Jump to content

Pressured to "be more flexible"
But my toddler isn't!


  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_divineM_*

Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:00 PM

My DD is nearly 22 months and I have always been pretty strict with her routine. By that I mean that she has particular mealtimes and sleep times and I try to stick to them. I have often felt from others that I'm not flexible enough. It's true that I'm lss flexible than other mums it seems but that's because I have had PND and sticking to a routine helps me cope. It's also because being flexible then has consequences which I end up having to deal with. On NYE I decided to be flexible and because we had plans with others DD went to bed at 9 instead of 7.30. What followed was a horrible night with multiple wakings culminating in her wanting to get up at 4! She was then very tired and had a crappy nap. To me a couple of hrs of flexibility which results in little sleep and a bad day to follow are just not worth it. Am I being difficult? And are other toddlers more adaptable and at what age?

#2 Country (deci)Mel

Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:11 PM

Is this your first?

I noticed observing my friends with wee ones that the friend who had a first baby who needed strict routines was considered the OTT mother whereas our other friend who had a #2 who needed a strict routine was able to say "He HAS to do it this way or all hell breaks loose!" (with nodding from the 3 year old 'big sister' to back her up) was cut some slack.
Her #1 was a portable, flexible, cruisey baby (still is).

If you and baby NEED routine then just keep repeating - "I'd love to come/stay/do it but messing around with this child makes all our lives hell.  We'll fit around you where we can for now ok?"

#3 steppy

Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:15 PM

Only you know what you are willing to put up with OP. Generally the people who want you to be flexible don't have to put up with the tired child temper tantrums the next day. It's probably better to get your child a little flexible here and there but again, totally up to you.

#4 DS1979

Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:15 PM

I think you should just do what is best for you and your child and not worry about what other think. After all, no matter what you do there will always be someone who thinks you should do things differently!

With my 1st child I was very strict on his routine; he would eat and sleep at around the same times every single day and it worked very well for us. With my second child I had to be a bit more flexible otherwise I never would have left the house! But even to this day (and mine are now 6 and 4) we are still very into routines and find that if the kids know what's coming next (for example, dinner, bath, books then bed) they respond better to it rather than just doing whatever.

That said, I know people who have never used a routine with their kids and they have turned out to be great kids but each to their own; having a routine works for us and our kids so that is what we'll stick with!

So to answer your question, no you are not being difficult at all. Different things work for different kids so go with what works for you and your daughter and it's a win/win in my opinion. original.gif



#5 bluecardigans

Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:16 PM

I have never had any routines for my two. We are all over the shop and bedtime can vary from 8 to 11pm. This works for us.  I have had comments in the past that I should create more of a routine for my kids.

Do what works for you and your family. original.gif

#6 Citylovely

Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:18 PM

My DD was the same at that age. I have always been quite routine based with her and it was/is because it's what works best for her. If she went to bed after 7, even by 15 minutes it would be a nightmare. It is only in the last month that we have noticed she can stay up a bit later if her day sleep is late (ie goes to bed a 2pm instead of 1). She is 27 months.
Do what's best for you and your family. Some of my friends found it hard to understand why we can't go out sometimes but it works for our family, luckily I'm the first in my friends to have babies so generally they don't know any different  happy.gif

#7 Summer love

Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:33 PM

Oh I hear you - and my little boy is 3.5! He has always been in a routine, but I am only strict on the bedtime part now - pretty flexible with day sleeps etc. Every time I let him go to bed late - the next 3 days or so are hell! Read - pressured by relatives on a number of occassions to let him stay up until 9.30-10, followed by a very cranky boy the next day. The thing with DS is he wakes at 6am every morning without fail, regardless of bedtime. Even if he is up until 11, he is still up at 6am.

The other relatives kids we had (aged from 22 months - 6) that were also up late, were all still sleeping at 9am, while we  had been up since 6. All I could think was why me? LOL I defintely think all kids are different, and some kids are more adaptable, and also some become more adaptable as they get older - DS definitely is more adaptable now than he was at 22 months, but still not as adaptable as some other kids his age. It is him who isn't flexible - not me!  

So, I am with you! Some people don't understand it is you that ends you dealing with the consequenses (SP?) the following day!

Edited by ally4281, 02 January 2013 - 12:34 PM.


#8 michie0moo

Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:41 PM

Are they actually saying it to you or you just "feel" that they think your aren't flexible enough? I'm not trying to be dismissive of your feelings but sometimes perceptions are inaccurate.

Some kids go great on a fairly strict schedule (evidently yours), others don't. No one is doing it "wrong" or "right", just right for their kids. We don't run to a strict schedule, but we do have some consistent patterns (e.g dinner, and then bath, story, bed), but they aren't at exactly the same time. It works for us and trying to run to a time never made a lick of difference and just drove me batty. On the other hand, we have good friends who do run to a pretty tight time frame. It works great for them but if they are at someone else's house, their kids are flexible enough that they can run the exact routine where they are and the kids go to sleep until their parents are ready to go home, when they get transferred sleeping to car and home.

For now OP, just do what works for you and decide which occasions you wish to "live with the consequences" for and which aren't worth it.

#9 HollyDocker

Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:47 PM

It really depends on how easily you can let the anxiety about tomorrow's problems go. It you aren't likely to have any fun because you are stressed out about the next day, then it's not really worth it.

We were pretty uptight about routines for DS1 and DD1, but by the time DD2 came along I just couldn't accommodate her needs in the same way because we had commitments for the other two, and we just sucked it up. Yes some nights and days are hellish, but for us that is the trade off for having something vaguely resembling a social life. I guess one day I realised that a tired, cranky child is not a broken one - it can be easily fixed by a few quiet, routine-d days.

#10 Cranky Kitten

Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:49 PM

I agree with those who say do whatever works for you. Some kids are comfortable with and thrive on routine, others are more laidback and happy to go with whatever - you know your child best and what works for them. They won't always be this small and eventually you'll be able to relax the routines a bit as they get older.

FWIW, DS is somewhere in between - some days he loves his routine/rituals and wants things to happen at roughly the same time throughout the day, other days he's all over the shop and wouldn't know a routine if it walked up and kissed him. I do have particular rituals however, that clue him in to what's happening - things like bath, then boob/cuddles and lullaby before he knows it's bed time. It seems to work for him even when the time or location of his sleep might be different.

#11 Liv_FERAL_sh

Posted 02 January 2013 - 01:03 PM

I used to get this a lot from people when they were annoyed that I wouldn't just pack up the twins on demand whenever anyone else wanted to see them.

My standard answer was - you think I'm too strict you take over from me for a week and see what you think at the end of that!

We had a strict routine for about a year, then just a set nap and bed time....now they are 3.5 and don't nap and over the break they had some pretty late nights and early starts and were fine!

Do what is right for YOU, bugger anyone else! It's not them sitting up with a grumpy toddler at 2 am so they don't get to have an opinion!

#12 riva99

Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:25 PM

I'm the do what works for you team too.

My boys are 4 and 2 and pretty much same routine every day. Birthdays, Christmas, day care, kinder, interstate visitors, vacations, etc all has to fit into the that schedule.

It is just easier.

I figure when they hit primary school they will probably be able to cope with some changes but until then why mess with it. It's not forever.

#13 Tigerdog

Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:35 PM

QUOTE
Generally the people who want you to be flexible don't have to put up with the tired child temper tantrums the next day.


Yeah but maybe the tantrums are due to the fact that a routine has been enforced from birth therefore the child isn't adaptable and reacts accordingly as a result of this?  But generally I do agree that a routine helps and I don't really like to be out mine either!

#14 Ferelsmegz

Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:43 PM

Whatever works for you I say!

My DS was pretty good... would sleep anywhere - if he was tired he went to sleep.. he had a routine but it could be adhered to anywhere.

DD... OMG.

If you did not start her 'going to bed' routine at 5:15 LATEST there would be hell to pay!

5:15 - 5:30 solids feed
5:30 - 5:45 - bath
5:45 - 6:00 - bottle in bed
6:00 - asleep.

That was it... end of story. You could try and do something similar when you were out - but she kicked up a hell of a stink!

Even now if we are out past 8 shes asking when its time to go home because shes tired... and shes 5!

#15 Escapin

Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:55 PM

We ended up with DD (20mo) up until 9pm on Christmas Eve. Let's just say that Christmas Day was f*cking awful and not an experience I wish to repeat EVER again. So yeah, we have a routine and while the day sleep can get pushed out by an hour, if she's not down by 6pm (5:30 is her usual bed time), then god help me.

#16 Guest_divineM_*

Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:21 PM

QUOTE (Tigerdog @ 02/01/2013, 04:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yeah but maybe the tantrums are due to the fact that a routine has been enforced from birth therefore the child isn't adaptable and reacts accordingly as a result of this?  But generally I do agree that a routine helps and I don't really like to be out mine either!

It's not that she reacts badly while the routine changes. She loved being out and about till patron NYE! It's just that she does not know how to compensate for lost sleep, won't sleep in or have a longer nap. So ends up super tired and cranky from it.

#17 EffiesMum172

Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:29 PM

.

Edited by EffiesMum172, 03 January 2013 - 06:03 AM.


#18 mumandboys

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:09 PM

I'm a big fan of routine OP, and I've had a toddler for the last 8 years or so.

I'm always home for naptime, and bedtimes are strictly adhered to (some flexibility with the older ones, but not when they were/are little).

For me, it works.  My kids are much more likely to be happy, we have less tired and grumpy faces, and now having 4 kids all with different developmental needs, I NEED predictability!!

I guess the downside is, it's hard to deviate when you want to - and you can't blame the child, given that you're raising them to expect certain consistencies.  For me the benefits way outweighed the occasional hassle.  But everyone's different.

Go with what works for you and your kids, and try not to worry about what other people think.  Opinions are like a-holes, and all that.

#19 beabea

Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:46 PM

As always it's give and take.

Some kids are definitely more adaptable than others (some adults, too). I think you'll find the evidence points to both nature and nurture (as with everything - proportions arguable and varying between individuals) but the "nurture" part takes time to kick in, and you have to be able to survive their natures in the meantime! Remember also (on the nature side) that the average kid follows certain developmental patterns, which include being routine-happy at around 18mo-3yo. It comes and then goes at least somewhat just with maturity.

Because of point a) above, it probably won't be like this forever (hopefully your PND won't, either) so try not to feel too much pressure. Especially if you have no firm evidence that people are thinking this way in which case it may be more self-criticism of the unproductive kind.

Alternatively, assuming your friends do have a problem with the way you're doing things, becoming more flexible may only be one solution and not necessarily the best one. Instead of taking a my-idea-or-theirs approach, perhaps you could respond by trying to more accurately define the problem and then work out a more mutually agreeable solution. You might be able to offer them a time or location that meets everyone's needs reasonably well (for example, inviting them over your place might work out better - and it's a solution which can only come from you).

If there's a really important event (like your NY party which you obviously thought was important enough) then you should absolutely screw the consequences and just deal with them later. I would be offended if I died and my best friend refused to attend my funeral just because it was her 2yo's nap time. Then again, I'd be dead, so maybe I wouldn't care. Anyway, it will often be less important to ask "should I be more flexible or not in general?" but "is this particular event worth the consequences?" Which is obviously what you're already doing, so, keep up with that.

If you have asked question one and decided the answer is yes, and you now want to nudge your child towards greater adaptability, one suggestion would be to do some pre-reading on techniques aimed at gently promoting adaptability and resilience. This is not necessarily a bad goal (I actually think it's a highly valuable thing) but it is a long-term one and in the short term I favour gentle nudging over giving everyone a nervous breakdown. (I guess I would always answer "yes" to the question "should I be working to help my child be as adaptable as possible, in the long run?" but this doesn't mean I ignored DS's leanings towards routine when he was younger).

In short, I think "bugger everyone else, please yourself" is as unhelpful as always, but neither should you cave to unfair and unreasonable demands and expectations. Everyone involved should try to appreciate everyone else's point of view.

Edited by beabea, 02 January 2013 - 11:54 PM.


#20 lozoodle

Posted 03 January 2013 - 10:12 AM

Just do what you feel comfortable, its your life original.gif

I was very much like that with my first, it helped me cope better I think. I had a struggle adjusting to parenthood.

With my second I was totally different as I soon realised if I revolved around routine for the kids I would never leave the house.

Just go with the flow and do what suits YOU.

#21 Guest_divineM_*

Posted 03 January 2013 - 01:00 PM

Thank you all for your replies. I know what the right answer is for me and my family. This was more of a vent I think. She is my first and like lazoodle I struggled to adjust to parenthood.


#22 Melanie_81

Posted 07 January 2013 - 01:23 PM

I too have/had PND and I found that a routine helped me cope with parenting (I think its also my personality type that prefers a routine too!). We found that we could be flexible up to a point - for example on NYE we went to a friend's house to stay the night, but DS1 still had his bath/bottle/book/bed routine and bedtime was the same as it always is. (Its helps that our friends kids had the same bedtime as well, so he wasn't missing out). However yesterday we decided to delay his nap, go to a friends house and put him down later to sleep at their house. The result? A short nap, a cranky toddler and an afternoon/dinner that wasn't much fun. I think some people's definition of flexibility differs from ours! The place of the nap may be flexible, but the time certainly isn't! Same with dinner. DS1 doesn't care where dinner is, as long as it is at the same time.
Good luck!

#23 Feral_Pooks

Posted 07 January 2013 - 01:34 PM

Oh how I hear you.

DS, until last week, wouldn't sleep anywhere but his cot. And ONLY if wrapped and ONLY with his dummy and ONLY if I did the going-to-bed routine with him and sit and pat him. Not in a pram, not in a portacot, not in the car, not in my arms, not in bed beside me, that was It. And the more tired he got, the less likely he would sleep. He would sleep well, but only with those conditions met.

He will now nap in the car for 20mins if exhausted. Sing Hallelujah!

He also has not handled car rides, although is starting to improve marginally on that front, I have driven an hour now without him screaming, in the past I had not gone longer than 15 without hysterics.

He also needs to be in bed by 8 or the next 24 hours are going to suck major... Round things.

I have lots of friends and family members who have not understood me when I insisted I could not travel 3 hours each way to visit them, could not go out for dinner with him and leave at 10, could not stay out all day at the shops...

I actually don't like routine, but I have learned to like it because DS likes it, and I like him not being a complete mess.

You do what works for you, OP.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

WIN an exclusive performance from Sam Moran!

To celebrate the release of children?s musical series Play Along with Sam, out now on DVD, we?re giving one lucky parent the chance to have Sam perform at their child?s pre-school or day care!

Toddler freed after getting trapped in escalator

A shopping centre escalator needed to be pulled apart to free a toddler's trapped hand.

Why I'm kind of excited about my daughter's nits

Is it weird to say that I am secretly thrilled to find that my daughter Edie has nits?

Baby born at 10:11 on 12-13-14

Well, it's actually 13-12-14 to us over here. But still, Clare Elizabeth Keane's consecutive numerical birth time is pretty special.

On holding tightly and loving fiercely

We can't live in fear. This post is about Christmas and how at this time we should be celebrating life and grateful for what we have: our loved ones who we cherish fiercely.

Babies, relatives and coping with Christmas day

Everyone will love your baby but your baby may not be so happy to be passed around a lot of new people - nor may you want to feed with an audience.

Why I won't be posting pictures of my baby on Facebook

There are pros and cons to this policy.

The myths and truths of gender swaying

Here are a few popular methods hopeful parents-to-be use to try to get a baby of their preferred gender – and what an expert says about whether they really work.

10 easy DIY Christmas decoration ideas

It's officially time to get into the Christmas spirit. Why not branch out when you put up your tree this year and add a personal touch with a few DIY decorations? We've found the perfect easy-to-make ways to put more festive fever into your home.

The dangerous new trend of glucose challenge test refusal

A dangerous trend is seeing more mothers-to-be declining a relatively simple and painless test to check for gestational diabetes.

Office of Fair Trading reveals naughty toys ahead of Christmas

The Office of Fair Trading has pulled seven toys from shelves ahead of Christmas after they fail safety tests.

Video: Baby boy's trouble with twins

These twin girls will no doubt have fun fooling people in years to come, but nobody will be as confused as baby Landon.

Long-term reversible male contraceptive on its way

Men could soon have access to an injectable long-term contraceptive which works in a similar way to a vasectomy but promises to be easily reversed.

'I tried to kill my baby': one mum's story

After bathing and dressing her three-month-old son, Amanda had a rare moment alone with her baby.

Attack of the 'mummy brain'

I feel that almost every day, someone in my life - be they a friend, family member or complete stranger - feels the need to excuse my behaviour as I have other things on my mind.

Mum of baby who fell ill after drinking raw milk speaks out

A Melbourne mother has described how her son turned grey when he became seriously ill after drinking raw milk.

Australian divorce rate lowest since 1976

Modern newlyweds are now well into their 30s and marriage still offers something powerful a new book argues.

The aftermath of a traumatic birth experience

In Australia, 30 per cent of women find their birth experience traumatic, with 6 per cent going on to develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Young mum burns 'from inside-out'

A young mum is in intensive care after she took a friend's antibiotic and wound up with an ailment that is burning her body 'from the inside-out'.

The disagreement that can break a relationship

If he doesn't change his mind, all I can hope is that I will. It would be a waste to spend the rest of my marriage mourning a baby that never was.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Co-sleeping or no-sleeping? Mum videos worst nap ever

One mother's futile attempt to sleep in caught on camera in a hilarious - and very cute - video.

Why children misbehave during the festive season

While we all like to imagine the holiday season as being a fun, loving and bonding experience; often our reality is quiet different.

I was fat-shamed by my doctor

The fear of being weighed is the most significant factor in women cancelling medical appointments - and now weight-shaming has happened to me.

End of an era: no more childcare

As we reach the end of 2014, we're closing the book on many things for another year, most notably childcare. Our last child has attended childcare for the very last time.

WIN an exclusive performance from Sam Moran!

To celebrate the release of children?s musical series Play Along with Sam, out now on DVD, we?re giving one lucky parent the chance to have Sam perform at their child?s pre-school or day care!

The 7-year itch is more like the 10-year itch: study

Contrary to popular belief, making it past the seven-year mark doesn't mean your marriage will be smooth sailing from there on.

Should children be forced to sit on Santa's lap?

We teach kids it’s okay to say no if they don’t feel safe, so why do some parents force their children to climb in to Santa's lap?

Stop telling us that parenting gets harder

I’m sure that parenting will get harder. But life isn’t exactly smooth sailing for many of us right now, either.

Baby born weighing almost 14 pounds

Yes, the bouncing baby girl was born by caesarean section. And mum says no more kids.

The dummy debate

I'm the first to admit that when I used to see tiny babies with dummies in their mouths, I thought "Hmm, lazy parenting." And now I apologise.

'I thought I was an only child'

Imagine meeting your double at a school sports event, or regularly being mistaken for someone you haven't met. Separated twins Margaret and Joy tell their story.

Carers admit to force-feeding children

As Sydney grieves the loss of Sydney siege victims Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson, reports have suggested that both died as heroes.

 

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.