To ignore my 21 month old DS's "whining"?
DS is apparently an angel at nursery all day. When I pick him up at 5 pm and take him home he morphs into a little monster. Of course I'm happy to play with him, but he refuses to look at books with me, do jigsaws, play with cars, or watch cbeebies with me on the sofa.
If I start to prepare dinner - which i simply have to do some evenings - he tugs at me and starts "pretend crying" with this horribe whining noise demanding food, yet when I give him some he throws it on the floor. All he wants to do is rough and tumble physical play sitting on my back as I crawl around the room or chasing games around the house. Obviously this is fine, for half an hour or so, but it's the end of the day, I'm tired and I can't sustain this for two hours until bath time. Even then, his attention span is short and it's a struggle to keep him entertained in the tub!
Am I being unreasonable to feel frustrated at this? Can I do physical play for an hour then ignore his tugging and whining while I prepare dinner / empty the dishwasher / hang up laundry? What's the best way of helping him to learn to be more independent?
I'm so envious of frends' toddlers who are happy to watch postman pat or play independently on the kitchen floor! god knows what will happen when number 2 arrives!
Sleep promotes sleep so,don't shorten his naps. Children who,don't sleep,enough during the day are usually overtired and overstimulated by bedtime and therefore can't get to sleep or become miserable and clingy.
Personally when mine were small I would sit and chat to them quietly for a bit, turn the lighting down and watch a bit of tv with low volume then do bedtime around 6-6:30
Only then would I consider doing dinner for us. I would rather have it later than try to do it with a tired, miserable child.
Thank you, thank you, thank you ladies for the wise words and the giggles.
I hear what you're saying about the over tired issue and I will try letting him nap for as long as he wants too.....within reason! Worth a try.
I will also toughen up and ignore unreasonable demands and offer "wind down" activities only.
Hopefully all will go well until Granny visits again and undoes all my good work!!
Time for another beer. They are only the small stubby French ones :-)
At this age leaving them to whinge for a bit is fine. I always used to tell mine exactly what I was going to do and that I would play with them afterwards, and then I'd stick to that. They got it quite quickly. DD1 used to have proper meltdowns, but if i tried to do anything to comfort her she'd get worse so I learned to leave her to come to me for a cuddle when she was ready. It's a stage, it will pass.
We used to call that hour after work, when the kids were picked up from CM The Arsenic Hour
It's almost dinnertime. Mom or Dad, or both, are trying to get dinner going. They've just arrived home from work or they're reeling from a long day of parenting. They're tired, the kids are wired and everyone is hungry. Among other things.
Let's peek inside one household:
The oldest child has a million questions and an attitude. The middle child needs a hand in the bathroom. The baby wakes up cranky from his afternoon nap. Then he poops. The dog, who has some issues of his own to work out, has decided to pick this particular moment to have a meltdown. He starts scratching the paint off the door and then begins barking as if a serial killer is in the house. Simultaneously, the cat relieves itself in an unauthorized location.
We call this the menacing hour in our house. DD was much the same at that age, and now at 3.5 can still be a demon if she doesn't get all my attention. It used to drive me insane. We put a gate on the kitchen door so I could cook safely without her grabbing at knives, the oven, etc, and I would do things as quickly as possible then go back to her.
Finally I had to ignore her demands for rough play as I am pg. I was a zombie myself late afternoons. So I had all the nice calm toys and books to hand, and just refused to get off the sofa. After about a week she got used to it and realised that mummy just couldn't play rough anymore. We have had some lovely times together, granted she is a little older and seems to understand about the baby who will be here within the next month.
It is now daddy who suffers, as the minute he walks in she is all over him demanding the physical stuff! I do think being consistent is the key though, because I simply couldn't be rough she had to adapt. So I wonder if it might be worth you trying to not be too physical, especially if your DS is getting a lot of activity anyway at nursery? I appreciate the thinking about a timer, but they always want more. Just another idea to try anyway. Good luck.
Don't wake him from his naps!
Honestly, the shorter my DS' naps are, the more hyper he seems to be. I never believed it but am not a firm believer that they need to nap more to sleep more.
I could try letting him nap for longer at lunchtime ( I often have to wake him) and putting him to bed at 7.30 as an experiment. Seems counter intuitive but perhaps he is overtired :-/
He is sometimes like this at the weekends when he needs a change of scene or is ready to go out. On Sunday afternoon he was horrible too. We took him swimming in the morning then Home for lunch and a nap. 30 mins after waking up he eas whinging. It's was phishing down so I took him into my car and let him play with the windscreen wipers, air on etc. he was happy for an hour and a half doing that!
I don't think it's tiredness on the whole. I think he gets easily bored prefers physical play.
I have put him to bed earlier but he doesn't sleep until 8 or 8.30pm most nights even though I restrict his nap to an hour or hour and a half tops. He's normally up around 7.30am and sleeps well.
Shut him out! Then you can cook without anyone tugging at your legs.
Annie Mines has a 2-3 hour nap during the day and still gets like this from tiredness a lot then will sometimes just sit in his bed for a bit talking but it's because he has gotten to the over tired stage.
It's just a funny time of the day.
Ignore ignore ignore! You have to ignore them at some point to get on with stuff. My 22 months old DD is the same apart from she doesn't go to nursery so I get to enjoy a lot of tantrums and whining. Unless justified, I ignore them all and just let her get on with it. Although it has to be said that when the time comes to make dinner, a Babybel/breadstick and a Peppa Pig dvd might suddenly make their appearance, otherwise I'd be falling over her in front of the oven - not a good thing.
Oh God Whine o clock !
You have my sympathy - could you swap it around ,bath and pjs first and put on dvd while you do dinner ?
Mine fell face first into their dinner on many occasions - its the exhausted part of the day.
Sounds to me like he's knackered. Is he like this in the mornings or at weekends? If not, it's tiredness. Toddlers are unbearable when they're tired. I would try a snack when he comes home (or a meal if he'll eat it, but mine is never hungry on nursery days after scoffing there all day) then up for a bath (bathtime two hours after getting home from nursery sounds too late to me), then warm milk and a story cuddled up on the sofa and in bed by 7 latest. Works for mine - if I let the evening go on any later he's in meltdown.
Have just cracked open unheard of Monday night beer to celebrate fact am not alone!! I don't think he's tired. He naps well and Is still rustling about in his cot now. Will start ignoring him for short periods and see what happens. Might need ear plugs though.
Get a gate on the kitchen door, give him a small snack, get on with cooking.
It's a terrible time of day, for parents and children. Some little ones are a mess and can't concentrate on anything productive if they are that tired.
Could you set a kitchen time for however many minutes of horseplay you can handle, then literally throw him onto a bouncy sofa as a final treat, then go to prepare supper?
Late afternoon CBeebies tends to be about winding down, which evidently isn't working in your house, so maybe time-shifting will help. Try finding physical programmes on the BBC iplayer/YouTube, like Boogie Beebies or Tree Fu Tom, which are more disciplined movement.
He's probably just knackered, missed you & been being well behaved at nursery all day. He'll grow out of it, honest. Give him a cuddle.
Are you sure it's not tiredness? Mines (nearly 20months) gets like this for a while every day, it's always when he is getting knackered.
Much agreed pants. My MIL told me when she was a SAHM with 3 children under 6 she would stand at the window come 5pm waiting for my FIL to return & give her a break!!
Of course it's ok to ignore for periods of time! It might help him to (slowly) become more independent. It's good for children to be bored sometimes.
I can't abide whinging.
I'm surprised a full day at nursery hasn't rough and tumbled him to his Hearts content!
Its called the 5 o'clock winge in our house!! All 4 of mine have/do this....
Are you sure you're not talking about my DD? She's 22 months & apparently is full of the joys of spring at nursery. Get her home & she can be the Devil incarnate! I just put it down to tiredness & when she throws herself on the floor we just step over her! (That sounds bloody harsh I know!) After a few minutes of realising she hasn't got our attention she'll grab a book, sit on my lap & suck her thumb. We always (try to) ignore. Although we do get lots of evil looks when it happens in the middle of Starbucks when we've told her no more Quavers!
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