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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2010-07-30

Child Clingy after break up

Hi
My fiancee (now ex) &  I broke up just over a month ago &  i moved out of the house. We have a 23 month old child together whom has been staying with us since birth. Before the break-up he was happy to sleep on his own but now only sleeps in my bed &  is always holding on to me (even in deep sleep) &  would during the night call mama &  only a response (reassurance that i am there) he keeps quiet &  goes back to sleep. Some nights he would even call daddy while sleeping. I know he misses his dad. He''s only seen him twice for brief periods since the separation. He was very close &  used to to his dad being around so i know it might be affecting somehow. Is there anything i can do to help him? He''s very playful &  all but just that when i leave for work &  when we go to sleep we seem to have problems.
Please help!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Its not only very understandable why the boy is behaving like this, it'd probably be more worrying if he as NOT responding like this - he has just lost someone he loved, and doesn't understand why this is - and fears that you, the other loving person in his life, might go, too.
Make arrangements for him to see his dad more often. Maria's comments are excellent and I fully endorse them

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Our users say:
Posted by: Anon | 2010-07-30

I have tried talking to him , wrote him long emails &  sms''s about the effect this is having on our son &  asking him to just be civil about things. But its like he''s on some mission &  possessed or something. I really don''t know how to get through to him anymore.

Thanks for the advices. I will give our boy all the love he needs right now as i always have &  just reassure him as well.

Reply to Anon
Posted by: Maria | 2010-07-30

Anon that''s a different story. Sadly it often seems to be the case - dad doesn''t just divorce mom but the children too. (I''m not saying all men are like this, some divorced dads are brilliant parents. And some divorced moms aren''t.) Unfortunately you cannot force your ex to take an interest in his son. I suggest you write him a nice letter explaining how much his son is missing him and offering to go to mediation or counselling together so that you can amicably work out something in the boy''s best interests. Take care.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Anon | 2010-07-30

Thanks for your repsonses. The 2 times he saw him i " forced"  the meetings. I do call him so they can speak but sometimes he doesn''t answer my calls. I have told him he can see him whenever he wants but i don''t want to force him to play his role again.
He was angry that i shared our personal problems with a friend of mine ( i was on the brink of a breakdown &  he wouldn''t listen to me) on email , he sneaked into my email account &  saw the emails. So he might still be angry with me but taking it out on the child. He ignores me when i try to talk to him.

Reply to Anon
Posted by: XXX | 2010-07-30

Maria sums it up rather well.It is not surprising that he is like this.He needs lots of love and understanding now.
I suggest you talk to his Dad and ask him to see his son more and even phone on a daily basis.
Staying in communication will help your little one get through this much better.
Do not argue and pull his Dad down in front of him.

Reply to XXX
Posted by: Maria | 2010-07-30

I suggest you also post on the Divorce Support forum.

You and your ex have ripped apart he security of your little boy''s life so what do you expect? Why is he not seeing his dad more often? He is too young to really understand what is going on and a month is a very short time for him to process the change in circumstances. It is entirely normal for him to be insecure. Give him lots of love and reassurance but don''t allow him to run wild because you feel sorry for him. He needs to have the same boundaries and discipline as before in order for him to feel safe. And work out access with is dad so that he can see him often and predictably.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010-07-30

Its not only very understandable why the boy is behaving like this, it'd probably be more worrying if he as NOT responding like this - he has just lost someone he loved, and doesn't understand why this is - and fears that you, the other loving person in his life, might go, too.
Make arrangements for him to see his dad more often. Maria's comments are excellent and I fully endorse them

Reply to cybershrink

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