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    Mrs Molly Coddle's Avatar
    Mrs Molly Coddle is offline I've admitted in writing that veve is awesome - eeek she has proof!!!
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    Default Severe separation anxiety in 3.75 year old

    Please help. I have a DS who will be 4 in 4 months. He has severe separation anxiety and I don't know where to go for help or what I can do to help him.

    Some examples of his behaviour:
    1. I am the only one who can brush his teeth or put his pull up on at night, wipe his bum, put his shoes on, put his seatbelt on etc. He will occasionally let my mum put his seatbelt on or dress him but otherwise, he needs me to do it.
    2. If I walk more than about a Metre away from him, he gets anxious and asks where I'm going. Even at home.
    3. He comes with me to the toilet, to the outside fridge, to take the rubbish out etc.
    4. If I try and walk away from him eg. Am busting for the bathroom so have to hurry, he gets upset and squeals and will often cry.
    5. He is terrified of strangers and will not talk even to friends until he has had many, many interactions with them
    6. He has to go to sleep with me. We move him into his own bed (same room) when we go to bed, but I spend the night hopping back and forth between DD in our bed and DS who cries and screams for me.
    7. He started preschool last week and it has been a complete nightmare. He spent a great deal of last night awake crying and saying he didn't want to go back to school. He cried himself to sleep, and slept in my arms for the whole night.

    Need I go on?
    I also have a 12 month old DD and I am flipping exhausted as she also seems to have developed a preference for me over DH. Farrrr out.

    I don't really know what to do or where to go for help. I try and be patient with him but I am always so frustrated. I really like my own space and am not a "chatty" person, so am really starting to resent having to give a running commentary of my life all the time. That sounds awful. I'm sorry. I am just so scared and worried for him.

    Can anybody direct me to anyone/anywhere that could help? Or do you have any similar experiences?

    I don't know what to so about school. I Just do not know what to do full stop.
    Thanks. Sorry this is so long

  2. #2
    Mrs Molly Coddle's Avatar
    Mrs Molly Coddle is offline I've admitted in writing that veve is awesome - eeek she has proof!!!
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    I should maybe also mention that he is very bright and has excellent language skills. I have tried to ask him what he is afraid of, but he doesn't really answer. I ask him WHY he wants me to brush his teeth etc and he just says "because I want you to", "because I love you" or "because I miss you." it's not worth him getting hysterically upset, so I just do it for him.

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    I'm sorry... I SO wish I had some experience to draw from, or advice.
    I have a DS a similar age, and while he doesn't behave that way exactly, I
    *KNOW* what it's like to be fed up and clueless as to what to change.

    Perhaps if you have a MCHN that you like, or at least who is reasonable (I've heard some horror stories) you could chat to them?

    I've turned up once in tears over DD (about 1 at the time) and her refusal to sleep. Ever. Unless I held her. My MCHN was so lovely, and really helped. She seemed to have so many avenues of help, from leaflets to day stays, to seminars. (in fact I'm seeing her again on Monday about DSs sudden behaviour changes, and sleep issues. I think he is having separation anxiety too.)

    I'm not sure, but from my experience, you can ask them why they're upset or angry til you're blue in the face and still never get a real response. I don't think DS understands that question yet (of course he is still only 3 and 2 months).

    Sorry I'm no help, I just know if I has written your post I'd have preferred a useless but well-meaning post over no posts.

    (ps. How exhausting for you! Absolutely no need to apologise for wishing for some quiet alone time!)

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    My eldest is the same age, and is the same except for the having to sleep with me. She has also started school and only on the third day she seemed ok with going. I think largely it's got a lot to do with the transition method they adopted. How has your sons school handled the transition into school?

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    Sorry ill have to come back to give advice, battery is a bit dead.

  6. #6
    Mrs Molly Coddle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chelleylane View Post
    I'm sorry... I SO wish I had some experience to draw from, or advice.
    I have a DS a similar age, and while he doesn't behave that way exactly, I
    *KNOW* what it's like to be fed up and clueless as to what to change.

    Perhaps if you have a MCHN that you like, or at least who is reasonable (I've heard some horror stories) you could chat to them?

    I've turned up once in tears over DD (about 1 at the time) and her refusal to sleep. Ever. Unless I held her. My MCHN was so lovely, and really helped. She seemed to have so many avenues of help, from leaflets to day stays, to seminars. (in fact I'm seeing her again on Monday about DSs sudden behaviour changes, and sleep issues. I think he is having separation anxiety too.)

    I'm not sure, but from my experience, you can ask them why they're upset or angry til you're blue in the face and still never get a real response. I don't think DS understands that question yet (of course he is still only 3 and 2 months).

    Sorry I'm no help, I just know if I has written your post I'd have preferred a useless but well-meaning post over no posts.

    (ps. How exhausting for you! Absolutely no need to apologise for wishing for some quiet alone time!)
    Not useless at all I really appreciate it. We have only ever seen an MCHN with him once, so that Is a good idea. I was thinking GP, but was reluctant because it didn't feel like the right person iykwim. I will take him this week or even try and call.

    Good luck tomorrow with your DS and thanks for your reply

  7. #7
    Mrs Molly Coddle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bell & Bug View Post
    My eldest is the same age, and is the same except for the having to sleep with me. She has also started school and only on the third day she seemed ok with going. I think largely it's got a lot to do with the transition method they adopted. How has your sons school handled the transition into school?
    The school is amazing. It is a Steiner preschool, so they are very gentle and won't force a child to do anything they don't want to do. I got a call on his first day to come and pick him up as he had wet himself 3x and refused to eat anything. He had a different teacher on the second day who is a bit 'tougher' and he stayed for the whole day, but did wet himself again and wouldnt talk to anyone (though he ate some lunch!)

    TBH I wasnt concerned about the school thing until Friday night when he was up almost all night in tears about school. He has been crying on and off about it all weekend. I don't know what to do. I want to pull him out, but I suspect that will just make everyhing a million times worse. And he has to go Eventually anyway so it would just be delaying the inevitable?
    Then on the other hand, maybe he is just not ready yet.
    I just don't know how to tell the difference.
    This suuuucks

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    I don't have any wonderful advice for you, but I wanted to give you some hugs anyway.

    Can you have a chat to the teachers? I'm sure it's nothing they haven't seen before, and they may have some good advice?

    My little brother cried for 2 hours every day for the first six months of school. The teacher used to come and get me from my class to calm him down a bit, he would get so distressed.

    By the end of that year though, he was such a different kid, so confident, VERY popular. Now holds a very responsible, managerial role at work etc etc.

    Just wanted to share that with you in case it gives you a bit of hope!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs Molly Coddle View Post
    Please help. I have a DS who will be 4 in 4 months. He has severe separation anxiety and I don't know where to go for help or what I can do to help him.

    Some examples of his behaviour:
    1. I am the only one who can brush his teeth or put his pull up on at night, wipe his bum, put his shoes on, put his seatbelt on etc. He will occasionally let my mum put his seatbelt on or dress him but otherwise, he needs me to do it.
    2. If I walk more than about a Metre away from him, he gets anxious and asks where I'm going. Even at home.
    3. He comes with me to the toilet, to the outside fridge, to take the rubbish out etc.
    4. If I try and walk away from him eg. Am busting for the bathroom so have to hurry, he gets upset and squeals and will often cry.
    5. He is terrified of strangers and will not talk even to friends until he has had many, many interactions with them
    6. He has to go to sleep with me. We move him into his own bed (same room) when we go to bed, but I spend the night hopping back and forth between DD in our bed and DS who cries and screams for me.
    7. He started preschool last week and it has been a complete nightmare. He spent a great deal of last night awake crying and saying he didn't want to go back to school. He cried himself to sleep, and slept in my arms for the whole night.

    Need I go on?
    I also have a 12 month old DD and I am flipping exhausted as she also seems to have developed a preference for me over DH. Farrrr out.

    I don't really know what to do or where to go for help. I try and be patient with him but I am always so frustrated. I really like my own space and am not a "chatty" person, so am really starting to resent having to give a running commentary of my life all the time. That sounds awful. I'm sorry. I am just so scared and worried for him.

    Can anybody direct me to anyone/anywhere that could help? Or do you have any similar experiences?

    I don't know what to so about school. I Just do not know what to do full stop.
    Thanks. Sorry this is so long

    i can be tough when the little ones monopolise your time, i have similar issues with my ds, i have to do everything for him, if i have my sister or boyfriend over and they try to do something for him, like fix him a sandwich or put a tv show on for him, my son loses it and cries until i do what he wants.
    i think my boy is a bit different though, because he is so used to it being just the two of us, he doesnt handle change well, iv changed so much of his routine around, moved house, new preschool, i expect that he will act up a little bit while he is adjusting to everything.

    i agree with what the other posters have said, the childhood centre/nurse would be a great source of information.

    sending you lots of

  10. #10
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    Zombie_eyes is offline Formerly Diamondeyes
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    i still think the paed is the best way to go, the longer it goes on the harder it will be to rectify. child health nurses have their place. but i found most of them to be useless in our situation

    think of the last 12 months, has he improved at all or is it getting worse? if it hasn't improved then u need outside help.


 

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