Worn out mommy needs advice...
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  1. #1
    Registered User Raiquee's Avatar
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    Unhappy Worn out mommy needs advice...

    Hey all. I have a four year old and a one year old. I am having some issues with my one year old training me, and need some advice on how to break it. Our living room/dining room is gated off, and baby proofed. So this is where he spends most of his time. He's a great baby if I'm in the room. He plays with his toys and essentially ignores me. But the minute I get up to hop over that gate to get something out of the frige (still in eyesight mind you) he has a screw lose and SCREAMS like I'm killing him. And i mean screams. And it's not to just me, it's at daddy, and big brother too. The minute you are back in the room, he's playing with toys again like you don't exist. He never wants me back in there for playing, just seems like he wants me around. It also doesn't matter if someone else is walking around outside the gated area and I'm inside with him. He still screams. It's driving me and my husband nuts.

    I've tried placing him in a time out chair facing the corner and the minute I put him in there he stops. So, I wait a few moments then approach him to tell him why he went on time out, and he sees me and screams! So then I don't want to take him out of timeout. It's almost like timeout works in reverse for him lol. I've also tried just ignoring him but he never seems to give it up. One time I put in earplugs just so I could clean my entire bathroom, and even then, afterwards he was still screaming in the living room.

    I eventually give in and sit in the living room but I seriously CAN NOT get anything done with him around. I give in because I wonder what the neighbors think, and also because the screaming makes me angry, and I don't want to act out in anger at him. I know I am just creating a beast by giving in.

    Any tips, tricks, pointers? I am so tired of this, and my house is too!
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  2. #2
    Moderator nuisance26's Avatar
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    ~That sounds eerily similar to how my ds was as a baby. His attention span was fantastic but he always seemed to know where I was at all times and if I was just a little bit too far away for him he'd get really upset. And then when I came back to try to calm him he'd act like he was mad at me. We were both so relieved every day when daddy came home. DS has anxiety issues that we didn't know about at the time. Anxiety disorders are difficult to diagnose in small children. We just thought he was was a fussy kid. My DS started exhibiting this behavior right away as an infant. If your DS has only recently started this behavior you can probably chalk it up to separation anxiety, which almost every toddler will go through.
    Have you thought about giving him a small dust brush or rag and have him clean along with you?~

  3. #3
    Registered User zakity's Avatar
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    I moved as a "conglomerate" for years. My guys "helped" me with whatever I was doing.

    He might be a little too young to "help", but what about putting him in one of those stationary walker things (or a real walker if they still have them), a johnny jump up/jumper thingy, a playpen, or some other child containment system. He can sit there and eat a few cheerios and play with a few toys while you clean this or that. He can be in the room with you and you can get your stuff accomplished.
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    Get a play pen and put him in there when you need to do something. Let him scream, it wont hurt him. I know it is easier said than done. When you give in and go back and sit with him, he has won the game. He will learn soon enough. This is not uncommon for that age.

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    Registered User mamamia's Avatar
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    Awww! First of all HUGS to you. Every mommy knows it gets a little (or alot) frustrating sometimes! But believe me, this phase too will pass. In the meantime, if it was me, I would definetely go with zak's advice. Right now he obviously just needs and wants the security of your and his daddy's presence. It's sounds like it's almost as though he feels that the "gated area" you've created for his safety, is in his mind, his own little world, and he absolutely doesn't want his "people" straying from it....kwim? But who knows why it's happening. After all he's only a 1YO, and I honestly doubt it'll last long anyway. Sometimes you just have to go along with his needs best way you can to save sanity. I'm pretty sure it won't make anything worse if you do so.

    Hang in there! Time flies, and this phase will fly by with it! And remember, there's always a shoulder here to lean on when you need it, ok?

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    Registered User khaski's Avatar
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    Oh, as a Mom of 3, do I feel for you! You have gotten some great suggestions, one more I have to ad....do you communicate with him what you're doing, and that you'll be right back? It won't stop it, but repeated over time, he will understand your 'absence' is temporary. I understand the temptation to try to 'sneak' off to do somehting as quick as g to the bathroom, but I think such tactics only make a child with separation issues worth. Make a point to clearly let him know you're going to the other room and be right back, and perhaps with time he'll learn to trust that.

    Kudos though- as little consolation as it is, it means you have a child who is VERY attached to you, which means they've had lots of love and attentin from you. I hope this phase passes quickly for you!


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    Sounds very similar to what my daughter did from 7-1/2 months to 15 months old, except your guy doesn't sound as bad. She had seperation anxiety and thankfully outgrew it. Her seperation anxiety was really, really bad...cried and carried on if I walked out of the room and left her with ANYONE--including DH! I couldn't be more than 2 feet away from her (if someone was in the room) without her freaking out!

    Other than keeping him near you at all times to help him feel safe and secure, I don't know what to suggest. I don't think he's training you...I honestly think he thinks he needs someone near him to feel safe.

    I agree with the PP not to sneak away. He needs to know there is always someone nearby and that all is well. He'll definately outgrow this!
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    Registered User BlissMommy's Avatar
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    He will definately outgrow this and I have an 18 month old who is also a screamer. Even having 4 other children of various different dispositions did not prepare me for her. If anyone says No to her she screams, if she has to wait she screams, and she is a major whiner. I love her to pieces, but she is definately my most challenging child.

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    Registered User MissSeetonFan's Avatar
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    I like the constant talking to them. Telling them what is going on will eventually reassure them. Reminds me of one of my favorite memories with a friend's child. We were going to the pasture to see the horse and she ran off ahead, yelling, "Be right back! Be right back!"

    It has helped with my kids. Even now, my most challenging child, very similar to BlissMommy's, is four and a half. When we take her out of church or anything else because of misbehavior, if we keep up a running commentary about why we did it. "We told you if you did x, we'd do y. You did x, so we are doing y." Over and over along with, "if you do a now, we can go back and enjoy things."

    This is also for an older child, but my husband has started counting every time dd screams or says "No." or whatever. Drives her nuts but points out that it isn't appropriate and that is why timeout or the punishment is still continuing.
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    Registered User mommy4ever's Avatar
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    That is hard to deal with. My dd13 was like that, wouldn't even go to dad. You have to tough it out. Explain you are going to the bathroom and will be back when you're done. Leave the door open a crack so you can talk to him.

    Same with everything else. Now, I had to put dd13(then 1..lol) in a crib to get things done if she was really losing it. It didn't take long for her to realize that I'm not quitting, that she isn't the boss. Maybe a few weeks. But it subsided. I could roam the house and not have the major tantrums going on. It drove dh crazy, but really, there was nothing wrong other than her needing to learn with separation.

    I run a daycare as well, and I currently have a 1yo that is doing the same thing. She wants to be where I am 100% of the time. And about 95% of the time, I am there. However, bathroom trips and cooking are 2 times she cannot, and it's tough. She'll follow and needs to be told no. She doesn't like it. I will pick her up and put her amongst her toys, and firmly tell her no and walk away. She will cry for a moment, and sometimes I need to repeat the action. But it is now, easing off. She is realizing I'm right there, she'll babble to me, and I talk to her. And she is getting much better. But reality is, no one can be glued to 1 child 100% of the time. It's a really tough stage, but they get through it and are typically happier for it, as they learn some independence. Who wants to scream every time some one leaves the room?
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  11. #11
    Registered User zakity's Avatar
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    I got out the potty chair and put it beside the toilet with the first one. I would put him on the chair (fully clothed, just used it as a seat) and read to him while I was using the toilet. I would also tell him why I was in there and that was the place to put your pee and poo. I don't know if that is the reason or not, but he potty trained himself at 2 and was completely potty trained by 27 months.



    Side note: He potty trained himself because his twin brothers were born right after he turned two (like just weeks after). I was busy with infant twins and we had nursing difficulties. I couldn't take him potty or remind him to go. He did it all on his own (except the wiping of the butt thing).
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    Registered User GirlBoyGirl's Avatar
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    Sorry you are stressed! Hugs to you! I have 3 toddlers so I feel ya! First of all, you cannot put him in a time out just because he was crying for you. Thats completely inappropriate and developmentally, is pointless. Its not going to do anything but make both of you more upset. It sounds like he is having separation anxiety, which is completely normal and hopefully just a phase. Until it passes, you are just going to have to deal with a messy house. Heck, my house is always messy. I always complain to DH that I can't get anything done but really, that is ME setting my expectations too high, which isn't fair to my kids.

    This is a really good blog and she has some good posts about separation anxiety and also establishing something called blanket time, which teachers them to play independently.

    Chronicles of a Babywise Mom: blanket time

    Chronicles of a Babywise Mom: separation anxiety

    You can practice him getting okay with you leaving. For instance, leave the room but say first "mommy is going into the kitchen but I will be right back" and then leave for 10 seconds and come right back. Then maybe work up to being in another room but still in his line of sight.

    Well anyway good luck and hang in there!
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  13. #13
    Registered User Raiquee's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions everyone, and those blog links were nice. I believe he does have a small form of separation anxiety, but the only thing that makes me think he's training us, is I can leave him with anybody to watch him and he's no worse for wear. Also, I can be in the living room with him, and his brother can go and he'll scream. I will tell him it's ok, mamas still here and he pushes me away and still screams.

    Sadly I can't really take him with me to clean. Only the living room/dining room is baby proofed, and he's a stinker. I would baby proof the rest of the house but we are moving so we don't want to drill into the cabinets for locks and such. I tried placing him in a playpen but he still screams, even with me in front of him.

    I would let him scream it out, but really he almost never stops. I mean, I can't deal with my kid screaming for 45 minutes and not letting up. I used to let my older one cry, and he'd be done in 10 minutes. I also started with time outs very young with my older one, and I have NEVER had the older one have a throw myself on the ground temper tantrum. This one, he's a tough one. I think he's going to be my throw myself on the ground temper tantrum kid.

    Sigh. Just frustrated. He's such a doll...except for screaming!!!
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    Registered User mommy4ever's Avatar
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    I totally understand. DD13 was like that, I used to bring her where I was, well, showering became a challenge as even the shower curtain was too much separation, but she was anxious about ME, anyone else was fine. My others had issues with the fact of some one leaving the room was upsetting, didn't matter who, it just was. Keep trying, it's going to pass, but as you said, he's controlling. Break up your cleaning in spurts, not 45 minutes, but 10 minutes. Or even 5, if you set a timer, you'll be surprised how much you can do. You have to deal with what you are comfortable with. He does need to grow past it, but it might not be time.
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    As an experienced mom of 3, I have been in your shoes more than once.

    First, I don't think time outs will work like they should with a 1 year old. They just don't. He doesn't understand why or what you are talking about. I never ever used time outs until my kids were at least 18 months old if not 2 years old. It sounds like a bit of separation anxiety, you will have to learn to leave him screaming if you want to get anything done or go out. Some of the things that worked for my kids was: letting him know that you are going to the Fridge and be right back (don't baby talk him, just talk to him), Tell him that his sibling is right there and you will be right back. What worked the most for us was this: talking across the house to him. I don't know why it worked but it did. Also, if I was cleaning the bathroom or a bedroom I would put a baby gate on the door of the room I was working on and let him go up and down the hall way. I understand that what worked for us may not work for you but these are suggestions that I came up with.

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