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Very needy 4.5 year old(1 Post)
So DD1 is 4.5. She has never been very good at playing on her own with her toys, always needing one of DH and I to play with her. We now have DD2 who is 9 months. DD2 is the complete opposite (presumably because the poor thing has had to play second fiddle to DD1 all her life). She’s not crawling yet and will happily sit playing on her own for ages, only really grizzling if she gets hungry. DD1 never played on her own even as a baby, probably because as a FTM I had the luxury of responding to her every cry immediately.
DD1 is largely a well behaved, polite and happy little girl who tries hard at everything she does and plays well with others. She started school in September and all was initially well, but she’s started to not enjoy it so much and frequently tells her teacher during the day she misses me. She didn’t know anyone at the school when she joined and whilst she has made friends she often plays on her own and can prefer the company of the teacher and the TA. She is relatively needy at school too.
So poor DD2 spends a lot of times at weekends and after school sat on her own whilst I either make food or clear up, do other household chores or attend to DD1. If I attend to DD2 I get a comment like “you don’t do anything for me”, which obviously isn’t true. This isn’t fair on DD2 and also I’m getting to my wits end with never having a minute to myself. We have no family nearby to help us out so DH and I are DD1’s only company unless she has a play date (which also means DD2 is ignored as I’m making conversation with the other mum / making sure DD1 is playing nicely).
Recently the neediness has got worse, probably linked to her feeling unsettled at school, and this weekend she’s been a bit of a spoilt brat whenever her demands for attention have not been met, whinging and flouncing off like a teenager. DH tried to take a video of DD2 blowing raspberries and asked DD2 to be quiet for a minute and she deliberately wasn’t so he ended up sending her to her room.
So what do we do? I instinctively want to give her all the attention she needs given she’s unhappy at school and misses me, but this can’t continue once I go back to work as otherwise DD2 will be at nursery in the week and largely ignored on the weekend. Also I have to really stop myself snapping at DD1 as the constant need for attention and lack of personal space is exhausting!