How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Mark Your Own Question

Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 5313
Experience:  Dr.Mark is a psychologist in private practice who works with parents and children in resolving family issues.
50444359
Type Your Parenting Question Here...
Dr. Mark is online now

how does anyone cope with a three year old who screams repeatedly

Resolved Question:

how does anyone cope with a three year old who screams repeatedly "I want my daddy, I want my daddy" for about five to seven minutes at a time.Daddy is now more or less absent after having initially bonded with her.......a deeply concerned grannie
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 3 years ago.
Hi! I'll be glad to help you with this issue.


First, let me say I can imagine how distressing this situation must be for you. It must not only be frustrating for her mom because she doesn't know what to do to help and nothing seems to help, but it must also be heartbreaking to have your little granddaughter so distraught. This is not an uncommon problem at your daughter's age because bonding is such an important developmental part of being three. This is an age where there are so many developmental leaps and surges happening that anxiety is very prevalent.


There are no books for the general public that I can recommend; the books for therapists are also way too detailed in their theoretical foundations to be readable for people. However, I'd like to offer a strategy that has worked in my private practice; the strategy is on behavioral therapy approaches founded in attachment theory.


You say that the father is more or less around in her life, meaning that he's not totally absent. Good. We need his help in this. At least via Skype if nothing else.


There needs to be something of his that she can associate of his, a sweatshirt or a handkerchief, or something similar, okay? If he can be convinced to come around a couple of times to establish this connection between the object and himself, even better. If not, then something that's left where she's living that was his will be second best. He would need to have a similar handkerchief or other object with him to show her via Skype. If not, then buying two handkerchiefs, etc. with her holding one and him the other via Skype is the best we can do, so that's what will have to suffice.



I'll address this to him as he needs to play act this, so he needs to read it:


The procedure is that you tell her how much you love her, how she's your precious one. You repeat it. You then tell her that it's not the time for you to be there with her right now, but that doesn't mean you don't love her. And you want her to know how close you are to her so here's the sweatshirt/handkerchief that you want her to have next to her that will comfort her and help her know that she's safe. That she's loved. You repeat this whole speech. Very childish language. Speak in sweet, childish ways about how this handkerchief or shirt is like your love for her and like how good everything is.


And you kiss the object and you give it to her and hug her. Then you tell her how when she has the cloth, it's like you're with her. You do this a few times, letting her know how that when she has the handkerchief, she can feel good that it's like you are there with her, your love is there with her. Do this a few times.

Okay. Now, her mom needs to take care of this cloth and have it accessible for when this occurs to be able to remind her of how daddy's love is there with her. And she keeps reminding her of it. The key is repetition. Both by the father and the mother. The mother is key here as well, because she has to keep repeating that the handkerchief is daddy's love being there with her. Because the daughter may take a while to test if mommy really means it.


Okay, I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Dr. Mark, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 5313
Experience: Dr.Mark is a psychologist in private practice who works with parents and children in resolving family issues.
Dr. Mark and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I Couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • professional_Alison

    professional_Alison

    Child Care

    Satisfied Customers:

    71
    Degree in early years,16 years experience in childcare
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.co.uk/uploads/VO/vodkas25/2012-1-29_16528_P1010831.64x64.JPG professional_Alison's Avatar

    professional_Alison

    Child Care

    Satisfied Customers:

    71
    Degree in early years,16 years experience in childcare
  • http://ww2.justanswer.co.uk/uploads/DR/drshs/2011-5-8_214848_CIMG1275.64x64.jpg Dr. Shirley Schaye's Avatar

    Dr. Shirley Schaye

    Doctor

    Satisfied Customers:

    36
    PhD-Psych; Certif. Psychoanalyst NPAP& NYFS; Memb.APsaA;IPA; Pub.Author; Teach/Supervise Therapy
  • http://ww2.justanswer.co.uk/uploads/HU/hungryjack20/IMG_1281_edit_2.64x64.jpg Dr. L's Avatar

    Dr. L

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    24
    Licensed as psychologist and marriage and family therapist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.co.uk/uploads/KA/KaterB1270/2012-5-2_17226_016.64x64.jpg KaterB1270's Avatar

    KaterB1270

    Teacher

    Satisfied Customers:

    17
    BS Family Consumer Sciences Ed. and Masters of Art in Teaching
  • http://ww2.justanswer.co.uk/uploads/KA/Kansastherapist/2012-6-13_171911_4upon20120220at14.64x64.jpg KansasTherapist's Avatar

    KansasTherapist

    LSCSW

    Satisfied Customers:

    17
    17 years experience with depression, abuse, and borderline.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.co.uk/uploads/lgephart/2010-07-28_191718_2009-08-08_23001.png Lori Gephart's Avatar

    Lori Gephart

    Licensed Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    13
    20 years of experience as a Psychologist and Parenting Coach. Parent of 2 grown children.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.co.uk/uploads/CO/CoachJenK/2014-8-5_0223_Jen.64x64.JPG TherapistJen's Avatar

    TherapistJen

    LCSW, CPC

    Satisfied Customers:

    95
    Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Certified Professioanl Coach
 
 
 

Related Parenting Questions