H.M. asks from Stockton, CA on February 19, 2008
My Son Wants Me 24/7 - Stockton,CA
I desperately need advice! My 3 year old son constantly wants to be with me. If i leave the room for a moment he starts to scream and run after me crying to hold my hand. If I am cooking dinner he sits between my legs screaming for attention. At night I put him to bed in his room and he screams like he is being tortured at his baby gate because he wants to sleep with me. I am currently 5 months pregnant with 4 kids and I desperatly need sleep! I have slept maybe 6 hours in the past 3 days!! I don't know what to do. Can anyone help me?
L.A. answers from Yuba City on February 20, 2008
It is hard but he'll get used to it. The more you give in the harder it becomes for you. Maybe try going to bed with him and leaving once he falls asleep. Best luck.
R.R. answers from Sacramento on February 24, 2008
H...time to get a grip...I know it must be hard..and Lord knows you have your hands full! You must take action NOW..glad you are asking for help as in 4 mos. you will affect another little life with this stress you are experiencing. I assume Dad is in the picture..so...get his help. Go to the Dollar store and pick up a dozen "special" toys. Put them in a big plastic tub, so they are pulled down from a top shelf only for this purpose. They can only be played with while in his room ALONE. Make being alone a treat..also for the kitchen, have you tried giving him a bottom drawer or shelf for his "own"? I did this with my oldest, and put plastic dishes, wooden spoons, plastic cups, etc..so he could play "kitchen" too. God luck!
C.C. answers from Fresno on February 20, 2008
My youngest is about your son's age and she is going through a very clingy phase right now. Something I have been doing that seems to be helping is, I ask her if she wants to help me do whatever I'm doing. When I cook dinner, I bring in her little step stool so she can "help" me do the cooking - maybe let her pour ingredients in or stir a bowl of something, whatever she can manage (or I will give her an empty bowl and a whisk, that seems to work just as well). It keeps her happy, I can keep an eye on her, and she gets to spend time with me. She also helps me sort the laundry into lights and darks, and helps with folding the socks and underwear, then carrying the folded laundry to the appropriate bedrooms. And she loves "washing the dishes" (sometimes I will even put clean spoons or tupperware into the sink so she can wash them). I feel like it is teaching her some useful skills for later, and she feels very important that she is my "special helper." Maybe this will work with your son too. Granted, with a child this young, having them help really makes the task that much harder for mommy, but if it keeps your toddler from crying, the extra effort may be worth it!
Good luck to you!
J.C. answers from Sacramento on February 19, 2008
H., I know you're busy. He is 3 yrs old and loves you. Set your timer for 15 minutes and devote all (or most of) your attention to him. Being prego is very tiring, for sure. children don't understand how tired we mom's get and we can't blame them for loving us or needing our attention. cuddling with all your children will bring you peace and remind them of what a loving, gentle mommy they have. Remember, 3 yr olds do the best they can to understand.
D.D. answers from San Francisco on February 29, 2008
It sounds like you are really busy, and your son may be feeling a lack of real connection to you. I find that when I give my daughter my full attention, even if it is only for ten minutes, it is very helpful. I would recommend checking out Hand in Hand Parenting's website at handinhandparenting.com for more tips and very helpful booklets on behavior and emotions...when you can!
A.P. answers from Sacramento on February 19, 2008
My daughter goes through times of needing more attention and she lets me know that by acting out or screaming & being clinging. That is a cue to me that I need to slow down and give her more attention. I'll sit down and read a book with her, or do something where she feels my attention and love.
Good luck! A good time to relax is when the kids are taking a bath, you can sit on the side of the tub and soak your feet!
R.T. answers from San Francisco on February 24, 2008
As far as the sleeping goes, could you try having him help you make a special bed on the floor in your room next to your bed?
As for the day time demands, how about trying 30 minutes every 2 hours just sitting and holding him? He may get tired of that. Before you start working in the kitchen see if you can put him to work with his own kitchen project. You can try playdo or give him some real kitchen stuff to play with beside you as you work. I wish the best for you and your kids.