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Toddler OBSESSED with doing everything himself and it's taking over

(6 Posts)
jeblee Mon 25-Jan-16 16:50:56

My DS is almost 3 and for as long as he's been born he's been fiercely independent. It started off as handy as he doesn't rely on me to do everything but I'm now finding we're all having to fit into a strict routine otherwise he just goes to pot. It's lots of little routines like when we get home he has to take off his shoes and put them by the door, then take off his coat. It sounds ok but he gets so anxious about the whole thing because he has to do it all himself, offering help or even standing nearby makes him go into a panicky rush. For example I carried him in and his shoe fell off so he just had a complete meltdown, he then had to put his shoe back on so he could take it off himself, then he struggled with his coat, the zip fell apart and again it was meltdown so I zipped it back up so he could do it himself. I try not to give in to the meltdowns but get him to calm down as much as possible and have him say 'help please'. But it's so difficult when he has this reaction to mealtimes, bathtime, play, getting in the car, everything!!! we've had hour long meltdowns because I picked up a drink to hand to him, all because he wanted to pick it up himself. It doesn't feel normal for him to get so anxious and frustrated with these things. And there is no distracting him, he's not happy until he's done it himself. I've tried to explain the concept of 'helping' and I've found the phrase 'let's do it together' sometimes works. Does it sound normal, I know toddlers go through a bit of a phase but it just seems really extreme and I can see he gets really anxious and upset over it.

KW89 Mon 25-Jan-16 22:06:43

I know the feeling! My DS is 2.5 and has become increasingly independent since his second birthday. It's come to the point now where if we are going out I tell him it's time to get ready half hour before we are actually leaving so that he has time to put his socks, shoes, coat etc on without us being late! Sometimes I forget and automatically will go to put his shoes on and he'll literally bite my head off, he will then take them off and do it himself! A few days ago he was insisting on doing his own zip up on his coat (which he can't do yet!) refused my help, I asked many times explaining that zips are very tricky! He would not let me do it, 20mins later we were going to be late for a doctors appointment so I had no option but to pick him up and put him in the car, resulting in a complete meltdown! He has to do absolutely everything himself, even flushing the toilet, squeezing the toothpaste out of the tube, and cleaning his highchair after eating!! Things that I know he finds difficult such as putting his coat on, I just say ' let me know if you need some help' then carry on with something else, and normally if he gets really stuck he will ask for help, occassionally not though. Guessing it is just a phase that we have to go along with! X

MrsMarigold Mon 25-Jan-16 22:11:46

My DD is like this 3.4 - her first sentence was "Did it myself" and this is her mantra, she wipes her own bottom, dresses herself, cleans her teeth, vacuums, can make a sandwich. I want her to be independent.

Eminado Mon 25-Jan-16 22:16:13

Gosh thank you for this thread!

I wad internally freaking out as i was doubting this was normal!

Sooo tired of hearing "I WANT TO DO IT" and the resulting meltdown. The temper on my one is confused if you so much as flick on a light switch that she can't even reach 🙆🏾

jeblee Tue 26-Jan-16 10:20:40

I'm so glad there are similar toddlers, a lot of people I speak to have the opposite problem where they won't do anything. It's just so difficult when he cries and whines because he can't do something himself and refuses any help. I just hope he carries on when he's a teenager.

Poppytime Wed 27-Jan-16 10:49:03

Well I hope this is normal as my 2.5 yr old DD is exactly the same - huge meltdowns if doesn't do something herself or follow the same routine - literally screaming and takes ages to calm her down. All same things as pp have said - turning lights on, flushing toilet, taking off shoes etc etc - the list is endless! Got to start planning to leave house hours earlier or will always be late for things. I've also got a 3 month old DS, who, poor thing gets relegated to the bouncer a lot while I deal with madam!

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