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<p>Lately, DD (4.5) has stopped wanting to do anything that's not a normal part of everyday home life and generally will throw fits about it. I can't tell you how often I hear "I don't wanna do xyz!" or "I'm scared of xyz!" But its getting to the point where its really interrupting our life, particularly the daily battle over preschool.</p>
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<p>For a quick bit of preschool background: DD absolutely adored going to preschool until the beginning of Dec. She'd run into the classroom with nary a hug, kiss, goodbye or even a backward glance! She was always so happy to show me what she'd done that day when I'd pick her up and would talk about all the fun she had with her teachers and with her friends. At the beginning of December, I went out of town for three days on a weekend getaway DH sent me on before #3 is born. DD stayed at home with DH and DS, however, because of DH's job, there were a series of babysitters (all grandparents) over that three day period, though there was one day with DH. My going out of town did not in any way effect her school. She was dropped off and picked up like normal and I left after she was home and settled from school that Friday.</p>
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<p>But ever since then, it seems like she is equating her going to school with me disappearing. She screams, cries, clings and generally throws a huge fit when she's dropped off. But she's over it within five minutes after we leave, tops. And goes on to have a normal, happy fun day. And admits she had a lot of fun and is glad she went. But continues to say that she doesn't like school, school is scary, she doesn't want to go to school, school isn't good anymore etc etc etc. I try talking to her about how much fun she has and how glad she is to go but it doesn't do anything. Instead of asking me every night if its a school day the next day and getting excited when it is, she cries. I feel so awful, I'd have never ever gone if I knew a three day weekend away would ruin her love of school.</p>
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<p>BTW, she loves her teachers and they are fabulous, so there is no issue with that.</p>
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<p>Its more than just school though. She hates going over to other people's houses if DH and I aren't going to be there, particularly my MIL's. Telling her about going over there to make Christmas cookies was a two day battle. Whenever it came up, the tears would start along with the "I don't wanna!"s. But she went, threw a fit for less than five minutes and had a great time and was glad she went. That's how every outing with MIL goes. I feel bad forcing her to go, but she's glad that she's gone when she does go.</p>
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<p>The big one I need advice for is pictures tomorrow. I'm taking DS to have his year photos done and I really want DD to take a few with him. But she's saying she doesn't like pictures now and she's scared. No amount of talking will calm her. We had an extended family prof pic taken at this same place on Sunday so she knows the place, she's seen the set, we've even got the same photographer. I'm sure to an extent its the fear of the unknown, but it isn't completely unknown...although I suppose I shouldn't count on a 4 yr olds brain thinking that way. Even knowing that I'll be right there, she'll be able to see me and hug me between photos isn't helping her. I'm at a loss.</p>
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<p>Those are the three big ones, esp preschool, but there's something small every day. Its things like cleaning up, drinking her milk/water (she wouldn't drink at all if I didn't force it), eating her meat etc. I'm really about to lose it with her, I'm so tired of hearing "I don't wanna". I'm turning to bargaining, begging and bribery which are all short term fixes and will eventually just perpertuate the issue, but I'm desperate. It took all my willpower to not start threatening her this evening over the pictures. That's NOT how I want to parent.</p>
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<p>Thanks for reading!</p>
 

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<p>Is it possible that some of this has to do with your MIL? It seems like she could be a common factor between your trip, school, her house, etc?</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
<p>Sorry it took me so long to get back to this. We've been having computer problems. Some days the internet works, some days it doesn't. Can't figure out why...</p>
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<p>Anyway...In what manner do you think it could have to do with my MIL? I do see where you are coming from and I'm genuinely curious. I will say that DD isn't hugely interested in my MIL. MIL isn't exactly a get down and play with kids kind of woman and she does come across as apathetic about basically everything. I don't think abuse of any sort is an issue.</p>
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<p>No, I don't think its MIL. She's taken to telling me that she wants me. She doesn't want to be without me. She wants to go everywhere I go. I think that's more of the real issue, she doesn't want to be seperated from me. So maybe a case of the "I don't wannas" isn't where I need to be focusing. I should be focusing more on seperation anxiety and a fear of the unknown.</p>
 

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<p>An idea I just had would be is there something small of yours that you could give her for "safekeeping" while you are apart for things like preschool, MIL's house, etc.?  Maybe having something physical of mommy to hold onto might ease her anxiety enough to know you will come back because you need the item as well?  Another thing I used to do when my DD went through an anxiety phase about being apart from me at that age was to spell out her day for her (go to preschool, play, have snack, have music, play outside, have lunch, take a nap, and after rest time, mommy will come!).  Once she had that pretty well memorized and knew what to expect, things got better for her too.</p>
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<p>One other thought...is she having any anxiety about changes coming with the new baby?  I think that played into it for DD...she was 4y5m when her baby sister was born last year.  I don't know if talking about that over with her might help.  Also, I know during the holidays and right after last year, I was either pretty busy with holiday/getting ready for baby stuff or just exhausted, so it was hard to spend as much one one one time with her.  Do you think she may just need a bit more time with just you and her?</p>
 

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<p>O.M.G....Is my child living in your home too????? EVERY.LITTLE.THING is a battle/fight/hugest ordeal of her life. We are mean parents, we are "killing" her, she hates life etc etc...drama on and on. C go to the bathroom "NO IM SCARED, come with me, help me do it for me", C want to color? "NO IM SCARED, come with me, help me do it for me." C get your socks on....you get the picture. Everything is scary, she wants us to come with her and do EVERYTHING with her. I am at my wits end. (see thread posted a bit back by me....we had a dose of oral steroids in with this whole drama).</p>
<p>I really am thinking that at this age they are going through some type of mental growth type thing. Dd is sleeping like the dead at night and is a nutso crazy not listening to rules, and full of drama all day. Perfect example...the other day we were having one of dh coworkers and family over, they have a 6 yr old and an 18 mth old dd. Our dd was so thrilled for the older girl but was so ANGRY about the "baby" coming, we kept gently reminding that she had to be nice etc. She had fits about on and on. As soon as they got there all she wanted to do was "help" and play with the baby <span><img alt="shrug.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="width:29px;height:15px;"></span>.</p>
<p>Same about everything, throws a fit and then loves it a few mins in. She can't seem to get rid of me fast enough at that point...</p>
<p>sorry im rambling...I have no advice but have tons of empathy. I am done bargining, bribing and conjoling.life is back to normal. I am no longer making a big deal about anything because its all drama. I am telling her in a nonchalant way thats that like if it were dd the picture thing I would mention at lunch or something,." ds is going to get his pics done tomorrow at the place you went last week. Remember that place? with mr. xyz and they had the baby unicorn etc etc?" then let that be that. If she responded happily I would continue the discussion but if she had a fit I would drop it. She would still know we are going but I am so done engaging in fights lol. then once we got to the place withing 2 min she would be begging me to have her pic done to....I am trying to find more ways to make things her idea now too...</p>
<p>Yeah sorry this is so long but I really  think my dd is going through a phase and probably a lot of other 4.5 yr olds...I think dd feels out of control and so is trying to figure it out...</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
<p>Jillmamma-I'm not entirely sure if the new baby is playing into her fears or not. Whenever we talk about the baby, she seems pretty bored with the topic. I think she's more at the stage where I've been pregnant forever and having a new baby around isn't totally real for her. We've not discussed what's going to happen when the baby's born with her (we're having a homebirth but she and DS will be headed over to grandparent's, she does not do well with me being in pain esp if I'm bleeding so I think birth would be waaaaaaay traumatic for her!) because we're just at 36wks and I tend to go overdue. We'll cross that bridge in a few more weeks. She adjusted very well to DS a year ago so I'm hoping it'll go as smoothly again, esp since its not a brand new experience this time. All that being said, I could be totally off base and I will bring it up with her!</p>
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<p>I really like the idea of going through her daily schedule and having her take something of mine. I've tried having her take something of hers, but something of mine might hit the mark better. Thanks!</p>
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<p>Chatty-So sorry to hear you're going through the same thing!! I hope it works out for both of us!! :)</p>
 
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