When i was a room leader in the baby room of a day nursery i recall this one child who was a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde. He was 2 years old, adorable and so well behaved .... …..until his mum came to collect him.
When his mum brought him in for a settling in session she warned us that he could be very challenging. We were told to expect tantrums and meltdowns daily but they almost never happened.
Mum would drop him off to nursery and daddy would pick him up.
This one particular evening mummy came to get him instead of daddy. Daddy was held up at work and the little angel that we were used to seeing suddenly disappeared and in his place... the Tasmanian Devil!
He would usually be very happy to see daddy and would get his coat and shoes whilst we would hand over care and feedback to daddy about his day. But on this day when he saw mummy he had the MOTHER of all tantrums. He refused to get his coat, kicked and screamed for a good 15 mims whilst we tried to feedback to mummy about how good he had been that day.
Luckily for mum she was used to it and simply ignored the tantrum,scooped him up and got him ready to go home. We noticed that he would often have tantrums and meltdowns with mummy. she was always very calm and loving towards him despite his challenging behaviour & I really admired her patience with him, but for every one else he was a little angel. It was Bizarre but i had noticed it a few times before with other little ones and their mums so i looked into it.Kate surfs described why this is sometimes the case perfectly in her parenting blog. And i realised that if your kid is an Angel for everyone else but a little S&%t for you its actually a good sign ( although not much fun for you at times.)
Its actually a sign that your child is secure in the knowledge that they can be 100% themselves around you because no matter how naughty or ill behaved they may be you love them regardless.
‘Because YOU, mama, are their safe place. YOU are the place they can come to with all of their problems. If you can’t make something better… well, then who else can?
YOU, dear mama, are a garbage disposal of unpleasant feelings and emotions.
If a child’s been holding it together all day, in an unpleasant situation, the second they see you, they know it’s time they can finally let go.’ ( Katesurfs.com)
There you have it! If this is your kid and you are pulling your hair out wondering where you went wrong in your parenting. Let me reassure you that you absolutely have not gone wrong in fact its quite the opposite. Your child is so secure in your love and connection to them that they know that no matter what they do, no matter how tough they find life to deal with at times & when mummy is around they can be real, they can be themselves in the worst possible way and mummy can deal and make them feel safe & secure.
So take comfort in knowing your doing a great job & your little one is secure in the knowledge that their mamma loves them no matter what!!