2-year-old has meltdowns if not picked up - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 06-22-2013, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'd like to see if other people have experienced this or something similar with their 2-year-old: a few weeks ago DD started a routine of NEEDING to be picked up, but ONLY at very particular moments--when we're exiting a room or going inside the house after being outside, or when we're entering the kitchen. Yes, she follows me wherever I go 95% of the time. I cant figure out the cause of her desperation. She walks around and plays on her own just fine, its just those particular instances that makes her have meltdowns if i dont pick her up. I've tried talking to her about it when she's not in that state, but all she knows is that she's scared. If i insist on simply holding her hand instead of picking her up in those moments she will cry and scream the whole way. Should i just be consistent with holding her hand instead of picking her up? I dont want her to feel dependent on being held for no logical reason. However, i wish i could figure out what she's afraid of because i'd rather help her not be scared instead of just conditioning her to not expect to be picked up whenever she pleads for it. Any suggestions?
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#2 of 13 Old 06-22-2013, 04:09 PM
 
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It may be a short lived phase, and for whatever reason this is what she needs to feel secure or in control. My 2 year old has latched on to doing things herself and heaven help me if I try to help with a task that is clearly too difficult. I know it's different but it's insistent and has a similar dramatic importance. Over time it comes and goes. If I indulge her in her need for control, then at times it isn't as important to her and she'll tolerate assistance. I honestly don't think your DD would become dependent on being picked up for every transition, this is probably just something she's decided she wants to control. You could indulge her for a week or two and see if it peters out and if it doesn't, then maybe you could try picking her up and having that talk with her while she feels safe in your arms and asking if she wants to go inside all by herself. They change so quickly that I would try to roll with it as much as possible so she doesn't dig her heels in and make it a power struggle. I don't know if that's helpful but that's my take on it. I know I get flustered by some of DD's insistent behaviour but I try to remind myself that she's only 2 and isn't doing any of this to make my life difficult. It's a big world out there and sometimes the weirdest things help our kiddos make more sense of it or feel more at peace
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#3 of 13 Old 06-22-2013, 04:54 PM
 
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I think I would indulge this, too. Weird nonsensical things like this tend to be fleeting, at least with my DD, and indulging doesn't seem to prolong them.
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#4 of 13 Old 06-22-2013, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you both for the helpful advice! You're probably right that it is a fleeting thing, however, i'm hoping her strong will doesnt prolong the life-span of this pattern dizzy.gif I like your advice, sky, about not making it a power struggle--i've been feeling so frustrated about the behavior, wondering why she is so insistent about it, but maybe its just her way of wanting control. That does seem to be a typical toddler need. Thank you, i feel a bit better now.
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#5 of 13 Old 06-22-2013, 07:41 PM
 
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OMG! I could have written this post myself. My 2 year old has been doing the same thing! Just today a certain part of the sand on the beach caused him to cry and demand to be picked up. But it wasn't just one time. And there's a trail by our house that we have been walking for  way over a year  and all of a sudden when we get to this particular spot he starts to yell for me to pick him up. I don't know if the new flowers or ferns are scaring him or what and I wish I knew what it was. I feel bad for him and he's so heavy now too (28 pounds) and I have been in some compromised situations with a  demanding toddler to be picked up and something really heavy in the other arm. Suggestions? For me I just pick him up....lol

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#6 of 13 Old 06-23-2013, 12:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by tracyamber View Post

OMG! I could have written this post myself. My 2 year old has been doing the same thing! Just today a certain part of the sand on the beach caused him to cry and demand to be picked up. But it wasn't just one time. And there's a trail by our house that we have been walking for  way over a year  and all of a sudden when we get to this particular spot he starts to yell for me to pick him up. I don't know if the new flowers or ferns are scaring him or what and I wish I knew what it was. I feel bad for him and he's so heavy now too (28 pounds) and I have been in some compromised situations with a  demanding toddler to be picked up and something really heavy in the other arm. Suggestions? For me I just pick him up....lol

Yeah, it can be tough, especially on the back. My DD is about the same weight and its tough bending down, picking her up, carrying her around and then bending down to set her down, uggh, my back could use a break. I keep telling her "You're not a baby anymore, you're a big girl now so it hurts to carry you so much," but i dont think she really gets it. I think its good to say it, though, because eventually she'll get the idea.

I can understand how difficult it would be being out and already carrying something heavy. You could try holding his hand and insisting that he walk, he'll probably cry, though. Like the PPs said, its probably just a phase. Hopefully he'll overcome it sooner rather than later!
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#7 of 13 Old 06-23-2013, 04:23 AM
 
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My daughter is 47 pounds and still sometimes MUST be carried when she is tired!
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#8 of 13 Old 06-23-2013, 04:58 AM
 
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Human children have been carried a lot throughout history, it is part of our make up. I often read on the subject of child rearing and anthropology and they are carried a good amount until age three or four then gradually less to age five. Part of it is just being small too, my son is 3.5 and will say pick up!.... I don't want to get stepped on....if in a room of people.
But back to the norm, there are actually studies of hunter gatherers, from the 1940's through the 1990's and anthropologists study their child rearing patterns. Some of those detail the data just on carrying. It is fascinating info because it gives insight as to natural unhindered child rearing of humans since we were hunter gatherers for 99 percent of our history. Back to your question though, for whatever reason she is asking to be carried I would certainly try to, she seems to want and need it. Which seems very normal for her age.....at age 8 I might question it but two, seems absolutely natural behavior.
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#9 of 13 Old 06-23-2013, 05:13 AM
 
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Sometimes I am carrying my 30 pound 2 year old and my 47 pound 3.5 year old. I have a rule I don't do it down stairs though as they are too heavy together! They get the giggles over it.
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#10 of 13 Old 06-23-2013, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree that carrying is good for little kids, i dont doubt that at all. What i'm concerned about is what is causing the meltdowns because this isnt really like her. From what a few PPs said, this is probably just a phase, but i still wish i could figure out why because it seems so intense and pinpointed.
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#11 of 13 Old 06-23-2013, 03:16 PM
 
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My daughter sometimes will just declare she is too tired and doesn't want to walk down the stairs. She will cry and camp out at the top until I carry her down then she will run around and play. She is 3.5 now.
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#12 of 13 Old 06-23-2013, 06:47 PM
 
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Sounds like a fear period.  There's another thread ongoing about similar unexplained fear over getting in the tub.  Mundane, daily things that suddenly draw fear are part of fear periods that amount to developmental leaps at the end of them. You do what you gotta do to get through them without feeding tinto the fear. For something like this, I'd carry her but turn it into a fun thing.  Make a game out of going through the door while slowly getting her to to the floor for brief and then longer periods until she forgets about the fear aspect.

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#13 of 13 Old 06-23-2013, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, sassy, that is very helpful! I'll try to make it fun and then slowly put her down sooner and sooner, hopefully that will work smile.gif
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