Not talking about feelings - is this normal?

(5 Posts)
spottywelly Fri 04-Jan-13 09:17:04

My 2.5 year old DD has always struggled a bit with the social side of things, but the thing that worries me the most is that she will never tell me how she feels, if she is hurt or if she is ill.

After a slow start, she is now pretty good verbally, and when she's feeling good, she can express herself well. But, for example, if she falls and is crying a lot, I'll ask her what hurts/if she's ok/how I can help, and she just sobs and repeats "I'm all right. I'm all right now", when clearly she isn't! Same story when she's ill, or sad, or scared. It almost seems like she's embarrassed of her negative feelings. She also sometimes struggles with letting me help her, say wiping a runny nose, although never has a problem letting me hug her, even when she's totally distraught.

I've tried telling her that it's ok to feel bad, that everyone feels bad sometimes, and if she tells me what's wrong I'll help her however I can, but it makes no difference.

Is this normal toddler behaviour? How can I help her?

MrsMushroom Fri 04-Jan-13 12:18:14

Oh God she's only 2! Don't worry and try not to put any emphasis on the feeling bad....she won't really be able to express it yet.

spottywelly Fri 04-Jan-13 12:40:33

I know she's still so little, but her friends of the same age seem to say what's upsetting them - nothing major, just 'tummy hurts' or 'boy pushed me', and she won't, just hysterically sobs while yelling that she's all right.

But she will tell me why her friends are crying (again just stuff like 'Mary hurt her knee', or 'Harry hit George'. That's why it seems like she doesn't want to say rather than because she can't.

Am I just being neurotic? It's so hard when she's beside herself and I don't even know where to start!

DeWe Fri 04-Jan-13 15:00:37

My 12yo doesn't do feelings much at all, and never has done.
Dd2 talks a lot about feelings and is a drama queen. wink
Ds does talk about feelings (age 5yo), but it is very much school taught. He says things like "you are hurting my feelings" and "that makes me very angry" which is something the school encourages them to.

AngelDog Fri 04-Jan-13 23:26:53

You could comment on what she seems to be feeling (when you can work it out) rather than asking questions. So, "I see a worried face." "You were frightened by that dog coming up to you." "You were disappointed that the library was closed." I think the more you model it, the more tools she will have to express herself. You can also talk aloud when you're upset or cross.

My just-turned-3 y.o. is like this when he's really upset. If he's a bit upset, he'll say things like, "I was worried about the smoke detector" when he's too scared to go upstairs. But if something really distresses him, he'll say, "I don't want to say." Thankfully he is quite open to reason, and I can usually persuade him to tell me what the problem is.

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