My sitter and I are both worried about my son. He’s been very clingy the last few weeks. Poor kid has had a lot of change in the last month or so.
His father and I reside in the same home, but are not together. This has been our living situation since our son was born. Niether of us wanted to miss out on anything, so we kept it civil, and live under the same roof.
I was seeing and was in love with someone else. We broke up, and I was devastated. As much as I tried to keep it together for my son, I couldn’t and I’d openly cry in front of him sometimes. Sometimes I’d try to hide in the bathroom, or cry in the shower, but he’d always find me. This happened about 2 or 3 weeks ago. Since then, I’ve managed to pull it together for my son. His dada has been extremely supportive during this time. I’ve been trying to give my son as much undivided one on one time as possible, as has his father. My son never met the person I was seeing, so he isn’t upset about not seeing my exb/f. He has been extremely clingy. We can’t leave the room with out him crying. His father can’t take the trash out without a full on sobbing sad cry.
His sitter has taken on an adorable 8 month old little boy who is there parttime in the mornings. At first my son kinda ignored him. However, his sitter mentioned to me today that my son does not want to be anywhere near the little boy, and prefers to stay upstairs playing alone. He throws a fit when he has to come down to eat or play while the little boy is there. I think he may be jealous? My son was previously the youngest child there. His sitter can’t get him interested in food, arts and crafts or anything else.
We are both at a loss of what to do. He’ll be 2.5 on the 16th. Is he approaching a mile stone maybe? He has had a language explosion the last few days. Lots of sentences and his personality is really coming out. I don’t know what to do to make this transition at his sitters easier for him. I don’t know how else to reassure him at home. I make sure to spend one on one time with him during the day, and to tell him I love him, and give him lots of cuddles and snuggles, and to always be there for him when he needs a hug. I drop whatever I’m doing and pick him up. I don’t know what else to do for this sweet child, but it pains me to see him so clingy just when I thought he’d FINALLY grown out of it. I don’t necessarily want to “push” him out of this, b/c I don’t think that would be productive, and would probably make the problem worse, I just want to be able to help him deal w/ this, and I don’t know how. He’s such a creature of habit. Any little change in his routine, and he goes nuts.
First of all, it sounds to me like you are feeling like your son is being clingy because you have cried in front of him. I really dont think this is the case. I asked a child psychologist about this a few months ago, and he basically told me that toddlers are a big whirlwind of emotion and are beginning to make connections to all sorts of things and often times the whole world can be overwhelming and they just want their parents- it probably has nothing to do with you not being super strong all the time. DD did this twice, for about two weeks the first time and then for about a month the second time. She was teething the second time, and it took me a while to put the two and two together.
FWIW, I cry in front of my 2.5 year old every day and she isn't doing this anymore. She is strong willed, independent, and has plenty of opinions and attitudes about all kinds of things, good and bad :) In the past couple of months, we have worked on potty training, and I feel like the ability to go to the bathroom by herself has made her feel really proud and grown up. Maybe there is something your DS could do that will foster his independence without pushing him away?
As far as the 8 month old goes, it sometimes takes kiddos a little bit to adjust to change. Peronsally, I wouldnt let him play upstairs all morning by himself while the babysitter is there, but that's just me. Id probably make him stay down stairs and the first few times he might throw a fit, but he would get used to being down there with the baby. Sometimes toddlers have to be included in everything to feel like they arent being ignored. Does the babysitter let your DS help feed him, entertain him while she is changing his diaper, and let DS play with him?
The living situation that you guys have is all that DS knows, so right now it looks like the only change is the 8 month old and seeing mama cry a few times. I'd chalk his behavior up to being two more than there being huge changes going on.
My 25 MO DD will come over and say "All right, Mommy?" and hug on me every time I cry or get hurt or even make a sound that might be misconstrued as any emotion except happy. I have to be very careful around her. She is very empathetic. Maybe your son is, too.
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