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Toddler won't allow me to chat!! Is this common with lone parents?

(6 Posts)
bellbottom Tue 18-Aug-09 20:24:27


My daughter is 18 months old. Since she was about 12 months she makes a huge fuss if I try to chat with someone in her company, and this is getting worse. She now gets louder and louder and in the end throws a fit. Asides from that she's really a great girl, not much problem at all with anything else. But I find that in all my efforts to make ' compatible' friendships with other mums and toddlers, with playdates etc, it all ends with me feeling my nerves are frazzled, and thinking it's a waste of time trying. Feels like a losing battle for me and I feel bulldozed by her behaviour. When she protests I forget my thread of conversation completely and struggle so much to cope, and feel it's so awful for the other person trying to speak with me, and wonder if they'll ever bother meeting up with me again. I'm SO fed up, and wondering if I need to visit a child psychologist?!

My theory is it must be because I'm a lone parent, and she's used to having me to herself a lot and not sharing my attention. But in the last months I'm really trying to branch out and network so we have more of a life, and she can form friendships. These protests make it so hard for me to do that. Feels like a vicious circle.

I tried letting her know I'm talking, I tried involoving her in the conversation, I feel I tried everything.

Where am I going wrong? How can I best handle these situations? Is this common amongst other lone parents? I don't see it happenning with 2 parent kids, so I feel self conscious that it's a bad effect of me being a single mum.

I hope someone can help me with some of these questions. Would be a huge weight off my shoulder to have some feedback. Feel so alone in it.


Aranea Tue 18-Aug-09 20:29:43

I'm not a lone parent but I just spotted your thread and it reminded me of how dd1 used to be. She's 4 now and I can't precisely remember how long it went on for or whether it was all the time, but I do recall her getting very cross and demanding if I tried to have conversations with people when she was there.

So I don't necessarily think it's to do with your being a single mum. She may just be like my daughter and hate not having your attention! dd1 is still a bit like that, but now that she is (very) verbal, she just wants to join in with every conversation.

Aranea Tue 18-Aug-09 20:33:42

I have been struggling to think how I managed dd1 when she got like that. I think really I just spent a lot of time paying attention to her in the orbit of other mums and children and trying to help her interact with the others a bit. It helped when other adults were nice to her. And I think when she felt she knew people well it was less of a problem. Though she was always very clingy and wanted to be with the adults, while everyone else's kids would just potter off and get on with their own stuff.

lilacclaire Wed 19-Aug-09 10:43:13

Ds is still a bit like this, though getting better by the age of 4!
I've got to the point where I tell him that i'm talking and he'll need to wait until i've finished, usually induces a tantrum or huff in him but im perservering.
Luckily im so tall, he can only bash me around the legs whilst im ignoring him lol.

notevenamousie Wed 19-Aug-09 16:25:54

It's not your fault, and it's not because you are a SP. My nephew (two adoring parents) is worse than my daughter (just me) for this, and I think it is one of those things. Like most circumstances, if you keep exposing them to it, they adapt to it. I know it's not easy. But adult conversation will keep you sane, and your daughter will get used to that.

Niceguy2 Wed 19-Aug-09 18:11:17

All kids go through this stage. Whats important is consistantly sending the right message and thats harder than it seems, esp. when you are tired or embarassed.

Its got nothing to do with if you are a lone parent or not.

What do you do when she interupts you? If you respond to her then she's learned that she can do it. If you ignore her and she gets worse and then you shout at her, what she learns is that if she escalates she gets what she wants.

My advice is to say something like "Mummy's talking, i will talk to you in a minute" then carry on. If she escalates then you remove her without saying anything then go back to your conversation. The key is not letting her win or you've just shown her that all she needs to do is get worse! If its impossible to carry on the conversation punish her! Her behaviour is bad and she should be punished!

Of course when you do finish (and dont leave it too long, toddler's can't wait long) then say "Ok, i've finished now, thanks for waiting...whats up?" Initially give her a treat too for being patient.

So in short you are rewarding the behaviour you want to see and ignoring/punishing behaviour you dont.

Like I say though, don't give in. The one time you give in and not be consistent then she will learn that if she pushes you just that little....bit....further then she will get what she wants and behave that way.

Sorry if this sounds like I'm preaching but I've raised 4 kids past that stage and now helping my new GF with her toddler and its worked for all 4 kids.

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