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How is it that my 21mnth old is happy with complete strangers and is horrible to his mum!

(7 Posts)
Hetti Thu 07-Aug-08 21:05:27

Hi I've just joined and I am hoping for a bit of reassurance. My toddler has never been that affectionate but has gone from screaming about being left at nursery to me almost me thinking he prefers being there than at home. I get hit have the tantrums and the attitude when his carers say he's been fab! I'm finding it a bit draining it's as though my little boy has disappeared and been replaced by a little horror. Any similar experiences?

NotQuiteCockney Thu 07-Aug-08 21:09:33


If you're having a bad day, feeling really fed up, how do you treat strangers? And how do you treat those nearest and dearest to you?

Your little boy loves you, and knows you love him.

kwaker5 Thu 07-Aug-08 21:12:41

Yes, same here. I put it down to him being too unsure to let it out when he's with with strangers, so I get the brunt. I don't think it's that uncommon. Also, the terrible 2s don't happen on the stroke of midnight on 2nd birthday. I'm sure it's a gradual deterioration from about 18 months! Does he still take a nap in the day? My son is so much better if he's getting enough sleep.

YoungYolandaYorgensen Thu 07-Aug-08 21:13:58

grin Get used to it, Hetti, you have around 20 years of this in front of you!
Seriously though, could he just be tired after nursery. I remember ds1 suddenly becoming a bag of rats after the nursery stopped his daytime nap. Luckily we moved to a better nursery for the others and they were allowed to nap almost until they started school, much better!

Hetti Thu 07-Aug-08 21:17:56

I guess you're right, he keeps showing me how independant he is but when his dad puts him to bed he wakes and screams for a cuddle.I just feel that I'm disciplining him all the time and don't get chance for the nice stuff as he's constantly playing up.

blueshoes Thu 07-Aug-08 22:11:33

Hetti, my dcs have always behaved much better with other people - nursery, school, grandparents, aupair even dh - than with me. The change is noticeable to my mum and dh.

It is a fact that they can more whingey, demanding, clingy with their mother. For example, ds has almost always struggled with me during nappy changes, such that sometimes I have to wrestle and pin him down. At nursery and with our aupair, he just lies there happily. So much so that my aupair changes his nappy once I am out of the house.

My dcs have always been like that with me, even from birth and throughout my year-long maternity leave. So I don't have any reason to attribute it to using a nursery.

I think it is a good thing. If your ds is (at the stage where he is) going to be difficult, would you not rather he was difficult with you at home than at nursery? He does it because he feels safe enough and confident of your unconditional love to explore negative feelings with you. Other times, they are cuddly and loving.

It is still a PITA though.

DettaJnr Thu 07-Aug-08 22:38:00

From my experience, they try out things with their parents, see what reaction they get and go from there. They seem to know that with 'stangers' there is a limit but with parents they have to push the boundary.

I am still trying to find out where the boundary is with myself, never mind my children!!!

It helps if you are consistent with your reaction to whatever the situation then they, and you, know what the limits are. I know that I gave is too easily to no.1 in the early days, didn't give in as much as I should have no.2 and no.3 just goes with the flow.

You just have to go with your gut instinct and not necessarily with the easiest option.

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