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Separation anxiety in a 4 yr old?

(5 Posts)
mummylikescake Fri 24-Jul-09 15:03:11

I've posted before about some recent changes in DS's behaviour. He was four in June and since around about that time his behaviour has changed radically. The general whinging and moaning about everything seems to be settling down a bit, particularly as I'm much calmer with him and refuse to rise to it (however tempted!), and he's sleeping a bit better as well now it's not so hot. However, the whole situation seems to have crystallised now into not wanting to go to the childminders. He's been going there for the best part of a year with no problems at all but now it's sobbing and wailing before going and during his time there (2 afternoons/wk).

DH and I and our childminder ask him what's wrong but he either says that he doesn't know or comes up with a variety of answers (he doesn't like seeing other children squabbling, he misses mummy and daddy etc). He's starting school in September and at about the same time we're due to have another baby, so we're well aware that there's a lot going on for him. When he's with me or DH he's fine and happy to talk about the baby and, to a lesser extent, school, in a cheerful way. I wonder if he's focussing all his worries on going to the childminder and not wanting to be separated from us at all. Having said that, he went for a playdate at a friend's house without me a couple of weeks ago and had a great time, so I don't know if separation is the issue.

Is it best just to let him get this out of his system? Is asking him about it and dwelling on it just making things worse? I'm concerned that if it goes on the childminder won't take him anymore as it's so disrutpive to the others. very grateful for any suggestions from anyone who's been through this or similar or who has any advice as I really am at a loss as to know what to do.

Kayteee Fri 24-Jul-09 18:46:47

Do you trust the childminder?

Kayteee Fri 24-Jul-09 18:48:00

That sounded silly blush. I mean, is there a faint possibility that she could have upset him in some way, iyswim.

danthe4th Fri 24-Jul-09 19:27:45

She could easily have said something or told him off and he just doesn't like it. I think you need to be straight with him explain that the childminder has rules for a reason.
If thats not the cause he could have just decided he doesn't want to go, which is fair enough but maybe to get him interested in going again he could do a show and tell session with the cm, taking a toy or a picture he has done. Take a favourite dvd as a treat, perhaps he could make a picture and story book with her, make some cakes to bring home, anything different to get him enjoying it again. We are meant to follow the childs interests and maybe his have changed and hes bored, time for a review I would think.He doesn't really go for long enough to do much, he maybe better going for longer so they have more time to do something with any other children that go.

mummylikescake Fri 24-Jul-09 20:14:08

Thanks for your posts - yes, it's possible that he's been told off and not liked it, but he has been going for long enough (nearly a year) and has always been happy in the past and said that he likes her. He often doesn't respond well to being told off and can take it all very personally, we'll reinforce to him that rules are there for a reason.

Danthe4th, what you're saying sounds really good, he could well be bored when he's there and just in need of some different activities. Today they went out to the park for a picnic and he was improved (in spite of it raining!) and she's said that she's putting together a programme of activities for the summer so we'll see how that goes.

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