medical condition that we can identify.

My 16 month old granddaughter cannot be at a family function without screaming, crying, fussing and throwing herself around - it does not stop.  While all the other little ones are playing, giggling and gooing in their little seats, she cannot occupy herself for more than a few minutes before it starts again.  This wreaks havoc on every occasion, and my son is to the point where they just want to skip family gatherings altogether. We've tried everything we can think of to console and pacify, nothing works.  She also acts this way when we babysit, and it's difficult on everyone when all she does is scream the entire time.  There is no pacifying her with rocking, music, toys, books, tv.  It's sad and frustrating when watching her for an evening, but family parties end up with everyone on edge and heading for the door early.  Going out to dinner is a nightmare.  She has been this way since infancy, and is definitely getting worse, not better, as she gets older. I'm certainly no expert, but having raised seven children, with many nieces, nephews and friends with children, I've seen allot of children in allot of situations, and this is just not normal behavior.  
I do not want to appear as the "meddling grandma" and cause any hard feelings with my son and daughter-in-law, but I do feel they need to seek help, as they are frazzled -but what kind and where?
In Topics: My child's growth and development, Children and stress, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Wayne Yankus
Apr 27, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

I would talk to your son and have his daughter checked by her pediatrician.  What you adequately describe as a seasoned mother is not normal behavior for this age group.  If that exam does not yield answers, ask for a referral to a pediatric specialist in development.  This is a critical age for behavioral and developmental diagnoses that can be helped by early intervention at home and in special settings.  Go for it and advocate for her.

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics
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Additional Answers (2)

JeanneBrockmyer
JeanneBrock... writes:
Your son and his family are lucky that you are interested in your granddaughter's well-being.  It sounds like she is a child who is easily overstimulated. For the time being, it might not be such a bad idea to limit her exposure to large groups and going out to dinner.  The situation may improve as she gets older, but her parents should consult their pediatrician or family doctor to see if a referral to a developmental specialist is needed.
> 60 days ago

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chy2000
chy2000 , Teacher, Parent writes:
I am a teacher at a Christian School and have seen similar behavior in some of the 5 year olds in my class. One in particular had severe ADHD and bipolar disorder. She would cry over the simplest things and would not stop until she was ready. We came up with a rewards plan for her called "The merit store". When she behaved well she would earn "MERIT MONEY" (silver and gold plastic coins) to spend in the "Merit Store" (My Desk). When she had poor behavior she would not get Merit Money and could not go to the store to spend what she already had. Within two weeks this had made a tremendous impact on her behavior and she is now reading, adding, subtracting, and is a joy to be around. With a child as young as yours maybe you could buy small inexpensive toys(Dollar Tree toys work great) and allow her to "EARN" them with good behavior. Even at 18 months they understand this concept fairly well and catch on pretty quickly. Good luck and God Bless!
> 60 days ago

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