Whiny 4 year old

Cleta - posted on 10/03/2014 ( 6 moms have responded )

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Help! My 4yo whines and cries profusely in school. The teachers keep complaining and will ask me, "well is there something going on at home making him cry this way?" No, there is nothing GOING ON at home, and I have no idea why he may be crying a lot. He has always been a whiner. I have been working with him on this, but I resent the notion that there must be something wrong at home just because my child cries a lot. Am I wrong to feel this way? It could be a number of reasons. His dad is absent a lot because of work. To make up for his dads absence, I shower him with love at home, while at the same time making sure not to spoil, coddle, emasculate or create a dependence . I stress independence at home, and free independent thinking with boundaries and structure, but I also will pick him up and hold him if he needs. I dont see anything wrong with that. This is a juggling act that I already must contend with. Not to mention trying to raise him on my home. His dad and I divorced in May and he is used to him being there, but in spurts. I really don't know what to do, but hope he will grow out of it.

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Jodi - posted on 10/03/2014

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I think you are taking this WAY too personally. There is nothing personal about asking if there is something going on at home. It wasn't an accusation. It was a very reasonable question. And yes, even though you and his father have been separated for a long while, just remember that his dad's absences will still have an effect on him.

Having done quite a lot of training on attachment theory, this sounds like a child with insecure attachment. A father who is frequently absent will instill in him a sense of abandonment, and you "making up for it" could create an insecurity in him where he is actually excessively dependent on you for his attachment needs.

Does he cry a lot at home too? Have you tried to sit down and talk to him about why he cries a lot at school? Maybe he simply isn't emotionally ready for proper school.

Dove - posted on 10/03/2014

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There IS something going on 'at home'... you got a divorce about 5 months ago.. How can you not automatically see that this 'might' be what is going on w/ your son?

It's not an insult to be asked if something is going on at home. They care about your kid and are trying to help.

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Cleta - posted on 10/04/2014

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Jodi, thank you for your helpful feedback. I have spoken with his dad about my own new fear of abandonment, but never considered that his absence may have instilled the same fear in my son. I think it may help if my son at least hears from his dad or speaks with him on the phone on a regular basis. It has been an ongoing problem that his dad never calls him, we always have to call him. I decided a while back that I would wait for my child to request to call his dad. I didn't feel right asking him if he wanted to call his dad, because I feel like his dad should call him. Spoke with his dad yesterday and we decided on a conference call every night during story time (we will call him), and maybe even using the Face time feature on the phone. I am hoping his dad will stick to this commitment and that this may work in helping him feel like his dad is present and participating in story time. After this discussion his dad did call last night at the established time. I just hope he sticks with it. I know it wont solve everything, but I will see if this can curb the whining. He is otherwise a very good, well-mannered, well-behaved boy, very popular in school. His peers love him. That is the only complaint I get from his teachers. We will see.

Cleta - posted on 10/03/2014

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Because we've been separated and living apart since May of 2012. On one hand I think my child is used to his dads absence (he literally went MIA for a 1.5 yrs), yet on the other hand I am fully aware of the detriment of an absent father on a child's development.

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