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Empathise with 3yo DS but losing my marbles. How can I help him?

(5 Posts)
Zorra Sun 21-Apr-13 10:53:45

DS has always been intense but great; he's had a lot to deal with recently, and his whole personality seems to have gone into meltdown. We moved back to the uk from overseas so he has left behind his friends, routine, and father (DH and I not split up but have a pretty awful relatonship and he is the kind of father who will just not call me or DS for weeks at a time). I'm expecting DC2 in a month.

For the last month, since we got back, DS has just been out of control: violent, rude, aggressive, totally non-compliant (but can't explain why or what he wants instead); then goes babyish, has to sleep in the bed with me and won't stay in his, refuses to speak and will just whine/shriek and point.

I know he has a lot to deal with and I feel for him hugely - I really want to help him, and he is such a lovely little boy that it makes me so sad to see him behave in such an obviously distressed way. Any ideas? I've been trying lots of positive praise, lots of 1-2-1 time and 'time in' with me, time out when misbehaving with clear warnings and various other things. Nothing is working, and I am exhausted and starting to lose my patience.

Sorry it's so long! And very very grateful for any ideas and help.

MasterOfTheYoniverse Sun 21-Apr-13 11:06:44

If the athmosphere was very tense in the weeks/months leading up to your departure, i'd say it might have stayed with him and it needs to come out.
Talk a lot and explain as much as he can grasp. Play and art therapy ( role play etc....) are a goid way to express things.

I'd just say that its also pretty typical of that age and with a big change in his routine.
Give time some time. If you are a bit jet lagged 1 week is not much and he's still adjusting.

Find a couple of regular playgroups and go to the local park everyday so he can learn to expect familiar faces and surroundings.

Am sorry you are going through this. Is this long term or just while you have DC2? Will you go back?
When is he starting school?
Family around to give YOU the occasional break?

Zorra Mon 22-Apr-13 20:07:27

Thanks so much for the reply. We've been back a month, which isn't long at all, but at least not jet lagged any more.

Some good ideas there, tried a bit more role play with him today which he seems open to. I'm also struggling with what to do with him in general, as coming back to full time motherhood after working full time since he was 2 is quite a challenge.

DS has started a nursery here last week, he will go four mornings a week which is the same as his routine when we were abroad. They say he has settled in well, and doesn't seem to be acting out there which means he has some control over it. I hope with the routine and (hopefully) with making friends, that he will at least feel settled.

In terms of what next, I don't know. H and I are very rocky, plus I quite strongly dislike my job and the country we were living in. So I could go back in September or I could choose not to. And I feel too worn down to even work through my options at the moment. It's not helpful for DS though, as I end up fudging the issue a bit. No wonder we are both a bit lost sad.

MasterOfTheYoniverse Tue 23-Apr-13 01:33:26

Hi Zorra, sorry for the time lag but am GMT+8!
Good to know he's settling well in nursery ahead of you having the baby.
Am sure he'll ease into his new life over the coming weeks.

dont know what to say about the rest…..I was apart from DH for 6 months while I was still working in our previous posting and he moved on to the next. It was hard on the whole family.
IO eventually followed and decided to stay at home and work part time from home to rebuild.

The children internalised a lot of the tension over that year and concentrating on their well-being initially brought our relationship to a standstill but 2 years on we have grown stronger as ever as a couple as we had to lay everything bare.
DC are older but its just a different set of problems as they are quite vocal. Having them throw a few truths to our face left us quite raw but was helpful.
At 3 I think you better not dig to much unless you feel he is prompting you. Unconditional love and lots of re-assurance and routine will help no doubt.

Is it an option for DH to come back too? Or could you all embark on a new expatriation in a place you'd be happier yourself?something's got to give. from both of you.
Hope you have a good support system in RL to see you through the next few months of sleep deprivation.
In a way, I understand that with a rocky relationship you feel like you don't need the aggravation.
Isn't being a SAHM for a while and being the pampered expat trailing spouse an option?

MasterOfTheYoniverse Tue 23-Apr-13 01:53:07

Unless you are worried about being outed, may I suggest you post on living overseas?
there are recurrent threads such as this where you could share and hear other people's experience?

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