My 4 year old niece is extremely attached to her mother and it seems to be getting worse, she started pre school in January this year 2 days a week and still cries/screams every day at drop off but the last few weeks she had gotten worse and fakes being sick so her mum will pick her up - she admits she's faking once my SIL gets there because she misses her mum and wants to spend the day with her, she cries if SIL leaves her with me or my other SIL, ( she stops crying after about 5 mins then is fine) she is shy around anyone else but immediate family , wherever we go ( shopping, dinner, play centres , park etc) she insists on sitting on her mums lap and won't play with other kids, SIL could get up just to walk 5m to the bin and she will follow as she seems scared her mother will leave her - at home she's a happy outgoing child and plays happily with her brother and my DS)
SIL took her to the GP yesterday and he just palmed it off as being shy but what can we do to help her not be so afraid of leaving her mother - should we see a pead or get a referral to a specialist? Does she have anxiety? She's always been shy and clingy but it's getting worse and SIL is worried about her going to school and just in general she misses out on so much as she just won't join in anything - any advice or experience please! ( she's a twin, her brother is totally different and not clingy and loves going out )
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18-11-2015 16:51 #1
Advice on very clingy 4 year old
18-11-2015 17:52 #2
Maybe she can take something with her to daycare to remind her of her mum. Not really a long term solution but may help with the anxiety enough that she can understand it's really ok to be without mummy!
I would be seeking a referral to a paed too.
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18-11-2015 18:07 #3Senior Member
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- Aug 2013
I recommend the book "highly sensitive child" by Elaine Aron. She's a psychologist and has done a lot of research into sensitive people - often referred to as "shy". She gives lots of practical advice on how to handle situations that are difficult for sensitive children. I have one and her advice works! Theseb children don't react in the same way as most children might so it's about taking a different approach. Feel free to pm me if you want more details
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18-11-2015 18:59 #4Senior Member
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- Jul 2011
Oh the poor little thing, that sounds really hard for her and her mum. My eldest daughter has an anxiety disorder (selective mutism) which means she has found it hard to talk to people but manifests itself in a lot of different ways. As it is impacting her life and family life, definitely see a different GP who will listen properly to concerns and get a referral to either a paed or child psychologist. My daughter went through a specialist child psychologist and she has made massive improvements. Kids like this really do think and feel differently to others and a special approach is definitely needed. It is really easy to get frustrated with them but they don't want to be that way I'm sure.
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18-11-2015 19:48 #5
That does sound a little more intense than general shyness. The being scared to interact with others/needing to stay on mum's lap is a bit of an alarm bell for that age. I would agree with an assessment with maybe a child health nurse to start - they have much more experience with kids than most GPs.
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