3 year old so sad what can I do - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 04-14-2010, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am single sahm coping with a separation which has thrown my 3 year old into a state of trauma - its been 8 months of aggression, clinginess, no sleep and a lot of breastfeeding. Now my little one cries every night for about half an hour - really sad slow tears - and says how much he misses his Dad and when is his Dad coming to see him. His Dad lives 5 mins away but refuses to see his son outwith "visitation" times (twice a week and overnight once a week).

Is this just a phase, will he stop feeling so sad and what can I do to help him through this???
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#2 of 9 Old 04-14-2010, 08:33 PM
 
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My daughter sees her dad half the time and she is still sad. It's been 4 months and the "depression" hasn't gone away. I'm in the same boat, mama. and I don't know what to do either.

Mama to a 3.5 yo dd
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#3 of 9 Old 04-17-2010, 12:53 AM
 
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I had a similar experience with DS, who was 4 when his Dad and I separated 18 months ago. Very clingy, very, *very* sad about having to leave me to go be with him. It was heartbreaking. I don't have a solution for you, but wanted you to know you are not alone.

My H and I have been talking about getting back together, spending a lot more time together and DS basically lives with me FT, and DS is doing a lot better. I realize it is terribly un-PC of me to say so, but he is much happier being with both parents than one at a time. I'm not sure how this will all turn out, and I would really hate to put him (and me) through that again.

Being away from my DS and him being so sad was really painful.
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#4 of 9 Old 04-18-2010, 11:22 PM
 
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My three year old has expressed a lot of sadness since his dad & I separated in January. But I take this as a good sign--better he work through his feelings and find a healthy release/way to cope than bottle them up. I was given up for adoption at birth and I carried around so much pain throughout my childhood that wasn't acknowledged (because adoption was thought to be only a happy thing & babies don't remember anything, right). When I did express sadness, my mom's discomfort made it clear that it wasn't a "safe' topic. So I repressed & internalized the pain and ended up with major depression and even a suicide attempt at age 17. Many years later when I explored information about healing this kind of loss from early childhood, the experts I read suggested that outward manifestations of anger and sadness (though not always easy for the parent) are a healthy response--the quiet ones who shut down part of themselves are a greater cause for worry.

Sounds you provide a lot of love and support, and I'm sure it makes a big difference. My DS is still nursing too, and I'm very glad of that source of emotional sustenance for him, even if part of me gets worn down by it. If he was crying every night I might look into some therapy, if only to help me feel assured that I was doing all I could to help, and maybe play therapy could facilitate the healing process. Kids have such different temperaments, and some may need to grieve longer.
Their sadness is so heartbreaking.
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#5 of 9 Old 04-19-2010, 01:17 AM
 
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mama its not just a seperation thing. its also an age thing when their imagination is growing.

you will see this off and on. yes my dd suffered that too even though she didnt remember her dad living with us. even now once in a while she will go thru the miss parent thing. however in our case the missed parent will see her more when seh asks for it.

dd is 7 1/2 and doesnt remember the sad times when she missed daddy when she was younger. we sit and grieve together that she cant have both her parents together. that she always has to choose between one or the other. i think she is now mature enough to be able to handle her emotions. her peak sadness hit around 5 1/2.

i noticed with dd there was a sadness that went deeper than just seeing the other parent. its these wells of emotions within her that needed to find expression and i think she focussed on not having both parents together. because even when she missed her daddy and wanted him, and he came she still couldnt control it. or the other way around. he would bring her to me and she would be sitting in my lap crying 'i want my mommy, i want my mommy'.

so i think that's an age thing where they really need to express their deep emotions. she has done the 'i miss my mommy' right in front of me when we had spent the whole day together and then had to cry it out, take a nap and feel better.

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#6 of 9 Old 04-21-2010, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for your comments and I am sorry that you are all going through this too!
I did have a good cry realising that this sadness isnt a temporary state and that DS is going to be working through this sadness for a long time. I had hoped that he would be hurt and then quickly move on but maybe its more human that he grieves properly for this so that in the long term he can be a happier person as a result.
I spoke to a friend who works with children and she recommended helping DS to quantify his emotions - "are you feeling very very sad now" - this does seem to help his understanding of what he's feeling as it must be confusing to be so overwhelmed by emotion.
Thanks for the suggestions and I am now trying to let DS cry "peacefully" in my arms as yes its true I realise how important it to be able to express sadness in a safe way - but I did ruin it when I started crying too - totallly freaked him out to see his Mum losing the plot - will not do that again!! I never learned how to aknowledge my feelings ( in my family children didnt have any feelings that mattered) and I now struggle daily with this so am now going to focus on allowing DS to work through this and I will just try to be there for him.
xx
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#7 of 9 Old 04-22-2010, 11:09 AM
 
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This helps
Do you ever feel it would have been better not bringing this little angels into this painful world? It seems there is no decency left.

I know this might be a horrible thing to say, but I feel so bad seeing mine suffer, he doesn't talk yet, so more difficult to help
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#8 of 9 Old 04-22-2010, 04:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewMom0208 View Post
This helps
Do you ever feel it would have been better not bringing this little angels into this painful world? It seems there is no decency left.

I know this might be a horrible thing to say, but I feel so bad seeing mine suffer, he doesn't talk yet, so more difficult to help
yes i did. our troubles began when we were trying. later ex told me dd was a 'parting gift' and i told him if i had an inkling it was going to head in this direction i would never have had her.

however i think with anything in life there is sadness and joy at every step of the way - no matter what your circumstances are.

dd at 7 1/2 is finally starting to see why it was better for us to be single parents. how she gained along with the loss. all the things she wouldnt be able to do if her dad and i were together.

part of that sadness is also the growing up process. growing up is painful and anxiety filled for all children - not just children of single parents.

that deep sadness our children feel is a part of their emotional growth spurt imho. and perhaps necessary for that reason.

i have come to look at sadness as not a bad thing. its a deep place of connection with ourselves that nothing else can achieve than sadness.

dd and i hold grieving circles all the time. we have a good cry about things and it feels v. refreshing afterwards. like the grey clouds disappeared and sunlight burst forth.

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#9 of 9 Old 04-23-2010, 05:56 PM
 
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Thank you for your words meemee,

It is clear I have big trouble accepting sadness and anger and all negative feelings as a bundle together with joy and satisfaction and wholeness.

I fall into the "it shouldn't be like this" thinking pattern. Also, since I did nothing wrong, I feel victimized. All I did was to be sucessfull on many areas and my partner could never deal with that. Envious he started to take me down and betrayed me on many levels.

He had an image of a little fragile girl he met at 16 and could never acept me becoming a strong, bold assertive woman.

In turn I attached so strongly to the commitment I made to the marriage that I neglected my own wellbeing. This is a mistake I want my son to learn from. I do want him to be very aware of what he wants and go for it. I cannot teach what I don't have so I am growing myself so I can.

It costed me dearly, I am turning 40 this year and I never really had 20's or 30's what does that look like...?

Enough rambling. THis is my path and my son is part of it. And he can be a very happy well grounded loving, trusting and trustworthy man. I will certainly do my best to promote that.
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