4.5 yr old very...needy - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 5 Old 03-23-2012, 06:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
poiyt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 861
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I KNOW how bad that sounds...but hear me out.

 

So a little history. Currently I live with my partner (DP) and my soon to be ex (DH), and our four children. It works for us, and is amazing - we are all great friends. DP has raised DD#1 since she was 7months old (now 4.5).

 

DD#1 has always been very social, very talkative, very in your face. And thats completely fine with us. She has also always been the one who loves cuddles, and snuggles, and many hugs and kisses - also completely fine. She still co-sleeps with DP and I on occassion, also fine.

 

DH has worked since before DD#1 was born, and I have been working for about 1.5yrs now. As I said, DP has been there, helping to raise DD#1 since 7months so its definitely not a caregiver thing.

 

But there are two issues...

 

1) She is having a really hard time lately adjusting to me and DH going to work. So much so that it is affecting her sleep. She wakes up just to be up when we go - even if we tell her at night before we go to bed that we work (and we work mon-fri same times, but I know days and times are sometimes lost on little children so we have no problems telling her everynight). We try giving her lots of hugs and kisses. I would be okay with her waking up to see us off if she went back to sleep, but she doesnt. She gets upset, and whines a lot which inevitably wakes up the other children - so all the kids are over tired for the remainder of the day - especially DD#1. I dont know how to help her depend on us a little less, or help her adjust to the working. (I have posted just this question over in working parents as well).

 

2) She is very very very clingy on adults. She goes to a waldorf preschool 3 half days a week. This is her second year, so its not like its new. Last year, when she was the youngest she was always following the teacher around, always wanted to sit on her lap, help her, etc - which we chalked up to it being new, and her being the youngest. This year, she is one of the older kids in the class and still having the same issue. Only, because she is 4.5 it's now very demanding. The waldorf teacher does an amazing job, and is not bothered by this in the least (or so they tell us), but they are questioning moving her to kindergarten in the fall because the teachers there wont have as much time to devote to DD#1 as they do. I dont think this is a developmental thing - I think this is just how she is. Same if we set up a playdate with a friend from her class. Even if her and the other child are best of friends, she clings off the parent. Wants to do everything with the parent. It's like she is seeking some validation and attention from adults all the time. I dont know how to assist her in becoming less dependant onthe adults that surround her. But I dont want her to be held back, because I dont think it would be good for her either.

 

Thoughts? Is this normal 4.5yr old behaviour?


Lindsay: DS#1 (06/06) DD#1 (09/07) DS#2 (10/08) DD#2 (06/09). AND A BABY DUE NOVEMBER 2013

poiyt is offline  
#2 of 5 Old 03-23-2012, 09:17 AM
 
LynnS6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pacific NW longing for the Midwest
Posts: 12,565
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I think it's more anxiety than you usually see in a 4 year old, and so I wonder if there isn't something going on.
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by poiyt View Post
" soon to be ex (DH)"

 

"I dont know how to help her depend on us a little less, or help her adjust to the working. (I have posted just this question over in working parents as well)."

 

" I dont know how to assist her in becoming less dependent on the adults that surround her. But I dont want her to be held back, because I dont think it would be good for her either."


I've taken quotes that stand out to me. First, the "soon to be ex" -- I don't know the history, but are you sure she's not picking up on something?  Is your ex going to be moving out? Is there anything changing? Is she really OK with the situation?

 

Second, I'd gently say that you can't assist her in becoming less dependent until she feels secure. I don't know why she feels nervous. It could be her age, ,it could be her personality, it could be something else. But what I can tell you is that getting a child to be less dependent often requires letting them be as dependent as they need to be for a while, and then gently pushing. The problem is, of course, when to push!

 

How much one-on-one attention does she get? Is she the oldest of 4? In the middle? I think it's a good idea to spend one-on-one time with all your kids, but it's doubly important when they are going through a rough patch. Can both you and dh make an effort to spend one-on-one time with her for 20-30 minutes a day?

 

A couple of books that might help:

The Highly Sensitive Child

Freeing your Child From Anxiety (I honestly don't know if she's got anxiety, but it's a good read and it's got some good info on when an issue might require some outside help)

 


Lynnteapot2.GIF, academicreading.gif,geek.gif wife, WOHM  to T jog.gif(4/01) and M whistling.gif (5/04)
LynnS6 is offline  
#3 of 5 Old 03-23-2012, 12:36 PM
 
Jen Muise's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 233
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I've found that when my kids have gone through a clingy stage, the best thing to do is get clingy back.  Like, excessively, playfully clingy - grab them and tell them I'm never going to let them go, never-ever-ever, they're going to have to figure out how to go to the bathroom and eat dinner with me hugging them, they're trapped and will never escape etc.  then of course they escape and I act all shocked and heartbroken, with big fakey tears etc.  and trap them again at the next opportunity.  This puts the power back in their hands, and they love it.  When I've tried to get them to stop clinging by peeling them off and pushing them onwards, they just cling more.  And, funnily enough, usually after a few days of playing like this, the clingyness around other stuff gets better too. 

Jen Muise is offline  
#4 of 5 Old 03-23-2012, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
poiyt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 861
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

I think it's more anxiety than you usually see in a 4 year old, and so I wonder if there isn't something going on.
 


I've taken quotes that stand out to me. First, the "soon to be ex" -- I don't know the history, but are you sure she's not picking up on something?  Is your ex going to be moving out? Is there anything changing? Is she really OK with the situation?

 

 

 



I just wanted to answer this query - for others. My ex isnt going to be moving out. We just bought a house - well my DP and I did, and DH is living with us long term. We've been living like this for quite some time. There are no changes happening, or any planned to be happening soon. As for being okay with the situation...Im not sure what the situation is. I dont believe at this young age she has the stereotypical belief that a 'proper' family must consist of a mom and a dad and thats it. Our kids know they have 4 parents who love them - regardless of biological relation yk?

 


Lindsay: DS#1 (06/06) DD#1 (09/07) DS#2 (10/08) DD#2 (06/09). AND A BABY DUE NOVEMBER 2013

poiyt is offline  
#5 of 5 Old 03-23-2012, 05:29 PM
 
crunchy_mommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 6,501
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't think I can say much to help with the second situation, DS is very much the same & always has been, and I haven't found much that works, except some homeopathics to alleviate his anxiety some. And I agree that your living situation isn't likely a problem for her if that's all she's ever known and it's working out well, peaceful, etc.

As to the work issue... DS had a really hard time with DH going back to work after an extended unemployment. We did find something that helped him with that a ton. We drew out a calendar of the week (just one week, reuse the same one each week). It's felt and there's a separate little felt piece that can be moved from day to day -- you could do something magnetic if that's easier. Anyway, we already had this calendar, just to introduce him to the days of the week etc. (he just turned 3) so what I did was draw pictures on the days of the week that DH was home, and different pictures on the days he works. The days of the week he's home are 'cat days' (DS's favorite animal) and the days he works are 'number days' (I don't know why he wanted numbers on those days lol, that's what he chose!) Somehow it seems to make so much more sense to him that there are 'cat days' and 'number days' than 'work days' and 'days off' and it really seemed to help him understand that each week has BOTH kinds of days. I think before he just thought it was arbitrary or that DH would be at work every day forever.

After we updated his calendar, he asked for some paper and drew tons of pictures of cats and talked about the days HE would be at 'work' and he drew a sad cat that missed his daddy... basically, it seemed to really help him to open up & express how he was feeling & process things. So that was an added (unexpected!) benefit... and every night he asks if the next day will be a cat day or a number day.

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
crunchy_mommy is offline  
Reply

Tags
Child

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off