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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son is 22 months this week. Generally, he is a very laid back and happy kid, although he has him mama's stubborn streak
. He goes to daycare 3 days a week and thrives on the interactions and stuff they do there. The problem? By the time we get home (about 4-430) he's exhausted but wants to keep going. He naps between 1230-230, but they are just so on the go before and after that it seems like by the time we come in for the evening, he instantly goes into total meltdown - tantrum, crying, throwing things, the whole nine yards. I *know* he doesn't like to come inside - he just loves to be outside - but that tantrum is usually solved quite quickly by distraction.

Last night, for instance, the whole 2 hour debacle seemed to be set off by one of his play tools not working the way he seemed to think it should (seemed fine to me, but I'm not a toddler! ) After he threw it across the room, I tried distraction, his dad came home from work even, but nothing seemed to work. He said NO to everything - no food, no water, no juice, no paci, no lovey, no special vids, he wanted NOTHING but to cry and scream it seemed! Of course, as the hour dragged into 2, his dad and I were feeling a bit tantrum-like ourselves, which I know just fed into it. A horrible, vicious cycle that we (thought) we finally got out of with holding him tightly in his cozy corner and turning on Elmo. That actually worked 2x, but then he went into meltdown again for no reason (apparent to us, anyway).

When he's like this, he doesn't want to be held, doesn't want us on his level, doesn't want us not to hold him.

Aside from keeping ourselves calm, and attempting to get him to eat before he's starving (which I think was also an issue), what am I missing? I don't want to just blow it off by saying it's normal toddler behavior, because really, for him, it's not. Any ideas out there?? Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Am I really all alone here?


Last night was better - we tried the soothing and when he didn't want anything to do with it, we ignored it. Still got dinner ready and attempted distraction. Eventually we were all able to eat. Dh and I were a lot more calm -although still very frustrated. He wanted to take him outside (ds wanted to play with his lawnmower on the grass, but that wasn't an option so close to dinner) after dinner, but I was finally able to get him to understand that giving in would not be doing us any favors.
 

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sorry i cant really offer you any advice just big hugs. do you think he could be releasing emotions that build up during the day but he doesnt feel secure enough to release at nursery so he tells you all about them.

maybe earlier frustrations or irritations that he didnt react to all come pouring out. i guess in the same way that if my dh had a bad day at the office he wouldnt storm around at tell his colleagues all abou it but would let off steam to me when he came home.

just a thought, my little one is 27 months and will be going to a nursery 1 morning a week in september so i guess i will have more experience of this then.

i just wanted to say i think that your son is lucky that you loved him and supported him through this and i am sure that in doing this he is learning that you love him and accept him and validate his feelings and are there for him no matter what not just when he is a cute smiling bundle of fun and that has to be great for his self esteem to feelloved and vlaued in that way.

i am sure it must be very tiring and frustrating but it really does sound like you are doing really well. the more time you spend with him during these times the better you will get to know him and the more he will learn to trust you and himself.

good luck i hope things ease up.
 

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DD is 21 months and has just started displaying this behavior and tends to happen after a daycare day. I am wondering if she feels a little lonely after being there all day. She really loves to go though.

I would also love some other peoples thoughts!
 

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It's hard when their little minds are so far ahead of their language skills. Sometimes the best I can do is hug and cuddle. Sorry I don't have any wonderful advice. I'm going through my third toddlerhood, and it's still a mystery to me!
 

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Our DS is just reaching 22MO next week, so our kids are the same age.


I WOTH 3 days each week and his beloved caregiver comes to stay with him - or sometimes we take him to her house. Previously, bedtime was FINE...DH took over a few months back...once I nightweaned due to pg pain and DS seemed to love his special time with daddy - in the bath, then reading, singing and finally snuggling with a bottle of milk.

But the past 3 or so weeks, DS has done nothing but SCREAM about bathtime...not wanting to take his clothing off. (So we let him wear his shirt for a while..) Then he shrieks for MAMAMMAMAMMA!!! and unless I go in to 'help' with bedtime, he tosses toys, pillows and books all around the room & at DH, who stays remarkably calm. It is awful, and also sad to see DH disappointed.

I just re-read some of the Dr. Sears Discipline Book last night for some guidance and was reminded about the stranger anxiety that rears up around age 2. In addition, our kids have realized they are separate, unique individuals from mommy and daddy. That is so scary, yet thrilling and then again terrifying and exciting and so on...back and forth.

Perhaps your DS is simply expressing his unnamed fear about being a different persona than you/DH. Perhaps he is telling you he is not getting enought CHOICES of his own to make during the daytime. (Dr. Sears talks alot about letting the child make decisions when given 2 choices - when you are okay with whatever option they pick) We started this and tonight went better at bedtime...less frenzy.... Kids definitely understand more than they can communicate at this age. Our DS has learned sign language which definitely helps him communicate more clearly with us.

We also have started teaching DS about the "last time" and "one more time" for things. So now, he holds up his index finger and looks at us seriously, asking for ONE MORE TIME. This has helped alot when trying to get him inside for dinner, or ready to pick up toys, etc. He seems to like that we take his request seriously.

I am going through a similar stretching of wings with our son, so I don't have much more to offer...Good Luck, and do share what works!
 

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Our 24 month old DS has evening meltdowns too. He doesn't go to day care but if he doesn't get his nap "on time" or to bed at the right time, he can get into a very upsetting meltdown. I wish I could give some good advice. I just try to get him to bed at the "right" time and if he does start tantruming, I will hold him (if he lets me) and try to distract with stories. Sometimes he doesn't want me with him and I sit on the edge of the bed or even leave the room, keeping my eye on him at the door. The solution varies, depending on the day. I don't think it's abnormal and I know it's upsetting. Yesterday DS was at a play date with my friend and her children - it was a special day for all of us - we hadn't seen each other in a year! DS didn't get a nap all day and was in fantastic spirits until we got home and he literally snapped. I felt awful - it sneaks up on you. I just tried to calm him, stroke his head, hold him, lie down next to him, etc. until he calmed himself down. I felt bad because it was my fault but on the other hand, it was such a rare treat to see these people. I'm not saying you're supposed to "blow off" this behaviour but I do think this is what happens at times with children at this age. I mean, you're not alone. It's upsetting, I know. Distraction and comfort and trying to avoid the triggers is my advice. I just try to do the best I can.
 
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