"I feel Jealous"

(16 Posts)
Buster51 Tue 03-Jun-14 10:42:49

I have just bought this book (along with a few others, the boy who cried wolf etc for DS!), It's really a shot in the dark this book, as this is the only thing I can think of he must be feeling when DH returns home based on DSs behaviors, overly daddy, overly mummy, anxious voice etc. DH is still away at the moment, so when he returns it will be 8 weeks that it has just been DS and I at home.

I was just wondering your thoughts on this, say it isn't because he is 'jealous' will this book just confuse him, or could it be a useful read to learn about this kind of emotion anyway? We have the 'feelings book' however it doesn't really touch on stuff like that.

I just thought it may help, as when DS is displaying these behaviors I could even say 'do we need to spend some time reading the book' etc?

keen to know what you all think smile

Polkadotpatty Tue 03-Jun-14 13:53:14

I don't know that particular book, but I have just bought "The huge bag of worries" by Virginia Ironside, which is supposed to be really useful encouraging small children upwards to talk about their feelings or secret worries. Just adding it to your potential stash if you don't already have it!

KristinaM Tue 03-Jun-14 14:18:02

Buster -does your DS have good reasons to be afraid of men? Has he witnessed male violence, verbal or physical ? Arguments ? Does he think that men cause trouble or that they are unreliable or that they leave ? Has he been abused by a man ?

I mean in the past of course . Although I'm guessing that your DH leaves a lot .

Buster51 Tue 03-Jun-14 14:42:20

Kristina, no not at all, he actually is so so much more comfortable around men, well seems it on the surface, especially in the early days would cling to any man! DH works away quite a lot of the time, he only ever displays these kinds of behaviors when he returns (not when any other man/woman is around). The only other time I have seen slight behaviors the same is when I am playing with / holding another child/baby.

Which is what makes me think he may feel threatened / jealous almost when DH returns? It is things like he doesn't like us being close (and I don't mean us being over affectionate or anything) I mean just sitting side my side, even talking etc he will want attention /try to divert attention onto him/ "overly" daddy etc, basically just not a happy medium and seems anxious.

But - unreliable could be a point to think about as birth dad was intermittently around / BM quite possibly (probably) more distant from DS when he returned. He was very young, but perhaps this is learned behavior he has become accustomed to when a 'dad' figure is around.

Out of interest, would being threatened/abusive/witnessing those kind of behaviors from a man - make a child seemingly "more comfortable" with men then woman? I would have thought it would be the opposite? Sorry I am just a little unsure a just thought I'd start by getting a few books that may help him along the way.

Buster51 Tue 03-Jun-14 14:45:12

Thank you Polkadot, I will take a look at that one too smile

KristinaM Tue 03-Jun-14 14:55:19

Obviously I'm just guessing here

He might have learned that men are dangerous, volatile creature, that if you don't pander to them, give them attention, do what they want, they can can get angry and aggressive.

Sometime adult women believe this too -I'm sure most of us can think of a woman up we know who seems to be all over any man in the vicinity , even if they are a friends DH/DP, but ignores women . But also has an unreasonable sense of entitlement about what the women in her life ( mothers, sisters, friends ) should do for her .

Buster51 Tue 03-Jun-14 15:01:56

wow that has really changed my perspective Kristina it does make a lot of sense, goodness I've never even thought about it that way before! In the beginning I always presumed he didn't like me/woman for obvious reasons relating to BM, I didn't even think about the impact BF could of had on the entire situation (well in that sense at least).

Where you say 'also has an unreasonable sense of entitlement about what woman in life do' etc - this does actually ring true with DS quite a bit he certainly has a higher expectation of what I should 'do for him/with him/attention for him' than he does others/DH.

KristinaM Tue 03-Jun-14 15:05:42

FWIW, an element of jealousy is perfectly normal in bio or well attached children . Many children don't like their parents kissing, hugging or sitting together and they will act up directly or indirectly to stop it.

But of couse your sons behaviour might be more extreme or more persistent than normal

KristinaM Tue 03-Jun-14 15:49:10

I'm just guessing of course. And most children have greater expectations of their main carer ( usually mum ) . My kids seem to take for granted everything I do for them, whereas even a bit of attention from dad is seen as A Big DEal .

I wonder what the dynamic is like in one parent families and those with same sex parents? Or where dad is the main carer ? < ponders >

MerryInthechelseahotel Tue 03-Jun-14 16:08:37

It could be a survival thing. A healthy baby cries for attention to make sure his needs get met. A child who hasn't had his needs met can seem very "attention seeking" but really they are trying to keep themself safe by making sure they are not forgotten. If buster who usually gives him undivided attention is now giving attention to someone else, he will have to make sure he continues to get attention in the only way he knows.

KristinaM Tue 03-Jun-14 16:16:14

Yes merry, I wonder if it's a survival thing, that's he's very anxious about losing busters affection and attention .

I'm wondering if he had pre natal exposure to drugs or alcohol ?

KristinaM Tue 03-Jun-14 16:22:22

Could it be an anxious avoidant attachment ? That he is rejecting mum before she rejects him, that being " all over " dad allows a conditional proximity to mum. It's his back up plan for when mum rejects him . Because she will obviously, as his birth mum and at least one foster carer have done so .

Sorry to talk about you as if you are not here , buster, I'm just brain storming

MrsMcEnroe Tue 03-Jun-14 16:28:37

Speaking as an adoptee: he could be terrified that your DH is going to leave forever.

It's only in the last year or so (thanks to people on this very board on MN!) that I've come to realise how HUGE the sense of loss (of their birth parents) is for an adopted child, even if they don't consciously realise it. It took me 41 years to acknowledge!

For example: as a child, I hated going to school because it meant being away from my (adopted) mum during the day. I hated going to sleepovers, even at my grandparents' houses, because it meant being away from my mum and dad ..... Basically I was terrified that they would leave me.

Just a thought. I may be way off the mark, but maybe it's helpful?

BettyBotter Tue 03-Jun-14 17:25:04

Lots of interesting suggestions here, Buster. Could I add yet another possibility into the mix - that your ds is also simply reacting to the change in his 'normal'?

Presumably when your dh is not around, ds gets accustomed to things happening one way (2 plates at the table, mummy washes up, mummy watches TV after she says goodnight or whatever). When dh is there everything changes in a subtle but unsettling way even if you do everything you can to maintain routine. (Now 3 plates at the table, daddy does the washing up, mummy laughs and has a glass of wine with daddy after they both say good night to me). Then daddy leaves and that's another change to internalise again.

I know a child me (not adopted) who had to get used to the regular absence then return of a family member. For the first few days after they returned everything felt strange and different. Slowly it became normal until they went away again and then that felt strange and different. For a child who has experienced so many changes in their short life, even the tiniest changes that you may not even think about (voices, smells, a new vest, a different seat at the table, a different brand of fishfingers) can trigger the anxiety.

Do you have any visual cues (crossing off days on a calendar or something more creative) for ds to get a concrete visual understanding of the fact that daddy is coming, then daddy is going, then daddy is coming back etc? Does daddy leave behind anything strongly resonant of him specially for ds that ds could 'look after' for daddy until he comes back (a jumper, hat or toy that smells of him and that ds knows is important to him)? I'm sure you make sure ds has special time with his dad when he's home. But do you also ensure that ds still gets some one to one time with just you to keep things 'normal'?

Anyway, whatever the causes of your ds's anxiety, you can be sure it's a complicated mixture of a whole combination of factors. I'm also sure that your kind and wise consideration of the issues will help. smile

MerryInthechelseahotel Tue 03-Jun-14 17:42:27

its his back up plan for when his mum rejects him, as she will

^^ this!

Buster51 Wed 04-Jun-14 10:28:26

thank you all so so much for your thoughts, I'm just going through reading them all now. So many things to consider. I have some other questions at the mo may post another thread!

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