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Extreme separation anxiety in 3.3 year old DD

(6 Posts)
HLaurens Mon 21-Sep-09 12:37:50

Started a thread in parenting, but it is going nowhere so am trying here as I'm at the end of my tether with this.

DD (3) gets hysterical whenever I leave the house - she did it this morning as she and DD2 (17mths) were staying at home with their dad today (childminder on hols) while I went to work.

DD1 is fine going to the childminder - both DDs love her to bits, are never upset when dropped off, and have been with the same carer since 14mths old.

Though DD2 slightly favours me, DD1 always wants me to do EVERYTHING for her, and gets hysterical when I leave, when DH gets her dressed, when DH gets her up in the morning. DH is a great dad, and quite involved, so she is not a stranger to him.

She is generally a high maintenance child, and this, along with the limpet-like attachment to me is starting to wear me down. I'm worried I'm going to make things worse by pushing her away - though I'm very consciously trying not to do that at the moment.

Help!

scattyspice Mon 21-Sep-09 12:43:42

DS was always like this. Its draining isn't it. He is much better now (at 6) and will allow me to leave him at a friends house or club. The problem for him is the actual saying goodbye or moment of separation. I don't really have advice except to be sympathetic but not to pander to it. It will improve (slowly).

HLaurens Mon 21-Sep-09 12:51:24

Glad to hear things do improve, scatty.

The thing is that I know that young children are attached to their mums, so part of me thinks I should pander to it, as it is just a natural need.

But on the other hand, I think I shouldn't pander to her, as it is not reasonable for her to expect me to do everything for her, and never to go away, just because she wants it so.

scattyspice Mon 21-Sep-09 13:06:09

I think it is entirely natural and you can't really stop it until she grows out of it. But don't pander to it by saying 'ok I won't go out then' or 'I'll dress you then' (I'm sure you don't). She needs to learn to cope with the anxiety she feels when you go out. Eventually she will.

HLaurens Mon 21-Sep-09 13:52:16

I should be more firm about things like dressing - but the 30mins of hysterical screaming that follow tend to make me cave in sometimes...

scattyspice Mon 21-Sep-09 15:38:28

Actually I'm guilty of that too. Especially at night time when only Mum will do (although dh doesn't rush in to take over at 2am lol).

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