Posted by: Johan | 2011-11-30

Child can''t be allone

Our 4 year old son is following my wife every minute of the day he can''t leave her out of his sight without getting anxcious or he will be screaming if he can''t find her even if she''s in a room next to were he is. We were hoping for improvement since our baby doughter was bourne 5 months but it''s only getting worse. What can we do or to whom should we take him to help him as we can''t even think of taking him to playgroup or preschool as he refuses to play with other children.

Thank you.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Some separation anxiety, from the sound of it. He is still adjusting to the presence of the new baby, who he probably experiences as a competitor or the time and love of both of you.
Purple's experienced suggestions are excellent.
I find it sometimes helps if one emphasizes how much you appreciate how much he as a Big Boy now, can help you care for the baby ; and as P says, reassure him that the baby now just as he once did, needs a lot of extra care, but will before too long be as independent as he is.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Purple | 2011-12-01

As you have a new baby, he is adjusting. He has lost out on a lot of play time and time just being with your wife.

The best way to help children to become independent is to help them to feel secure and loved even more than they do already. Can your wife spend some special time alone with him each day while you have baby? Is she able to read to him and play to him while baby lies on a play mat or on her lap. Does she fit them both on her lap?

Babies needs are intense, but perhaps a book to be read to your son about how babies are boring and take up lots of moms time in the beginning but how it gets better.

My son is 7 and even though he knew all this, he got very clingy just after my daughter was born, and even began sleeping in my bed again for a while. I just tried to hug him a lot, and whenever baby was feeding or sleeping I read to him or played chess (I''m useless at it, so he got a bit frustrated) or monopoly.

It sounds like your wife stays home with him. IF so, as long as she socialises with other moms with children of various ages about 3 times a week, his need for socialisation will be met, which is pretty much the point of play groups and nursery school. He will I''m sure feel quite different about it by the time he''s 5 turning 6 and ready for his grade R year which is the phonics and maths and cutting and colouring and writing of names in preparation for grade 1 and includes all the school readiness assessments etc. In preparation, you can start taking him to the school grounds and letting him walk around a few months in advance, and driving past and asking how he feels about going there (then don''t tell him how he should feel or that it will be fun etc, just say tht you understand, or mmmm) and reassure him that the other children will probably also feel like that). They will also have an orientation day where they will show the kids where the toilets are and where the bags go and so on. They will also have an orientation for parents. School is not like it was when we were little, teachers have for the most part become remarkably more understanding about children''s feelings.

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