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Question
Posted by: Lin | 2011/12/05

Re: 6 weeks before baby comes and son

By melt-downs:
It lasts about an hour and he will cry his little heart out and tell me his heart is sore. He wants to be held and comforted, which we do, but we''re scared by doing this we''re encouraging his behaviour.
These meltdowns will happen any time of the day and we''ve not been able to pinpoint something that might trigger it.

After calmy talking to him he has said that he doesn''t want to be away from me - he is scared of those 3 days that I''ll be in hospital. We''ve told him that he has 3 people to choose for sleeppvers then - 2 grandmothers or his aunt. So he can choose the person that he feels more comfortable with.

My mother will take him to hospital in the afternoons after school so he can spend time with me and his new sister.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

If he only got held and comforted on these occasions, perhaps it might encourage more of this particular behaviour. But as I assume he gets loads of loving, cuddles and comforts through the day and week, this isn't likely to become a problem.
And your discussions have indeed revealed the probable cause - he is for some reason fearful about your 3 days in hospital. Again, your description suggests you are handling this all admirably. Has he had previous experience of your being away for any time, and of being without you ? If not, he may just be feeling very unsure of how to cope with separation anxiety. If it has happened before, maybe something about that occasion has added to his worry - perhaps due to circumstances beyond your control, for instance, you stayed away a bit longer than he expected. Children can have a wobbly sense of time, so that mom's absence for a few hours can feel like forever.
He's lucky to have such a caring, thoughtful and wise mom and family

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Purple | 2011/12/06

My seven year old was terrified about my few days in hospital (even though I''ve been away for work reasons before). When the time came, he coped fine although he cried every time he had to leave me at the hospital.

Rassuring him and talking through what he is afraid of (which he might not be able to name) could help.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/12/05

If he only got held and comforted on these occasions, perhaps it might encourage more of this particular behaviour. But as I assume he gets loads of loving, cuddles and comforts through the day and week, this isn't likely to become a problem.
And your discussions have indeed revealed the probable cause - he is for some reason fearful about your 3 days in hospital. Again, your description suggests you are handling this all admirably. Has he had previous experience of your being away for any time, and of being without you ? If not, he may just be feeling very unsure of how to cope with separation anxiety. If it has happened before, maybe something about that occasion has added to his worry - perhaps due to circumstances beyond your control, for instance, you stayed away a bit longer than he expected. Children can have a wobbly sense of time, so that mom's absence for a few hours can feel like forever.
He's lucky to have such a caring, thoughtful and wise mom and family

Reply to cybershrink

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