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to really feel like I'm not coping with my son

(31 Posts)
pastajar Thu 24-Mar-16 11:19:42

-nc but a regular- (Also posted in chat but here for traffic)

My son is 20m and I hate to admit it but at times I dont like him.It feels from the moment he wakes up to dropping at nursery/my parents, all he does is whinge and paddy. No happy morning whatsoever. I pray for a smiley happy morning. It never happens. I almost breathe a sigh of relief when I drop him off. My mum says he occassionally paddies with her but not a lot and I havent asked at nursery but probably should. I am struggling to find joy in the time I am with him because he then paddies, cries and creates after work. So I get home at 515 tonight and he pretty much created from about 530 til bedtime 7.

I just dont get why he is such a misery at home. What have I done wrong? Why? Tonight I found myself shouting in frustration which I hated.

I feel so shit admitting how much I am struggling. I felt reassured yesterday morning when my husband even commented this morning that our son is hard work right now.

Please help.

samG76 Thu 24-Mar-16 11:24:05

Sorry to hear this - it's not your fault - we've had similar with all our kids, who have gone through this phase, and we've not always managed to get them to bed for 7, so you're clearly doing something right! 20 months is a difficult age - they are learning about independence, and you're at the sharp end!

ApocalypseSlough Thu 24-Mar-16 11:34:25

If he's only creating around you it's because he is most secure around you/ wants more attention from you/ a combination of the 2. Do ask at nursery how he is.

moggle Thu 24-Mar-16 11:38:13

i don't have any solutions but just wanted to say you weren't alone. I pick DD (16m) up from nursery and hear how lovely and happy she's been but then it's constant whinging and crying until bedtime. Literally as soon as she sees me in the room at nursery she starts grizzling, but I've been watching her happily playing from the window...
In the morning we get her up and again nothing is right for her. But big smiles for the nursery staff!
It does go in phases and at times is worse than others. I know they reserve their "worst" behaviour for us and it shows we've created a good strong bond blah blah but by god it's tiring sometimes. It gets to the point when I dread the weekends and my non-work days as it can be a whole day of it sometimes.
Can't wait until she is a little bit older so that bribes and reasoning works to avoid some of the constant moaning...

pastajar Thu 24-Mar-16 11:51:28

Thanks for your replies.

This morning was.... better? He woke, I changed him. He paddied and kicked off during then soon calmed. He then went to the toilet so I had to change him again, cue a meltdown and me snapping in frustration at the kicks and hitting. When DH came downstairs I said that he could try dressing him because I've already had 2 paddies in the space of 20 mins. DH dressed DS without any protest, because rather than chasing him around and almost wrestling him into his clothes like I do, he dressed him at his pace whilst he was sat watching Postman Pat.

I could learn from that I think.

I just hate getting up every morning because whilst DH is showering and I am making breakfast and getting DS ready, there is always tears and a meltdown and I am fed up of the miserable mornings and evenings we appear to have constantly.

DonkeyOaty Thu 24-Mar-16 11:56:24

Can you swap who gets DS ready in the morning? I would.

longdiling Thu 24-Mar-16 12:01:23

I think often when you're working you get the shitty end of the stick. You have to get him out the door by a certain time and toddlers often don't cooperate when they sense urgency! Then in the evening he's tired so again unlikely to cooperate. Could you build more time into your morning so you can take things at his pace like your dh did?

moggle Thu 24-Mar-16 13:14:27

Definitely recommend sharing the getting DS up duties. DH does it mostly because he is rarely home at bedtime so I have to do that end of the day myself 4 or 5 days a week. I get up before him, get in the shower and shut the door and usually when I come out there's a dressed DD there waiting for me.
One shortcut I take is to make sure I put a clean bodysuit/vest on her at bedtime so that in the morning we keep that on and just swap her pyjamas for a top and leggings. We are also lucky in that she has breakfast at nursery so we don't have all of that hassle in the mix as well. Sometimes she doesn't wake til 7:40 and then we are out the door at 8. They are the best days as I get to get dressed and eat my breakfast alone :-D

amarmai Thu 24-Mar-16 14:12:43

the adult in charge , is reponsible for creating a happy upbeat joyful atmos- not the child. Teachers, cms, nannies, parents, grandparents etc -all of us.

RockUnit Thu 24-Mar-16 14:26:53

Could you find some toys at the back of the cupboard that he hasn't seen for a while, or get some board books from the library? Something new and interesting might keep him absorbed for a bit longer. Sounds like a good idea to have a Postman Pat DVD up your sleeve too!

ApocalypseSlough Thu 24-Mar-16 14:28:18

Sort of. But also no one is responsible for anyone else's happiness, even little one's, and skipping around like Mary Poppins when a toddler is tired and grumpy isn't meeting their emotional needs either.

pastajar Thu 24-Mar-16 14:42:11

amarmai I don't understand your post. I never said I wasnt responsible for his happiness, or adding to it at least but I certainly can't make him happy if all he wants to do is whinge. If you have something helpful to suggest, feel free.

RockUnit Good idea. I will have a good dig and rotation of his toys. His current favourite is a small slide which we have in the living room, although he has now chosen to climb to the top and stands hands free. We encourage him not to do that and have warned if he does it again we will take the slide away. We have followed through on this twice now. He ends up in streams of tears. When he has calmed down (usually a few minutes later) we let him have it back but say we don't stand on slides because it is dangerous. If it happens again it will go away again. etc

We have also had moments where we have put him in his cot when he starts to whinge and paddy, putting some toys in with him and keeping an eye on him then praising him when he calms.

BarbarianMum Thu 24-Mar-16 14:53:38

It's not a solution but look at it from his point of view. It's morning, he's woken up he wants to play the games he wants to play in his own time (also he's probably hungry). You want him to get washed, get dressed, eat breakfast and get out the door. He definately doesn't want to do 1, 2 and 4 and probavly doesn't want to do 3 (even though he needs to).

In the evening the same - only worse cause he's tired and he's missed you.

Oh and he's a toddler so he's full of the need to discover and explore and do it all his way only he can't cause he doesn't have the skills or the judgement. And he can't articulate to himself or anyone else the seething mass of emotions he's feeling.

Whinging and paddying are to be expected, no?

In your position you hae to just ride it out and try to minimise demands and conflicts (so with the slide I'd either take it away for a few months or leave him to it (obviously not the second if a fall may kill him)).

This too will pass.

Thurlow Thu 24-Mar-16 15:02:37

I agree that it can help to try and see things from their point of view, even though of course at that age it is rarely a remotely logical point of view. Barbarian's advice is great. When they do something that is frustrating and illogical to you and winds you up, it helps to try and take that step back and try and work out what they might be thinking. So in this case yes, he doesn't understand that he needs to get ready quickly because you need to be at nursery. And in the evenings he is tired, he has probably missed you (I don't mean that in a judgmental way, DC also went to nursery all day at that age), he might even be hungry, and being tantrummy is all he can really do to express himself.

You have my sympathies though. With hindsight, I found age 1-2 the absolute worst because they want to do things but can't quite either do it or express themselves, and it was hugely frustrating for everyone.

Deep breath, calm tone of voice. It's not personal, you're not 'not coping'. Everyone finds different ages and different stages of development harder, and it may just be that you, like me, aren't at one with this age. But it will pass, and personalities and routines will change, and it will get better.

pastajar Thu 24-Mar-16 15:07:52

Really great suggestion Barbarian I wish he could talk and start to tell me whats up. I wish I could make it easier on him and me and I wish the day had more time in it than it does so things don't need to be rushed so often. sad

MatildaTheCat Thu 24-Mar-16 15:11:27

Lots of good advice. Can I also mention that my whinger from hell toddler developed into a laid back, relaxed boy you rarely caused any trouble through childhood. Whereas his brother...grin

MrsJayy Thu 24-Mar-16 15:12:24

How is he at the weekends is he the same I do think his dad should take a turn in getting him ready to let you get sorted if you feel rushed he will feel rushed and whone and moan in the evening he is just tired the whiney phase is exhausting

BarbarianMum Thu 24-Mar-16 15:19:26

Bear in mind that it is only many years after this phase (mine are now 8 and 10) that I can offer such wisdom with zen like calm wink

And I still do 95% of my shouting b/w 8am and 8.20am Mon-Fri (5% retention for bedtime)

Msqueen33 Thu 24-Mar-16 15:21:32

My just turned three year old is an utter miserable. She cries and moans all the time. It's very wearing.

Thurlow Thu 24-Mar-16 15:27:47

Don't we all, Barbarian? "For the love of all that is holy, DD, will you JUST PUT YOUR SHOES ON! Mummy's sorry, she doesn't mean to shout but - where are you going? No! Put that down. DOWN. And PUT YOUR SHOES ON. Now! I said NOW! For god's sake, we're going to be late... Yes, I know Mummy's being shouty, she's just a bit stressed right now, she - shoes! SHOES!!!"

MrsJayy Thu 24-Mar-16 15:32:50

I have no children now well I do but they are adults that relentless don't do that do this hurry up leave the cat hurry up is still in my memory

MrsJayy Thu 24-Mar-16 15:34:22

Dd2 was a whingebag from 2 till 5 just moaned and whinged

PolkadotPlate Thu 24-Mar-16 15:39:19

I'd say your son sounds totally normal.

Joyful and a delight all day and then horrendous for the parents at home.

Both mine are/were exactly like this.

It's exhausting.

Try not to show your frustration, I try to 'hug it out' when I can!

Havalina1 Thu 24-Mar-16 15:41:31

OP my daughter was so so difficult from 1.5 to 2. She's 2.3 now and much easier. Ok I haven't the energy for the endless games of Chasing in the morning but the tantrums are significantly less.

Really i do sympathise. One day you'll notice they meltdowns are less, it'll just sneak up on you.

I think they are learning they have an opinion and can't handle any conflict, reprimand or change and it's incredibly frustrating for them. They slightest 'oh, whoops no!' out of me and my dd would SCREAM and kick off - the meltdown never matched the 'crime' so to speak.

Hang in there. It'll get better.

StarlingMurmuration Thu 24-Mar-16 15:43:35

My DS is 16 months, and has never been happy for more than five minutes at a time (when he is doing something naughty, usually). he whinges all morning until drop off at nursery, he whinges from the moment I pick him up til bedtime. And he's not much of a one for cuddles, though he demands to be picked up if I'm trying to do anything in the kitchen. You have my full sympathy - I love him but I don't really enjoy spending time with him. I feel completely jealous of some of my friends with really calm happy babies the same age.

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