Getting so tired of my 2.5 year old's melodrama :((16 Posts)
He whines and complains from the moment he wakes up, to the moment he reluctantly goes to bed. He'll whine about not being allowed to watch TV, tug on my clothes and repeat himself over and over again, "Watch TV mama, watch TV mama" - I don't let him watch more than half an hour a day and I like to try to keep him entertained otherwise, but he'll lose interest in activities quickly and ask to do other things instead, which he'll then lose interest. Half an hour is never enough for him and he complains and whines...
Mealtimes have become a nightmare. He'd rather snack all day than eat a meal. I've tried to become more strict and give him two snacks and sit there, and sit there with him until he's eaten some of his meals. It takes forever and we both end up tired and frustrated.
I try to include him in his food choices, for instance earlier I gave him the option of a sandwich or soup. He chose soup, so I made chicken and vegetable soup for lunch. He refused to eat it, and said he was tired instead. So I put him to bed and shut the door, knowing that he's not tired in actuality, he just wanted out of lunch. He cried himself to sleep, and I feel guilty as hell, but I just don't know what to do anymore
Sounds as if you are trying to reason with a child the way you would with an adult. At this age, I wouldn't give too many options. Tell him what is going to happen, rather than asking him what he wants to do/eat.
Also, tell him what will happen if he doesn't comply: 'it is fine if you don't want to eat this soup, but that means you'll have nothing to eat and you'll be hungry', etc.
I also found the best thing was to get out of the house. Some fresh air and a change of scenery will take away a lot of the tension - and also will make the time pass more quickly.
Oh and fwiw - if it suits you to let him watch more than 30 mins of telly a day, then do it. 30 mins in the morning and 30 mins in the afternoon is not too much. Once in a while, you may let him watch for a few hours if it is what your 'mental health' requires! There will be no damage done - I promise!
Sounds like he's bored and ready for nursery. Do you get out and do much with him, have people over etc? I know you say you try to keep him entertained during the day. Does he play alone at all?
I think you're dealing with things fine - I don't think it's a problem at all to give them a choice over food, but then yes I would expect the choice to be eaten. But if he does snack happily, and you don't mind doing this, I'd probably go with snacks for now - a sandwich in two halfs, some carrot/cucumber/peppers etc and some crackers or cheese or a yoghurt or something is a fine lunch whether he has it in one go or all spread out.
I would ease up on everything.
2 year olds have a short attention span. 5-10 minutes on a particular activity is normal.
Maybe instead of making a big deal on what he is eating at lunchtime, just make his snacks healthy/part of his daily food intake. Eg. if you were going to give him a cheese sandwich and a banana for lunch, let him snack on some cubes of cheese, breadsticks and fruit through the morning. Or, make meals more snacky - put various bits in little bowls and let him help himself to what he wants.
Do you eat with him at meal times? Sit down together, eat, and after a reasonable time (20 minutes?) clear the table. Don't make a big fuss about how much he was eaten.
If you want to avoid having the TV on, go out - then it's not an issue. If he watches more than 30 minutes a day though, it really doesn't matter.
Seems like you are expecting a lot from a 2 year old.
YY it does sound like you are worrying about stuff which is totally normal do you have any friends with 2 year olds? Toddler groups and meeting up with other mum friends was my saviour at that age and not too expensive.
I try to keep TV to before 9am and tea-time-ish onwards. In the meantime we do 3 mornings of pre-school, a couple of toddler groups, one afternoon swimming, a couple of afternoons visiting friends/having friends round/going to aunty's house, at least one trip to the park/zoo/woods, visit the library, a bit of DS playing with his toys at home (I try not to entertain him or set up time consuming activities that he's only going to want to do for 2 minutes at home). Stay fairly busy!
Yeah we have playdates with his cousins and a few of my friends' children every week, we go out almost every day. He plays on his own but never for longer than five minutes before he's wanting me to play which I don't mind, but it makes housework difficult. He used to be more independent, not less.
I'm pretty new at this. I was working nights up until four months ago, and I do love spending time with him, I just think I need a break.
We were doing so well at first. OH thinks he's reacting to me trying to wean him from breastfeeding altogether, that he's not coping well. Everything just seems to upset him and he's tearful all the time.
Ah, yes, if you're weaning then that could have an effect.
Early bird - am curious about hat you wrote..."Once in a while, you may let him watch for a few hours if it is what your 'mental health' requires! There will be no damage done - I promise!"
How are you so sure there is no 'damage' done? Not looking to pick your post apart ( my kids watch Tv half an hour daily and also occasionally more than an hour, but if it is more than an hour at a time, they are 4 and 2, I feel quite bad about it ..) am genuinely curious.
Well, of course I am not scientifically sure. And fwiw, I do think it is a bad idea to plonk your dc in front of the telly for hours every day. But to do it once in a while because you're ill, or need to get something done, or just want a break is not an unforgivable sin! And isn't imo, damaging to your dc. Far more damaging, imo, to have a stressed out parent at the end of their tether!
crazycrush - what do you imagine would/could happen?
I haven't read any evidence that TV is damaging crazycrush, have you? Obviously it's not good if that's all you do every day, but a few hours of TV in a day of playing, seeing friends, going out etc?
Just have vague concerns... problems with speech development, social and motor skills, creativity... But I guess these happen with high tv consumption every day... I would prefer my kids to grow into people who rarely watch telly though but am unsure how this might happen if they get used to it.. (I watch so rarely that i don't remember the last time i watched some. If you don't count the kids programmes I am exposed to... ) well, even my six month old watches a bit with his siblings :-( in my book there shouldn't even be a telly on with a baby in the room. But I am weird in my anti telly stance. And inconsistent I guess.
Well, there are always some studies done on excessive tv consumption and the concerns I raised above... But half hour per day us fine for sure. I think they recommend max. 2 hours if screen time for pre schoolers ... Which I think is ridiculously high but if you think about it... 45 minutes in the morning plus a bit if iPad later and there you go almost 90 minutes full
In answer to the question about screen time - there are many studies that link screen time (including tv, computers, handheld computers, phones, etc) is linked to poor brain development, lower IQ, difficulty concentrating and behavioral issues etc as well as obesity. The recommendation in other countries (there is no official guidance currently in the UK) based on the research is no screen time at all for under 3s and less than 1 hour beyond that, increasing to max 2 hrs in teenage children. In practice, very few parents I think actually achieve this. This is based on the fact that screen time for under 3s has no positive effects (including educational programmes) and does have negative effects. I think there was an article about it in the Guardian if you want to google it but I know through work. Please don't shoot the messenger about this - this is what the research shows. I don't want to start a debate on it. I think it's very difficult to achieve in practice but limiting to half an hour per day is good to aim for op and probably a lot better than most parents of toddlers achieve. I only have a 10mo so I'm certainly not about to get preachy about it!
I think the weaning probably has a lot to do with it and he's struggling with the transition. Patience, time and understanding that he's missing that intimacy with you would go a long way. How much time do you spend cuddled up together reading or watching something?
Yeah, thinking about it, he's had it all his life. It must be a bit of a nasty shock to see it refused It has to be done, though.
As for TV, I'm with crazycrush. I haven't seen the results of any study, but it's mainly the way he completely engrosses himself in it. It's like watching someone come out of hypnosis when the show finishes, it's disturbing. And the way he always asks for more. I do think it's addictive to children his age, though I'm sure some toddlers can take it or leave it, I don't think mine is one of those children. I'd much rather read him a book.
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