Not AIBU but need advice please(20 Posts)
I am utterly defeated by my 4 year old and I just do not know what the fuck to do anymore.
Every morning he fights me getting dressed. Every morning he refuses to walk into nursery, screams the whole way. Every morning staff have to remove him from me like a limpet so I can go to work. Every morning within 5 mins of me leaving he is happily eating his breakfast and love the rest of his day.
I am EXHAUSTED. We have tried reward charts, he’s not interested. He is totally capable of dressing himself but just WONT. I let him chose his clothes - no difference. I’ve tried setting a timer for when we’re getting in the car, no difference. The other day I took him to nursery in his vest and fucking pants.
I can’t carry him anymore - he’s too heavy, and it makes NO DIFFERENCE he still has a massive tantrum when it comes time to leave.
He starts school in September and I am just dreading it. He has been like this the WHOLE time he’s been at nursery, since 2.5.
He wants to stay at home with me. Lovely. Unfortunately I have to go to work.
PLEASE SOMEONE TELL ME IT GETS BETTER BECAUSE I JUST CANNOT DO THIS ANY MORE 😭😭😭😭😭
Should add he is not an only child. He has an older brother with sad who manages to get himself dressed and ready for school perfectly fine every morning!
How difficult. I'm a bit of a no nonsense mum at times and I'd be inclined to keep taking him to nursery in his pants.
Hand the bag over with clothes to nursery and leave them to it.
Anytime he puts any item of clothing on make a massive deal about it and lots praise and a treat.
Ignore the bad behaviour and praise the good.
Pick your battles. I'd get him dressed and carry him to nursery (or take the buggy if you can't carry him) if that stopped him kicking off.
Maybe he just wants a bit of babying still before turning big boy mode on for nursery - he's only 4.
Sympathy OP, my 3yr old went through something similar.
I found that getting up earlier helped and playing for 5 minutes before leaving 'if he is ready in time' (would set 10 minutes timer on Alexa). 'Racing' his friends to nursery (mainly involved him yelling 'faster'). Giving him an important job to do (looking after a toy I'd bought).
But it was slow and hard going. And when all else failed, he was bribed with a chocolate button.
It does get better. He still plays up sometimes but it's rare and normally a sign he's coming down with something.
I’m with Ferrier.
My son is a bit tricky in the mornings and the sound of my own voice was driving me mad. In the end I just dressed him.
He didn’t give me gip on the walk because it’s so short (lucky) but if he had I’d have plonked him in the buggy - many nursery kids were in the buggy for the journey.
The limpet stuff is trickier as I only had 2 weeks of it but if he’s genuinely happy after 5 mins it’s a habit he’d grown accustomed to and will eventually stop.
My DS is now in Reception and the mornings are still really tricky at times. I still supervise and assist with dressing, constantly chivvy him to eat breakfast and he dawdles like you wouldn’t believe.
However he’s very happy at school and generally content so I pick what I get wound up about.
It’s so frustrating I know.
I could have written your post 23 years ago..it did get better! he's a head chef now..and lovely..My Mum used to take him out for the day and say he was the most perfect Grandson ever..within seconds of getting home, he would be trying my patients..we were only talking about this last week.. no answers I'm sorry..but I wish I had been calmer..I wish I had not got so riled with him..I wish I had not ...I wish... .anyway, to answer your question..yes it does get better..
Possible behaviour problems or a problem with nursery try and look further into this ask nursery how his behaviour is when u go and for there help do not baby him it just makes it harder kids find growing up hard I had it at school took me to P3 before it calmed down he actually wanted to go back to nursery
What is your gut feeling about the cause of this? Is he resistant in other ways in other situations?
I could have written this post today
and yesterday and the day before etc My DS is exactly the same. This morning was particularly awful and he was crying when he I left him at nursery. We have a marble reward system in place. One for the morning and one for evening. If he follows simple instructions for the morning - brush teeth, use toilet, get dressed desperate, I know! then we reward him with a marble. He puts them in a little jar and once full he gets to choose a toy. It’s slowly working. But on days like today he wasn’t interested and I turned into Demon Mother!
for you OP. I’m watching this thread to see if I can get some more ideas.
I’m glad to hear it gets better my DS also starts school next year and I am also sad
He is a naturally stubborn child but not to this extreme. He is totally fine at nursery once I’ve gone, I know this because I stayed once to see how long he cried for, was literally less than a minute and then he was sitting happily having breakfast chatting to everyone.
The other day when I took him in his vest and pants, when I’d gone his keyworker gave him his clothes and he just put them on no fuss and skipped into breakfast club!
I was upset this morning and had a chat with the head. Nursery are 100% with me. She said to stick to my guns, we know he’s happy, capable, intelligent. He know it stresses me out and upset a me so he will keep on trying it, anything for a couple of extra minutes.
So the plan now is that he has a choice in the mornings - he can get dressed or go in his pants at and vest. She says he WILL get boated if this eventually. Likewise with the going in, if he won’t walk then I just pick him up facing away from me and it’s a quick love you and goodbye. If he walks in nicely then I will stay for 3 minutes with him in breakfast.
She says he will eventually grow out of it, and get bored of it if he thinks he’s no longer getting a reaction. So I have to act like I don’t care if he won’t get dressed etc and then he’ll get bored of it.
I feel your pain, I used to have the getting dressed and shoes on arguement every day with my eldest DD.
One day I snapped after she was refusing to put her shoes on, I just said right go with no shoes then.
I shoved the shoes and a spare pair of socks in the bag and went out the front door.
Unbeknownst to me it was snowing!
She didn't do it again after that funnily enough!
Nursery sound like they are on the same page, I would take their advice. Good luck xx
Great that nursery is so supportive.
He actually sounds like an awesome kid. His strong will will take him far, just gotta make sure it doesn't finish you off!
Mine was like that for ages (just growing out of it now) except he'd also have a tantrum when I picked him up in the evening because he didn't want to leave. On thing that his nursery did that helped was, (obviously depending on how busy the nursery staff are) that when I bring him in they find something that they urgently need his help with (carrying the cups through for breakfast, or a box of nappies from the store cupboard etc) he loves helping and will generally then be much easier to leave with a quick hug and a kiss.
For getting dressed in the morning we either have a race or he has to put his vest on before I count to ten etc. it probably doesn't work as well as taking him in his vests and pants which I would do except I don't have a car so we always walk and he isn't the kind to admit defeat easily and I just couldn't take a half naked preschooler on a seven minute walk in this weather so races it is...
Nursery sounds fab. Thought my then 4yr old wouldn't improve, but she did.
It does get better x
I have to be put by 7am and need my ds ready. I've found I can get him ready by turning everything into a race. We see who can win, me doing my hair and make up and him getting dressed. Who can get coat and shoes on quickest? Can we get to the childminders before the no.7 bus gets to the stop at 7.10? Or I count and see if we can get him dressed together by the time we get to 20. It works for me, might be worth trying if youve not already.
My DS was like this, I regularly would get so exhausted with it all that, once he'd finally been pulled off me, I'd sit in my car outside and have a quick cry before I went to work! And I tried everything and nothing made a blind bit of difference.
BUT it is just a phase (albeit a long one). DS did it for the first term in reception and then, from what I remember, about 50% of the rest of the year but he is now 7 and in year 3 and, when I get up at 7 each day, he is usually dressed, has had breakfast, done his teeth and face and has his shoes and coat on ready!!!
His stubbornness is still there but just demonstrated in other ways and he is fiercely independent much of the time. Woe betide me if I try and help with one of 'his' jobs!!
It might be worth your while changing things round a bit to not give him a chance to fight you.
Could you take him to nursery in his pyjamas for a week or two, just to break the routine he's got himself into of fighting you over dressing? If you tell the staff there why you're doing it I bet they'd be fine about it. And it doesn't matter really if he's in one sort of clothes rather than another.
For the walk to nursery--I'd put him in a pushchair. Or let him ride his bike, if he has one. Anything to make it different.
As for the crying thing, see if you can hand him over to the nursery staff at a different place in the building: in the cloakroom, perhaps, or in the playground.
Just try to think of how to make things different, so he doesn't have a chance to kick off.
Also, perhaps giving yourself five or ten minutes more in the mornings for a while so you're not so anxious when he does go off on one.
This will not last forever. He will be fine, eventually.
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