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Toddler faffing about endlessly

(16 Posts)
MrsNuckyT Mon 25-Apr-16 10:46:31

I seriously nearly flushed my 3 year old's head down the toilet last night at bed time. The absolutely endless faffing about at the moment, particularly at bed time (or any other time we're on a schedule) is completely killing me.

Me: ok time to turn tv off and go upstairs to brush teeth and have stories.
DS: Nooooooo
Me: Yes, come on now, you can have two big books and one small book if you hurry.
DS: Ok.
Me: Come on then.
DS: Wait! I need a toy.
Me: Ok, well pick a toy quickly then.
[cue 5 minutes of raking through every possible toy he's ever owned to find something pointless to take to bed]
Me: Right, come on up to the bathroom
DS: Noooooooooo! I don't want to brush my teeth.
Me: [through gritted teeth] But remember! The dentist said you have to keep brushing them or your teeth will fall out!
DS: Ok, then.

Then we go into the bathroom and he doesn't want a wee. Then he does. Then he doesn't. Oh, now it's a poo. Then he doesn't want to stand on his stool to wash his hands. Then he gets up there and turns the tap on full blast and soaks his PJs. Which he then screams to have off, but when I take them off he screams that he DOES want his Lightning McQueen PJs, which are now freezing cold up both sleeves. Then he won't stand still to get his pullup on and faffs endlessly choosing a story.

His bedtime is getting later and later. I do work so maybe he is just stalling to spend more time with me, but this is just INFURIATING me now.

Any coping strategies?

TiredOfSleep Mon 25-Apr-16 20:52:57

Start earlier if you can, explaining that he's missing xyz because he's faffing so much at night.

TeaBelle Mon 25-Apr-16 20:56:51

Build in some 'fun' activities that you can cancel if he doesn't co - operate. Eg 'sorry ds, I can't sing while we brush your teeth as we're running late, maybe we can sing tomorrow bedtime instead ', same with bedtime story etc

winchester1 Mon 25-Apr-16 20:57:53

When mine is really faffing I remember an urgent errand so say oh Cricky we have to take this random item I've found to nursery, upstairs etc. Its working well atm.

superking Mon 25-Apr-16 21:02:29

I feel your pain, going through exactly the same with my nearly three year old and it is seriously testing my patience. My only coping strategy has been to start bath/ bedtime half an hour earlier to account for all the faffing.

KittyandTeal Mon 25-Apr-16 21:09:18

Yep, that's my dd.

I add extra time to everything. Everything.

And I give her a time limit as in 'I'm counting to 20, if you've not found your toy by 20 then we won't have time for a story/have less time in the bath etc'. I've only had to follow through (and deal with the tantrum) a few times.

She still faffs though and it drives me bloody mental.

trilbydoll Mon 25-Apr-16 21:16:28

Yep, I've got one of these. My current favourite is her chucking water over her head because she'd rather wash her hair than get out of the bath.

I count to three with the threat of losing a story. Or with something like brushing teeth I say it's happening, hard way or easy way. After being pinned down and her mouth forced open once, she chooses the easy way!

DH does the "quick quick, we need to hurry" in a frantic voice which worked for a while but now she just stops and asks why confused she does like a race though, getting dressed before Daddy does is pretty successful. She's not a gracious winner though grin

puglife15 Tue 26-Apr-16 05:56:54

Hang on a minute - when you say it's time to go upstairs just the second time he says OK? My son has literally never done that. You don't know how lucky you are ;)

Firstly this is completely normal behaviour and to be expected. This has been the case for us for about a year, and this is what works, sort of:

We gamify a lot of bedtime - eg we have a race to see who can get upstairs first. We have to up our game constantly, so right now he's loving being independent and getting himself dressed etc so lots of chat about showing me how he can put his pyjamas on himself. We give him some choice but not too much, eg choosing a book, choosing where to drink his milk (in the bath or after)

We leave 45 minutes to an hour for PJs on, teeth brushed and reading 2 books. Longer if it's a bath night.

We are nonchalant if he refuses to do something, it seems the more nonchalant, matter of fact and calm I am the quicker he comes around. If we need to we will (very nonchalantly) say something like "we need to brush your teeth now or we might only have time to read one book tonight". I don't like doing this though as think reading should be sacred and I try not to use threats or bribes in general because I'm insane

GiraffesAndButterflies Tue 26-Apr-16 06:29:53

My DD is 3 and OMG this behaviour drives me insane. I get the best results through "gamifying" (good word) as puglife said. The current one is pretending that she has picked up the wrong toothbrush, which she finds hilarious hmm . And then occasionally when I'm really in a rush, hurrying and lots of praise and a really fun/energetic voice works OK.

The tiring thing about it all is the level of chirpy enthusiasm required, at a point where I actually want to wearily tell her to just fucking brush her sodding teeth.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Tue 26-Apr-16 06:44:54

I have one of those. Tries every possible way to get her to brush teeth. Even have tasteless toothpaste but still takes ages to actually get her to brush her teeth and go up. She's 9 sad.

middlings Tue 26-Apr-16 06:51:47

We use 'listening ears' which get switched on before we have to go out/go up to bed/ sit down at the table.

Also, when it comes to picking the books or toy, I give her a minute, then tell her I'm going to pick for her if she doesn't before the count of 5 (5 works better than 3 with faffers) and away we go!

We have had a couple of hysterical bedtimes with no stories but once she realised this particularly lady is not for turning the mere suggestion of no story works now.

You have my sympathies - I'm the antithesis of a faffer and it drives me nuts. It helps that her father is exactly the same so I had six years practice with him before she came along grin

winchester1 Tue 26-Apr-16 07:18:09

Did any of yours start this when they were younger? Dc2, 15 months has started to try to dress herself, do her teeth, find a toy etc - copying her brother and I'm not sure if we should encourage the independence or discourage the faffing. Obv she can't talk or understand anything complex so bribery etc is out.

megletthesecond Tue 26-Apr-16 07:24:57

Would you like a 9yr old faffer. I can't even bribe him with pocket money to do things, let alone do it on the second asking (which has never happened).

StubbleTurnips Tue 26-Apr-16 07:31:25

Yes, at tooth brushing time. We've started pointing the toothbrush at the floor saying 'oh no it's a sad brush' or if she's near brushing her nose as its confused.

Story time too, drives me fucking nuts. Needs a wee. Needs some random toy from the planet zig. Needs to say goodnight to the dog / neighbour / postman. We also use the no story threat which seems to work.

She currently faffing in the shower and DH is in charge whilst I ignore the whole situation grin

KittyandTeal Tue 26-Apr-16 08:53:39

I know this is totally normal 3yo behaviour but bloody hell, it's good to hear the tales of other faffers grin

MrsNuckyT Tue 26-Apr-16 10:56:51

Ahhhhh!! This has really cheered me up - thank you!

I always said I would never use bribes / threats but I honestly don't know how I could get through a day without that stuff!! I think I will risk a tantrum and actually follow through on the no story part. As someone above said I think of it as sacred time (and by then the faffing has died down to a minimum) but maybe it's something that would actually catch his attention!

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