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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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I am divorced (for 3 years) and have an 8 year old son who

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I am divorced (for 3 years) and have an 8 year old son who is very attached to me, and I to him. I was married to his father (a very controling man), who would demean me in front of my son. He never enjoyed spending time with our son so me and my son were together all the time. My son still has issues with being left alone in a room and being told "no." I recently got engaged to a man with whom I have dated for a year and a half. He sees our attachment as unhealthy and that I am enabling my son to be dependent on me constantly. It makes me mad at my fiance for saying that, but I can't help but think he's right. How can I become a parent that fosters independence, where it will be emotionally painless for my son?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Hello my friend. Is your son involved in any activities outside of school? Does he have many friends? What happens when you tell your son "no" or when he is left alone in a room?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yes, he's playing baseball and he's in Cub Scouts. He has lots of friends and gets along with them.

When I tell my son "no" he argues and whines to try to get me to bend. Most of the time I make a deal with him or stay with the "no" answer. When we are getting ready in the morning and I leave him in the bathroom to brush his teeth, he panics and hollers my name. He's got to know where I am in the house. Even if it's during the light of the day and he can't find me in the house, he panics.

Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.

You are the center of your son's life and he is having anxiety about your absence because his dad is no longer around. He does not want you to disappear. He fears being all alone. Simply tell him that he need not worry. You will make sure that he knows when you are not around. Have you asked him why does he become so fearful when he is alone? What really makes him afraid? If he cannot tell you, then have him draw a picture and explain his picture. He simply wants to feel an attachment to you even in your physical absence.


As for giving in when you say "no", try to stick with your word. Ignore his whining because you are the boss. It is not necessary to make a deal with him when you are trying to enforce something. He needs to learn that you have the authority to discipline him and obey you without trying to manipulate you.

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