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seperation anxiety in a 3 yr old

my nephew and uncle have come to live with me and whenever my uncle is out of his sons sight the child will cry and constantly call and cry for his dad. His dad works during the week days and when the child is here with me he asks for his dad all the time. He's 3 and has only lived with his dad for 3 months, before that he hadnt seen him in a year. Any ideas or advice? Anything could be helpful.


Asked by Christina2135 at 12:43 PM on Jan. 16, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (7)
  • Who was he with before he was with his dad? The mom? Where is she? Seperation anxiety in children is very normal. He needs to make the time after his return from work special time for them to share. The child will realize that when daddy leaves, and he WILL return that they will share special time. It would be nice if we could all take time off bc our kids cry when we leave, but we all have bills that have to be paid... ;) His son will adjust. He has been through a lot of changes in the past few months!

    Answer by PennStateMomma at 1:48 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • When he is home with the child he should "gradually distance himself" ... for example.
    Leave the room for 10 minutes, then 20 etc. .
    Go out in the yard for 1/2 hr without the child ... but let the child see him through the window.

    Go to the store for a few minutes .. then longer. Let the child see him drive away, then come back within that few minutes.

    It may be that the child is afraid to not see him anymore ...since it sounds like he is afraid the Dad will disappear from his life again. These little tricks will assure the child that while he does leave he always comes back.

    Good luck !

    Answer by MaryJacobs at 12:55 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • When the child asks, let the child know where he is and when he will be back. If the child is given recognition for what he is saying and feeling, he will feel better about the situation.

    Answer by MSugarKane at 1:05 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • My niece is 3 and she is the same way. When my brother brings her over here for me to babysit...she SCREAMS...she will literally scream for 45 mins to an hour "I WANT MY DADDY" " I WANT TO GO HOME!" over and over. Then after she finally calms down...something will happen...and she will start right back up. I still haven't figured out how to get her to stop lol good luck

    Answer by michellelee3708 at 1:14 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • Wouldn't your uncle's son be your cousin?

    This boy has been through a lot of changes. He is showing he needs his father. The father should take a family leave from work and care for him for awhile. If things go well he will get used to you and be able to stay with you. This may come at great financial cost but sometimes parents have to make decisions for children's psychiatric health.

    Answer by Gailll at 1:22 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • His dad needs to stop working and be there for his child.

    Answer by keyaziz at 1:45 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • Not sure if it will help u much. But when my youngest was 2 she had the same issue. And her father and I have always been together, but for some reason when I left for work she would scream and yell he said sometimes til I returned. A friend recommended that it was due to me playing my leaving the house too much. Meaning when I left I would kiss her 4 to 5 times and hug her. And tell her I'd miss her. But I tried to just kiss her once and tell her I was leaving and would b back, w a quick I love you. And after a few times of that, she came around and soon it was like clock work.

    Good luck!

    Answer by TinaBales77Plyr at 5:23 PM on Jan. 16, 2010