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Children who pull away when they are upset

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

My daughter has always been like this, almost from day one.  At 7 I think I'm finally finding ways to comfort her and for her to feel safe being close to me when she is crying.  She does appreciate it, but she resists so much and when we can finally connect and find some kind of closeness she will finally melt and calm down.  This is new, and so I feel like we are finally finding a way to be close to each other without overstepping her boundaries.

 

Anyway, I don't need advice so much as commiseration from others who have children just like this.  Your stories will help with our journey, I'm sure.

post #2 of 8

My 3 year old is like this...and so am I. winky.gif  For us, I just let him have his time, but stay nearby. When he is ready he comes to me and we cuddle it out, then have a brief talk about whatever happened.  

 

Since I am like this also, I think it is easier for me to understand that he just needs his space but he also needs to know I am here no matter what. Forcing him to be comforted before he is ready will only prolong the crying and is disrespectful of what he needs. To an observer, it may look like I am being really cruel, not doing anything to comfort him, but this is what works best for him.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pammysue View Post

 

Since I am like this also, I think it is easier for me to understand that he just needs his space but he also needs to know I am here no matter what. Forcing him to be comforted before he is ready will only prolong the crying and is disrespectful of what he needs. To an observer, it may look like I am being really cruel, not doing anything to comfort him, but this is what works best for him.

This is what has changed since she was your son's age.  She is more readily comforted when I approach than she used to be.  She would never calm down if I tried this before--she would cry harder and louder and turn red in the face.  You're right, being nearby is about all that can be done.  That's why I am enjoying this shift in her behavior, and it is taking some exploration on my part to find her new comfort zone, and yeah, sometimes I do cross it and I need to back off.  I am learning.
 

 

post #4 of 8

Give it time. My youngest is like this. When she was little, there was no comforting her. Then, th eonly one who was allowed to cuddle/hold/hug her when upset was her older brother (he is still her first go-to, even though he's not home). Now, she allows me to hug her, hold her when she's upset.

post #5 of 8

My son is the same. If he is hurt or sad, he almost goes into anger mode, and does not want to be held or touched. I think it's just a part of who he is. He's otherwise very touchy and huggy, so I guess I'll just have to let him deal in his own way, and be close by in case he changes his mind.

 

Y'know, after having read pammysue's first line, and now that I'm thinking about it, I too would rather not be touched or coddled when I am upset. Hm.

post #6 of 8

Ds is like this. Really, the only thing I worry about is that he's not developing the emotional vocabulary that he needs to talk about emotions. He just went to bed in tears because his favorite NBA team lost a close game on a bad call by a ref (according to him). We were supposed to read and snuggle a bit before he went to bed, but he couldn't handle it. So, I hugged him and sent him to bed.

 

I've not yet figured out how to deal with him and his emotions. 

 

I just pity his life partner, should he ever find one. The child has told me that he loves me once or twice in his life.  When he was 2, he'd tell me that he "I really really like you," but never "I love you".

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

 

I've not yet figured out how to deal with him and his emotions. 

 


It's the trying that matters.  I keep trying to find ways my daughter and I can be close, gently of course and not necessarily physically.  I can accept who she "is" but I also want to find what is nature and what has become habit.  I understand her wanting to maintain her distance, when intensely sad or angry I cannot process anything, need absolute aloneness and stillness and quiet.  (She hates being alone, so we are different.)  I retreat, and while it is not the end of the world--I fare pretty well in the world, emotionally and otherwise--still, I don't find retreating from those that would give me comfort has served me that well, either.  If I hadn't have kept trying to find new ways to connect, I don't think I would have found that she is more receptive to physical comforting than she was when she was a toddler.

 

There should be respect, always respect, because we cannot change their basic nature, but we can help change their habits if they seem willing.

 

In some ways this reminds me of all the half-feral cats I've lived with or near and tamed in my life.  It is just my personality to find ways of creating a little more ease with each one, according to their abilities and comfort level.  

 

post #8 of 8

My little one is like this.  When the storm is raging, for a lack of better word, hugging makes it worse, talking makes it worse, almost any interaction makes it worse.  All I can do is stay close by and wait till it passes.

 

In the beginning, it's hard to feel like I'm not doing anything to help.  Even now, it's still hard, but to do nothing is what helps most sometimes.

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