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Personality change after giving up dummy

(4 Posts)
ElusiveMoose Wed 28-Sep-11 22:07:31

DS1 has just turned 4 and has always had a dummy at bedtime (also very occasionally during the day if he's upset or hurts himself etc). We agreed ages ago that he'd give up the dummy when he turned four. The night he actually gave it up (Saturday) was hard but not too hard - he pleaded for it for a while at bedtime, but there were no actual tears, and he didn't wake in the night (though he took a long time to go to sleep and woke up very early). Since then I thought it had been going well - each night he's gone to sleep a bit more quickly, and slept a bit later in the morning, and after that first night he hasn't even mentioned the dummy.

However.... At preschool today, his key worker told me that since the weekend he's been a completely different child. He's normally a very gentle and sensitive soul - although he can be stroppy and highly strung, he's always very 'nice' with other children (in fact, his key worker said today that in the year he's been there, she's never once had to reprimand him for anything). Today, though, she said that on the two days he's been in this week, he's been snatching toys from other children, coming up with silly excuses when he's challenged by the adults, and then taking the toys again when he thinks they're not looking. And although he hasn't actually been physically aggressive, he has been playing much more roughly than normal. She was clearly flabbergasted by how out of character this was.

I'm panicking a bit. I'm really hoping it's just that he's extremely tired after four nights of reduced sleep, but the other half of me is horrified to think that we might have so emotionally traumatised him that he's going to change personality permanently.

Has anyone else experienced anything similar?

ClaudiaSchiffer Thu 29-Sep-11 06:03:57

Hi ElusiveMoose, I very much doubt you have caused any lasting trauma in your son's life, lets face it he's going to have to learn to cope with more than a dummy being taken away. So try to relax. I would think that he is just tired and being a bit badly behaved, no biggie. It sounds like his behaviour, although perhaps out of character is not that unusual for a 4 yr old. It also sounds like the key worker isn't helping very much. I would just keep going as you have done, DO NOT give the dummy back and just ride out a bit of tired bad behaviour.

ElusiveMoose Thu 29-Sep-11 09:13:25

Thanks. I guess I just need to give it more time. I think it just came as such a shock, particularly as he's seemed ok (if tired) at home. Thanks for the reassurance.

FrauFrau Fri 30-Sep-11 19:49:15

We had a similar thing with DD when she gave up her dummy at 3 years and 8 months... it only lasted a week or so at most, and was mostly due to tiredness while she had to learn to sleep without the horrible plastic thing! Hopefully your DS has turned the corner already.

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