Fussy When G-ma Is Around

Updated on March 10, 2009
R.J. asks from Billings, MT
6 answers

My 18 month old little girl is only fussy when my mother enters the room.(there has some confusion this isn't a fear fussy, it is a regressing back to a 6 month fussy) She is usually very happy and playful when me or my husband is with her and I am a stay at home mom, so why is she like this around Her? I mean it is night and day when she just walks into the room! She moves past the fussiness and straight into full blown screaming until my mother picks her up! Not to mention we have been working with breaking the pacifer habit and when my mother "cuddles" her she even has to have her pacifer! This is crazy and driving us nuts! We can't even go to the store with her and g-ma unless g-ma carries her the whole time! Also my mom lives in our basement so it isn't like she rarely she her she sees her everyday and on days off. Help make it stop!

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So What Happened?

I appreciate the advice, but like you said it won't matter until g-ma says no. And well, aside from her complaining about how she has to carry her all the time she doesn't understand how she has in anyway made this problem herself!!!! I don't think I will ever get parents! And I thought in-laws were bad! Thanks for the advice though I really appreciate it!

More Answers



answers from Denver on

My son, 20 months, was really whiney with me, but not my husband who stays home with him most days. I came to realize that he was whiney because I put up with it. When he was crying after being told no or because he wanted something he couldn't have (like being picked up), I'd wouldn't give in to his demand, but I would give him attention. I didn't want to hear him crying. When I stopped giving him attention and made it clear that his whining was bad and wasn't going to get him what he wanted, he stopped. Tone of voice was very important- I would say "no, I'm not picking you up right now" in a very firm way and that was it. No more explaining, no more trying to get him to cheer up or distract him. If he crumples into a little ball of pathetic mush on the floor at my feet, I'd ignore him. In fact, I made a point of leaving the room for a minute. It was very hard, but it didn't take long and he stopped. When I tell him no now, he might protest for all of 3 seconds and then he's fine. He knows that no means no with me.
This is up to Grandma. She needs to not give in to the crying- afterall, why would your daughter stop if she gets what she wants that way? and even negative attention is attention, which kids crave. Grandma needs to not pick her up on demand and be firm about telling her to stop. She'll get the message, but will Grandma? My mom spoils my kid rotten, so good luck to ya on that!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

She cries to be picked up because she knows it will work--Grandma will pick her up eventually. As difficult as it will be, let her cry it out instead of having Grandma cave in and pick her up. It will only take a couple of times, and she'll realize crying won't work to get her what she wants. Grandma can give her attention in other ways (reading a book, talking to her, bending down to give her a kiss, etc.). Just don't give in! When she is crying, just remember, "It will be worth it; it will be worth it..."
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Time outs are not a good idea for this. She does it be grandma give in. Don't pick her up, even if she throws a fit. It will stop. But don't punish her for it. She won't understand why she is being punished. Your mom can just tell her "Grandma will give you a hug, but I won't pick you up. You are a big girl." But make sure there are good times for cuddling with Grandma. You don't want your child thinking that grandma doesn't want to cuddle with her. She just isn't going to carry her around everywhere. But stop giving in and it will stop. Pretty quickly.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boise on

Grandma is going to have to be the one to put her foot down now. My mother-in-law lived with us for 3 months and my son did the same thing around her. She finally had to say no. No to picking him up and putting him in time out when need be. Then he realized that he couldn't get away with being naughty around grandma and he stopped. It did take a little bit of time and grandma can't give in. That would put you all back at square one again. Hope this helps!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Spokane on

An 18 month old is still a baby in many ways and should not be expected to act like an older child. She loves her g-ma and the time she gets to spend with her. Perhaps she is afraid of g-ma leaving again. You might try making sure she gets some special time with g-ma regularly...reading a book would be a great transitional activity because she could still have that cuddle time but would be focused on something else. If g-ma appears and it is not time for their activity then explain that to her and ignore any unpleasant behavior that may follow. It's important to send children the message that expressing their feelings is ok but an 18 month old just can't understand and learn yet how to express their feelings in a more appropriate manner. Time outs will only send the message that she will get in trouble for expressing her feelings to her mom or grandma.



answers from Denver on

Kids go through periods of not wanting anyone but mommy or daddy. I would say the best thing is not punishment but to give your mom and your daughter one on one time alone. Have Grandma have some fun new toy and sit on the floor and play with her. Alone, without you around. She just needs that level of comfort with grandma. Has your mom gotten stern with her ever or disciplined her? Kids have a instinct of knowing sometimes too if someone is a kid person or not. Have your mom do something fun and interactive with her.
DO NOT pick her up, she realizes that if she pitches enough of a fit you will carry her. Just reassure her, give her some love and hugs but do not pick her up. Tell her she can hold your hand, come with you around the house but don't carry her. She just needs to feel safe and comfortable around your mom and if she sees your mom as being fun, loving and secure to be around she will start opening up more. All kids go through periods like this.

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