Alex doesn’t cry when I take him to Gran’s.


This story of Dawn & Alex is a composite that represents typical scenarios faced by Triple P families around the world.

Ever since Alex was born, he’s been the centre of my world. I haven’t been working so I’ve been there for him all the time.

But then, a couple of months ago, Alex became really unsettled. When people would come over, he’d get really distressed. He didn’t want anyone else picking him up – even his Gran.

I had thought I would be able to leave him at his Gran’s place for an hour or two while I ducked out to do some grocery shopping. Wrong! He’d cry and scream and it would break my heart. I’d feel so bad I’d usually turn around and come straight back home.

I couldn’t work out why he was so upset when he used to love being cuddled by his Gran. She’d been around since the day he was born. And I started to feel a little trapped - like I was never going to see the light of day again! So a friend suggested I go to a Triple P practitioner and find out whether they could give me any ideas. It only took a few sessions with her before I was getting things sorted.

I realised that Alex’s behaviour was totally natural for his age. Even though he knew his Gran, he hadn’t been alone with her in her home and he really didn’t know if I was coming back or not.

So, I had to work to make him feel really comfortable at his Gran's place before I could leave him there. I started with short visits and I’d be there with him too. I’d take his favourite teddy bear so he had something familiar with him to cuddle. Then I’d leave the room for a short time and come back soon after. Gradually I’d leave him alone with her for a few minutes longer each time.

Of course, if he did cry a lot I’d come back. But eventually he got used to it. He doesn’t always want to go to other adults he doesn’t know, but now I understand that it’s normal and nothing to be worried about.

Even better, Alex and his Gran now have their own special time together and my cupboards at home aren’t bare.