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Anxious 3 yr old. A phase?

(10 Posts)
doublehelpings Wed 24-Feb-16 12:43:00

Overnight my 3.3 yr old DD has become anxious about everything. We went away for the weekend and she was scared of pets/playground and swimming. Things she used to enjoy.

I think I handle it well and am very patient because I was an anxious child and am an anxious adult! So much so that I wish she wasn't and want to help her be less anxious. We had breakthroughs at the weekend but she remained v anxious about lots of things.

Could this be a phase? Or is she going to be anxious like me? If the latter, are there any resources that would be handy or does anyone have any tips? Thanks!

Ferguson Wed 24-Feb-16 19:33:00

This was my reply to a similar recent query:

My theory is that as babies mature, and become more aware to their environment, and start to realise they might have CHOICES in their life, they become less passive and less cooperative.

For a year or two, their little body has been picked up, put down, dressed. undressed, bathed, and stuck into bed, with virtually NO choice or control on their part. At 2 or 3, they realise maybe they can INFLUENCE some of these things!

So I think parents have to be as patient as possible, and accept some of these developing behaviours. Try to avoid 'battles', and use your superior skills and understanding, to smooth their path towards maturity.

BrightandEarly Fri 26-Feb-16 14:29:05

Just bumping this for you although I don't have much useful advice.

My DD is a few months older and can also be quite worried about things. I think it's all about finding a balance between acknowledging the anxiety, whilst not empathising with it too much, as that almost confirms to DD that she's right to be anxious. If you see what I mean.

So I tend to aim for a 'sympathetic but breezy' response along the lines of 'oh, I know you're worried that x will happen, but there's really no need because of y' and move on.

But I don't think I get it right all the time by any means!

Good luck

starpatch Fri 26-Feb-16 19:30:52

No advice but I do think it's normal at this age my DS got quite anxious just after 3 also

doublehelpings Sun 28-Feb-16 08:21:05

Thanks brightandearly that's exactly what I aim at as well. Usually I can make her face the things she's scared of but at a slow pace.

Good to know it might be a phase as well starpatch. I was scared of everything growing up. Hope she isn't the same and has more confidence than me when she's older.

VocationalGoat Sun 28-Feb-16 08:32:45

My DD became a very, well I'll be blunt, outrageously anxious child at 3 years old. She went from being the most hilarious, spirited, wonderfully mad and joyful girl to a shell of her former self, feaeful.and obsessive compulsive about many things. She needed an unreasonable amount of reassurance about everything. There were lots of anxiety triggers and nursery was just a just fuelled the anxiety. It was an incredibly tough time.
She's coming up on 6 the first week of April and of course it's calmed way down. She got through the acute phase and seemed more comfortable in her own skin by her 4th birthday. But she's still a bit anxious at times.

Our daughter was almost entirely deaf for a year from the age of 3. She had vicious glue ear in both ears and failed three hearing exams. Hearing problems are incredibly common at this age on account of recurrent glue ear. And the major signs if this are fear and anxiety. It might be worth having LOs ears looked at.
How is she at nursery? Have the staff made any comments?

minipie Sun 28-Feb-16 23:18:55

Our DD is 3.4 and has recently gone from being completely fearless to being afraid of the dark, the stairs, injections.

I've seen another post recently about a similar age child developing new fears so think it's the age?

MiaowTheCat Mon 29-Feb-16 08:53:27

DD1 has gone through her threes being very anxious and unwilling to try new things - she's suddenly had a personality transplant on the trying new things front though now she's nearly 4! I have an anxiety disorder so bad I'm on medication for it so was terrified she was going the same way I am but she seems to be coming out of the worst of it now.

We still get a bit of freaking out at the cliffhangery bits of films and stories and the like - but (DD1 is very very intelligent and verbally articulate) I've found that she copes better when we discuss how stories usually have a scary bit before the happy ever after - what could happen to make it happy ever after and I try to give her the tools to think herself out of her anxiety so to speak if that makes sense? I don't force things when she goes into an anxious shutdown either (took us a year for her to go up and down a slide) but try to praise trying something once to see if you like it or not and lately she's started announcing that X or Y is her challenge - going and doing it and coming back with a huge beam on her face (the rollercoaster at Cbeebies land being a big one last year).

My other daughter's about to turn 3 and she's becoming a bit more worried and clingy than her previous death seeking missile tendencies so I think there's a lot developmentally behind it.

doublehelpings Tue 01-Mar-16 15:37:34

She's generally been ok at nursery but what prompted my post was that one of the teachers brought in her old Labrador which DD was excited about but when the day came apparently she got a bit hysterical. I couldn't understand it as we'd been in the company of a dog the weekend before and she had loved it though a little apprehensive.

She has been pulling at her right ear on and off for a while but with no temperature or other symptoms I've not thought much more about it. Perhaps it would be worth getting her ears checked. She doesn't suffer from ear infections and has only had one before.

Paddingtonthebear Tue 01-Mar-16 16:04:11

My DD is nearly 3 and a half and definitely more scared/anxious than before. Strange things like going to the library all happy to choose a book, but then freaking out when a lady asked if she wanted to join the story time that had just started. She cried, clung to me, all very dramatic. She is not shy so I don't understand it. Then this afternoon she freaked out listening to a kids audio story, not sure what it was but there was something she didn't like. Also had issues with her not wanting to go to swimming classes anymore, not speaking to her grandparents when they come round, she still hates the hairdryer noise. I was about to post here as I'm wondering if she is one of those over sensitive kids.

She was never a crazy toddler but always very active and curious and quite bold. Definitely has become more cautious in the past year. Perhaps it's a development thing?

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