Talk

Advanced search

'Seperation anxiety' in a four year old? Help!

(9 Posts)
Enid Fri 12-Sep-03 09:59:27

Dd1 (3.9) now has to know EXACTLY where I am in the house at all times. If she is downstairs and I am upstairs, she panics and cries. I have been indulging her for a few weeks now but am rapidly getting to the end of my tether. I have tried explaining to her that I will never go out without her, but all she says is 'But I don't know where you are!' or 'I am worried in my mind' (heartbreaking...) If knows I am in the kitchen, thats fine, but as soon as she hears me leaving the room she runs after me in tears. God forbid I should go upstairs to put something away without telling her/taking her with me.

I am so tense as every time I go anywhere in the house I am subconciously listening for the wail of panic.

There's only so much patience a mum can have! I am rapidly losing it and feel like a prisoner in my own house.

Help!

doormat Fri 12-Sep-03 10:09:47

Enid my ds3 is similar to your dd. He is 2 and a half and hangs round my ankles.(esp with dh)I usally open the backdoor so he can play in the garden. It is safe out there and I can be left to do bits of housework.Also I give him little things to do himself so he is distracted away from me.ie come and help mummy. Things like pass mummy the mop,polish etc.
Other times cbeebies is on all day and he seems to watch the shows he wants to, so I have 20 mins peace.Or he draws and plays with his toys.

aloha Fri 12-Sep-03 10:17:27

Enid, my suggestion is to tell her where you are going until she feels more secure. Ie, if you leave the kitchen pop your head round the door and say, I'm going upstairs to put the washing away - (or whatever) - you can come up if you want, and then do it. Or just yell out, "I'm going in the garden now to water the plants". I think it's just a phase and reassurance will help her right now. Tell her where you are going and I'll bet she'll get over it. I have a habit of always telling ds where I am going and it's not that restricting, honest!

WideWebWitch Fri 12-Sep-03 10:30:47

Oh Enid, no advice but 'worried in my mind' just does sound heartbreaking, I agree. I'd tell her where you're going too and just let her follow you until this phase passes. Bless.

WideWebWitch Fri 12-Sep-03 10:30:54

Oh Enid, no advice but 'worried in my mind' just does sound heartbreaking, I agree. I'd tell her where you're going too and just let her follow you until this phase passes. Bless.

Gilli Sun 14-Sep-03 21:45:24

Enid - I have to agree with aloha - dd1 went through this stage and I am afraid it lasted for nearly 3 years, although it got gradually better. I made a HUGE mistake in trying to reason with him, and an even bigger one in battling him, and I never found a cause for it. Eventually I just took a very calm approach to it, as though it was normal for me to let him know my movements, and eventually it passed, as it will for your daughter. Honestly, he best answer is to tell her what you are doing, so that - with luck - she won't need to follow you everywhere. I spent 2 years not even being able to go in the garden in the evening until he was asleep!

Gilli Sun 14-Sep-03 21:46:36

Enid - I have to agree with aloha - dd1 went through this stage and I am afraid it lasted for nearly 3 years, although it got gradually better. I made a HUGE mistake in trying to reason with him, and an even bigger one in battling him, and I never found a cause for it. Eventually I just took a very calm approach to it, as though it was normal for me to let him know my movements, and eventually it passed, as it will for your daughter. Honestly, he best answer is to tell her what you are doing, so that - with luck - she won't need to follow you everywhere. I spent 2 years not even being able to go in the garden in the evening until he was asleep!

suedonim Sun 14-Sep-03 22:48:28

Lots of sympathy, Enid, and I too agree with Aloha. My 7yr old has always been a velcro child and became much worse after a move abroad last year. She got so bad that I was spending half my time reassuring her about where she would have lunch at school in a year's time(!), what time I would leave home to collect her, how I would know where to pick her up from, and other minutiae of life. It was very wearing but I found a blow by blow account of what-I-was-doing-when helped and the insecurity bizarrely disappeared almost overnight at Easter. Good luck, it will pass, honestly.

Ghosty Sun 14-Sep-03 22:56:48

Agree with aloha here Enid. My DS is 3 and 10 months and has always been a clingy child. I am used to it now and I always tell him what I am doing ... "Mummy's just going in the shower ... OK?" and "I am just going to put the washing out, back in a minute" and so on ... If he needs me he now just comes to find me. This morning he sat on the floor in my room as I dried my hair. Television does help but my DS can spend hours in front of it if I am not careful so I have to ration TV time quite strictly.
Our biggest problem is Kindergarten and babysitters. DS gets really worried about my going anywhere without him (even when DH is looking after him) and I have to explain very carefully where I am going and how long for. It can be upsetting when you see other children skipping off happily when their parents leave while your son is staring mournfully through the gate as you walk away, saying, "Bye bye mummy, I will miss you so much!" ... and when you get back 2 hours later is still there waiting for you! His teachers tell me that he plays happily in the meantime so I have to believe that he is not standing there for 2 hours!
Anyway ... sorry for the ramble ... but just wanted to say that your dd is not the only one and I know how you feel!!!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: