Posting here but not a lone parent(9 Posts)
hope no one minds.
I currently CM a 6 year old girl who is from a single parent home. She live swith dad and she sees her mum every other weekend.Supposedly.
Anyway she is naturally very clingy to me, and craves my attenton the whole time,
She cries all the time over what seem to be trivial things "x stuck his tongue out at me" "Y is walking in front of me" "x has a stick in his hand" "y has pulled a leaf off the tree" (trust me these are all things she has cried over recently)..
She is always also crying over "injuries" "my hand is sore" "I have a paper cut(there nothing there)" "and the most consistent "there stones in my shoes/boots" thus we have to stop, sometimes up to 5/6 times on the way home to get them out of shoe, but invariably there is nothing there.
Now I have noticed that these incidents get worse if I have to tell her off for something, or if I have to tell one of the other mindees off, or if the other mindees are chatting a lot to me or if I am chatting to one of them.
it is almost as if she sees that as a way of getting my attention. On the days I have her, she gets my complete undivided attention from 4.30-6.30. DH has to come in and make dinner as the minute I try to start it (we feed her too) then she decides she needs help with something or wants a story. if I say "well I am busy making the dinner for all of us would you like to come into kitchen and help" she starts crying and playing up
So now you know the score, I am just wondering if there's anything I cna do to try and stop her being a bit less clingy, and crying so much. I know it must be really hard for her, what with her mum not being there al the time and only seeing her occasionally. I thought perhaps some of you ahd maybe had similar situations with your own children either yourselves or with childcarers.
I need to go to school now to pick up her and my other 2 mindees. I shall not be back on till after 6.30.
you need to speak with dad and ask if he has any strategies he would like you to try. presumably there is specific reason why dad has residence? whether it is a illness issue, practical reasons or mum's choice - yes it may be that she wants your attention coz she does not get her mum's ...
if dad hasnt told you full story - well he might not want to - but you could try and ask dad if there any issues at school with teachers, if CAMHS is involved or if any other profressional you could get advice from.
you will nee dto find a way to appraoch dad - tell him you want to work with whoever is working with the child so strategies are consistent. her behaviour clingy/crying is all about communication - behaviour is communication - but what is she communicating and why? how can you adress those needs she is communicating? so she feels more secure?
maybe you could ask to meet with dad and say you want to help and it would be good to agree strategies to use, and that if there are profressionals involved you would be willing to work with them and get advice? if he is ok with that.
if there are no professionals you could suggest he speaks to GP - maybe child could go to play therapy or music therapy? if the mum has an illness then young carers locally might be able to help. if you are going to help the child you need dad and which ever profressionals to talk to you
it may be anxiety because of the situation - and easily treated - it may be she has other underlying issues - like sensory issues (i am thinking of stones in shoe) again you need good strategies to address them.
Hi, I think the best thing you can do is call child line and have a chat with them about how to talk to her. She clearly has some separation anxiety issues, I wonder if the other attention seeking behaviour is symptomatic of issues preempting her parents split ie them both being wrapped up in the crisis and her having to work for attention.
Besides calling childline and speaking to dad (as pp said)
I would suggest treating her normally. Do not accept behaviour from her you would not accept from another kids. It will not do her any favours long term.
From your post I gather you gave her alone for some time, maybe you should use this time to ask her if there is anything she is worried about, give her the opportunity to talk about her mum, ask after her, did you have a nice time there? Did you go any where etc etc.
In my experience often kids in this situation often feel like they are trying to segregate two separate lives so she may appreciate the chance to join them up a little
Oh and another thing that May be helpful there are several good books about divorce that may help her realise she is not alone and trigger open discussion. Check amazon.
Sorry if that's a bit much info but I really feel for that wee girl.
unless you know the circumstances of the divorce/separation and why contact with mum is limited eg is it for reasons like MH or alcoholism or ???? or is it a straightforward she moved out for a new man? you need to be a bit careful - ask Dad, see what he is happy to share. "is there anything you think I should know as xx seems a bit clingy and anxious sometimes?" "is there anything specific you would like me to do or say?"
or ask dad if there is a book he happy for you to go thru with dd. or if he happy to help you make a personalised story about it which suits DD's situation.
books are good but if they dont match a particular situation it might not help.
An acquaintance of mine wrote this wonderful book:
Maybe it helps?
Mum and dad glue is a beautiful book.
"A little boy tries to find a pot of parent glue to stick his mum and dad back together. His parents have come undone and he wants to mend their marriage, stick their smiles back on and make them better. This story is brilliantly told with a powerful message that even though his parents may be broken, their love for him is not."
I'm not really sure I agree with pp who said unless the book is exact it's no help. I think the purpose of books like these is to
a) give child an opening to discuss it if they want to
b) help children realise that their situation is not unusual
C) that it is not their fault!
Far too many children, especially young ones like this are under the impression that something they said or did has driven the other parent away.
My mother actually told me that I had driven her and my father apart with 'my unhappiness', and she repeated this throughout my adult life.
The little girl sounds awfully unhappy and I agree you need to ask the dad what you could both be doing to understand more and help.
Have you ever met the mum?
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