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Childminder - DS tantruming before we go(6 Posts)
My DS has been with our childminder three days per week since he was 11 months, and is now 2 1/2. He took a while to settle as he is a very strongly attached to me (he cried even with his Dad!) but after a few tough weeks, he calmed down, and since then there haven't been any major issues. He has a great time by all accounts - he is always grinning and happily playing when I pick him up, tells me he had a 'lovely day' and my CM regularly reassures me that he is a very jolly little chap mostly - if occasionally a bit noisy and boisterous, which I can well imagine!
However, in recent weeks, he has taken to having a massive melt down every Tuesday morning (and occasionally a bit on Weds - I work three days a week Tues - Thurs) where he refuses to get ready, constantly repeats that he wants to stay at home and doesn't want to go to his CM, and generally appears deeply unhappy, right up until I pass him over (when he quickly stops crying apparently). I think it's because he's been a bit under the weather of late (his past tears on going have always been related to being ill too) and because of his age - he just doesn't like the transition and is quite keen to express his feelings about wanting to stay with me!
He can never give me any reason that he dislikes his CM and never complains about anything that's happened in the day (he's very articulate for his age). I don't have any real concerns about her therefore.
Nevertheless, I still worry, and the Tuesday morning battle is really beginning to get me down, as well as making me massively late for work! I go on mat leave again in March next year, when he'll switch to a morning nursery three days per week at that point, so I can't give up my job, and I'd REALLY rather not go through the hassle of trying to find a new CM and settle him there only a few weeks before a new baby arrives and he then has to change again. But at the same time, I'm not sure I can take the guilt trip he's sending me on every Tuesday between now and March!
Is this just a phase / his age / his way of expressing his preferences to remain with me, or should I be concerned? Is there anything I can do to help him, other than talking to him about it, and sending him in with a picture / toy / something of mine (all of which I do). I will be speaking with her again when I pick him up tonight, but it is a bit tricky as he'll obviously be there too, along with the other kids she minds. I just feel so helpless!
I know it might not be what you want to hear, but as a childminder, I can tell you hand on heart that most children, if given the choice, would prefer to be a homeothermic their parents. There is no easy way out of that. At 2.5 he is probably learning to express how he feels a bit better than before, and more forcefully. My advice would be not to change childminder, but to work with her. Speak to her about it, if she is a good childminder she will not take it personally, ask her to put on his favorite activity for him, to let him have down time with his favorite movie or to show. Ask if he can bring his favorite toy from home. Ask if she could make his favorite meal. No childminder wants a little boy to be unhappy...
Homeothermic? Where did that come from? At home with!
Two and a half is a new stage of self awareness and assertion hence the traditional term of terrible 2's. Children want to assert their will and independence. Your lo is also probably aware of changes to you with the pregnancy and understands things are different....stuff like watch mummy's tummy, morning sickness and others comments.
You say your late for work....this means LO;s strategy of playing up is working as your hanging round and maybe if I kick off more you wont go...ideal world mummy stay while I play great...make drop offs quick calm and be upbeat no bribery or one more hug and kiss just bye have a good day and go and going back or last hugs gives the message there is something wrong as your not happy and the chance you wont go, if you have a stressed body language Lo will think there is something wrong.
Do you need to change childcare to a nursery for funding? If this is when baby is due its going to cause another major change and any good childcare settting offers the same things, why not wait until Lo starts school nursery and have both children in the same childcare?
Thanks both. Think I just needed to vent more than anything! Oddly enough, I find it quite reassuring to hear that it is probably just because he prefers being with me! While no working parent wants to feel their child is being stressed by the separation, I long ago accepted that I couldn't clone myself so there wasn't a lot of choice in our case if I wanted to stay sane, keep afloat monetarily and keep my career half way alive. I try to keep the days as short as I can and I think it will get easier when we switch to mornings only at nursery - his best friend from the CM goes there already and he knows the staff. I would love to stay with the CM, but she can't take on any more 'part time' kids at the moment so I'd have to keep sending him for a full day at least three days per week, which isn't ideal when I'm not earning, and feels unfair when he so clearly would rather spend more time with me! I also think he needs a bit more variety and space to run about (her house is small). We are doing a gradual transition starting well before the baby arrives so hopefully it will work.
He is completely aware of the baby and when she's arriving and talks about her a lot (she gets a cuddle every day) but I recognise the reality will still come as a shock!
It seems harsh, but you'd probably be doing him a favour to do less of the talking/token item etc. Don't pander to it. You want to be understanding, but not so understanding that he think he's right to be worried. He'll pick up on your stress and upset and on the ceremony around going (excess explanations, special items etc.) and think 'there's obviously something to be concerned about because Mummy is really worried about it!'.
Stay calm. Get him dressed and ready to go at normal time. Say calmly, 'Mummy's going to work, you're going to have a lovely day with Childminder and other children and I'll see you after tea'. Make the handover calm, but quick. Kiss, cuddle, 'I'll see you after tea' and out the door. Don't linger.
Ask the childminder to send you a picture when he settles so that you can see he is in fact happy soon after you leave. Or if it's possible peep in a window from outside. He's probably happy within 2 minutes of you leaving.
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