Feel rubbish - dealing with 3yo anxieties?

(4 Posts)
Andro Fri 25-Jan-13 20:02:44
Andro Fri 25-Jan-13 20:00:54

DD2 is 20 months younger, and has a lot of health problems which mean I am unpredictably away with her in hospital. DD1 misses both of us when this happens and I think goes some way to explaining her behaviour. I've tried talking about this and reassuring that I'll always come back but DD1 is too young to discuss it all properly.

I'd say it goes more than someway to explaining her behaviour! Unpredictable absence (with no time to prepare her?), plus changing from a familiar CM to (presumably) a larger/busier environment at PS means she probably doesn't believe you when you say you'll always come back/she's thinking the young child's equivalent of 'but when?'

DD needed a very consistent routine, it was very difficult for a long time.

Consistency, predictability and reassurance without me and DH making things into an issue is what worked for us...but it took months and any deviation caused a set back.

amazingmumof6 Fri 25-Jan-13 19:18:36

you are not rubbish and you know it, so stop berating yourself! feeling guilty is waste of energy!

is she happy at preschool once you are gone or is she miserable the whole time?
if she's ok there, and only giving you a hard time you can ignore that, if you don't pay attention she'll stop eventually.

she is not responsible for your emotions, but you can tell her you feel cross or said or tired, she'll understand it! you are not a robot and it is nonsense to try and deny your feelings!

do you tell her when she makes you happy or proud? I bet you do!
so why should be sheltered from your negative emotions?
how is she supposed to learn how to express negative emotions and how to deal with them if you think you are not supposed to show them?

change is always scary, so she's testing if she's safe.
you do what you can, but maybe it's time you put your foot down a little bit and give her some basic rules and consequences. be firm and show her that mummy is in charge, however she feels, and there's nothing for her to worry about!

I hope this helps

CementMixer Fri 25-Jan-13 16:16:57

I am really losing confidence in myself as a mother. I have been quite "baby-led", used slings, co-slept at times etc, but am often unable to manage my emotions around dd1 who is 3.2.

As a younger child she was always the one to run further, climb higher, try anything etc, but recently she has become less and less confident. She has not settled well into going to pre-school (was happy at CM) and cries before going and drop off is awful despite the lovely staff's best efforts. We've done a really long settling period. She was moved up a group in swimming but has had to go back down to parent and child because she cried or wouldn't join in.

I work 3 days a week and feel very torn now as she is so unhappy at PS. I find myself getting cross when she cries at separation and irritated by her clinginess blush. I am pretty sure I am not helping by being cross and lacking patience, and by being so conflicted I don't think I reassure her with consistency as I should. I speak to her about how she's making me feel, or tell her to stop or that she's silly etc. All things I utterly disagree with as I don't want to make her responsible for my emotions, or for her to bottle up how she feels.

DD2 is 20 months younger, and has a lot of health problems which mean I am unpredictably away with her in hospital. DD1 misses both of us when this happens and I think goes some way to explaining her behaviour. I've tried talking about this and reassuring that I'll always come back but DD1 is too young to discuss it all properly.

How can I be a more supportive, reassuring parent? Any experiences/tips?

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