How to help a 5 year old NOT act like a 2 year old? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 4 Old 06-04-2013, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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I am an at home daycare provider who has my step-daughter M-F with me in daycare and at nights. The mother only has her on the weekends(her choice). I never wanted to become the child's primary parent but because of finances, she needs to have free daycare with me and therefor, spends most of her time with me. Her mom "helps" her take her blankie everywhere and tells her it's perfectly OK to suck her thumb. We have discouraged this behavior and taught her coping skills to act more her age and not rely on objects for soothing. She has really been throwing tantrums, sucking her thumb all the time (we make her have private time in her room if she feels the need to do it), and she behaves more and more like an infant. She says her mom likes it when she behaves like a baby. It seems as if her mom encourages it because it assuages her guilt of being an absent mother. How do I help the child see that her behavior is that of an infant, not appropriate for a 5 year old and that if this is some backwards try for attention, it will fail as she will only spend more time alone in private "doing" her baby behaviors? I read her an article in a parenting magazine talking about 3 year olds reverting to baby behavior as a phase and the suggestions for stopping it. Some were things like making her have baby time, feeding her, making her take the blanket and her thumb everywhere. When I suggested we do these things, she was highly offended. She is stuck between acting like an infant and wanting all the perks of a 5 year old.

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#2 of 4 Old 06-05-2013, 11:57 AM
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Might now be what you want to hear but it is only opinion for what it is worth...Pick your battles..Why does it bother you so much that she likes her blanket and sucks her thumb? She is self-soothing and it isn't hurting anyone...Could be worse things to deal with..She is only 5...Still a small child and needs her security..She will outgrow both soon enough...One day you will be sitting in a pew at her wedding wondering where your little girl went to...I have always like that song "Let them be little"...


JMHO and for what it is worth I also have a 5 year old little girl..She doesn't suck her thumb but she does have a blanket and It has never even entered my mind to call her a baby because she likes her blanket..I have a special pillow on my bed that I sleep with that I also like to take with me when I travel..doesn't make me a baby...

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#3 of 4 Old 06-05-2013, 12:45 PM
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I don't really see the harm in it.  I slept with a teddy bear until I got married.  At 27.  I just recently gave it DS, who at 9 sleeps with it and a few other things.   I brought it with to every sleep over and DS also brings his guys with on overnight trips.

Five is still rather young.  I also have a 5 year old DD.  But she is Ms. Independent.   While she doesn't have a lovey persay, she has tons of stuffed guys and every few weeks she picks a new one to bring with her everywhere.  

My sister sucked her thumb till she was 8.  


With that said, maybe if you gave her more grown up options? sSe would see what fun it is to be  a big girl.   How big girls get more options than babies.   Have her help you at day care.   Preparing meals, clearing tables, "watching" the other kids.   Or what about telling her the blankie is to stay in her room.  That way it's kept safe from other kids and spills/tears etc.

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#4 of 4 Old 06-05-2013, 01:27 PM
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Just keep stressing that "if you want to do the things big kids do, you have to act like a big kid". Don't respond if she tries to talk with her thumb in her mouth, have designated areas for blankie time (like keeping blankie in bed, perhaps), things like that. I do NOT believe in any kind of "shaming" behavior, so I would not force her to carry the blanket if she's uncomfortable. I would also talk to your partner about his ex's treatment of the girl; she sounds manipulative.

Sarah-Wife to Kelly, mostly organic crafty SAHMama to my angel, Canaan (11/01/07-03/15/2013) and Ezra (05-12-09).

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