parenting failure. what do I do now?

(19 Posts)
ThinkAboutItTomorrow Tue 15-Mar-16 15:22:10

I just really messed up in a stand off with my 3 year old. Don't know what now.

DD often has to be dragged out, she prefers playing indoors but I find a whole afternoon inside exhausting. She has nursery in the morning and a fairly long scoot there and back so does get outside each day but I find afternoons cooped up stressful and hard work.

We were due to go for a play date at the park with DDs best friend. I let DD have iPad after lunch while I fed the baby but I said after this Ben and holly it's time to go. Anyway, after the Ben and holly she refused to switch off. I had to take the iPad from her and she had a total tantrum. Screaming and refusing to get ready to go. I tried explaining her friend was waiting, her friend would be sad etc but DD just didn't want to go out. I tried to manhandle but that wasn't going to end well. I also had the 4 month old screaming at this point as she was ready for a nap.
In the end DD started saying she was ill. I had that moment of doubt 'what if she doesn't feel well?' So said fine, go have a nap. I cancelled the play date, which I feel awful about. The friend will be disappointed and her nanny pretty within her rights to be pissed off. 5 minutes later she wants to get up.

I have told her how cross I am and that she has been very naughty, she had 7 minutes on the naughty step.

She is banned from iPad today as that was a threat used mid tantrum.

What now? Do I just let it go and get on with an afternoon playing in? I don't know if that will let her think she 'won'. But if I stay cross and refuse to play with her all afternoon isn't that just mean? She's nearly 4 but I can't punish her all pm can I?

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Tue 15-Mar-16 15:26:23

Why didn't you go without her saying bye bye at the door up the path etc ?

Have her bag packed with shoes and coat !!!

They hate being left

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Tue 15-Mar-16 15:32:55

That's what I did yesterday but a) it felt really cruel and b) I thought it was bad to make a threat you wouldn't carry out?

FattyNinjaOwl Tue 15-Mar-16 15:34:12

You let it go. She's been punished. Twice. Once by being put on the naughty step and once by having the iPad confiscated.
Just get on with your afternoon.
But if she tries it again, you just get her ready and go. No ifs or buts. As sally said, have everything ready and if need be walk off (obviously not far) she will join you, and once you're at the park she will completely forget her tantrum.

As for friends nanny being pissed off she will have to get over it. Sometimes shit happens and you can't get to play dates etc. It's not the end of the world.

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Tue 15-Mar-16 15:42:37

I've taken her out on a boring errand to the post office. This way she doesn't get what she wants and when we get home we have a fresh start.

So cross with myself for giving in like that.

5minutestobed Tue 15-Mar-16 15:55:01

My DS can be like this, he is a bit of a homebody and quite happy staying in. I wouldn't have punished her for not wanting to go out, sometimes you just don't feel like it, I'm guessing kids are the same!
Did you give her enough warning that you were going out after lunch? Maybe persuade her to take a toy/book/something with her to show her friend at the park? (DS is only just three, not sure if this tactic would work for an older child.) My DS could care less if I threaten to leave him behind but he likes packing his little bag with stuff to take out with him.

twirlypoo Tue 15-Mar-16 15:59:46

Our afternoons are always home based because Ds is utterly knackered after nursery - and yoir DD is doing a scoot there and back too? Maybe she is just a bit tired and an afternoon in is what she needs? I think as pp said, she has been punished now twice so just leave it and try and have a fresh start, but it maybe worth considering your afternoon demands. They are still only little at that age!

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Tue 15-Mar-16 16:01:50

Aarg. She fell asleep in the buggy on a 10 minute journey. Now I will be forever stuck not knowing if she is putting it on or really not feeling up to a play date.

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Tue 15-Mar-16 16:06:27

Before I was at home with DD2 (mat leave) our nanny seemed to take her out every afternoon. She has been nagging for more play dates as well. She has known since yesterday we were meeting up with her friend, reminded this morning and at nursery pick up.

I was cross because it's rude and unfair to her friend.

Anyway, she is now sound sleep so probably not feeling 100%. Now I feel mean for the naughty step.

I think I might need to go back to work soon, I'm no good at this.

Jw35 Tue 15-Mar-16 16:18:29

Stop beating yourself up! It's just one of those days brewcake
What does she want to do when she's staying in? Personally I'd get rid of the iPad for a start! Next time don't bother telling her the plans just tell her to put her shoes on at the appropriate time and leave the house. If she has a tantrum deal with it by standing still and waiting for it to pass, don't talk to her or try and reason. Then very on with the business of going to the park as planned. It's your way at this age, she has to go out and get fresh air (besides she will have fun when she's there)!

MewlingQuim Tue 15-Mar-16 16:31:29

DD used to have major tantrums when I took the ipad away. In the end I had to ban it completely for a few weeks, and it has now been reintroduced but strictly 30 mins a day only and using a timer to remind her to stop, she finds it easier to accept the time limit than if I just say enough.

I expected to have these kind of restricted tech time arguments once she got nearer to being a teen, not at 4! shock

I should also time limit my own screen time but here I am on MN again hmm

nordicwannabe Tue 15-Mar-16 16:39:29

Ah, don't be so hard on yourself! You made a judgement call (that she was just messing about) and it turned out to be wrong. It happens to everyone - we aren't mind-readers, and 3 year olds are unpredictable!

It sounds like your routine isn't working quite right though, if you regularly have to drag DD out against her will.

Is it the transition that's the problem, and she's happy once she's out? On days when you want to be out for the afternoon, could you bring a picnic and go straight from nursery pickup instead of going home and then having to go out again? I appreciate that might be hard with the baby, but if you could do it even for a while it might break the cycle.

Or is it just that she's shattered and needs some afternoons at home? If you find it really hard, maybe invite friends to your house so you get the playmates, but with the comfort (to her) of home.

I'd be inclined to create a set routine combining afternoons out on x,y,z day (straight from nursery if poss) and a few afternoons at home which may include a playdate. Then you can say 'it's Tuesday, we always go to the park on Tuesdays' if she complains.

Tomorrow is another day! There's nothing wrong with apologizing to her briefly if you feel you were really wrong (but be prepared for lots of attempts to convince you she is ill over the next few weeks if so!). But she will honestly put the whole debacle behind her much faster than you do flowers

MargotLovedTom Tue 15-Mar-16 16:42:50

I know she's knackered and all that but aren't you going to have a hellish job getting her to go bed tonight if she's asleep now?

KittyandTeal Tue 15-Mar-16 16:45:38

Could you compromise from now on. Some days you go out and some days you stay home.

We generally do something (preschool or swimming) in the morning but by the afternoon dd is happy to potter around the house playing and colouring. I make sure she plays on her own but not always being available.

Sometimes I think kids need time at home to play, but then I really don't mind being at home most of the time.

Don't beat yourself up though, I've lost count of the number of times I've ended up backing myself into a corner with dd!

mercifulTehlu Tue 15-Mar-16 16:56:52

Definitely not a parenting fail - just a bit of normal parenting! You've got years of practice ahead of you in gauging whether they are trying it on or really exhausted/ill. But they get better at acting as they get older grin. Mine are 7 and 10 and definitely belong on stage with their tragic wails of 'But I'm sooo tired, Mummy!' They usually forget to act tired once they are doing whatever activity it is though.

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Tue 15-Mar-16 17:19:40

Thanks everyone. Our house is peaceful for a while at least.

I think I will try formalising the staying in days. It's not just the transition though, it's a genuine preference for playing at home. I think it's a bit because she likes let's pretend play and I tend not to join in when out and about. I feel a bit of a tit pretending to be Ursula the sea witch in the playground!

Yesterday I forced her out and she kept up the wailing about wanting to go home for a good 20 minutes. It only stopped when I found a sunny sheltered spot and we played and told stories there. To be fair it was cold and windy and I wasn't exactly loving being out but I thought it would do her good.

Maybe it will get better as the weather gets better.

Bedtime might be fun later. I'm off to wake her up. Wish me luck. grin

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Tue 15-Mar-16 17:22:52

The iPad is a real issue but while DD2 is small I think it helps give DD1 something she wants while I feed, change etc DD2. Otherwise she will feel really neglected. I think the new baby is a big part of her acting up so I have been pretty soft recently. Maybe too soft.

neonrainbow Tue 15-Mar-16 17:28:26

Couldn't you have played and told stories at home instead of dragging her out? She's probably knackered.

FattyNinjaOwl Tue 15-Mar-16 17:28:39

It probably will get better as the weather improves. I'm a bit of a hermit, I prefer being indoors, but when the sun comes out I can't wait to get the kids out to the park.
I have the opposite problem, DD is 2 and hates being cooped up indoors, but I have DS2 (7 months) and I need to think about his routine too and the school run for DS1! And as I said I'm a bit of a hermit. I am going to try and force myself out to my first ever group tomorrow with the little ones...
You haven't failed. We all just have our own ways of dealing with things and sometimes we get things wrong. It's not a major problem.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now