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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How are YOURS doing? Mine, not so good. She's always been challenging but this has been a terrible week. She is throwing tantrums like I've never seen (and I have a 20 month old!) SUper clingy. Refuses to help. Sullen. Very tearful. Uses the word *hate* regularly. "My cousin's hate me" "I hate eggs" "I hate her voice"<br><br>
She is very hard to be around. I'm trying so hard to be extra attentive and loving (and it's hard with a clingy 20 month old).<br><br>
I know 4 year olds sometimes go through similar things, I know it's normal for kids to react to divorce, but I don't know if this is "normal". I think I'm going to call a child psychologist to see if she can just meet with her.<br><br>
Can you tell me about your experiences with this age and divorce?
 

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I don't have any experience with this yet, we haven't told our kids, but I have a four-year-old daughter who is difficult on a good day, and has been a nightmare for the past week or so. She's definitely picking up on the stress. I've found a few things that she really enjoys that are easy to do, and when she gets into a funk, I try to distract her by letting her do one of these things. She really likes listening to Christmas music on headphones while I use my laptop. She just sits and sings along. She also loves using stamps to mark up her body. I'll let her put stamps anywhere she can reach, and it absolutely delights her. She enjoys taking the dog on a "walk" around the house. The dog doesn't love it, but she tolerates it, and I supervise. So if I can at all, when she starts getting into her funk, I try to let her do something she likes to help her snap out of it. Kind of the way I might reach for a pint of Ben & Jerry's when I'm feeling funky, you know?<br><br>
I think play therapy can be extremely helpful, for both of you. My daughter goes, she has some anxiety problems and probably has Asperger's Syndrome. They don't really talk, but they draw pictures and play. The therapist and I talk, though, and she tells me what she sees and gives me advice. It's just as much therapy for me as it is her.<br><br>
Much love to you. What you're going through sounds tough, and I hope it passes soon.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Mothra</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10275978"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't have any experience with this yet, we haven't told our kids, but I have a four-year-old daughter who is difficult on a good day, and has been a nightmare for the past week or so.</div>
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Same here. We haven't said anything to our kids yet, but my 4 yo DS has been more of a challenge lately as well. He never had a tantrum in his life until about 2 or 3 months ago. He's also doing a lot more whining. So either he is picking up on the stress, or it's another developmental stage. Either way, I feel your pain, if that helps any.
 

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I'm recently divorced with a 4 yo (its been 8 months or so) and just bought a house with my bf and hope to be remarrying soon and #2 is on the way. Its alot of changes for a 4 yo to process. I was just thinking last night that things seem to be getting better but this morning was a struggle getting out the door to daycare and work. Lots of tears and clinging to me at drop off and "I don't want to go to school". I was reading a thread on the childhood years board that made me feel alot better today. Seems like alot of his behavior is typical 4 yo stuff. Happy, sweet, cheerful, loving child one moment and a whiny, angry terror the next. One thing that has been reassuring to me throughout this process is that his caregivers at daycare haven't noticed much of a change in DS for the most part. He's still his sweet, happy self at school with the occasional disagreement with a friend that earns him a time out (this happens at the same frequency as it did before the divorce). I read that its gets alot better by age 5. I'm counting down the days till his b'day. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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My son turned five right after I moved out with the kids. This is a kid whose difficult behavior started right at three and still lingers. He's all set to fill the role of "problem child" in the family. I refuse to let that happen, but I know what you are going through, the worry that something might be truly wrong here. I, of course, felt guilty too. I can tell you that most of this has smoothed out, actually more as a result of the divorce than in spite of it. Our house is now child-centered, consistent, loving, and fun. I have found that using different tricks to stay connected mentally and emotionally with him, and using skills I've learned to avoid the power struggles, has helped bring his behavior into "tolerable" range. And this is a kid who has used all the horrible tricks- biting, 2 hour tantrums, breaking things, constantly harrassing his siblings, racing around smashing things- he truly used to rule our family with terror. Have heart, if my family can improve, yours can for sure.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wave.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wave"> me! i am! our kids are actually fairly close in age and my four year old has been up and down since her father left 11/06. she's been doing weekly play therapy since 2/07 and i firmly believe that it saves both her sanity and mine. it is so hard but i'm finding she's starting to put things together and is getting more able to express some anger towards bk. this is a relief to me. anyway... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Snarky, would you recommend your therapist?<br><br>
Interestingly, I went to a talk last night on pre-school behavior (our pre school has a lecture series) and I feel a bit better about her behavior. I do think she could benefit from some kind of therapy to get through this period though.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BugMacGee</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10323891"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Snarky, would you recommend your therapist?</div>
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i pmed you! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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My DD was 3.5 when stbx left last spring and it's finally getting better <i>except</i> on the days she sees him. It seems to take her her half a day after to settle down. When she's with him (which is always in my presence because she refuses to go alone with him), she's a different child entirely: moody, dissatisfied, cranky and all-around hyper. It's as though she can't settle down or she's trying to be entertaining. It hurts to watch.<br><br>
I'm working with her on talking it through and just letting her be extre clingy for now, but as I said she does seem to be better now when it's just the two of us.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> You're doing good mama!
 
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