to think that you probably shouldn't go to a toddler group if you are going to let your child scream hysterically the entire time?

(54 Posts)
ikeaismylocal Wed 22-Jan-14 21:30:42

I regularly take my 13 month old ds to a toddler group, there is a child there who is around 18 months, she is a very affectionate child and she always wants to be sat on her mum's knee or carried by her mum. The mum has decided to go cold turkey with her daughter and refuse to pick her up or have her on her knee. Today the child screamed hysterically for 2.5 hours, she was hyperventilating and running after her mum, the mum would just walk away, when her mum walked away the child would throw herself on the floor and bang her head sad

It shocked me a bit to see this style of parenting, the mum made no effort to distract the child she didn't engage at all with her, not even speaking to the child.

Aibu to think that it is best to do such things at home (and put down rugs so the child doesn't hurt her head so much when she bagged it) so the child is in familiar surroundings.

Is this a normal thing to do? My ds is a little younger so we are yet to get to the tantruming stage.

IHadATinyTurtle Wed 22-Jan-14 21:47:12

As the mum of a very similar 18 month old I'm assuming she's exhausted and fed up, it wears you down having a child like that. Bear in mind he is most likely the same at home, 24/7 if anything like my DS.

I did a similar 'bad parenting' move and after 16 months of co sleeping and breastfeeding to sleep every hour or 2 I snapped and left him to cry in the cot for 4 hours the first night, then progressively less for a month. I have always been completely against CIO or anything similar but it gets to a point where you think either they need to realise they can't have your constant attention every second or you're going to go insane!

blahblahblah2014 Wed 22-Jan-14 21:48:01

different strokes for different folkes, maybe it will have a positive effect.....eventually.

Joules68 Wed 22-Jan-14 21:49:03

Well she's teaching her child nothing

Did nobody say anything to this person?

IHadATinyTurtle Wed 22-Jan-14 21:53:32

joules it's really noone else's business to say anything. She will have had a reason for doing it the same as you do for all your parenting choices.
As OP said usually the girl is glued to her mum so it's hardly like she doesn't normally give her affection.

redcaryellowcar Wed 22-Jan-14 21:55:57

sounds horrific for all involved, suppose ideally she wouldn't do this at home let alone toddler group but the fact she sees no shame in it probably means she is having a really tough time of it, maybe you could point her in direction of surestart centre nearby or highlight with child protection lead at toddler group, sounds like she is resorting to desperate measures, which ime are unlikely to work?

TheGreatHunt Wed 22-Jan-14 21:57:08

Well yes she should have cuddled her baby instead but some mums feel the pressure of others watching like you so go hard core.

The child probably isn't glued to her leg at home, so she any do it there. And since she dosnt normally ignore her kid I'd assume she was at the end of tether stage and doing this as a last resort. HHopefully it'll work

So she can't do it there

Pigsmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 22:19:05

Horrible to watch. Horrible to do. Yanbu

ikeaismylocal Wed 22-Jan-14 22:21:17

I hadn't thought that the child is probably more independent at home.

The group leaders have degrees in early years education, they spoke to the mum about something but I didn't hear what they said, could have just been chatting.

It was hard not to watch as the child was screaming, my reaction to a screaming child is to look to see if the child is ok.

PenelopePipPop Wed 22-Jan-14 22:27:36

Is which bit normal?

Screaming and banging head on floor - sadly yes. For us it didn't last long but it was around 18m. Bloody hell it was awful. I think I just stopped going out. DD's communication skills were way behind the point where we could y'know talk about what was upsetting or apply a consequence to the behaviour. She'd feel thwarted or frustrated and lose it and that was it. Once her verbal skills caught up a bit she calmed down again but it was...intense. Apparently I was exactly the same.

Not responding at all is a bit atypical. I think I usually tried to comfort DD but it often didn't work. And there could be lots of reasons why this was the time and place the mother thought she;d try and get a breather. Maybe she hoped if she didn't respond her DD would eventually get distracted by toys etc. Or maybe she simply didn't have any resources left for comforting her and it was better to let her DD have the screaming session when lots of other people were around to keep an eye on her than at home where it would be just the two of them and she might feel angry and frayed? Or maybe she'd been advised not to respond to the headbanging for fear that becomes how her daughter seeks her mother's attention - though that obviously needs to be balanced against giving loads of positive attention when she interacts positively.

Did you ask her, sympathetically, how she handled all this at home?

(Oh and rugs don't necessarily work with headbangers - DD would deliberately toddle to the kitchen with the stone floor for maximum impact)

PenelopePipPop Wed 22-Jan-14 22:28:36

(I was exactly the same as a toddler - not exactly the same as DD when she was 18m, but there were times when there could have been two of us banging our heads on the floor.)

LongTailedTit Wed 22-Jan-14 22:34:30

I'm sorry, but she has a very different child to yours, you really don't have a clue what she's dealing with. I suspect you saw her on a desperate day.

My DS was a head banging screamer. While I didn't ignore him like you describe, he frequently behaved exactly like that, regardless of whatever I did to try to calm him. I was always the one sitting in the corridor or outside playgroups, with a writhing screaming toddler on my lap.
And no, putting rugs down didn't help, he just searched out a harder surface to headbutt, often radiators or the walls.
It was a really really shit time.

Maybe her DD only behaves that way with an audience and she thinks this method will help, it sounds like a horrible experience for everyone, but honestly I'm finding it hard to judge her from here. sad

Ignoring tantrums if pretty standard parenting.

I'd assume that the mum thought that she would be less judged at a toddler group with other parents who might understand the situation, and was using the group as a safe halfway house to try out the process before trying at the supermarket.

My friend's DD did (and does this) when somewhere public like that.

It gets far far worse if she engages with her actually so although it looks harsh & her DD gets hysterical it's much better than what happens if she gives in but then has to pop to the loo or to get something/a cup of tea etc (her DD will cry til she's sick/make herself sick). Also, talking to her DD when she's mid tantrum just makes her tantrum harder. She's a great mum but it's just bad luck really & it's gotten better with age.

Tbh I think it's a bit rich to judge when you've not got a difficult baby yourself. You just never know.

Parents with 'difficult' kids shouldn't be excluded from toddler groups because of something they can't help. We should just appreciate the fact that we drew a longer straw & maybe offer a little empathy?

misdee Wed 22-Jan-14 22:49:53

So normally the child is on mums lap, or being carried etc?

Maybe they had a rough night

Maybe the mum was all touched out.

My 4th child was a little cling on. Wouldn't let me out of her sight. Most days this wasn't an issue, I would carry her in a sling most days, But someways it just got too much, and yes she would scream. Never for 2.5hours admittingly, but to me it felt like forever. She is now a very independent 5 year old with a stubborn streak. grin

Mim78 Wed 22-Jan-14 22:58:15

Doesn't sound good to me but I suppose the usual mn refrain - we don't know all the circs - is probably correct.

OpalQuartz Wed 22-Jan-14 23:08:31

Was the mum talking to the child or communicating with her at all during the 2.5 hours? If not and she was completely blanking her then yes I do think it was cruel and misguided, whatever the circumstances.

Waltonswatcher1 Thu 23-Jan-14 00:43:37

One of these days I suspect I will crack and scream hysterically , for the entire two hours of hell that is the mums and tots group.
YANBU though. It probably also upset the other toddlers. Can only imagine her action will increase the child's anxiety anxiety .

ikeaismylocal Thu 23-Jan-14 10:23:34

My child is challenging in his own way, I can only dream of him spending an afternoon sitting on my knee rather than climbing on everything and shouting at the other babies.

I wouldn't leave my ds on the floor screaming if I told him he wasn't allowed to insist the teacher sings the dog song repeatedly at song time ( this happens often) I would take him out of the room, try to distract him and if that failed I'd take him home.

SPsMrLoverManSHABBA Thu 23-Jan-14 10:32:55

My son does and always has been ignored when he has a tantrum. I don't care where we are tbh. If he wants to carry on and throw his self to the floor so be it. I will be nearby on a bench or against a wall waiting for him to sort his self out.

It might look harsh and people might be judging but I couldn't give a shit tbh.

itsnotthateasy Thu 23-Jan-14 10:45:12

I feel for you . .. My Toddler Group days are long gone but can't say I ever went regularly to any .

itsnotthateasy Thu 23-Jan-14 10:46:50

What is CIO ?

chocladoodle Thu 23-Jan-14 10:56:26

My DD was like this. She would be very upset if i put her down and I couldn't ever just walk away. Friends would offer me advice, telling me it was for her best and to stick it out. I never could, it broke my heart to see her that distressed.

She has just been diagnosed with ASD at age 9 and we have since learnt that this clingy ness in toddlers is a a very common trait. I'm so glad now that I did give in to her and give her all the cuddles that she needed at that young age and to have ignored the advice given from others to let her cry.

It was very difficult and exhausting though so I can sympathy with any parent who has a clingy child.

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