I receive a newsletter once a month or so from Babycenter.com to update me on things that will be going on with Austin and his development. The article below is what I received today. Thank goodness he is not acting like this just yet.
New this month: A stranger among you?
You may not know from one minute to the next how your 13-month-old will behave. Playgroups can be especially trying. Your toddler seems thrilled to see a friend, only to knock him down trying to get the toy he's holding. Or he may give that friend a hug before suddenly biting or hitting him. The simple explanation for this kind of behavior is that at 13 months, children don't see their playmates as people with feelings — they are simply objects to explore.At this age, many toddlers begin to behave unpredictably. Yours may scream at the top of his lungs for no apparent reason, pull the tablecloth (and all the dishes on it) to the floor, or yank the dog's tail despite your firmly telling him not to. Though this may be a trying time for you, remember that your toddler isn't deliberately disobeying you — he's just exploring his surroundings and figuring out how much power he has over you, his environment, and himself. Many of these "destructive" practices will actually help him develop a sense of independence and figure out which types of behavior are acceptable to you and which aren't.
What you can do
You can help him channel his potentially destructive exuberance in safe ways. Pillow fights, for example, either outside or in a room where he can't break anything, are bound to tire out your toddler. For totally wild but nondestructive pillow fights, make a set of 12 small lightly stuffed pillows about 9 inches square — they'll be easier for your toddler to heft and too light to break much of anything. Playing with modeling clay — pulling, kneading, and rolling the squishy stuff — is another good outlet. On the next rainy day, put on your rain boots and go jump in puddles together. If you're constantly admonishing your child to "keep the water in the tub," he'll love the freedom to splash around and make a big mess.