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Toddler makes herself sick. Help!

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    audlin's Avatar
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    Toddler makes herself sick. Help!

    My 21 month old has started making herself sick to get attention. It started when she really was ill and obviously we gave her extra attention when she was vomitting but now she is better and every night when we put her to bed she screams the place down shouting SICK!

    The first couple of nights I went to her and as soon as I picked her up she would wretch until she vomitted, however, as soon as I brought her through to the livingroom she was full of life, running around and wanting to play with her toys - when I realised this she was straight back to bed. Now when she screams SICK we just leave her and listen to make sure she isn't actually sick, which she never is, and she eventually goes to sleep. I think we have finally mastered this bedtime atention seeking but now she has started doing it during the day to get attention.

    I also have a 7 month old and if she thinks the baby is getting more attention I watch her stand in the middle of the floor and wretch until she vomits as she knows I need to pay her attention to clean it up. I have tried to just clean it up and not actually give her any more attention in the hope that she realises her little plan isn't actually working but it hasn't worked to date.

    I feel I am stuck as it is not a behaviour that is acceptable but I don't know how to get her to stop now that she has started.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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    Matty is offline Registered User
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    It sounds like you are doing the right things.
    Just try to ignore it, clean it up, and continue like nothing happened.
    It's far too much effort for her to continue this for too much longer if she's getting no attention.

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    audlin's Avatar
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    Thancks. I'll keep trying to chip away at the issue.

    Have a nice weekend.

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    i've encountered exactly the same behaviour when children are starting school. the puke before the parent has a chance to leave in the hopes that the poor mother will say,
    "oh, no she's sick, i'd better take her home"

    all i can do is say, good luck. maybe praise her more when she is behaving properly, or start giving her rewards for NOT being sick?

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    Frenchy is offline Registered User
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    Just read in a forum that... (you probably already understood that) it's a way to show her opposition/disagreement to some of your behaviour. In that case she disagrees when you don't give her the attention she is waiting for...
    The advice they give is to talk to her and tell her that it is wrong to vomit when she wants attention, and ask her to tell you, when she is acting like this, in a quiet moment like for example when you cuddle her, what she thinks is wrong. I know that she's maybe not able to express herself with the right words...
    Also, you can ask her to participate or to clean the vomit, by putting a towel in the bathroom that she will use only for this... I bet she will get fed up with it very quickly ;)
    Good luck !
    V.

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    mumto2 is offline Registered User
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    The other thing you could try during the day is when she screams "I'm sick"...you could run up to her, start tickling her tummy and say "no you're not, no you're not, you're my fun girl who's not sick" in a fun way...it could take her mind of it, make her laugh, and make her forget it...

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    audlin's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone for your varied advice and opinions. I will take it all on board and maybe stick with the ignoring at the minute but bring the other suggestions in to play if it goes on for much longer.
    Hope you have a lovely weekend.

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