My daughter is 20 months old and I'm a single mother. When she is with me she is very clingy, whiney, wont eat, wont sleep all night (we co-sleep), just overall wont listen. Whenever I leave her with family or at daycare they all say she is a perfect angel. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. Please any suggestions.
I've been in that situation before. I was told that it's easier to take care of someone else's kid than your own. Your daughter is most comfortable with you so you will see her worst side more often than others will. When my daughter was 2, she went to day care. When I went to pick her up, her energy skyrocketed and then crashed leaving her in meltdown until she was fed dinner. It was a disaster. I think it's the time of day honestly. Maybe if you can make meal times quicker and give her something t oplay wit that you know she'll love so she's distracted, maybe you'll see more smiles from her. Also, don't over look what is happening at daycare. If she is uncomfortable there or scared, she's more likely to behave for them out of fear. I didn't see it at first but my daughter was ver y uncomfortable at the daycare I choose. I still don't know 100% why and I'm hoping it is was nothing actually bad but keep other options available. I eventually took her out (for various reasons) and our schedule changed...things got better but then she had other issues come up.
No doubt, you are her mother so she should be very comfortable with you. And your daughter is socially good, so this is a good thing. But, not listening to you, not eating ... that's not a good sign. How much time do you spent with your child? May be, she is not comfortable with you but with you family or in day care she feel comfortable. Try to spend more time with her, play with her. Let her realize comfortable with you.
Children around this age begin to really be aware of their own desires. In turn, they often rebel against the person they see as the enforcer of rules. This is typically the mother or parent with whom they spend the most time. By refusing to do what you are asking she is exercising her ability to make her own choices. Imagine if there was someone around you who was always telling you what you should eat or wear or when it was time to leave the house or go to bed. Children are people and much of their existence involves being told what to do. Often the solution can be as simple as giving them choices. Let her pick between two outfits you lay out in the bed. Let her decide if she bathes before dinner or after. Anywhere where an option can be given, give one, instead of just telling her how it is. Also, try and say "yes" more. Often when our children want to do something that doesn't fit with outlet schedule we instinctively tell them no. But sometimes it really wouldn't be so harmful to say yes. Maybe it wasn't the plan to stop at the park on the way home, but I guess we can spare ten minutes. It's not always easy or possible to give our children what they want, and we tend to think that setting limits is key, but sometimes it's the feeling of hearing "no" so often that makes kids unwilling to do what we ask.