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Is this normal behaviour for 5 year old ds(17 Posts)
DS has always been very sensitive, even the school have mentioned that he gets upset quite easily about things, especially when it comes to what he believes as breaking rules. For instance if I once had to send him to school in blue instead of black socks once. He cried thinking he was going to get in trouble, even though I said I was allowed to do it as his mummy, and i would explain to the teacher.
What's really concerning me though, is that he is completely petrified of being by himself. I can't just pop upstairs, he has to come with me. If I suggest he stays downstairs, he cries. If I put him to bed, he cries about being by himself, even if I'm just next door in my room. He comes into our bed every night, as he can't settle by himself.
Tonight, I had to quickly drop something off, and he got so upset in the car, even though he could see me through the window. (I literally dropped it and ran back to the car, as he was so upset. I had his little brother in the car, so was quicker for me just to dash out)
He gets so upset, and I don't know how to handle it. Or, is it completely normal? I don't want to force him to do something that obviously scares him, but on the other hand, he can't keep getting upset about it either. I suffer from an anxiety disorder, so don't want to do anything that could make this manifest into something long-term.
My 5 yr old does some of this stuff to a lesser degree. My DH teases him about being scared which actually seems to work though I don't have the heart to do it! He'll say he's scared of zombies and my DH will pretend to be a zombie chasing him and they both end up laughing. I have in the past set him small challenges with a reward chart like he had to do one solo trip upstairs a day for a week to get a magazine, that seemed to break the back of his fear about going to the toilet alone. It's very hard to see them struggling. I'm interested what other mums say.
Thanks Justanotherzombie I was thinking of setting a timer, and see if he could stay upstairs by himself for 1 minute by himself, and the extending it?
My DS went through a very similar phase at that age-the sensitivities, stickler for the rules (he still is and he’s now 9 but he doesn’t get upset or worried about it)
I don’t know what the best way to deal with it is. I never pushed DS I just spent lots of time reassuring him and building up his confidence. I think pushing him to be ‘alone’ might exasperate the issue,i just ignored the issue completely and did what DS needed (sat by his door while he fell asleep,let him follow me around the house like my shadow). I know it’s frustrating but it all stopped eventually.
I think he’s probably a bit overwhelmed with school and looking for your comfort at home so give him as much as you possibly can.
I have a 5yr old DS... sounds fairly normal to me tbh
I have a ds same age and he's very similar. Very sensitive. He does have other issues though. All you can do is support and encourage. I think a lot of it is from starting school.
I distinctly recall being terrified at that age of being at other people's houses without my parents. Even if I had known them since birth. I eventually got over it. My parents didn't push the issue but encouraged me to go on playdates alone when I started expressing an interest. Maybe it will be the same for DS?
I think some DC are like this, some aren't. My DC are older now, and what I will say is that with hindsight it OK to "pander" to this. Let him sleep in your bed, erasure him lots, accept that he wants (needs) to see you all the time. Putting in the effort to make him feel safe and secure now will pay off in the long run -- when he's a teenager and decides to sail single handed around the world--
His behaviour does seem to be anxiety driven, try to prepare him for changes, things like you sometimes having to leave the room.
Your timer is a good idea, perhaps start with him being in a room next to where you are for 1 minute but letting him see you until that works. then one minute when you're in the next room to him but out of sight.
Perhaps he'll be reassured initially at that stage if he can hear you.
It takes ages, he'll eventually gain the confidence, don't worry.
Sounds normal to me too. We move round the house as a pack as nobody wants to be by themselves. It’s hard work, but it won’t last forever.
Thanks everyone. I actually decided the other day to stop trying to get him to go to bed on his own. The stress of it for me and him wasn't great.
I do reassure a lot, but I do sometimes get frustrated, I suppose as I wasn't sure if I was handling it right.
I'm so relieved that some of the advice is to pander to it. I know others may say it's making a rod for your own back, but if it keeps him happy, then I'll do it. Hopefully his confidence will grow, and he will get better at it naturally
I have a 6.5yr old like this but she does sleep ok on her own. (My oldest DD didn’t & that was hell!) Lots of needing constant reassurance and my physical presence. Can you enlist others to help detach abit? My DH takes my DD out on a Saturday morning to give me a break plus I’m taking out our other DD to her activity. I’ve slowly encouraged her by doing things like getting dressed with out my input by putting her school uniform out the night before so she knows what to do when she wakes up without crying out for me. She finally got there (getting dressed for school alone) when she turned 6. My oldest DD was very different and needed lots of reassurance but not my physical prescence all the time. Some kids just need more reassurance and I agree put in the groundwork now and he will become more secure as he grows up, and set little challenges alone the way that interests him.
He won’t be following you around the house or crying when you leave a room when he’s 18. Try and relax about it,just hug him, reassure him, he’s still so young.
I'm happy to have as many cuddles as it takes! I guess part of it is that he needs to be so good at school, being at home and with me is his comfort. I'm lucky that he is happy to go on play dates and go with family, but he isn't comfortable having sleep overs with family. Hopefully it will all come with time.
It will come take it at their pace. My oldest DD is now out 5n a week doing various sports including competitions at county level (she’s nearly 11) but still isn’t a fan of sleep overs & has only done a couple to one trusted friends hse. I suppose just trying to reassure that they are all different and it’s normal. Enjoy the cuddles I feel bit sad my oldest feels too old to hold my hand walking in public now - but will when no one is about their young years go past way too fast!
You see I just can't pander. I've a 3yo, 2yo and newborn too. It just isn't possible to constantly stop what I'm doing and leave the others unsupervised for a toilet trip. When he was very upset I'd pack everyone off upstairs to bring him, taking the food off the cooker etc but it simply is not doable to let him have his way on all his anxieties. I also used to send him up but we'd sing (yell) a song together as he went so he didn't feel so alone. When I was pregnant and very sick and in a lot of pain towards the end he was amazing and got on with things sometimes even though I know he found it hard, but he did it for me because he could see I was just not able sometimes physically. These days I send the 3 or 3 yr old with him for company when he's scared to do something alone and that works ok. They're both totally not scared of anything, very different personalities.
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