stubborn 2.5yr old. School pick up/drop off issue


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My 2.5yr old son is very stubborn and rigid on certain things. He likes his routine and not a tiny detail can be changed. He has been going to nursery for a few months before the summer, and usually, our helper dropped him off and I picked him up with my husband driving the car (he has been working from home, which might change and hence we want to change the routine this term).

Ultimately, we want him to be flexible with who drops him off and who picks him up and with me driving (I only started to drive recently, he has only been in the car a couple times with me driving and he hasn't been happy as he thinks only Daddy should drive - that's how things have been for all his life).

So should I do it in stages, e.g. first keep Daddy as the "driver", and get him used to helper pick up / drop off, then introduce Mommy driving and pick up /drop off. Or just mix it up every day and hope that he will be so confused that it's not routine anymore. Or just decide on one plan and stick with it, e.g. I drive and drop off, helper pick up. (I find that he is usually okay to switch from helper to me once a while but not vice versa)

He has been to school only 4 days so far (a few sick days) and every day it was a disaster after school if it's not "Daddy drive + Mommy pickup". He would cry and refuse to get out of the car, we dragged him out and into the house, and he would be hysterical and kicking and crying for 1-2 hours and the rest of the day is ruined as he would have skipped lunch and be in bad mood.

Maybe there's no good solution......any thoughts?
no, just do what needs to be done. if you give in now, he's won and will get exactly what he wants. you will be teaching him that this behaviour is (1) acceptable and (2) will alter your behaviour.

kicking and screaming and crying? he goes into his bedroom (with or without the door shut) and stays there with ABSOLUTELY NO attention whatsoever. every 10 minutes, go to the door and calmly ask "have you finished yet?" if no answer then simply walk away.

i, too, have a VERY VERY VERY strong willed daughter. she has been known to stay sitting on her bed screaming/crying for up to 2 hours. eventually, she tires of it and realises she's getting nothing of what she wants by this behaviour and when i go and ask "have you finished yet?" i will get a blabbering, "yes. i'm sorry mummy." and then she's allowed to come out.

you MUST stop this behaviour now as it only gets more difficult as they get older/stronger.

good luck. you ALL need to be on the same page and agree on how it is all going to be handled.
Hi Cara, I agree with your approach. Quick question, if I were to put my also very strong willed daughter in the bedroom, will she grow to associate the bedroom as a place of 'punishment' instead of a place of rest? Currently we have just left her where she is and announce that no one will be speaking with her until she says sorry ... She will sulk and refuse to back down, but will eventually after a very long deliberation, come out with a soft 'I am sorry'.

We wanted to have a time-out corner but can't seem to find a suitable one ....
I noted that my son would more easily accepts changes in his routine when he is informed before of who is doing what, who takes him to school, who comes back. Doesn't mean he says "yes, ok" everytime, but he has no surprise, and wouldn't make any more fuss.
no, neither of my kids associate being put in the bedroom as "punishment" per se. it is a "quiet" time to "think" about their behaviour... granted that the quiet time is rarely quiet. i chose the bedroom because i was able to close the door if need be. if she isn't screaming her head off, i leave the door open. if she is screaming/crying loudly for attention, i give her one warning to quieten down and then the door is closed. now that they are older, i am able to say, that i don't start counting their quiet time until they are just that... quiet. so the longer they scream, the longer they stay in the room. but this is fairly recent. since they became old enough to understand. now, they are more often than not put in their rooms for (1) fighting, (2) answering back, (3) generally being horrid monsters.

both of my kids are now not necessarily happy to be sent to their rooms for a break, but they both do it without much argument. it's take a LOOOOONNNNNNNGGGGGG time and a LOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTTT of patience on my part, but it seems to work. but you MUST do it the same way each and every time or else it fails.
i would do what is necessary and not let his tantrums decide what needs to be done by the adults - he's only 2.5, what happens when he is older? he will eventually get used to the fact that not only daddy drives and that all the people he is familiar with may in fact pick him up from school. wouldn't worry too much - just bear with the tantrums for now, but eventually it will get better. my older daughter (at one point) only wanted me to unbuckle her seat belt, now, after much struggle and patience, anyone can unbuckle - otherwise she just stays in the car when everyone else is gone (of course we are all still within eye sight of her!)'ve got to let your kid know who's in charge.
When he had a tantrum, I would let him cry or try to put him in his room. "try" because he can open the door himself. And he even try to open the front door to go back to the car.
Carang, so your kids are older now but they don't grow out of this tantrum thing, even with the approach you use? Does it get better eventually?
The last time he was like this was after he was home sick for a week and then start school again. After a few days he tantrum subsided. This time is also after a few days of cold at home and back to school. Perhaps I shouldn't over think or over strategize. I am just the type who want to come up with a solution!
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of course it gets better! but all kids have tantrums. my son had had about 5 tantrums in his entire LIFE (he's 6)....BUT i also use the approach for things other than tantrums.

my daughter (4) is VERY strong willed, as i said and has more tantrums than my son....but even so, she may have 1/month.
sorry, fogot to say that kids don't miraculously stop having tantrums (their way to deal with anger, frustration, sadness, etc) when they have their 3rd, 4th or 5th birthday. it is a gradual learning of how to deal with these emotions that eventually leads them to better ways of handling them. by offering a "non-punishment" time out/quiet time, you are helping that along.
On a side note, I am fast approaching 40 and I have tantrum too haha ... And often wish I could throw the toys out of the pram as well :)
me, too! i had a terrible tantrum the other day... surprised you didn't hear me from your house! LOL!
Hate to have to revive this thread -- how long does it take to "get better"?
My son have been having tantrum almost everyday after school since school started in Sept. (The last and first time he had tantrums like this was in June when he went back to school after home sick for a week) He had mostly accepted the driving thing, but he find other things to be upset with. The last two days, he cried over wanting a bottle for nap (he gets a bottle at night). I offered milk in cup, chocolate milk, etc, but NO he only wants bottle. He went on and on and scream for an hour. We didn't give him attention, left him in his room (sometimes have to drag him back to his room). after he calmed down, I explained things to him and he's completely ok as if nothing happened.
How long does it take to get better? weeks? months?
It's really stressful to deal with this every day. Also started to wonder if he doesn't like school, or somehow at school the crying ones get all the attention and he is copying? He is in nursery and the school is very laid back, mostly just playing. His teachers said he tends to play by himself at school. Is the school not stimulating enough? Again, I'm just ranting and maybe overthinking it.....
Hiya not sure if this is applicable to you, but I notice that when my daughter doesn't have enough sleep or is tired, she tends to 'act up' and be less obedient. Often times it coincides with after school hours when she is due her nap .....
School is only 9-12. And even no school days he nap at 1:30pm. He does get up early though, 6-7am. If it is tired, I can't make not tired so what can I do? Can't put him to nap right after school at 12:15 without lunch. And I wish he can sleep in later.....
Thanks for "listening"!
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why not prepare something for him to eat in the car like a sandwich or some veg stick and bread? then he CAN sleep immediately when he gets home... then when he wakes up he can have a snack?
I will reckon he is tired. Mine wakes up at the same time too, and by noon she will be tired. In anticipation, we will have her lunch ready as soon as she is home and it will be an efficient affair and straight to bed after.
Try prepare him mentally in advance - talk to him in advance and 'agree' with him who will pick up n who qill druve etc. My son (2.5yrs) was also used to helper sitting next to him and one time grandma wants to sit there ( easier access as we have a 7-seat van) he threw tantrum! We gave in to stop the drama, Next day in private i 'talk' to him and tell him sometimes xx sits here and xx sits there etc. He fully accepted it, and sometimes repeats it to me. Thereafter he has no problem with who sits where. :)
I always think that sleep is more important than food. If my kids are sleepy, they won't eat well anyway. Better to let them get that rest and then have lunch at 2pm (or even 3pm ;) ).