Over the past few weeks we have been noticing that Ava (my 3 year old) has become excessively clingy. For example, whenever Greg or I leave for work she gets weepy and ask’s if we’re coming home, she won’t travel in the car with my mum by herself anymore, she doesn’t want to sleep over her house without us.. It was quite unusual for her considering just a month or so ago she was completely fine with us leaving, going out etc
We thought it was just a phase she was going through at 3 years old but a few days ago my Mum had the thought that perhaps it was something she watched on Frozen- we had never let her watch the movie until a few weeks ago. If you haven’t seen the movie, there is a scene near the beginning in which the two main characters (sisters Ana and Elsa) parents’ go on a trip on a boat, they get caught in a storm at sea and never return. Ava asked me what happened to the parents and I told her that they had died (she has understood the concept of dying for a number of months when we attended a funeral earlier this year).
Suddenly it seemed like this clinginess was actually due to something she had seen and thought would happen to her.
I called her over a few days ago and asked her to tell me about the movie Frozen (just to see whether my mums theory was correct.) The first (and only) thing she told me about straight off the bat was that Ana and Elsa’s mummy and daddy left on a trip and died. We were all shocked. It actually broke my heart that she was thinking that mummy and daddy were going away all these weeks and we would potentially not come home..
I quickly reassured her that Mummy and Daddy were not going to die and that we would always come home and anything she saw on tv was just a show and pretend. We went through it a few times and then told her that we were going to go to the gym. She slowly said “okay, okay..”
We’ve had to re-assure her a few times the last few days that we will always come back but it absolutely made me realise that we need to monitor things she is watching more. Her other shows are “younger”- Micky Mouse, Noddy (the inspector), Wiggles…
I guess it’s a wake up call that if you have kids and you notice a change in their behaviour perhaps consider what they are reading or watching- you may never know what their little hearts and minds are remembering and imposing on real life.