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Toddler wont settle if I read a book

(16 Posts)
Welikebeingcosy Wed 17-Feb-21 12:08:59

My DD is 20 months old. She plays really well independently but only if I'm sat very still on the sofa doing nothing. As soon as I shift my weight to change position to perhaps reach for a book, my phone or even start to write a shopping list or something she senses it, turns around and runs straight over and tried to demand my attention back on her in any way she can. It is getting me depressed not being able to do anything without a huge tantrum starting. We do loads together all day long and we get out lots for walks and food shopping and she goes to nursery every morning so it can't be that she doesn't get enough attention. It feels like a control thing. Has anyone experienced this and do you know when it ends so I can look forward to being able to do something for myself or if there's anything I can do to nip it in the bud. She has been like this since birth for example if I stopped making eye contact with her at any point she would start screaming for me to look at her again. I thought she might have grown out of it by now. Anyway rant over and thanks for reading.

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GettingUntrapped Wed 17-Feb-21 12:21:17

One of mine is almost 10 and still wants me to 'look' a few times a day.
When they are as small as yours it's normal. I wasn't able to read, make a phone call or leave the room for years. Very hard.

LunaNova Wed 17-Feb-21 12:36:40

This must be so tough!
My little one is only 11 months so I'm not sure if it might change and I might be in your position in the future but I've been trying over the last couple of months to encourage independent play, which finally seems to be working and I can now read a book while she plays but I do have to sit on the floor.

So I started listening to audio books first while I sat on the floor with her, gradually moving further away from where she was playing until I was sat against the sofa. Then moved to reading normal books while sat on the floor, to start with she would constantly come over and climb on me so I would encourage her to sit with me and I would read my book aloud to her. Usually after a page or two she would crawl off and play on her own again - then any time she wanted me I would repeat.

Last week she actually crawled over to me with one of her books and sat next to me flicking through it while I read, which was super cute.

Not sure if that might help at all. I would have no chance of doing this on the sofa but sitting on the floor makes me more accessible I think so she seems more comfortable with it, who knows?!

Potterythrowdown Wed 17-Feb-21 12:42:04

I can't do anything without hearing "what you doing mummy?" I've just accepted that apart from glancing at my phone, I won't get chance to do anything I either want or need to do while he's awake for many years to come!

TryingNotToPanicOverCovid Wed 17-Feb-21 13:05:43

I think its quite normal at 20months - they need a lot of interaction.

Welikebeingcosy Wed 17-Feb-21 16:40:52

I mean she does play very independently that's the thing and she will have her back to me but it's like she senses me even reaching for anything that puts my mind anywhere else. It's like she is intolerant of me making any noise and she has to be the only one making noise or movement. She never wants me to play with her as such more that she just wants me completely still and silent in the room whilst she plays. It's really frustrating. I wonder if it is a sensory thing. She even tells me mummy sit if I stand up to do some stretches or anything.

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TryingNotToPanicOverCovid Wed 17-Feb-21 16:48:30

I remember being excited once when I had managed to lie on the floor with a book and had my daughter lying on top of me (can't remember why or how!?) But the fact it sticks in my mind that I had a few minutes to read a book...

Bringallthebiscuits Wed 17-Feb-21 17:36:31

What happens if you try to go on doing what you were doing? Does she have a meltdown?

ElphabaTheGreen Wed 17-Feb-21 17:43:56

I’ve been able to fairly consistently sit quietly and do what I like for longer than a couple of minutes for about the past six months or so. It has been lovely being able to do that again.

Mine are 8 and 6. Years old. Sorry. You’ve got a while yet.

Welikebeingcosy Wed 17-Feb-21 18:05:53

@Bringallthebiscuits yes exactly that haha

Thanks everyone good to know I'm not alone.

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Bringallthebiscuits Wed 17-Feb-21 18:49:25

@Welikebeingcosy I wonder if you could try gently pushing the boundaries a bit and getting her to accept you at least moving about and making some noise. Although it’s true that a lot of kids constantly bug their parents for attention, I don’t think most expect them to sit perfectly still and rigid.

When she says “mummy sit” I would say something like “mummy’s just getting some exercise” and carry on doing the stretches for a little while, even if she gets angry. My son is very bossy and will tell me to be quiet or where to sit etc, but I try to push back against that and remind him that I’m the parent.

Welikebeingcosy Thu 18-Feb-21 10:01:29

@Bringallthebiscuits thank you! So eventually after some pushing back does he get used to it and stop being so angry? I guess when they're older they'll make great leaders hahaha

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Himawarigirl Thu 18-Feb-21 11:02:40

My 19 month is like this. But really at that age I never had any expectation of being able to do stuff for myself while the kids were awake. My middle child would play more independently but my youngest is the same, playing happily and if I reach for a book or phone to do the shopping etc. he instantly gets annoyed.

Bringallthebiscuits Thu 18-Feb-21 20:45:13

@Welikebeingcosy yes, he has got better over the years, between ages 2-4. Less screaming/rolling on the floor kicking and more sulking instead when he doesn’t get his way nowadays!

Welikebeingcosy Thu 18-Feb-21 21:07:42

Haha sounds so cute. I can deffo deal with sulking. What is the transition between 20 months and having a two year old like? I'm so excited for it but also can't seem to find anywhere that tells me what to expect next.

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Bringallthebiscuits Fri 19-Feb-21 00:58:01

I can’t remember too well sorry, have blanked it out a bit! I think all kids are a bit different. There’s an explosion of words. Two was a difficult year for us but I think that was partly cos my son got very ill and that affected his behaviour and energy too.

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