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"I want Mammy to be happy"

(9 Posts)
IWillOnlyEatBeans Mon 08-Oct-12 10:03:18

This is the phrase that DS (2.7) comes out with whenever I have to tell him off/slightly raise my voice/enforce a rule. Usually accompanied by floods of tears.

I have no idea how to respond to it!

I have tried to explain that no one is happy all the time and sometimes Mammies get cross. I tell him that I will be happy once he has done what I ask/apologised for his behaviour etc. Which he does! But will then go on to repeat the exact same thing 5 mins later with the same result...

Is there anything else I can do??

I have struggled with PND in the past but generally feel much better now. However his response to me getting cross makes me feel really guilty and upset, like I have traumatised him sad

Any advice much appreciated...

megandraper Mon 08-Oct-12 10:08:47

I don't know the answer, but my 4.11 yr old and 3 yr old both look devastated when I use my 'firm' (bit loud and peremptory) voice and shriek 'NOT IN A CROSS VOICE!' They can be rather dramatic.

tootiredtothinkofanickname Mon 08-Oct-12 10:43:07

You sound like a lovely mum and I am sure you have not traumatised your DS, but he gets a reaction when he says this so this is why he probably goes on. However. I would not tell him that mummy will be happy when he does what she has asked, IMO it's too much responsibility for him. It's good to know no one is happy all the time and sometimes mummy is angry, but I would leave it at this and not react in any way when he says he wants you to be happy. Or just brush it off wih "of course mummy is happy, but your behaviour is not ok, so you can't do this because.../you have to apologise/whatever."

OstrichSized Mon 08-Oct-12 10:57:29

My dd is the same age and doing much the same thing. She often tells DH that I'm evil or angry and seems to be fasinated with being happy. So if I tell her crossly not to switch off the lights; I'm evil.

I'm hoping it's just a phase. Maybe they are just realising what feelings are.

The repetitive questions might be also that they are enjoying the explanation and interaction and want the closeness repeated. Try telling him a different story to divert his attention.

AngelDog Mon 08-Oct-12 23:19:45

I'd agree that it's probably best not to say that you'll be happy when he's done x.

The constant repetition sounds familiar. IIRC at this age they think that by saying something they can make it happen. So if I have to reprimand DS, he'll say, "I'm obeying! I'm obeying!" and then very soon afterwards do the exact thing he's not supposed to be.

Apparently between 2.5 and 3 is a time when they really start to understand that they can influence your feelings, which leads to a lot of testing of how much influence they actually have. You can read about it here and here.

IWillOnlyEatBeans Tue 09-Oct-12 09:17:15

Thanks everyone.

You are right that I should not be making my happiness conditional on his behaviour, I'll definitely put a stop to that. I had a good opportunity yesterday afternoon when he had a proper meltdown in Sainsbury's - I had to scoop him up and take him out of the shop. So when he started on the 'Mammy be happy' wail I just calmly told him that Mammy was perfectly happy, but I wasn't going to stay in the shop while he screamed and cried. It didn't stop the repetition, but it did make me feel more in control and overall I felt like I handled the whole incident better than I normally would - thank you.

Also thanks for the links AngelDog, I will have a read later on. How is your pregnancy going? I hope you are feeling ok. Are you due next month?

AngelDog Tue 09-Oct-12 15:37:21

I'm due in 3 weeks now, so I'm getting twitchy! (DS was almost 2 weeks early, and was a really fast labour so it could be soon...) Things have been going okay, so apart from the prospect of no childcare for the 2 hours it'll take my parents to get here I feel fairly on top of things.

How are you doing? You must be due reasonably soon too.

IWillOnlyEatBeans Tue 09-Oct-12 19:33:24

Glad you have been feeling ok. I have had a relatively easy time of it too - although being pregnant and looking after a toddler is definitely more exhausting then being pregnant and working in an office full time!

I am due on 23rd December (!) so just over 10 weeks to go. DS was a week late, so I am not expecting an early arrival, although any time after 37 weeks is fine with me (with the exception of 25th December!!)

AngelDog Tue 09-Oct-12 23:10:17

Oh, definitely - I used to work 4 days a week when pg with DS, so I got a day off plus a lunchtime nap at work. DS dropped his nap a month ago, joy of joys, which has been less fun. hmm

Ooh, Christmas - exciting. DS's birthday is around New Year, and I'm so disorganised at the best of times that we've decided to celebrate his birthday in the summer along with mine. Otherwise the poor child wouldn't get any presents, party, cake or anything.

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