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Help! Split personality in 2 1/2 year old?

(4 Posts)
Kokapetl Fri 08-Jan-16 21:39:30

For a few months, since around the time his sister was born, my son has occasionally been saying "I'm not called Sam, I'm called Alfie". I've finally worked out that he is only Alfie when he's upset with us or we are with him. When he is Alfie he says "I'm a naughty boy" and "I want Mummy to be cross and sad" and sometimes "I want <baby sister's name> to cry".

He's generally a happy, kind and well behaved boy but has his moments like any toddler. I have been perhaps a bit less patient with him than I should be recently, because of the baby and tiredness but I still try not to be too harsh or unreasonable. Sometimes it is things like getting water in his eyes while I'm washing his hair that makes him be Alfie!

Alfie is his middle name, which he knows, and is also the name of a younger boy at toddler group who he had to repeatedly be told not to hit after Alfie hit him.

So far we've just told him he is called Sam and he is a good boy but what he did just then was naughty (if it was). But we hadn't realised this split thing and were a bit confused why he was saying it.

Has anyone had this in a toddler/preschooler and if so how did you deal with it? Is this something like having an imaginary friend that he'll grow out of or should I be more worried?

EcclefechanTart Mon 11-Jan-16 11:54:36

I'm no expert but I think it sounds pretty normal to me. I've heard lots of small children blame misdemeanours on imaginary other people and I think this is similar.

Kokapetl Tue 12-Jan-16 16:47:01

Thanks, it's a relief that you think that. My Mum thought so too. it just seemed so odd!

Quodlibet Wed 13-Jan-16 08:18:36

Clearly it's just a way of him processing difficult feelings generated by his new sibling. He doesn't want to make mummy cross/make baby cry but his feelings are driving him to do it, so he's created a naughty alter ego so that he can keep Sam as a good boy.

I reckon if you do what you can to help him come to terms with the difficult feelings and make an effort to give him attention and praise it'll eventually wear off.

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