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3 year old boy, tantrums, at the end of my tether

(14 Posts)
eastwest Wed 04-Nov-15 22:19:00

It is 22:10 and 3 yr old DS is still awake. He got up at 8 am and has been at nursery all day. Started bedtime routine late due to nursery parents' evening but he was in bed at 20:30 (but he is like this even if in bed at normal time, 8 pm). He is constantly getting out of bed, I put him back in calmly, about 4 times tonight. Then he says he needs a poo. Goes for a poo. Spends ages on the loo. Then when got off the loo and put back to bed, screams, tantrums, kicks, hits (last two not normal for him) to not go back to bed. He is the same when having to e.g. leave a place he doesn't want to. I don't know what to do. Is this normal? I am so tired, I have so much work to do and I want part of the evening to relax even if I have to work in the early part of it (say 8 - 9 pm). I don't want to just fall into bed exhausted from his tantrums. It doesn't seem too much to ask that at 10 pm I should be able to sit and read a book or watch TV. This is making me resent the time we spend together in the day time.
Bedtime routine is supper, teeth, stories x 3, milk, tuck in.

eastwest Wed 04-Nov-15 22:29:13

Husband is currently sitting with him in his room. He's quiet now but not asleep.

Mrstumbletap Wed 04-Nov-15 22:31:56

Are these tantrums more normal at bedtime? As if he isn't having a daytime nap it maybe just a very long and tiring day (nursery is very stimulating, noisy, energetic but fun) which may mean he is overtired so gets stroppy. The phrase 'when they are tired they get wired' really rings true for my DS.

Could you try bringing bedtime forward, bit by bit so he is eventually going down nearer 7pm?

He only way I can get my DS to leave somewhere is by bribing him with what will happen if we leave, if I just said we are leaving the park/soft play/granny's etc that would be a meltdown. So I have to tell him, "we are leaving in a minute DS, you have 5 more minutes. We need to go to tesco, /go home/do some cooking/have lunch/watch Mr Tumble, whatever I know will work then he is more happy to go.

But yes I think what you are describing is very normal for a toddler they are unreasonable, and selfish bundles of energy. But over tiredness is a definite tantrum provider.

eastwest Wed 04-Nov-15 22:41:21

They are more normal at bedtime, yes. It seems to be almost every night. Also when he is asked to leave granny's (usually about 5.30, so could be getting tired already). He is more reasonable in other situations, used to have tantrums outside if leaving the park for e.g. but now that doesn't really happen - it's leaving Gran's and bedtime that really set him off. And yes he seems wired. Hasn't had a daytime nap since he was 18 months old sad
The only thing is he naturally went back to 8 pm (previously 7) when the days got lighter. Now the evenings are darker sooner, do you think 7 is OK again? It would mean re-jigging our day and collecting him an hour early from nursery, but would be worth it to avoid this.

BertieBotts Wed 04-Nov-15 22:42:45

Definitely worth a try smile

eastwest Wed 04-Nov-15 22:42:58

I suppose I should bribe him to leave his gran's house really. Cartoons would do it. I can't think of anything else that would (Gran's house being paradise on earth to him).

eastwest Wed 04-Nov-15 22:44:13

What do you think about the poo, though? (sorry - possibly tmi smile) . He really does have a poo, he's not pretending. At about 9 pm in the evening.

MonsterDeCookie Wed 04-Nov-15 22:45:04

He sounds over tired to me. I'd try moving it forward by 15 minutes each night until you get to 7/7:30. If you stay in the room until he's asleep will it help. If I stay with my 3 year old until he's asleep there's no fight and it takes 10-15 minutes. If I try to leave him it's an up and down battle. I've been known to sit in a chair in his room reading on my kindle with a glass of wine if he's taking longer than normal. He's happy l, I'm happy. I reckon he will grow out of it eventual. Once he knew he could count on me staying he started falling asleep much faster. I think his adrenaline was pumping anticipating the bedtime battle. Might be worth a try.

eastwest Wed 04-Nov-15 22:52:14

That sounds like good advice Monster. I'll try that.

KanyesVest Wed 04-Nov-15 22:55:40

Sounds like he's very tired; DS is 3.5 and he gets like that too. Niw, he is in the bath at 6.30, bed by 7 which cuts down a lot on the strops and general messing about.

cowbiscuits Wed 04-Nov-15 23:13:21

No advice sorry, but he sounds just like my 3 year old. We've had this worse recently as he's moved up a class in nursery so he's been knackered. The bit about leaving Grandma's house sounds very familiar, Stopping any fun activity is a nightmare here.

MonsterDeCookie Wed 04-Nov-15 23:50:24

Wow - sorry about all the mistakes in my last post. I'm on my phone. I started off by telling him bedtime wasn't working for either of us and we were going to fix it together. After stories I lie with him and we chat for a few minutes about his day and have a cuddle. This bit seems to calm him down lots and he comes out with some gems. He told me the other night he was worried about how he would find a girlfriend! grin I then say ok time to sleep no more chatting and usually he's gone in minutes now. If he won't settle and mucks about I say I'm going until he's ready to settle. I leave the room. He calls. I go back and sit in the chair with tea/wine and book. I haven't had to leave the room in months now as he knows the drill. Good luck!

BertieBotts Thu 05-Nov-15 12:21:53

I think it's pretty normal to not like leaving somewhere - it's because 3yos only live in the moment and can't predict that they will eventually get fed up/tired/hungry etc.

I wouldn't bribe as such because it sets up bad habits but you could have something in the car which he isn't allowed at other times - e.g. he's allowed to play with your phone in the car on the way home but only if he leaves quickly and calmly.

Or prime your mum/MIL to start winding down 10-15 mins before you arrive, like they do at nursery, get him to help tidying up, maybe they have a biscuit or a cuddle or another kind of ritual and he gets his coat and shoes on ready and gets his things together, if he has any artwork to show you she can say, oh, won't mummy love to see that/hear about the things you did today, basically so she emphasises that this is the transition time between granny and mummy time and it isn't so much FUN FUN FUN sudden stop, home, tea, bed. It's more of a calm winding down. And keep the actual handover itself short. If you normally stop for a chat, or worse sometimes stop for a chat and sometimes don't, avoid that for a while and just keep it matter of fact and quick like a childminder. You can always phone or text her to chat and as he gets used to the new routine, you'll be able to build that in again but at 3 it's about everything being very rigid and predictable.

eastwest Thu 05-Nov-15 20:06:39

Bertie that is vg advice but I don't think my mum will go for it! They always want us to stick around, have tea with them etc...
However, we tried sitting with him this evening. Not sure if he is asleep but he is at least in bed & quiet...20:00! happy dancing

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