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I'm not sure if I should be on here as I now have custody of my sister and am not a mother, but I need advice on a grieving four year old?

My mother recently passed away and I've now been given custody of my sister, she's 4 years old and she is like a baby mouse atm. She doesn't speak, barely eats and doesn't smile. I'm so worried about her. We have a counsellor session booked but they can't fit us in for a few weeks. I'm 18 years old and live in the UK, not sure why I posted that but yes, my friend suggested I post her account here. I'm grieving too but I knew what was coming during her terminal cancer however my sister didn't. She won't talk to me because I'm not her mother. Does anyone have any experience or similar things that have happened to them? I'm so worried about her, I can't stop. I stay up every night just lying there and worrying, it's sounds awful but I'm not even grieving, I just can't stop worrying about her and what she's going through. I spent alot of time looking after her in the last few years but she still wasn't prepared for mum not being here at all it seems.

Any advice?


Asked by Anonymous at 8:43 PM on Mar. 21, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

This question is closed.
Answers (22)
  • girl giving flowerYou do belong here with us. You are a parent to your lil sister(Not easy). My mom passed away when my lil brother was 15 and I had no choice but to take care of him. For awhile he didn't talk much, but now hes 19 and we have a very open relationship. She is not going to be that easy becouse she is still a baby and need her mom. All you can do is wait for her to come around. It will take her awhile but in her own time she will come around and love you for what you are doing for her. I'm sorry for you and her lose.


    Answer by Kimberly71682 at 2:11 AM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • This site is for anyone taking care of children... so you are very much in the right place.

    My advice? Hug her and let her know it is alright to be sad, let her cry- cry together! Remind her that you need her just as much as she needs you, and that you will be there for her. Otherwise, you're doing the right thing by getting a counselor. Take each day one at a time. Best of luck to you both.

    Answer by HistoryMamaX3 at 8:46 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • Talk to her about your mom, let her know you also miss her. Other than that about you can do is give her lots of hugs and let her know you are there for her. Most likely, because she didn't really understand what was happening, she feels abandoned and is probably scared that you too, will leave her.

    Answer by meriana at 8:48 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • hi there and welcome...and yes you should be on here as much as the next lady. my advice is for you to be a patient as possible and just continue to show her as much love,care and have to realize she lost a person she loved dearly and she is scared in many ways and is very lost, confused and feels like her momma just left her....make her a photo album of pictures of her and her momma together so she can have something to look at when she misses her..also save a few or your mother things and make what i call a scrap box of love....because maybe not today but one day she will be happy to have it....she might be feeling scare to get to close/love to anyone because when she did they left her ( maybe her thoughts are feelings)...but if you continue to show as much love and a kind heart she will come around you have to build that trust with knwo you will never to replace momma but you love her alot too

    Answer by mztxdelta at 8:50 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • welcome to cafemom I am sorry for your loss. The best thing you can do for her is love her and let her grieve. It would be a good idea for you to grieve with her, even though you were expecting your mom's passing, you have lost your mommy as much as she has. 


    Answer by ElenaC419 at 9:06 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • First of all, you are going to be like her mother now and that's what this site is for... Advice. The counseling is definately a good idea for both of you. It'll help grieve and help her to understand. No one can prepare you for that, but just do the best you can and she'll be just fine. Good luck and best wishes! :)

    Answer by Tink05215 at 8:49 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • So sorry to the both of you for your loss. Hope things get beter for both of you, and yea hun, your kinda a mom type now! you should def be here!  BUMPim sorry


    Answer by K_Chel at 8:59 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • I am very sorry for your loss, and you have every right to be here - you are now taking over as the mother role in your sister's life, so feel welcome. I apologize for not having any advice for you though, other than just be there for her, don't leave her for a while if you don't have to, and see about getting into counseling sooner.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:41 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • i'm sorry its really hard i also live in the uk kids bouncy back fast my advice is get her into some mother and toddler group or nursery . try to find some friends that have kids close in age she can go to the park with and things . she very sad and so you will be so she need to have her mind taken off it other kids often help.


    Answer by feralkitten at 8:54 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • Welcome to Cafemom and welcome to Mommyhood. You can be both her sister and a Mother figure to her, don't worry. Try sitting down with her when she plays and talk about anything. Even something as simple as what your favorite cartoons were when you were her age. She is just a little scared right now but with therapy and good ole fashion love she will be fine. Hang in there Mama and keep posting questions. We are here any time

    Answer by pnwmom at 5:41 AM on Mar. 22, 2011