My 17-Month-Old Has Started to Swing at Me When She Doesn’t Get Her Way

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The fact is that learning to express one’s self begins in the early years by using actions. Some are totally appropriate, like the 12-month-old who raises her arms up to show mom or dad that she wants to be picked up. Others can be distressing, like hitting, kicking, and biting. But they are all efforts on the part of the child to communicate. In this case, we can hypothesize that your child is mad that she is not getting something she wants. She cannot say, Mom, I am so mad that you won’t let me have that fourth cookie! (Or, as my teenagers now simply say, I HATE YOU!)

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