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What would you do if your child insisted on you doing things that really upset them?

(18 Posts)
artichokes Wed 17-Sep-08 19:35:59

DD is 2.1 and suddenly very contrary. Much of it is normal tantrums but one aspect of her behaviour has me stumped - she insists on me doing things that upset her and if I refuse she has a tantrum.

One example is that whenever we finish a car journey she won't let me take her out of her seat (even when she has been dying to get out throughout the journey). She tells me "DD stay in car, Mummy go away". If I try and unclip her straps she screams and screams begging to stay in the car and have the door shut. However, if I shut the door and walk away she starts screaming with fear and when I go back she sobs "Mummy left me, Mummmy left me" and clings to me.

What on earth am I to do? In her perfect world I would shut the door and stand right outside watching her but I am slightly too busy to play that game for long.

AllieBongo Wed 17-Sep-08 19:37:49

dd used to do this. i used to shut the door and ignore her, or take her out whilst she kicked and screamed and lay her on the floor indoors and let her get over it. it's a no win situation

piratecat Wed 17-Sep-08 19:39:34

i guess i wouldn't do anything she insisted on me doing, as it all sounds very confusing for you both!

I would do what I wanted to do, and cope with that tantrum only.

escondida Wed 17-Sep-08 19:39:58

It's a control thing, she wants to feel like the boss (can you blame her? Would you like to be bossed around all day long?). Try to humour her when you can.

snooks Wed 17-Sep-08 19:43:37

i have to say your thread title really intrigued me, then i read your post and immediately remembered ds1 doing this - he's now 4. he did grow out of it thankfully, i can't remember when, yet another phase! second what alliebongo said, i did the same, albeit muttering "fgs" under my breath the whole time. i suppose it's just a developmental, testing my patience thing. just ignore it as best as you can, you're not doing anything wrong smile

blinks Wed 17-Sep-08 19:44:44

tell her what you're going to do and then do it.

snooks Wed 17-Sep-08 19:44:44

blush meant "testing boundaries thing""

Saturn74 Wed 17-Sep-08 19:48:25

They're funny (if exasperating!) when they do this. grin

Distraction is the key, I think.

"If you stay here, who will help me.... (insert more interesting activity here)?"

And then just get on with what you were going to do anyway.

I used to try and explain and be all understanding at first.

It still led to a tantrum. grin

I found brisk, bright and breezy worked best.

edam Wed 17-Sep-08 19:52:53

Humphrey's right, brisk is the way to go. Small children can't really follow lengthy explanations.

You are going to get a tantrum anyway, far better to do what you need to do and deal with that tantrum, rather than getting all flustered over dd wanting you to do things she doesn't want you to do in order to have an excuse for a tantrum...

artichokes Wed 17-Sep-08 20:01:05

You all speak sense. I guess it is just about biting the bullet and after a brief attempt at distration accepting a tantrum is inevitable.

When does this phase finish??? Tell me its a quick one. I feel like every step is a battle at the moment. She has even started waking at night again. What happened to my sweet, affectionate, complaint little angel?

freakypenguin Wed 17-Sep-08 20:06:33

Are you able to totally ignore her when she throws a wobbly? I have found this to be (secretly very scary) but actually v effective. Diffuses much quicker than if you try to interact with a beetroot-faced child.

I would just say firmly "This is what is happening" and then ignore her (leave her in the house somewhere safe) until she calms down. It can feel like ages but often is only a few minutes.

idontbelieveit Wed 17-Sep-08 20:32:18

i find if i totally ignore my dd she goes on for ages. Usually best if i ignore to get the worst over then talk her down/read a book to her/put an interesting cd on to take her mind off whatever she's cross about. (she's 27 months)

artichokes Wed 17-Sep-08 20:54:57

I have just been reading this thread to DH and he is very relieved that others fail to avoid the tantrums and game playing too.

You have cheered him muchly.

Sophiale01 Wed 17-Sep-08 22:02:44

I'm a great fan of warning DD 2.1 whats about happen, especially if I know she won't like it. eg, she hates going to the supermarket but gets excited about going in the car as i guess she thinks shes going to park etc so I tell her before we've left where we are going so that she doesnt have a major meltdown when im trying to get her in the trolley...it seems to help a bit.

specialmagiclady Wed 17-Sep-08 22:17:42

I found that DS did this as a way of working out what he had control over. It became very important that we go downstairs in a particular order for example. But the order changed every time.

In the end, I decided that he didn't get to control what I did and I just laid down the law a bit.

eg. Right, I am going downstairs now because I am not waiting for you to decide when I do it. I'll see you when you're feeling better.

He'd kick and scream on the landing for a bit then it would be over. Until we went down the front steps....

Othersideofthechannel Thu 18-Sep-08 06:01:03

DD still does this sometimes and she is 3.9
She didn't speak much when she was 2 so it was something that only started when she was 3.
Now only happens when she is really tired so I guess we are at the tail end of it.

Buda Thu 18-Sep-08 06:19:49

This thread has reminded me of when DS (now 7 and no tantrums!) was little. One day he had an almighty tantrum over something and threw himself on the wooden floor which obv hurt. Next time he had a tantrum he carefully lay down on the floor and proceeded to have his tantrum. Of course me laughing at him didn't help but he looked so funny!

halia Fri 19-Sep-08 11:56:00

DS does this and I agree explainign just doens't work! they are 2/3/4 fgs and quite frankly if they understood/were prepared to accept the fact that we are home now and you have to undo your pram straps in order to get out then you wouldn't be having the tantrum in the first place.

My theory (and this is for DS particualrly who has some behaviuoral/development issues) is that explanations just make it all worse when they are being unreasoanble, you aren't matching their mood at all and you are askng them to switch out of sulk/kick/upset and into listen carefully and udnerstand abstract concepts mode which is hard at any point for a toddler.
I go for the bright and breezy approach too, I tend to just keep going with whatever we have to do, so we do have alot of instances of me picking DS (3) up and simply carrying him off.
Once we've changed place/state (ie got outside if we were trying to get to playgroup) then I start commenting on the things he can ee aorund us.

I've also found that sometimes telling them what you are going to do "we're goping to the park so you can go on the swings" backfires cos DS is in a very negative mode right now so even if 10 minutes ago he was begging to go swing the minute I say it he will start scremaing "no, no park, no swing"

So I just get going and tune into anything vaguely positive he says along the way!

(mind you if anyone has any other ideas I'm all for them it gets a bit tiring to spend half my life with a screaming child sounding as if leaving home for a trip to the park for swings and an ice lolly is the worst fate ever, followed by equal screams on leaving the park because now going home is the worst fate ever.)

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