Eve, my youngest, has always been shy. She didn’t even talk until a bit later than our other children.
They say still waters run deep, though, and that’s very much the case with Eve. If she hurts herself, she’s more likely to clam up and turn away then run up to you crying. As a parent, it’s disheartening to see that your own child doesn’t always share important things with you.
She’s having a particularly tough time just now. Her big sister, Jenny, is leaving nursery to join school after the summer. This means that shy Eve will be in nursery without her big sister. Not great for an insecure child.
We’ve also recently been to see a consultant who told us that Eve needs a small operation to remove a suspect vein from her near her collar bone. It’s quite a lot for a three year old to take in when she’s already got nursery worries to contend with.
She doesn’t tell us that she’s worried, but she has had some behavioural changes recently. When Emma leaves to go to her Zumba class, Eve insists on a dozen hugs and kisses before she goes. She still bursts into tears when Emma closes the front door. She’s also been getting upset when I go to work in the morning.
On top of that, she’s started to misbehave as well. She’ll try and steal toys from her sister, or push her off the sofa. She’s not a mean child at all. When I come in from work, she’s always the first to run up and give me a hug & say hello to me. She’ll also share things readily as well. It just seems that lately she’s been a little more of a handful.
For our part, we are trying our best to manage the situation. We’re trying not to discuss Jenny going to school in front of Eve. We’re starting to give Eve more choice over things, like meals and clothes she’s wearing, so she can feel like she has a sense of control in her life. This is simply because we reasoned that she may be feeling like she’s got no control over things recently.
I’ll repeat my mantra with regard to young chidren’s behaviour – everything is a phase. This will pass. She’ll have the operation and be fine. She’ll go to nursery in August without Jenny and she will be fine. We know this. It’s all about reassuring Eve that it’ll be fine, and that’s not as easy as it sounds.
It’s a difficult balance to reassure a three year old. You don’t want to belittle her but equally you don’t want to make a big deal of what she’s worrying about as that may inflate things in her eyes. Truth is, short of being there for her, and answering any questions she has (which isn’t many) all we can do is second guess what she’s worrying about and talk to her, letting her know that things will be okay.
I think it’s time to revisit Supernanny to see what she has to say on the subject.