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Very persistent toddler

(10 Posts)
Eddie123 Fri 03-Dec-10 14:03:27

I wonder if anyone can offer any advice or tips for a problem that has been bothering me for quite a few months now. My two year old goes to nursery 3 full days a week. I find that on my days off with him that he is consistently and persistently demanding of my attention. I don't mind him being demanding of my attention because I know that's what toddlers do, but it's relentless - all day. He shows virtually no interest in his toys unless I am playing along with him. I would just like 10 mins a day where I can take a breather, or get on with something without feeling guilty because he is saying 'mummy, mummy, mummy'. I feel I have tried so many things to try to improve the situation, such as...playing with him for 15-20 mins and then explaining that he has to play by himself for a while; saying to him very firmly that he needs to do something on his own for 10 mins; varying his toys so that he doesn't get bored with the same ones; getting out& about with friends/other toddlers or on our own as much as poss etc etc. Nothing seems to do the trick.
He behaves less in this way when my husband is around, and he's not like it at all when my husband is on his own with him. It's also not a problem when we're out of the house or if we've got visitors.
I think he's quite advanced for his age as he's two years and 1 month and speaking in full sentences, and I have wondered whether this might have something to do with this behaviour. He's also quite socialble and loves being around others, and I often feel that when we're at home he's bored.
Sorry for rambling. Any advice/tips would be really welcomed. Thanks

Igglystuffedfullofturkey Fri 03-Dec-10 16:33:31

Can you involve him more in what you're doing? So household chores etc, get him to "help" you? Things like putting the washing on, cleaning, folding laundry etc? If you're in the kitchen can he have his own space so he can play too? DS likes to cling on to me but will happily start playing with the saucepans etc which gives me a bit of space. Although TBH I don't get more than a few mins - and I only get a break when he's napping! (DS is 14 months so a bit younger)

MyBoyJakey Fri 03-Dec-10 16:45:41

I don't really have any help or advice, but just wanted to say that my DS 3.6 yrs old is exactly the same and always has been! Again, I feel he is very advanced for his age and have often felt that is a contribution to his needy-ness.
The only thing that I have found that helps is to involve him in what I'm doing, asking him to get something for me or giving him a duster whilst I'm hoovering or cleaning the bathroom, does distract him from wanting my attention.
He has lots of lovely toys and I'm constantly looking and buying toys that I'm sure will keep him amused, to no avial generally!
He attends nursery 1 full day and 2 mornings and I'm pretty sure he isn't like this there and never has been (he's been going since he was 7 mths old!).
The only god send to the day is that he is generally in bed by 6.30pm most nights and sleeps a full 12 hours, sometimes longer!

Heaven help him or me if he had been a bad sleeper too! lol

Brewster Sat 04-Dec-10 22:33:52

This is my boy exactly!!!

He is also quite advanced for his age and doesnt act this way with other but me.

We go to alot of toddler groups and play places so that he can run off and do his own thing cos otherwise like you...in the house he is just mummy mummy mummy or cuddle cuddle cuddle and as soon as you go to give him a cuddle he doenst want it anymore.

The last 2 days I have been trying a new approach..if I am busy and he is pulling me and going on and on I just sorta ignore him. Iwtel him I will come and play when I have finished what I am doing and then I get on with my task. After maybe a bit more than 5 or so mins he has kinda relented and given me a minute to get on.....

It is hard and I am just hoping that as he gets older it will pass.

But ...I also try to keep in my head (hard as it is through all the whining!) that one day he wont want to play with me let alone cuddle me!
some days are just intolerable though.
we very rarely spend a whole day at home - we always go somewhere and do something even if just to go to a coffee shop for a babycino!

Good luck

belindarose Sun 05-Dec-10 00:07:06

My DD is younger, but I've been finding the approaches in a book called 'The Happiest Toddler on the Block' useful. The author, Harvey Karp, suggests strategies such as 'time ins', which work for us at the moment. The idea is that when your toddler is being whiney and clinging to your leg, you do stop what you're doing and give them a couple of minutes. This usually makes them feel okay while you get on with your task again. Sounds like 'giving them their own way' but it's not. He explains it better than me (and I'm tired!). There are other good ideas too, especially for working with tantrums.

Latootle Sun 05-Dec-10 19:13:32

three full days seems a lot for a 2 yr old can you not vary say 5 half days. Maybe he feels the separation and is anxious when he is with you that you are going to disappear. He is too young I think to work it all out.

domesticslattern Sun 05-Dec-10 19:24:05

I had this same problem.

In my case, it was partly because of the separation anxiety on DD's part. She grew out of that- or at least, it's getting better.

On the other hand, I think I also had unrealistic expectations of what my child would be able to and want to do on her own. I was filling the day with shopping and cleaning and seeing friends in cafes and going to the library etc. What DD wanted at that stage was some completely uninterrupted and devoted time with mummy. I needed to actually sit down with her and open up the play dough, or teach her to use her ride-on or cut up cardboard boxes together or play music with her. It was like being a nanny I suppose- just devoting myself to her and not to cleaning. trying to sort out the electrician, etc. etc.

Once she knew she had my complete and utter attention for a certain amount of time each day, I found that she was a lot more relaxed the rest of the time. Also she loves loves loves to have a cloth to help with the cleaning, give the money to the lady at the till, swipe the Oyster card- all that!

It's interesting that he doesn't do it when you are out and about- time to get out and about then! You're instinct that he is bored is probably right on the button.

domesticslattern Sun 05-Dec-10 19:24:21

Your instinct! Good grief!

Eddie123 Mon 06-Dec-10 15:22:24

Thanks for all these tips. Latootle - my preference is to put him in 3 days a week so that I can have 2 full days with him (plus the weekend of course). I have to put him into nursery as I have no family locally who can help with childcare. And thankfully he seems to love being there. But I do agree that during our days together he probably feels he wants to spend as much time with me as possible!

Rowgtfc72 Mon 06-Dec-10 21:14:00

This sounds just like my dd (3.9)Shes very forward and I feel quite bright and easily bored.She makes me feel guilty when I say sorry mummy is busy but I cant entertain her all day.If shes occupied shes sweet but left on her own shes a nightmare and drives me up the wall.But she doesnt do any of this with my dh.She will go and play upstairs when he tells her , me,she stalks.I think boredom is the key.

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