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DD1 - 3.5yrs, very clingy, not social...

(4 Posts)
Momino Wed 12-Aug-09 16:12:37

Hi all.
my DD1 (3.5 yrs) has always been sensitive and clingy - very high maintenance! She has been going to nursery for 2.5 yrs and only this year has stopped crying when I drop her off. She always clings to my leg in playgroups/parties, etc venturing away only at the end of parties when everyone is leaving. She also uses crying as her main form of communication though I endlessly encourage her to stop whinging and use her words.

She wasn't very happy when dd2 came along when she was 20 months but has got used to having a sibling and they play together wonderfully (and argue, naturally!). now, dd3 has just arrived (3 months) and dd1 is a gem of a big sister giving baby cuddles, helping with nappy changing etc. With dd2 now, she's more frustrated especially because she seems to be starting to live in dd2's shadow as dd2 is more confident. dd2 also doesn't want to do everything dd1 tells her (naturally) but dd1 is devastated at this even though I explain to her why dd2 doesn't have to do as she says.

Lately, dd1 seemed to have come out of her shell and become more social. Nursery noticed this and we've all been pleased at how she's developed. However, in the past 2 weeks or so, she's gone back a few steps and seems to be withdrawn and clingier again. She also cried when I dropped her off at nursery this morning which she hasn't done since Jan. She hasn't eaten much at nursery (very unusual for her) and seems to play mainly with herself. Yesterday, we went out with a few children she knows very well and didn't want to talk to anyone. I can't think of anything that has happened lately of significance that would have caused her to regress.

I'm worried because lately she looks sullen and miserable at times. like any parent, I want her to be happy and confident. We try to give each of the 3 DDs cuddle time and are careful not to give too much attention to just one. Is there anything I can do? More social gatherings? friends over more often for tea? any good books with advice?

Thanks in advance.

MamaKaty Wed 12-Aug-09 16:31:19

Having one or two friends over at a time for play dates might help your dd1 build confidence when around other children. It sounds like you're doing all you can to help your child be as sociable and confident as possible - I'm sure you always praise her for playing nicely with others when she does it and for acting independently in social situations.
Try not to stress about it - it if she seems sullen and miserable the focus on activities she enjoys, even if they are solitary ones - each child develops differently and some kids are happier playing on their own, but it doesn't necessarily mean anything is wrong!
Keep talking to her nursery and keep giving her plenty of love and cuddles... she'll develop in her own time!

Momino Wed 12-Aug-09 16:42:06

that's great reassurance, MamaKaty. I'll do my best not to stress as I'm sure she feels that and I don't want her to feel any pressure to be social when she's not comfortable.

Momino Thu 13-Aug-09 13:32:36

well. dd1 came out in spots yesterday. She has chicken pox! Do you think this could be the reason for her 'regression' in the past couple of weeks?

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