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Agoraphobic, miserable toddler - please help

(8 Posts)
MogTheForgetfulCat Sun 31-Aug-08 20:07:21

Apologies for my thread title - not meaning to be flippant about agoraphobia, but just couldn't think of any other shorthand for the problem I'm having with my DS1 (2.6) at the moment.

He doesn't seem to want to leave the house or go anywhere. Ever. Even to things I know he likes, like swimming or a big local park with a fab playground. We do go, of course, and he always seems to have a lovely time, but never wants to. Today, our local fire station had an open day, and I told him we were going, thinking he'd be thrilled as he adores fire engines and I told him he'd get to go in the etc. - but he sobbed and moaned "Want to stay at home!" over and over. I just don't understand it - is this normal toddler behaviour that anyone else has experienced?

It also manifests in screaming strops every time I try to get him dressed or put shoes on. I've tried letting him choose which clothes/shoes, giving him a choice between 2, or giving no choice. Same result. I end up having to wrestle him into clothes and shoes, screaming and slapping (him slapping, not me!)

The thing is, I would be happy to give in to this for a while and see if it helped, as we have nice things that we can do at home - drawing, reading, playdough, puzzles, indoor bike etc. But if we do stay in for a whole morning in our PJs, he gets very bored and moany and aimless, and ends up being destructive. I don't take him out to anything that I think might be alarming - just playgroups, library, the odd class (music and movement) and the park, so I really can't understand where he is coming from, and can recall no incident that might have triggered this- it just seems to have got gradually worse over the last several weeks.

I feel quite worn down by his moaniness and negativity at the moment, and have been quite snappish with him when trying to get him out of the house (doubtless not helping, trying to keep a lid on it) but at the same time my heart breaks for him as he just seems so miserable.

He goes to nursery 2 mornings a week, generally without too much fuss, and is often quite stroppy when picked up to come home. It makes me feel as if he doesn't want to be with me sad.

I think our home atmosphere is generally v good - DH and I don't row, we haven't moved recently, DS2 is 6 months old and this hasn't really coincided with his arrival, so I'm at a loss.

Sorry for v long, rambly post - can anyone offer any words of wisdom/reassurance? Is he just being a bugger, or should I be concerned (PFB, you know!)

MogTheForgetfulCat Sun 31-Aug-08 22:38:33


kormachameleon Sun 31-Aug-08 22:41:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hester Sun 31-Aug-08 22:41:49

I just don't know, Mog, but huge sympathies and a Bump for you...

MogTheForgetfulCat Mon 01-Sep-08 07:33:51

It does help, Korma - just knowing he's not the only one!

Will persevere and maybe try to find a night class in zen relaxation techniques or similar to aid staying calm smile

emilyhanby Sun 11-May-14 20:55:57

Just wondered what happened in the end. My 2.5 year old is behaving the same. Also has younger sibling and does nursery 2 days a week without much issue. Please tell me there is a happy ending?

MogTheForgetfulCat Thu 15-May-14 20:33:18

Just seen this! Recognised the thread title smile. Well, that miserable, moany DS1 is now 8 (how? HOW?!) and, of course, things are much better. He is a truly lovely boy. I actually think, looking back, done if the groups and classes were too much for him - he is happy in his own company and in one-to-one with friends, or smaller groups. He is also quite a homebody still. And getting them (now have DC3 as well) out of the house still takes a while, as they can all drag their heels and find something they 'just' have to do before we go. But it is much easier, and DS1 is a much happier-seeming boy - I think he was a bit of a mardy toddler!

So strange that I spotted this - am hardly ever in this section now (luckily), but popped over for a browse to see if there are any tips for dealing with DS2, who is no longer an angelic baby, but a 6yo hell cat. Sigh.

ToysRLuv Thu 15-May-14 20:50:57

DS (4.6) is like this and has always been. Hard to drag out of the door. Hates birthday parties, groups, playgrounds. It would be easier if we had a car. At least that would reduce the moaning about walking/cycling, or walking to the bust stop and waiting for the bus.

I have mostly given up and only really take him out to easy places within a short walk (unless DH will do it - he has a higher tolerance). He does go to pre-school every day, so gets plenty of social interaction with other children there.

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