to want to stay in work rather than coming home to a whiny, clingy, tantruming child?(39 Posts)
Seriously, I'm at the end of my tether.
DD is 2 and has been miserable pretty much from the day she was born. She was a velcro baby, which meant poor old Ds has been fairly starved of attention for the past couple of years. Luckily, he's a big fan of telly.
Dd has been in the throes of the terrible twos since she was about 11 months old and it is exhausting. She kicks of before work, at breakfast, and she kicks off pretty much from the minute I pick her up from nursery until bed. I have just been trying to get her to go to sleep for an hour and a half. DH has just taken over, as I would like some time off tonight - alI though she will, inevitably, end up in our bed tonight.
Not sure if I want advice, sympathy or what, to be honest. I just feel constantly guilty that ds spends a lot of time ignored and, if I'm honest, resentful that I seem to be missing out on him being 4. Dd isn't even a fan of sharing me with her own brother.
Sounds quite a bit like my DS. Knackering.
I've been working with this sleep consultant. She has a very gentle, holistic approach and in addition to improving his sleep and his bedtimes, his daytime demeanour has also changed a bit. We still get Velcro-toddler from time-to-time, but not nearly as badly. I honestly don't think it's because he's getting more sleep (he was getting plenty, but it was entirely in bed with me which I was no longer happy with) but she gave a lot of advice around changing the type and location of play which has made a big difference.
Out of interest, did you have any kind of birth trauma with your DD? Ann (the sleep consultant above) says she's noticed a strong correlation between Velcro-babies/poor sleepers and birth trauma which can create attachment issues from the outset.
My dd was like this. She actually had tongue tie and reflux which meant she was tired (waking a lot), couldn't get a decent feed from me so a grumpy child. She seriously didn't smile at anyone bar me, DH and ds until recently. She's 2.
Have you ruled out medical issues?
YANBU. It's a horrible feeling. Can you try to sort out some time each weekend where you have 1-on-1 time with each of them - maybe a good 2-3 hours with DS and an hour with her? Do something lovely with him that you'd both enjoy - go on an outing together? That way, she's not there to demand your attention and you can relax more. We used to do this when DC were that age, as DS2 needed more time and it meant i constantly felt guilty towards DS1 and in danger of resenting DS2 who was, after all, only tiny!
Does she have any underlying problems? Milk allergy? Reflux? Sometimes they are clingy and tantrummy because they are in pain or discomfort so much of the time.
Have you tried any of those sneaky techniques, such as giving her a special toy or object to 'look after' during the day to remind her you love her. Think they are called transference objects.
You're not alone and it will pass. It's OK to feel rough when times are rough!
Have you ruled out all possible medical causes? Ear problems?
awful aren't they i vividly remember telling my husband i was getting a job and he could take care of the HORRIBLE CHILD who HATES ME! he got worse he wouldn't stop EVER unfortunately the real issue was he wanted me not his dad to stay home so i cant work even now he loves having daddy drive him to school (he is out of work atm) but he wont go easily with out me being in the car which means his brother has to come too the only reason his sister is exempt is she leaves earlier to go to a different school
love your comment velcro baby very appropriate
no real solutions we found a rigid routine helped my son loads of empathy though xo
Have you checked her hearing? How is her speech? Both of my DDs suffered from glue ear, and one of them had terrible pain, which meant at night she screamed for hours. Worth a checks also this may explain her demanding behaviour during the day. Hope it is all sorted out soon.
As well as all of the above I would also take her to see a craniel osteopath in case, for some dc it really is a miracle cure!
No birth trauma, although it was very fast. I did wonder whether that was part of her early issues, though. She very much likes to be in control and is v stubborn (in nursery too, so not just me.) She forms strong attachments to certain people - Ds 'belongs' to her if we go somewhere where she's uncertain. On the flip side, she also takes violently against people - she wouldn't go near dh for the first 7 months of her life!
I think she was a bit refluxy for a while when tiny - snuffly, would only sleep on me etc. I also suspect a bit of milk allergy. DS is quite phlegmy and dd had allergis when weaning.
I know part of this is of our own making - sitting with her til she falls asleep, rather than training her like we did ds 'cos we were too knackered to go through 18 months of upstairs-downstairs trips, but I need my space! Sadly, I've never been great at clingy anything: pets, people...this seems like a karmic joke.
Try a cranial osteopath - as others have suggested.
With that kind of personality, OP, 'traditional' sleep training might have just made her worse - it certainly did my DS! I don't think any of it is of your own making. I agree with a PP who suggested dedicated time with each DC. With your DD, do lots of rough and tumble play in her own room. If she bumps herself in the slightest during this time, make a huge fuss. Have lots of cuddles, and do lots of very silly, high-contact play so she gets lots of laughing and physical contact at the same time. That's what's seemed to do the trick with my DS.
Someone suggested an osteopath when she was tiny. Hearing's fine but her speech is still only at the three word stage. She understands a lot and catches on firghteningly quickly, but is nowhere near as advanced as her brother at this age. I know she gets frustrated, but everything frustrates her.
I suppose I was lucky ds was so easy going (relatively), and that I didn't seem to be locked into a constant battle for control. She even fights over what bloody clothes to wear. Ds still doesn't give a toss what he wears!
(Cranial osteopathy did jack-diddly-squat here, I'm afraid)
I've have witnessed osteopathy be amazing and quick births can cause issues for the baby. If it works fantastic, if it doesn't help it's really not that expensive IYSWIM.
I think she was a bit refluxy for a while when tiny - snuffly, would only sleep on me etc. I also suspect a bit of milk allergy. DS is quite phlegmy and dd had allergis when weaning
This may well still be bothering her.
This is also the age of sleep regressions, teething etc. It will get easier - not long to go now.
I know you're jesting about not liking clinginess but she's so little and it isn't her fault.
Are you being unreasonable for not wanting to deal with the situation- not really but she is not behaving in way that you believe 2 year old's should then YABU. How long any how often is she in nursery? does she miss you? does like the nursery? Do youthink she is picking up on your frustration with her?
My DS was 4 when I had my newborn DD- she was constantly being sick with reflux, she was and still is very attached to me and has just turned 3. TBH, i felt bad for DS but he had had my full attention for 4 years something DD will never have so i don't think it is necessary to feel guilty about this.
I would definitely have a chat with the GP. My son has recently been diagnosed with high functioning autism so I see it EVERYWHERE but some things you are saying remind me a bit of him as a littley. But as I say my A-dar is waaaaaaay too sensitive. I always just thought he was a little shit and I was a rubbish mum and it turned out there was an underlying medical issue. So maybe get her checked out.
At very least, she is trying to tell you something and is feeling bad.
This of course makes her a proper PITA. If you can show her that you take her unhappiness seriously, even if you can't give her what you want that should help. I find the How to talk so children will listen... Techniques immensely helpful. It's basically instead of saying "shhh, don't cry, stop clinging to my leg", you work out that child is clinging to your leg because they are worried about something and you spend a couple of minutes actually giving them a cuddle, while saying "I wish we could cuddle all day". They feel reassured, they bugger off. Result!
Either way, great stuff up there as well....
I know she's behaving exactly as 2 year olds do, but she's been acting this way for two years and it seems like nothign I can do ever makes her happy - hence wanting to stay in work. At least I can do something right occasionally there.
She's with my mum two days a week and nursery 3. She likes nursery and has strong bonds with 3 of the women in her room (which causes its own problems). She's very independent in lots of ways (again, causes problems), which is why I don;t get the clingyness. She kicks off if I even go into the next room, or dare to give ds a cuddle.
She may pick on my frustration, although it's more likely she's picking up on my work stress.
See, this is why I feel guilty - she gets way more cuddles than ds. To the point where he expects to find her in our bed in the morning and he's used to seeing her in my arms pretty much constantly. It wouldn't be so bad if she's let him cuddle too, but if he tries, she tries to push or kick him off - which then means she gets old off.
Very grateful for the advice btw, I'm aware I'm just following whinge after whinge, but today was the last day of a very fraught, very stressful term and to come home to a night of tantrums and 1.5 hour sleep drop off (before I'd even had any wine) has tipped me slightly into hysteria myself.
Have you ruled out reflux etc?
Maybe she just wants more of you?
On the other hand there may be NO SEN, she may be simply like that. You have to deal with it as this is the unknown entity when having children. it's not her fault you had her and it is not helpful to think along the lines of an SEN or 'little shit'!
X-post. You sound worried about your ds missing out. I found it difficult to get the balance right with my two (2&4 years old) and felt guilty about my eldest.
We got there in the end - letting them play together helps a lot as I can now play with both.
I'm no expert but I've nannied toddlers and did child psychology at Uni. Clinginess and not liking you even leaving the room are signs of anxiety and insecurity. The worse thing you can do with anxious children is withdraw. They need overt clear reassurance, physical affection,regular praise and regular and clear boundaries. I think there is a book called The Anxious Child which someone on Mums,et mentioned once before in a similar thread as a massive help....good luck and the above tactics do work, i had a very similar 2 year old as a nanny, she was a different child in a matter of weeks.
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