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Loss of parent, now very shy and clingy Lock Rss

Hi, some of you may be familiar with the things that have happened to me over the past few months, but for those who are not i will quickly explain.

My twin sister died about 2 months ago and she had a daughter, who is 3 years old. I am now looking after Morgan (my niece) as I am her godmother and her father died a couple of years before her mother. Morgan has been through so much in her life time so far, loosing both of her parents. It really upsets me to think of all the things she's been through, so my husband and I make the hugest effort to make sure that she is happy and her life can continue as normally as possible.
The whole thing is made much easier by the fact that my sister and I were very close, so I was also incredibly close to Morgan, as I would see her very often. She already spent time with me before her mum died so it is not like going to live with a total stranger.

With everything that has happened I am trying desperately hard to make sure that she feels happy. I am finding it hard though, she is very clingy and shy at the moment, which I can totally understand, she is missing her mum. But the thing is she will never leave me (and I mean never) which I have no real problem with but I'm not sure that it's healthy.
I am the mother of 7 boys and I can understand for her that it is incredbily intimidating for her to come and live in a house so loud and probably scary, after living in her house with just her mum and her.
The scariest thing is that anyone who knew Morgan before her mum died knew that she was the funniest little chatterbox there ever was. But now she barely ever speaks and I end up just walking around the house holding her hand or carrying her.
Morgan has been an absolute angel and I think her clingyness and closeness to me has been great at helping me to get past the absolute pain of my sister dying, no doubt i still feel totally upset all the time, but Morgan has helped to ease the pain considerably. She is just amazing and like a little koala bear.
At what point though does it become unnatural and when should I try to help her leave my side a bit. I think that I should gradually encourage her to have a bit of independence but I'm not sure at what point it isn't too soon anymore. I don't know whether to give her time or to try to help her leave my side earlier. Should I do it sooner so it is easier and so she can used to that or give her time for constant comfort and cuddles.

Also, my children are finding it quite hard as well. Although they have not been affected to the extent that Morgan and I have because of my sisters death, they have of course been affected. I do talk to my children but a lot of my attention has to put into talking to Morgan and making her feel happy. They are also affected by the fact that Morgan takes up a lot of my time and I feel I can not spend as much time with her.

Thank you for reading this and I would love to hear from anyone who has ever been in a similar situation or has an opinion on the matter.
I would also like to make it clear that I am happy to have Morgan clinging to me as long as she needs but I am asking your advice for HER sake and not for mine. I am trying to make sure that Morgan feels happy and do that thing that will help her in the long run as well as for now.

Oh the poor lil mite! She must be just absolutly heart broken!

2 years ago my DP was involved in a serious car accident where he almost died. He was burnt and had other injuries which caused him to stay in hospital for almost a month.

During this time my DS who was 4 at the time reverted back to being very shy, clingy and started to wet the bed again. The school my DD was attending offered counselling to both DD who was 8 and my DS which helped tremendously.

I think its a normal reaction to the shock kids go through. She is only young and perhaps can not portray her feelings and the only comfort she has is you so therefore she wont leave your side.

Perhaps speak to yur doctor and get her some childrens grief counselling(sp) for being so young and losing both parents she is probably very messed up and scared that you too will leave her.

I was 9 when I lost my mum and even being older it was just a huge shock...I was heart broken for years...As I got older I rebelled against my dad and got into alot of trouble as a pre-teen and teenager...I wish he had sought some support for me during that time cos I think it would have helped.

I hope the poor lil thing starts to feel more secure soon and I am truly sorry for your and her loss.

Mummy to 3 little goblins

i don't really have any advice, i'd justlike to say you must be an amazing person to do what you are doing already having 7 children and then taking this little girl also. i hope that things work out for you and that she can learn to have you not there all the time. best wishes


Her behaviour is normal and I'd say just run with it, there's no "correct" timing on how long she'll be clingy for but she's so little and she obviously needs the close contact to feel safe. This is such an enormous thing to have happened (to both of you), its going to take a lot of time to come to terms with it and for her to adjust to her new family, I guess all you can do is help her to become part of your family. Dont worry about her clingyness and shyness not being healthy, its a normal reaction to the devastating loss of her mother. It must be hard on your kids, maybe in time you can do family activities which keep her busy doing a fun activity so the other children can have some mummy cuddles and time. You are doing a wonderful job, bless you and this sweet little girl. xox
Hi there sweetie.
I can only imagine what you are going through now as i haven't had a lose like that. However in regards to your niece/goddaughter I would honestly seek specialised attention ( a threapist) I know it sounds really silly, but she has gone thrugh something that very few people do at such a tender age. I think her clingy attitude is because she has lost the main female role in her life, and feels that if she was to leave your side even for a second, that she might then loose you too.
You mentioned that your sons are also finding this a little bit hard with the stiuation at home, it might be a good idea that if you do go to a councilor ( try your local community centre or your doctor can also help) that your children attend too for a couple of sesons as it will help them with what has happened and understand why she is behaving the way she is.
While i am not in your position, i think that his might be the best thing to do so everyone can deal with the lose of such an important person in your lives.

little monkeys

You are amazing, your strength is inspiring.
I think her being clingy is just part of the cross to bear, she must be so scared deep down inside that You will leave too.
Someone experienced in grief counselling would be able to say how long this phase will last.. and I'm sure it IS only a phase, as in a household as crazy (it must be) as yours, she will take a little while to find her 'place' and know she is safe and Home.
She is only 3 now, but you will be the Mum in her life forever. Give her time to heal. I'm so proud of you (here's me crying over the keyboard, and I don't even know you!)
All my best wishes

3 girls under 3

hi there,

It sounds like your doing the best thing for her. Maybe just give her some time and counselling may be a big help.
My aunty took me and my siblings in when our mum died. I was 7 at the time. I was afraid of the dark and would always sleep with my mum, the first night we lived at my aunty's she decided to get me out of the habit and made me sleep alone. This upset me greatly. I guess just try and keep things normal for awhile.
As i grew up i also felt like such a burden, but you probably won't have to deal with that for a little while.
goodluck and you sound like a wonderfull person.

Morgan and your sons are so blessed to have a tender loving Aunt/Mum.

I don't think there is a right time in this situation. It would be better that she decides. She is 3 yrs old, I have a 4 yr old and she doesn't understand what death is.

I can't imagine how hard it must be for everyone. But by the sound of it you are an incredible strong and generous person to be able to give all that love to those who really matter to you.
I really dont have much if any advice apart from maybe doing some "Girly" things with her

mum of 3 boys aged 11, 13 and 14

Firstky let me say, you sound like an amazing caring woman. My advice would be, that you send her to counselling, I know she is young but it might be good for her to talk to someone impartial. Also, they might be able to get her to vent everything that is upsetting her. They do have a way with kids( if you get one that specialises in children) wishing you all the best
Wow, i dont know if this would help but what about a remember tree? take her to a plant shop and pick a pretty shrub (gardenias are great and teh perfume...) and pretty pot etc. It becomes her special plant to look after and if you you into it...her mummy is helping her to look after it with sunshine and rain...just an idea
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