4 year old depressionThu, Feb 26th 2009
I have a 4 year old step son who's mother has been in and out of his life. She and his dad split up when he was one and a half, he lived with her for a few months while she luckily was in and out of jail for short periods so that he didn't notice. Then she ended up going to jail for eight months. During that time his father and I began a relationship. His father basically ended up with custody (there were no court orders). Her parents (his grandparents) still take him from time to time. She got released and saw her son off and on for weekends and such. In the mean time his father and I have been married and a few months after his mother ended up in prison for a year and is currently serving her time. I have always tried so hard to help this poor kid understand that I can be there for him and help him with things too, but he is very particular with who he likes. If he doesn't like you, can tell by his actions. He has a hard time competing for attention when other kids are around, and would prefer to only hang out with adults he has known his whole life. And most importantly he is overly obsessive about his dad. He follows him everywhere and if he is not in the same room he goes on a search to find him right away. We have started taking both of our 4 year olds to the same babysitter so that its easier for the both of us. He drops the kids off and I pick them up. The problem is I think this kid has major issues, and its noticeably worse now that I have him home without his dad. He mopes around, gets very agitated by my son, who just wants to play with him, and cries and cries and cries. But when his dad gets home he has started taking short periods of playtime with my son and we all get along fairly well. I swear I am the only one who notices this kid needs help and It is driving me crazy. I don't know what to do or how to tell his dad that we should get him some counseling. Please help me, I am desperate.
THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION WILL NOT BE DISPLAYED UNTIL YOU HAVE INDICATED YOUR AGREEMENT WITH THE DISCLAIMER PRINTED JUST BELOW. CLICK THE 'I AGREE' BUTTON TO AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND SEE THE RESPONSE.
- Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
- Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
- Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.