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To ask what I did wrong?

(54 Posts)
Elemis Tue 26-Jul-11 21:26:37

why does my child not listen?
Why does he run away?
Why does he whinge at every turn, for the most bizarre things that you couldn't possible imagine?
Why am I the mother who has to stay right behind him because he can't be trusted, to run off, to walk by the swimming pool, to walk in the car park.
Why could I never shop with him in the pram? I see loads of mums shopping happily with little ones in the pram or the shopping trolley. I see loads of mums with toddlers happily trotting beside them. I see loads of children happily sweetly singing as they get dressed for swimming,
Why does mine struggle and squirm and run and skid and jump up and down on the scales and hide in the lockers.
Why does he resist everything, constantly?
And why does he take over an hour to go to sleep?

And then otoh, why is he so utterly adorable, and lol funny and affectionate with kisses and hugs by the minute? Why does he make my heart skip a beat when I just look at him?

AmazingBouncingFerret Tue 26-Jul-11 21:28:47

You're only seeing a snapshot of other people's children ehaving well. I can assure you that they can be little buggers aswell. You're not alone.

youarekidding Tue 26-Jul-11 21:35:59

Because you always notice when its your child doing it. I bet you've seen others do it loads of times and been grateful this time it wasn't yousr and gone on your merry way and forgotten about it. grin

and as ABF says they can all be buggers at times.

shouldbeelswhere Tue 26-Jul-11 21:41:22

Are we time sharing the same child?

alowVera Tue 26-Jul-11 21:42:06

Eleimis i believe I have the female version of your DS.

I like to think that everyone else takes their well behaved child for granted, 2 minutes of her being "good" in public and I am eternally grateful.

Elemis Tue 26-Jul-11 22:03:04

I know they're not all angels, but I spend all my time pre-empting all the dangers and obstacles. And I am constantly coaxing and cajoling and bribing and persuading him. Constantly trying to distract him. I'm bloody exhausted, I can't think straight.
If it was a phase, I could maybe deal with it, but it's been years now. He's nearly 4.
And apparently at pre-school he's an angel.
That's why I think it's me.sad

I've read the parenting books and I stay calm,patient and tolerant and kind and cheerful, maybe I should just shout?!

hairfullofsnakes Tue 26-Jul-11 22:43:27

Phew! I'm not the only one!

whackamole Tue 26-Jul-11 22:49:11

Don't be daft - he's nearly 4 not 14!

I could've written your initial post BTW, but my two are only 2.6 so we have a while of exasperating behaviour.......they have been beautifully behaved today, but had me in tears all day last Wednesday they were so horrible.

Oh - and mine are angels at nursery, even to the point they regularly say 'please' and 'thank you'. They are practically mute at home.

NorfolkBroad Tue 26-Jul-11 23:04:50

Elemis, feel for you. I don't know if this is any help at all but my BF has 2 kids and her eldest (6 yrs) is tricky like this. Her youngest (3 yrs) is completely different. She is an amazing mum, like you are I bet, really positive, loving, calm as you like but he is always such hard work. He is also absolutely adorable and clever and kind to his sister but he is SO tricky she is exhausted with him. I suppose what I am trying to say is that some kids are born a bit more challenging than others regardless of what you do. My dd is really placid, always has been, she just popped out like that. Plus she is an only child so no competition! I honestly don't think it's something I have done or haven't done.

BelleDameSansMerci Tue 26-Jul-11 23:08:10

My DD is the same age... She swings between angel and demon handful almost minute by minute. I'm considering ditching the calm and polite requests and just going straight to shouting. It would save so much time.

moonbells Tue 26-Jul-11 23:12:53

Oh Elemis, I think we are sharing the same DS...

Have you seen this thread?

I often wish I could shop without having to keep at least one pair of eyes on DS. Yet getting him into the trolley seat is a battle in itself. Usually needs a bribe to get him in. Then he whinges he wants to walk...

I go shopping at 7am these days. Fewer people to bump into when I go chasing him...

acatcalledfelix Tue 26-Jul-11 23:18:54

OP I have the twin to your DS! I was watching whistfully today as a mum walked along the street and her toddler dutifully trotted alongside her.

But, wouldn't change him for anything!

Earthymama Tue 26-Jul-11 23:21:48

I have a grandson like this; I ADORE him but he makes me cry sometimes. Try looking at 'Raising your Spirited Child' it helped me.
By the way, this child is the kindest person I know, hard-working, honest and sensitive. Just have a drink every night and say we got through it!!

blackeyedsusan Tue 26-Jul-11 23:34:53

"OI GIVE HIM BACK HE IS MINE" ermm no on second thoughts... grin

dc1 is fantastically well behaved and quiet (most of the time) and then came ds......

bubblesincoffee Tue 26-Jul-11 23:42:08

I'm not sure whether to say this or not for fear of making you worry needlessly, but I remember feeling the way you seem to be. I was the mum who couldn't sit down at coffee mornings because her baby needed constant stimulation, when he was a toddler I was there dealing with a complete meltdown every single moring because it was time to put a coat on, and so it continued. Turned out he has aspergers, albeit mildly. Now he is nearly 11 and he can be perfectly reasonable, and he is off to a fantastic grammar school in September which I think will be the making of him.

There may or may not be something like this going on, and there may well not be, because as plenty of others have said, much of this stuff is perfectly normal. But I can remember feeling like I knew something wasn't right, I knew it wasn't completely normal, and it was awful thinking it was only me that saw this stuff. Like you, I did what it said in the books and was completely in love and devoted to my child.

So just in case it helps, it isn't you, but it could be something. And if it is that doesn't mean that it won't all be perfectly fine.

piprabbit Tue 26-Jul-11 23:44:14

My DS tends to be like this, the sort of child that will always want the third option (when you've only offered a choice of two things) and who is not afraid to show his displeasure.

I've recently started to do less talking, discussing and negotiating. I'll offer him a choice, if he doesn't play along then I tell him that I will make the choice and then, if he continues to whinge, I make the choice and just carry on. He dances with anger and screams with frustration but generally gives in quite quickly and we move on and have fun doing the next thing. He seems to be gradually getting the message about picking your battles.

budgieshell Tue 26-Jul-11 23:51:15

You could have a child that was withdrawn, quite, timid and you would be worried about him. You have a child that is active, alert, confident and has tons of character. It' s hard work but he will be loads of fun when he gets a bit older and not as likely to hurt his self.


Message withdrawn

differentnameforthis Wed 27-Jul-11 05:42:34

I used to be one of those mums who's toddler would walk beside her, who would happily stay in her stroller, who would walk slowly & carefully & come back when asked.

She is 8 now. She lulled me into a false sense of parenting! grin

I am now you on most of your points. We have done nothing wrong. We have children who are individuals, just like all the rest. And they need parenting differently. It was a shock to learn that I needed to change the way I parented to compliment my toddler.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 27-Jul-11 05:57:38

Until two weeks ago, my 2.7 DD was that perfect child that other mothers look at enviously. She is polite, she is agreeable, she would happily go along with whatever we were doing, she would walk along happily, and as long as we warned her about transitions and struck the right balance between independence and helping her, she would never, ever, ever tantrum.


And then someone came and stole her and replaced her with an identical-looking, but entirely different child, who refuses to do anything, insists on the most bizarre things (I want to poke the meat in the supermarket!) and pitches full-body tantrums in public places practically hourly.

I want my other child back. I liked her.

TheFrogs Wed 27-Jul-11 06:14:58

I searched my old name a few weeks ago (boredom) and I found thread after thread about my dd. She was an absolute NIGHTMARE. I know she was a nightmare, I guess i'd forgotten just how bad she used to make me feel. Pretty much from birth (constant screaming) up until the age of 4 she was disagreeable, stubborn, whingy and a tantrumer (is tantrumer a word? it is now). She hated everything and everyone.

If you met her now you would never believe it, she is such a nice polite child, always does what teacher says, quiet and shy (until she gets home), glowing reports etc. She's very strong willed and a bit of a drama queen at times but so sweet, kind and thoughtful....all is not lost op!!! grin

mummytime Wed 27-Jul-11 06:20:11

My DS at 3 ish had a major temper tantrum in the middle of the High Street, you could see all the "can't you control that monster" looks from everyone around. 1 minute later, I had found a bottle of bubble mix in my pockets, and everyone was now looking with "isn't he adorable" looks.
My two played "chase" in the China and Glass department, when we tried to buy a wedding present. They had stopped for 30 seconds when I heard the lady in the queue say to her child "Why can't you behave like those two?"
Another time in a restuarant they were behaving (very different to the previous week) again I overheard "Why can't you be good like those children?"

I think when our kids are misbehaving we start spotting all the good kids.

Two tips: a) kids tend to go through a "naughty" spell when they start school, its to do with being tired. b) Try to spot him being good and give attention then, try to ignore the bad, a star chart can help with this, if it has the aim that you give him 10 stars every day (so you have to hunt for the good behaviour).

Good luck! And he won't be doing it at 18, 4 is still little.

jubilee10 Wed 27-Jul-11 06:34:31

"You could have a child that was withdrawn, quite, timid and you would be worried about him. You have a child that is active, alert, confident and has tons of character."

Well said! I had one of each and I worried about both. They are now 15 and 13 and I don't have any bother with either of them. They are both polite, friendly, well behaved teenagers. I didn't do anything different with either of them.

bubbles in coffee's post is worth consideration as my ds1 has ADHD and displayed more of this behaviour than his brothers. However ds3 (5) can be pretty wild and I don't think he has it and anyway I don't worry the same now. It's not worth it!

The one thing that makes me laugh is "they won't go in the pram/pushchair". What a lot of rubbish - will they go in the car seat, go to school. Yes of course they will because they have to.

Southernisle Wed 27-Jul-11 06:50:16

If you have a delightful toddler you have a nightmare teenager.

If you have a nightmare toddler you have a delightful teenager.

FACT - okay not fact grin

In our family that's how it's worked out. My sister was angelic up until the age of 12 then went off rails in teenage years, I was the screamer and runner off as a youngester, and then was the angelic teen.

My children were the angelic toddlers - one is now the teen who I've tied to the rails, the other is not a teen, but I'm dreading it, can't have them good for all childhood years.

My sister's children were the brats from hell as children, and are now the most wonderful teens you could hope to meet.

TheFrogs Wed 27-Jul-11 06:57:27 ds was the most wonderful child. He was full of sunshine, even as a tiny baby only ever cried when he was hungry or needed changing...he was an absolute delight. (Unlike my dd as above, honestly if she had been my first she would have been the only one).

He's now a moody, stamping teenager whose face might crack if he smiled's soooo true!

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