Getting toddler out the door

My son is almost 2.5yo and is very interested in dictating what he does, doing everything himself, and throwing tantrums if one little thing goes wrong. I can normally deal with the outbursts, whining and tantrums, but when we have to leave the house to go somewhere it gets ridiculous. We have a pretty consistent morning routine and I’ve lately taken the “Positive Discipline” advice of talking about the routine before it happens and asking him “okay, what do we do after breakfast?” to make him feel more autonomous. But almost every morning he has multiple tantrums and it’s really difficult when I’m trying to make it to daycare and work on time! I usually end up sternly telling him what he needs to do “right now!” or picking up his limp or flailing body to wherever he needs to be (at the breakfast table, on the potty, in his room getting dressed, etc.). Any advice for making the morning routine smoother and quicker? Or maybe I should just stop dreaming about being at work on time?

  • Anonymous
    Oct 29

    Following. My 2 year old is the same 😩 I’m 28 weeks pregnant so the days of me dragging his limp body need to end soon lol only thing I’ve found that works to get out the door is letting him pick ONE toy to bring in the car with us. That’s all I’ve got lol

  • Jenn
    Oct 29

    This won't help the tantrums, but maybe you will be less stressed. Getting up a little earlier? I know that sounds terrible, but maybe if you can get him up 15-30 mins early, the morning won't be so rushed and he can have a little more wiggle room to do some things he wants

  • B
    Oct 29

    We started getting my 2.5 year old up earlier. It helps to have the buffer (or to accept this is how long it takes...). She also decided to wear her clothing to sleep, which has been AMAZING. No more fights about getting dressed.

  • Jennie
    Oct 29

    What are the tantrums about? If you can plan ahead, do it. For instance, if it's about clothes or shoes - lay them out the night before. If it's that he wants to do things himself, do it "together" as in "You put the shoe on and I strap the velcro" or "you buckle the top buckle and I buckle the bottom". If he flat out doesn't want to do something that needs to get done, make it a game... I personally like "Announcer" like it's a sporting event "Johnny is getting his jacket, ladies and gentlemen, prepare to be amazed .. he grabs his jacket off the hook... he has it... oh look right arm in. Left arm... can he get the zipper.. he's calling in mom for help, ok, zipper together, zipper up... would you look at that?" 😜

  • Sara
    Oct 30

    Thanks everyone for the advice. He already gets up at 5:30-6am and we leave the house around 7:30am so I feel there’s plenty of time to get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, go potty and put on his shoes and coat. He fights every step of the way though... doesn’t want to take off his pajamas (because he LOVES them), he doesn’t want to brush his teeth, he refuses to go potty, he doesn’t want to leave the house, he won’t get into his car seat. The only easy thing is eating breakfast... but I still have to prompt him over and over again to keep eating because he likes to stall. I do like the “announcer” game and I think my husband would be great at that... I’ll have to sign him up for that task :)

  • Momof2
    Oct 30

    That sounds exhausting I’m sorry you have to deal with that every day! sounds like you have plenty of time to get out the door. What do you think the underlying reason is he doesn’t want to get ready? Maybe he doesn’t want to leave you because he misses you all day? Does he like the place where you go to drop him off? Sometimes when my two year old is having a tantrum just validating her feelings is helpful for her, even if we still do the thing I want her to do. Might sound something like this “ oh man you really don’t want to take your pajamas off! I totally get that. I wish I could stay in my pajamas all day too and stay home with you. But we have to get up and get dressed in a couple minutes. Maybe this weekend we could have a day where we hang out in our pajamas all day!!?!”

  • Momof2
    Oct 30

    I also found this podcast episode very helpful in dealing with difficult behavior http://www.joyfulcourage.com/podcast/60

  • Diane P.
    check_circleChild Care Provider Oct 30

    Sounds like he’s testing you. Stay on course and it will pass

  • Elizabeth
    Oct 31

    When my son was that age (he is almost three), it was very similar. We kept a very consistent routine and gave choices when appropriate; however, sometimes we just had to hold him and complete the task ourselves if he absolutely refused (e.g., teeth brushing or putting on pants). We would keep talking to him during the process saying things like 'I can see you are really angry or sad about this,' and 'I am sorry you are angry, but we need to brush teeth to keep your teeth healthy.' It was no fun, but I am happy to report that phase is largely over.

  • Beth
    Oct 31

    My daughter is 3.5 and I've consistently used the "do you want to do it or do you want mommy to do it?" Questions. If they want to ok then. You do it. But if you don't then mommy's going to do it for you if you don't get onit! Are you going to choose or is mommy going to choose? If you don't choose and get a wiggle on, mommy's going to choose and do it for you. It helps "get thier wiggle on" because if they want to do it and they don't do it fast enough, then mommy's going to help. "It really sucked and your frustrated that you didn't get to do it by yourself, well let's try again next time and maybe we can make better choices and we can do it by ourselves!" "We can try next time" is a big time/life saver for us. And a teaching moment that sometimes we can't do what he wants to do, but sometimes we do get to do what he wants to do.

  • Ally
    Oct 31

    So many wonderful suggestions above. My 3 years-old girl definitely fight/stall some routines too. Some tricks that work include making it a game (are you a rabbit or turtle today? meaning, are we hopping or jumping to the bathroom?), making it a competition (who is gonna put on the shoes faster, mommy or you? Who is gonna go to the dining table faster?), letting her choose between 2 choices (which fruit or cereal to eat today). And what works the best is when my daughter wants to cooperate, so I try talking about how fun the next steps are, and things like her teachers and friends are waiting for her at school...etc.

  • Sam
    Oct 31

    I’ve been told to give kids this age 2 options and letting them pick. At around this age they want more independence and want to make the “big” decisions so if you tell him “you pick what we do first change pjs or breakfast..okay after we’re gonna do this” maybe he won’t fight as much because he feels like he’s making the decision and not you

  • anonymous mom
    Nov 01

    My daughter is similarly aged and I’ve found that the one thing that helps is a picture board. I got he idea from her school, they do picture boards for their day sometimes and put the pictures in the sequence that they do them. So I tried it too. I got a picture of her in her car seat at some point and one morning I snapped one of her just as she was waking up. Then I filled in the rest with pics I already had, a pic of her getting dressed, brushing her teeth, eating breakfast, and packing her bag for the ride to school. Now when she wakes up I tell her the beginning and the end have to be the same, the first thing she does is wake up and the last thing we do is get in the car seat. But I let her decide how to do the rest. She lays out the pictures in the order she wants them and we follow her chosen order. I try to encourage getting dressed after she eats because 2 year olds are messy but it is what it is....worse case scenario, I get her to school with stains on her shirt (and let’s be honest, she comes home every night with stains on he shirt anyway!). I do sometimes give rewards. Which is a sticker. If we get all the way to the car without much delay she gets a sticker. Sometimes two, because good mornings deserve stickers😃

  • Anonymous
    Nov 01

    Ive always been curious about the “give to options and let them pick” idea because when I try that my son yells NO to both options 🙄

  • Nancy
    Nov 03

    I have the same problem with my 2.5yo. My approach is to make a list together with him in the morning of the tasks that need to get done on paper and let him hold the paper list while we do each of the things. Because he helps to make the list, he is then very excited to do all the tasks.