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How to handle the "repeats" and "what about me's"...

Three of our children are toddlers...Ages almost 4 (DS), almost 3 (ODD), and just-turned 1 (YDD). DS and ODD have gotten into this horrible stage where they BOTH ask me the same question over and over again, no matter how many times I repeat it, until I finally just say "Stop. I've already answered that question."..Of course 5 minutes later they are asking it again... And if I try to do something with ONE child, I get the "What about me, Mommy?" or "My turn Mommy!" (even if I've already done it with the other child, like when we play "airplane". Or when I read to them, they will think the book is only for one child, and then ask if I'll read it again to them, which isn't a big deal if they don't ask for the same book over and over for an hour. lol). Even when it's something like me feeding YDD, DS and ODD want me to feed them, too. And DS is now even acting like he doesn't know stuff that he knows (colors, shapes, letters) when I'm trying to teach ODD (and yes, I do include him--give him his turns without him asking). Like today, I was teaching ODD shapes and colors, and I stopped and started showing DS the chart, and I was like "Okay, what color is this?" and pointed to black. He goes "um, it's red". I kept going "No. What color is this? You know the color." and he named EVERY color he knew but black. So I put the chart away and he goes "It's black Mommy! I know it's black!" but he did it to EVERY color I tried with him. Same with his shapes (I pointed to a circle and he said Triangle).. Mind you, this is a boy that was evaluated a few days ago, that is just under 2 months shy of 4, and his intellegence is at a 5-6 year old level...And with ODD, she's acting "babyish" to get the attention that YDD is getting. If the baby cries, well, she has to cry. If I am holding the baby, she cries "Mommy, you need hold me!"... I do give them each lots of affection all day long, and I do special things with each of them for 1-on-1 time...So I don't know where it's coming from.

I know it's a stage where they want everything about them, and they want all the attention that the other children are getting, but how do I stop having to repeat everything 20 times? And how can I do/say something just once (or a few times) with each child without it turning into an all day event? It's really frustrating... I love my children to death, don't get me wrong. But it's really hard when I'm repeating myself ALL DAY LONG (words or actions). Ideas?

(P.S. Right now I can't do the whole Mommy/Child all day date thing--DH is gone for the next 2 weeks, and we are overseas, and the kids are never with babysitters...But any other ideas are welcome! I just want my children to be happy and for me to not get frustrated, because even though I would never tell them how frustrating it is, I'm sure there are times when they pick up on it, no matter how big of a smile I put on my face)

 
Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 11:06 AM on Mar. 26, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

This question is closed.
Answers (4)
  • When you are answering them, I would first say, I am only going to answer this question one time, if you ask it again, I'm not going to answer you. Explain to them that you are so proud that you are such a big boy (to your son...) and tell your daughter that she's a big sister and big sisters are very important....I would get her a baby doll, that she can be the mommy to....for example..when you are feeding your youngest, then tell your daugther to go get her baby, because it's baby feeding time! Let her occupy herself with "her" baby while your baby is eating... I would tell your son that big brothers need to set good examples, and that he is so smart that he can help you teach your others their colors and shapes...he might just get a kick out of that!! Good luck mom, I'm sure its deffinately a stage :)
    katieandchris01

    Answer by katieandchris01 at 11:12 AM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • I agree with Katie...don't repeat yourself. When my children started that, I answered at first, but if they repeated, I wouldn't answer or tell them I already answered, so stop asking. I never had a problem with my older kids acting like babies when youngest *at the time* was being fed...or with me "paying more attention to baby" than them. They knew it was time for baby to be taken care of and dealt with it. So no advice (oh, and there's only ~14 months between 2 youngest as well. I'm quite shocked it didn't happen with them).
    hopeandglory53

    Answer by hopeandglory53 at 12:31 PM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • Are there things that each one really likes to do that you could schedule with each one. The older ones get to play with play doh on the kitchen table while you play the youngest one's favorite game. The older two get to help you cook a treat while the little one naps... Each kid gets an art project for a grandparent for Easter.
    karischub

    Answer by karischub at 1:10 PM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • Thanks ladies!
    Katie--I do all of that....My ODD has TONS of baby dolls. Her favorite is a Cinderella doll.. I'll tell her to "Go get my grandbaby" (she calls the doll my grandbaby because my mom says "Hey, where are my grandbabies!" when she's on the phone. lol) and I try to get her to mimic what I'm doing...Doesn't fly. And DS doesn't want to teach ODD-.tried that, he ended up crying that he wanted to learn. *sigh*
    Hope--They USED to know that when I was feeding the baby that I needed them to do something else, but in the last month, that has totally gone out of their minds. lol.
    Karis--We do arts and crafts every day, and I always try to get them to play something fun. And we always make stuff for the grandparents for every holiday. They just won't stick with it unless I'm right on top of them telling them how great they are doing, so I can't do it while taking care of YDD.
    Anonymous

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 8:37 PM on Mar. 26, 2011