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Constant demands from 2.4 year old...(11 Posts)
Help me out here - how do I handle this? I end up blowing my top with DD because she just demands ALL day long from the minute she wakes up. I'm not exaggerating, she has no sooner put down her spoon at breakfast and asks for a banana, then as soon as that's done she wants the loo, she'll ask to do colouring then within 30 seconds wants stickers, within another minute she wants play dough, three minutes later she wants something else etc. We aren't softies, we have firm boundaries, are very consistent, insist on manners etc, and we try to explain to her that she needs to stop with the constant asking - because it is constant - even down to at bedtime she will have a string of demands ...this teddy, that blanket, a cuddle, a kiss, the other teddy....
Part of the frustration for us is she never stops talking, which I find exhausting. Sometimes she'll throw a tantrum if I don't give in, but usually she just keeps asking despite me having said no. She's like a scratched record. She won't say something once or twice, she'll say it around 15 times. For everything.
I've got a DS 11 months younger (17 months) and he's always been very challenging so I guess I'm stretched somewhat, hence I know this sounds pretty negative, I'm just really struggling right now. DH is too so it isn't just me.
My ds is a fair bit younger than yours so I'm not writing from experience, but the first thing I thought when reading your description was perhaps it's for attention? If your younger dc is challenging maybe at some point older dc became very demanding herself to compensate and hasn't got herself out that loop? Do you spend any 1-1 time with her? Not asking that in an accusing way, just giving you my initial thoughts for what they are worth!
Sounds exhausting though, for you
To be honest she doesn't get the 1-1 I'd like to give her simply because it's impossible. DS came along so quickly after her and I've been juggling ever since. She's started nursery which is benefitting her hugely, but her time with me is hard because she demands and wants to be glued to me....and I'm struggling with it, I feel like I can't breathe between the pair of them. DS has been loads happier since she started nursery as now HE gets 1-1 with me....but she doesn't because when she gets back, he has a nap, she has lunch and chill out (always tired after nursery) and I...well, I have a bit of down time. I love them so much and I do my best but I don't always feel cut out for motherhood...the constant pressure and kids wanting to be ON me all day is suffocating me. We get out lots etc, go to groups...they have a pretty busy, fun life ... But our time at home is just filled with DD's demands.
That sounds really tough! I only have one (quite high needs!) and I find that exhausting enough, have no idea how I'm going to manage with two. I'm sure you're doing a great job and you shouldn't feel guilty about taking a bit of time for yourself during the day, you have to. Today I managed to distract ds for approx 3 mins and sat and drank a hot chocolate. It was lovely!
The only thing I can suggest is maybe trying to factor in a tiny bit of 1-1 with her even if it's just once a week - do you have a dp who could take your youngest for an hour or so? I think sibling relationships can be so difficult. I'm the eldest, sister born just under 2 yrs after me and I didn't take it well at all apparently - stopped talking for 6 months! I think sometimes it can have a bigger effect than parents realise so perhaps just a little bit of mum time would help your dd? Sorry, I know it's crap when you're already so stretched.
I think you're right, DH will do a divide and conquer. I gave her loads of attention this PM as DS was engrossed in play and it did help I think. I'd be nose out of joint in her situation tbh, DS does monopolise me!
This may seem like a bit of an odd suggestion but have you tried not having such a busy, fun life and sometimes just spending the day at home doing stuff about the house?
It is just that I think often people are so focused on going out and doing stuff that they forget to just spend time hanging out with their kids. I also think it can be very exhausting for small children to be always going somewhere and doing new, exciting things, particularly if they are at nursery during the week.
I say this because it is definitely the case for my dd who is 2.5. We find we have to have one day a week when we don't plan anything and ideally both me and dh are in. We just stay at home, do cleaning, draw picture, watch films. Maybe a quick trip to the park down the road or to the local shop but nothing too taxing. She is at nursery 4 days a week and she needs the down time and the day with us about I think.
We also have the 'I want' game for when dd gets all I want, I want. This involves me and DH coming up with more and more ridiculous things that we want. So it sort of goes..
DD: I want a biscuit! Get me a biscuit! I want one!
DH: Well I want a robot monkey!
Me: I want a chocolate elephant!
DH: And a golden kazoo! I want one now!
It just seems to break the 'I want' loop without it turning into a fight.
HearMyRoar - I think you are absolutely spot on about the not going out and "having fun" all the time. I genuinely do.
I have Mondays and Wednesdays off work. Its rare that we will leave the house on a Monday (unless unavoidable). After a fun packed weekend (usually) its just really nice to hang out in the house. Play with his cars and play dough. "Get cosy" on the sofa and watch a couple of DVDs with some snacks and a duvet. On these days, my DS is really well behaved and less demanding.
I have come to the conclusion that the more you give them, the more they want!
The "I want" game is genius! I am going to try that one myself next time.
Most things from your list though I would be encouraging to get/ do herself
Wanting pens/ stickers/ playdough - put somewhere she can help herself
Wanting snack - encourage that she asks but then can go to fruit bowl herself
Wanting toilet - get toilet seat and step. Help with button on trousers if needed then encourage to go herself. She can call when finished if needs help
She obv still need help with some things, but if you can alleviate 50% of the odd little things it will make it much easier.
Also have 1 year gap here
We don't have a crazy busy life, I probably made it sound fuller than it is, almost every afternoon is at home from 12 onwards. I actually find her behaviour worse the less we do, she gets bored easily and demands more. DS is quite happy bumbling around, she just gets whiny and clingy and unless I'm full on engaging with her, she won't leave me alone. She never used to be this way, I think that's what I find hard, she was always content to bumble around playing and doing little things, but now if I'm not doing something with her she'll cling to my leg, ask for cuddles, or insist on being right in my space to 'watch me' put washing away. Maybe being away from me at nursery is the cause. She LOVES nursery and doesn't give me a backwards glance, but perhaps it's making her insecure deep inside somewhere.
She does do a fair amount for herself, but I can't leave crayons / play dough in her reach as it will be carnage, and DS is only 17 months so you can imagine what he'd get up to......she takes herself to the loo a lot more these days too.
Thank you for all the suggestions and I love the 'I want' comebacks - totally using those!
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