Step-Mom in need of help with a 4 year old with possible anxiety

Whitney - posted on 05/21/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I'm a step-mom to a 4 almost 5 year old who has recently came to live with us. I have no experience with children of my own and I am now the one she spends her days with while her father is at work. She had an unstable living situation and her mother couldn't deal with it. Well she dealt with it but just not in an appropriate way. And I feel like she may have anxiety because of the fact, she cannot sit in a room alone with out being scared, baths are impossible, she's very needy, and clingy to her father. I've been in her life since she was 16 months old, so therefore she should be comfortable with me. She doesn't understand right from wrong yet, I had to put her in time out and she cried and screamed bloody murder for pouring bottles of bubbles in my floor and now she says she cannot be alone with me. And we've been up since 5 this morning and she's been crying for her dad. She doesn't sleep much at all, she doesn't cry for her mother either but it's always her daddy. I've tried to reward her for doing things that she should be, I've made a routine for her, and we've made a stable home for her. It has turned my world upside down. Is there a way that I can get her more comfortable with me without letting her be the boss? I'm new to this whole motherhood lifestyle and have no clue what to do. I've tried comforting her while she's crying and I've tried to let her cry it out and be more independent. Nothing is working, HELP!

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Jennifer - posted on 06/07/2013

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It sounds like you're doing a great job. It may just take her some time to adjust to living with you and kids can definitely be stubborn. Has her dad tried talking to her about how much fun the two of you could have together if she listens? She's probably just testing the new living situation to see what she can get away with, but you could also think of something special you have to offer her that her dad may not (painting her nails, doing her hair, ect...). I know it's hard but just try to remember that you're giving her a loving and supportive home and that eventually she will become more comfortable with you.

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