Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Meltdown mode....

Sigh. This is gonna be one of those posts.

I know I recently posted a pretty sunny home ed post. All's well in that department, true enough.


We are slightly at our wits end where our youngest boy is concerned.

We are peace-loving souls, and we treasure and adore my boy.

We really do.

But I just don't get the toddler rage thing. Even more so now he is actually almost four!

I think to myself c'mon, what have you even got to be in a rage about? How dare you be so.... ragey? When we are spending so much time trying to be nice, committed, and involved parents?

He is soooooo impatient it is untrue.

If something doesn't happen really quickly for him he just boils over straight away -Total meltdown.

If we serve him a drink and he doesn't have the exact right cup he'd had in mind - total meltdown. If the juice isn't the right one, or at the correct strength, or say, temperature - Total meltdown. If we want to go out and he wants to stay in - Total meltdown. If we cook him something he doesn't like - Total meltdown.  He'll spend ten minutes having a total meltdown demonstrating his displeasure and dissapointment with us, for serving up food that is not to his liking..... then have an even longer paddy when we feed it to the dog, an hour later, telling us that actually he really really wanted it. He has a total meltdown if his say, his sock or T-shirt gets a tiny bit wet, or his seatbelt isn't just so, or his hair is annoying him.

Basically, he has a meltdown twenty frickin' times an hour, over every little thing that doesn't quite work out for him like he'd want. And he's been like it now for months.

I've gotten used to living with him like this - demanding, crying, getting stressy about things that seem really petty and even illogical. We try to be respectful towards him, rational, reasonable. We try to be cool headed. We try to explain that we are sorting x,y,or z, to please be a bit more patient with us, that he can have something in a minute, or why he can't have something, or why we are doing something he doesn't want to do.

The other day I lost it though. He refused to come on a family bike-ride, and called us stupid dum-heads.

That really flipped my switch.

I'm starting to really wonder how the hell to help this angry kid, without giving in to every whim and being bullied by him. He's acting like one of those kids off Supernanny or something.

How did this happen? We are nice people. We are kind. We try to be gentle, patient, supportive. We try to give the kids a lot of freedom in how they choose to spend their time. We are a close family generally speaking, sharing a lot of laughter and cuddles. Pete and I get on fantastically, rarely argue, love each other like crazy. Are mostly pretty light-hearted and easy going.

The older guys were never this hard work. We'd spend hours and hours playing on the floor together, doing toddlerish things. Building train-tracks, painting, playing play-dough. They all went to nursery in some form or another and liked it. The break from home seemed to open their world up a bit, giving them a chance to play with different kids and toys and liven things up a bit. Alf refuses point blank to have anything to do with nursery at all. So here we are at home.

He seems to be really grown up in so many ways. He hates anything toddlery. Didn't like being a baby. Was always looking onwards, trying to break into the next stage, fidgety and restless to be bigger.

Being the fourth boy, he has had a different kind of set-up - he has three older brothers who he wants to join in with. He wants to be just like them. He wants to play Lego and Pokemon and big boy stuff. Storytime or playing board-games with mummy is usually refused, since he would prefer doing things with his brothers.

The activities that he will do with me, like baking a cake, or something physical, are often spent bickering. He whinges and whines his way through so many activities with me that sometimes its easier to give up and walk away. Let him go on the computer like he wants to do. Or watch something. Or just jump around.

Some days I feel pissed off that he is so demanding about everything. So fickle. So impatient. So determined to resist any reasonable request I make. To test me and push me on every frickin issue.

Do you have a child that complains and bitches the whole time no matter what you do for them?

Please someone out there tell me they have a toddler that is driving them batshit crazy!


  1. Oh yes Paula, we have two younger ones like that! Demanding, determined , stroppy and then with emotions out of control. This is compounded by the intensity of home ed, we had serious meltdowns in Sainsbury's today, elderly onlookers rolling their eyes!!
    I just try to remind myself how well our little ones actually do to keep up with everything that goes on around them, and if they didn't shout up loud....they wouldn't get heard .
    Sam xx

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you xxx

  3. Been there... more than once... my best advice is that it wont last forever. I normally find these things go on and on and on until you reach the point where you simply cannot possibly cope with it any longer... and then they move on to the next phase!! You are a great mummy, you have far, far, far more patience than I ever could dream of. You are doing a great job hunny xxxxxx

  4. We mamas are funny aren't we? I look at you as a model of patience, and wonder how i can learn to be as patient as you. And there you go, saying the same thing about me. Perspective is a funny thing!

    As if by magic, Alf had a break from raging today and has actually been pretty patient on the whole, less grrrr about things. Some days are better than others!

    I really apprecite both of your comments ladies.... nice to know two wonderful mamas who I look up to feel the same way too sometimes!

  5. not constantly, but yes it happens :) reminds me a bit of my oldest. Do you know of Simone De Hooghs work with overexitable children? Maybe there is something to get from that. Look up
    xxx Tine

  6. Have you read 'The Explosive Child' by Ross Greene? Well worth a read- some children just don't respond to the normal forms of discipline and you need to take a different tack. Good luck. It's hard if you are walking on eggshells every day!

  7. Hey Tine - I met Simone at HESFES this summer and instantly loved her! I am definitely interested in going to Powerwood next year - am in talks with a natural parenting magazine about doing some kind of article about her. She's fab! Hmmmm, the explosive child - that sounds really interesting Yvonne! Thanks for taking the time to visit and leave a comment - much appreciated!

  8. Just read your next post, so I see everything has calmed down a bit.
    Ella used to have a 'thing' about certain things - like the way you put her socks on, or only eating things of a certain colour! I read a great book called Raising your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka which really helped. Read the characteristics in the 'look inside' on Amazon and see if that doesn't describe Alf to a tee!

  9. I'm getting a great reading list together from people's suggestions, thank you Julie! It will be good to read some compassionate and helpful books which will help us to help us understand where Alf is coming from a bit more, and help us cope with his sensitivities a bit better. I can't imagine Ella being fussy and stressy - she is so sweet and calm and together!

  10. did you see the ecard I posted on my 'september something post? The batshit crazy one? yeah thats my life too, everyday my boy (admittedly not a toddler anymore) makes an effort to push me as close to the edge as he can .... or so it seems. I have no words of advice, for I've not worked it all out myself yet, but only to say you are not alone! Keep on keeping on hun, we will have earned sainthood by the time our kids have flown and grown! One book I chanced upon on my shelf from a while back is the Sears and nsears discilin book .... sounds alarming but it is actually full of good solid suggestions and background on what causes these episodes X

  11. I know the card you mean, I nearly pissed myself laughing at that one! Rose, from my heart, thank you. Thank you for speaking up and saying me too. It's comforting for me to hear this from such gorgeous mamas xx

  12. Absolutely been there, still there to some extent. For mine it was worst when he was 4 turning 5. Now he is 5 1/2 and he is getting more comfortable with himself. He is definitely more sensitive than the average child, and so is his older sister.

    I haven't read the Spirited Child but it's been recommended to me several times. I have been reading numerous online resources for parents of "gifted" children and although I don't like the term and am not ready to subject my shy children to any length time with a stranger in order to earn a label, I do find comfort and guidance in their stories and advice.

    It's all a reminder to me that home education IS the right choice for my two sensitive/creative/bright children.

    Thanks for sharing your story!

  13. Gosh yeah I know what you mean - having them find who they are on comfortable territory is one of the best pluses of home ed, for sure! Interestingly we just had a houseful all weekend and he was so distracted by everyone that he didn't have any meltdowns at all. So maybe that's the trick, to keep really busy and sociable and just hang out more often than we currently do, with a bigger group of peeps! Then he won't have time to have meltdowns cos he'll be happily distracted. I'm going to have to get better at getting everyone out the door - at the moment it takes at least an hour to get everyone ready to go anywhere!!! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your own experience Jackie! x