Clingy at 3: another phase?

The boy is exactly 3½ and we’ve had a bit of a bumpy ride recently – after cracking potty training we seem to have hit a regression of sorts and it’s really strange.

The boy as a whole is happy, fun-loving yet a little shy and I’m totally fine with it – I was and still am shy and only recently have I learnt to embrace it.

I’ve spent my whole life ashamed of being shy, and being told I’m weird/strange/a loner just because sometimes I just want to be alone.  What’s wrong with that?  Absolutely nothing – after all, who cares what other people think.

But recently we are having real struggles – he wakes up at 5am crying and shouting that he doesn’t want to go to (pre)school; that he misses us all the time and he just doesn’t seem his normal happy self.

School has become a real battle – even when he started back in September he was upset initially but settled in quickly and enjoyed it; whereas now his key worker tells me he is upset all day and just won’t settle in.

“He just doesn’t want to be here” they tell me – what the hell am I supposed to do?

Pulling him out of school isn’t an option – he needs to go, it does him good to socialise with other children and he has always enjoyed it.

He currently goes three days a week and the hours are varied – I did wonder whether the mixture of hours are throwing him out of routine and it’s unsettling him.

As a mother it’s so upsetting to see him so upset – to walk him into school, and leave him there so distraught while keeping my shit together is heartbreaking.

And it extends to outside of school too.  He tells me he doesn’t want me to go to work, that he misses me and gets so upset about it.

It’s not just me – he watches daddy go to work out of the window and cries that he misses him so much.

A sibling is not an option – we can’t have anymore, and that comes with it’s own guilt about having an only child.

He’s also turned into an absolute nightmare at meal times – he will eat almost anything normally but currently refuses anything that isn’t chicken or chips.  Strangely he will eat vegetables though…

What is the best plan of action?  Do I ride it out, standing my ground and hope it gets better?

Why don’t children come with instruction manuals….


One thought on “Clingy at 3: another phase?

  1. Oh Lisa, my heart goes out to you. I can’t offer any advice as my son is only one but what you’ve written here is one of my worst fears as I work full time. I’ll tell you what my (childless) friend tells me: he won’t remember it when he’s older, and you have to go to work – he may not like or understand it now, but when he’s older he’ll know that you were just doing the best for him at the time.

    I hope that helps and I so hope this is just a phase and that you’ll be out the other side soon.

    Hugs x

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