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Why does my daughter keep crying when at home?

Q: I am a working mother of a 2-year-old girl. We keep her in creche from 9 AM to 6 PM. She is happy in the creche and is used to it. She is an active and happy-go-lucky girl. She does not like to stay at one place and is on the run as long as she doesn't sleep. We have to run after her for feeding her, etc. She has started talking and has picked up words and sentences we say. We have noticed that she has become stubborn and cranky. She cries most of the time, for no reason and lies down on the ground when her demands are not met. When she cries she doesn't want me to comfort her. I feel very bad. When she is not asleep, she remains in my husband's arms only. She wants me to hold her in my arms even while I am doing my daily chores. When I ask her to step down, she starts throwing tantrums and cries. She wants to do everything on her own, like eating food, etc. She is always run after me wherever I go. She wants my husband and me to sit in one room, and if we leave the room, she follows and does not stay there. How should I comfort her? I try to play with her, distract her and sing to her, but all in vain. Sometimes I lose my patience and hit her. How can I handle her? Should I shout at her or ignore her while she is crying? If I pay attention to her, she starts screaming and shouting more. All this has started only few weeks back. She is very happy when we take her out but as soon as we come back home, she starts crying.

A:I am glad to hear you have a lovely child, who also enjoys her crèche experience. However, children never do things for no reason at all. There must be a reason, which you will have to be patient to find out. However, two plus is the age when children test out their limits. Gessell, a Yale University Psychologist had coined the terms – "The terrible Twos" and "The trusting Threes" suggesting that a two year old is difficult to handle. In a few months, the situation will change. Between two and three is also the time children realise that they have an identity separate from their parents. They are very attached to the parents and want to be close to them. Her strong attachment to her parents is a positive trait Since the child is at the crèche from 9 am to 6 pm, it seems reasonable for her to want you to hug her and hold her for the few waking hours she has access to you. But you can make a game of it and create a fun way of dealing with her. When you are cooking, give her some malleable dough and let her make little chapattis. They will be of every shape and size, but you could cook them and eat them too. Give her a chance to do things and her tantrums will disappear. But if they persist, check it out and make sure she does not have any health problem. Sometimes a temper tantrum that is ignored will subside on its own. But you should have good judgement on when she is in real distress.


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