fear of abandonment

Jill - posted on 07/28/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )

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my 3 year old daughter is afraid of being left alone day or night. She can be playing in her room and will yell, "MOM" ever 2 or 3 min., or run screaming down the hallway looking for me. If the door opens she screams and runs to make sure I am not leaving and she says "no go away."

If I put her in the car seat and perhaps have to run after something I forgot she screams and cries until I get back. Yesterday I ran back in the house for something and she screamed and cried, my husband who was outside came running to see what was wrong, she told him no go away and he waited there holding her hand until I got back.

I have never left her alone. She has stayed with her grandmother and gone to preschool and babysitters. I am so bewildered as to why she is so afraid of being abandoned.

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Samantha - posted on 07/28/2011

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i agree with jenn, just reassure her everytime that you will come back soon, its all you can do. if my daughter doesnt want me to leave at bed time sometimes i take my shirt off and put it on her so she has something of mine and it really helps. maybe try giving her something special to hold on to until you come back (watch, picture, sweater, maybe start wearing a cheap ring and place it on her finger when you have to run back for something if she wont swallow it..) just reassure her tell her she is safe and you will be back soon. good luck

Jill - posted on 07/28/2011

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Jenn, thank you so much that really helps. So it is not a disorder. I do reassure her all the time and tell her where I am going and ask her to go with me.

Jenn - posted on 07/28/2011

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It is perfectly normal. Both of my daughters went through this stage at 3 or 4 years old. It can be a bit frustrating but as long as I acknowledged their fear and announced where I was going (even outside to get the paper!) the panic eventually passed and they both felt secure again. I think at some point, kids realize the world goes beyond what they see right in front of them and adjusting to that awareness is scary. I always reminded my girls that I am never far away and they are perfectly safe in their home. Reassurance goes a long way in this instance.

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