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How to talk to 3 year old about whats troubling her?

(10 Posts)
Livvylongpants Thu 13-Nov-14 15:25:25

Had a phone call from DDs preschool earlier to say the staff are concerned about how withdrawn she has been the past few weeks.

She has been a bit more challenging at home but nothing overly noticeable. they said she's constantly wanting cuddles and reassurance and isn't as lively as she has been.

I don't know the cause. I worry she's unhappy at the child-minders (where she has been since June) we are expecting a new baby in January so don't know if that is the problem? she seems extremely happy about baby.

How can I approach her in a toddler friendly way to talk about what's causing her to be so withdrawn and sad at preschool (she appears to love preschool, talks very enthusiastically about it)

Livvylongpants Thu 13-Nov-14 16:07:46


NellysKnickers Thu 13-Nov-14 16:09:28

Maybe through drawing or get her to talk through her favourite toy? Hope all is ok.

Livvylongpants Thu 13-Nov-14 16:14:11

thanks, preschool are suggesting she isn't happy at childminders. childminders daughter is 6 months older and goes to preschool with DD.

Childminder says she hasn't noticed anything, we have noticed her become harder to manage at home, and hurting her brother but thought it was to do with him now starting to move around and grab things shes playing with

MummyCoolski Thu 13-Nov-14 16:15:46

It's so difficult. I'm having this with DS (2.4). Similar scenario including baby due in Jan, however we also lost my Dad in September. He doesn't sleep at bedtimes. We've lost evenings completely as he drops off exhausted between 9 & 10. No problem with afternoon sleep, but doesn't want to do any of his favourite activities when he wakes (Park, library etc).

Livvylongpants Thu 13-Nov-14 16:22:53

sleeping is also an issue, but I put it down to clocks going back and a few days of illness.

im not sure if the tiredness is making her feel down or if its the other way round. I suddenly feel awful like ive been missing out on loads of signs or something

MummyCoolski Thu 13-Nov-14 16:52:50

I know. Today I tried to push back his afternoon sleep/get him to sleep in the buggy as it's DH's birthday at the weekend and I wanted to get some bits and pieces. Poor DS was so tired after only 8hrs sleep last night, that he screamed for about half an hour non-stop (basically the whole way home). Not like him at all. :-(

Misty9 Sun 16-Nov-14 22:31:39

You could try to use teddies or dolls to role play pre school and the child minders, and just see what comes out? Has the minders child always been at nursery with yours? What's their relationship like there?

Do you read books about the impending baby? Although sounds like she's got a younger brother? How was she during that pregnancy, albeit younger herself?

AlexD72 Sun 16-Nov-14 23:59:42

I don't think it's the pregnancy. I think it maybe the childminders. Have you asked her if she likes it there?
I have been on a couple of play dates over the past couple of weeks with my child's new friends from school that have turned into bloody disasters as they were a bit put out my child wanted to play with their toys! They were rude and then tearful. It all seemed a bit much for them. Is the childminders DD making your child uncomfortable?

Goldmandra Mon 17-Nov-14 12:08:02

preschool are suggesting she isn't happy at childminders.

Do they have anything to back up this view?

I doubt very much it's about your pregnancy as 3YOs as she isn't old enough to understand and worry about the implications of a new baby sibling arriving.

Children of this age usually explore their worries through play. This could be with small world toys, role playing games, drawing, playdough or anything else she can manipulate.

If you can watch her play without her being particularly aware you may get some clues. You could also try to steer some of her play towards acting out the home, childminders and preschool environments and see if anything comes up.

Activities where you are together, shoulder to shoulder rather than face to face, are usually good times for children to open up about worries so if you can have a quiet few uninterrupted minutes, perhaps getting her to wash potatoes while you peel them or similar, you might find she can talk then.

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