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Cher, Teacher
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 90
Experience:  Extensive Experience working with Children/Teens; M.A. Teacher/Tutor 40+ yrs.; Parent of 2
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Our toddler is just shy of three years old. He has an older

Customer Question

Our toddler is just shy of three years old. He has an older brother of 14, and recently added a sister of three months. He is very affectionate and stubborn. He has been a bit slow with his words-still speaking in few word sentences and pronunciation is not very clear, though he is able to understand very complex ideas. Potty training has been difficult as he seems to have issues with admitting that he has a bowel movement and has always hated diaper changing. He has been mostly a happy kid with regular ups and downs expected of his age group. I do worry about a few things. One is that he becomes fixated on certain things. It can be anything. He gets excited, starts crying and repeats the same thing over and over again- all we can o is wait it out. For example, he woke up this morning asking for "Daddy". My husband was dropping off our older boy at school as he always does. He knows this, but kept crying and repeating "miss daddy" even though I explained that my husband would be back shortly. Then when my husband did arrive, he had no interest to go see him. He also does not answer me when I speak to him sometimes. Often he is looking right at me and simply refuses to answer. It is usually something simple like "do you want milk?" He obviously hears well and seems to think it is funny when I ask him to answer. He also has the most active and detailed imagination I have ever seen in anyone, let alone a toddler, which
I guess is a good thing, but he really gets lost in it sometimes. I worry that since his baby sister's arrival, he is not as emotionally supported as he was. He requires a lot of one on one attention and does not get that as often as he used to. He is a very sensitive little guy. We follow the general recommendations of always including him when appropriate in baby's care, talking to him about the baby and her needs and trying to set play dates and events geared towards him when able. I am returning to work soon and have given him a while to get to know the babysitter first which has had some progress as he has been crying when left with others though I was working full time before maternity leave. There is little family around and we are stretched pretty thin, but feel we are dedicated parents. Is there something that we might be missing in order to support him better? Are any of these things something to worry about? Do they indicate anything other than adjustment difficulties after our new addition? He seems very distraught and mournful at times. However, he is very loving and never seems jealous or spiteful of the baby. A lot of crying, but no actual tantrums.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Bonnie replied 6 years ago.
Good Morning,
To answer your question it would be helpful if you can separate his concerning behaviors into "before baby" and "after baby". By this, I do not mean babies birth but his knowledge that baby is coming.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
He always seemed to understand that his sister was on the way. We read books an he talked about her. There seemed to be no surprise, just excitement when she arrived. He told me the baby was out and not in my tummy anymore. He has always been a bit complex. Friendly to others, but very "clingy", very affectionate, but will not seek comfort when he falls or hurts himself-in fact becomes angry or acts embarrassed, quite pleased with passing urine, but very ashamed and will deny he has a bowel movement though we have been pretty passive as far as potty training because he did not seem ready. After the baby was born, he went more into imaginative play. It is very difficult to get him to respond if watching television-its like he is in a trance, other times the TV is off and he still does not respond. What is new for the last two months or so is the repeating things over and over. It usually goes on for about ten minutes and he does not respond to anything we say, he just keeps repeating the same thing. I can dress him, bathe him, put him in his car seat- he is passive during these episodes, but will not stop saying whatever it is that he wants like "ice cream truck an he is crying at the same time. After the episode is over, he just carries on with the day.