Posted by: val | 2008/12/05

worried about my 3 year old

PLEASE HELP!!!!!!My 3 year old had his play school orientation last week. He seemed happy when we left him playing, but when we fetched him 3 hours later, he was crying and appeared quite traumatised that we had left him with strangers. Since then he has been having nightmares about us leaving him and unless we are spoiling him with things he likes, he is moody, throws tantrums, pretends to be sick, fussy about his food and continues nagging. What can I do to help him ? I' ve tried talking to him - and he continues saying that he' s angry with us ' cos we left him at school. We can' t continue spoiling him - he is obviously demanding attention. IHis day mother says he is normal when we are at work. The moodiness starts only when he sees us.Its been more than a week and I don' t know what we are doing wrong. I am also 8 months pregnant - all the worrying and stress is getting to me. PLEASE HELP

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Our expert says:
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Try also posting this query on the parenting forum. Separation Anxietuy ( if you do a Google search on this term, you'll find loads of material ) is common at this age, One's sense of time is poorly developed at that age, so being left for even an hour can feel like forever and ever. But also discuss it with those running the school, who should be very experienced with such problems. Tell him you understand that he's angry, but he will find the school can be nice and an interesting place to play, and that you will ALWAYS come back to fetch him, because you love him so much. Presumably he was less bothered about being left with the day mother, because he was at home with his own things. He will adjust, though the route to that may be turbulent for a while yet.
How have other moms among our readers coped with such situations ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: Me | 2008/12/05

Its also quite a shame that this ' upheaval'  - change in routine is happening around the same time as the new baby that is on the way. Young kids also already start feeling insecure as there is a lot of talk and excitement and expectation about the coming new member of the family which they pick up on. Its wise to keep their routine as stable as possible in the months of the pregnancy and especially after the baby arrives so they dont feel left out, or abandoned in any way.
It might be a combination of normal separation anxiety which all kids experience, as well as the arrival of the new baby, which he may have some subconscious feelings about.
Its always easier sending a young baby to a new creche than a 1, 2 or 3year old, and maybe this change in routine will take some time for him to get used to. Can you not delay this move to new school until a few months after baby arrives? Just try give him all the love and attention and reassurance he needs.

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