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feeling like a failure

(4 Posts)
Puggymamma Thu 24-Apr-14 13:38:16

Hi there

I am full time mum to a 2.5 yr old boy. I know he is behaving like a normal toddler but it totally brings me down and for the first time in my life I feel completely depressed. I try and do lots of things he says he would like to do with him, like toddler groups, soft play, to the park and seaside. He says he wants to go an then just before we leave he refuses to go. I've tried saying fine we won't go and we stay at home then he whinges all day about going out and spends the whole day superglued to my backside whinging.

I've tried pretending to go without him, which sometimes makes him get his shoes on. But when we get to our destination he whinges and whines all day. I see other kids his age loving the seaside and all the attractions. My son just Moans and asks to sit in his pushchair.

If we stay at home, he follows me round all day making this horrible whiny noise. If I sit to play with him, he only plays with me for two minute then wanders off. If I try and get on with any housework after he wonders off he starts whining again.

He goes to playschool twice a week and also his Nannas house, they all say he plays beautifully and is a joy. It must be something about me that makes him that way. His daddy is my sons hero, but Daddy tends to give in to him a lot, I end up doing all the disaplining.

Where am I going wrong? I feel because I am with him all the time doing the 'necessary parts' of childcare (I.e. the teeth cleaning, getting out he door for playschool) my son sees me as this miserable bossy old bag who he never has fun with. Although I do try to do fun activities he doesn't want to do them with me! Do other mums find this? What can I do to strengthen the bond between us again?

BertieBotts Thu 24-Apr-14 13:51:13

Stop giving him choices about everything, it's confusing him.

So for example if you decide you are going swimming today, you go. He can't "refuse to go", he's 2. Just pick him up, put him in the buggy/car seat, and go. If you get into a rough routine as well he will come to know what to expect and then hopefully he will be less whiny/resistant about it. When you're out don't let him in the pushchair unless you need him to be in there, see if you can make a game out of walking along or play I spy or point out all of the things there are to do. Does he get on with other children? Sometimes it's easier to meet up with a friend who has a child a similar age or a bit older as they encourage them to go off and do things.

Your partner needs to stop leaving all of the discipline to you, that's not fair especially if it makes him look like the fun one and you look like the bad one who ruins all of their fun. Have a talk, agree the boundaries, and then you both need to uphold them. It's okay to have slightly different rules/tolerances for different things/ways of dealing with stuff but you need to be on the same team and have broadly the same kinds of rules or it's confusing. It's easy to say yes all the time when you're not the one dealing with the fallout!

Could you try following him when he wanders off from playing? Ask him what he's doing and if you can join in. Also talk to him - tell him what you're doing and why in toddler friendly language.

Puggymamma Thu 24-Apr-14 14:08:22

Thanks for the reply. You are right about the choices thing and just getting on and doing it regardless. I struggle to force him into the car etc as he is a very big and heavy boy and I am 4'11. However, he needs to know that regardless of size.....he's going!

Hubby tends to let him watch a lot of videos on his phone (which my son loves) which is obviously pretty passively interacting with him rather than doing something constructive with him. I know when my husband gets in from 12 hours at work, its just easier for my husband to let him watch videos on his phone. His arguement is that they are educational. This is stopping from tonight!

My son often behaves better when other kids are there to interact with....unfortunately all my friends with kids work fulltime. I do visit groups but it is pretty hard to infiltrate the little cliques of women as this is a very small town with lots of mums who have known each other since school. I moved here a couple of years ao but I will continue to go and chat and hopefully will make friends soon.

Next time he wanders off I'm following him too! Thank you for your device it really has lifted my spirits, sometime its just nice to hear it from another mums viewpoint.

BertieBotts Thu 24-Apr-14 14:31:50

You don't always necessarily have to use force, it's more of a last resort smile I just mean if he says "Oh I don't want to go..." that's really normal (and only gets worse as they get older!) you jolly him along and say "Yes you do, remember, we're going to go on the big slide and see the <whatever> and ride on the <whatever>. Now can you remember where your shoes go? I'm not sure. Do they go on your head? Maybe on your bottom? OH! That's right, they go on mummy's hands." etc etc - distract him from his mood and cheer him up with something he'll find funny and you'll probably find him more cooperative.

To meet new people, it can help to pick something local like a park or something and make a routine of going at the same time every week. You'll come across the same people more than once and probably get chatting. If you can figure out the end time of a local nursery that he will possibly go to and hang around the nearest park at the time they kick out, you'll get to meet other mums with children a little bit older or possibly a bit younger and you can use the excuse of "Excuse me, I wondered does your little boy/girl go to X nursery? I'm thinking of starting DS there next year, what's it like?" Instantly gives you something in common and if DS does go to that nursery, he'll already have a few friends to show him around.

If your DH works long hours, don't try to tackle the videos thing tonight or tomorrow, it's the end of a long week, leave it for now but try to find a time over the weekend where you can discuss things together and try to find a solution which works for both of you. If he's tired and relying on this because he's tired then he's not going to want to change it suddenly with no warning and nothing else up his sleeve. If you really want to I would suggest doing something proactive which doesn't require much input from him like setting up a film that the 3 of you can all sit and watch together. I don't think there's anything wrong with a little bit of downtime at the end of a day even if that downtime involves screens. Sometimes it is hard to interact with DC at the end of a long day when your head is buzzing.

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