Over emotional 8 year old

(6 Posts)
BicycleBelle Tue 23-Feb-10 00:06:06

My 8 yr old DD2 over reacts regularly at home (but never at school or other public place) along the lines of "this is the worst day of my life and you all hate me" because of trivial issues. She is the youngest of 3, with DD1 (13) and DS (10) both being calm and easy going types. However DD2 can go off on incredible traumas over nothing, sobbing and convinced that her world is ending. In the last couple of days we've had tears because, she was late getting to bed and convinced herself she wouldn't be able to sleep, because DS was singing a funny song at her that she didn't like, because her baking didn't go quite right, because DD1 touched her with dirty hands - you get the picture. She seems completely unable to calm down and keep things in perspective.

She is otherwise a bright, happy, cuddly and gorgeous child, comes from a stable 2 parent home, enjoys school, has lots of friends, and no known problems. She is capable of being very mature, e.e when I broke my arm last year was the child who picked up most tasks to help me carry on.

She does have some awareness of what she is doing and will regularly make resolutions that she will be calm this week/year, and even in the middle of a storm will say "I'm sorry mummy" when I tell her that her behaviour is unacceptable and she needs to calm down. The fact that she never has these episodes except behind closed doors at home also shows some self knowledge and control.

She is quite shy out of the home (but loud and dominant within it, ruling over her older siblings), doesn't like change or strangers, overly worried about danger / germs / burglars etc., hates to be teased, probably overly dependent on me, and ferociously attached to her teddy bears.

DH and I do worry about how she will cope with the teenage years (or how we will!) when she can't seem to handle the slightest disappointment or set back. Is she just sensitve and will grow out of it, or should we be doing something more active to help her? I hate to see what looks like a badly behaved and immature child (my mother has written her off as spoilt and badly behaved) but I know that inside it causes her more suffering than anyone else. How do I help her get these rages under control? I really feel that if she does not master them they will have a serious detrimental effect on her teenage and adult years.

Any advice gratefully received.

cory Tue 23-Feb-10 09:29:10

If she is able to behave at school and in public places, that is a huge positive.

It may well be that the teenage years will actually be easier for her. My dd was the world's greatest drama queen at that age, but is considerably calmer now (13).

MillyMollyMoo Tue 23-Feb-10 12:39:21

It's her age, my eldest hit it at exactly 8 and DD2 is heading that way coming up to 8.
As soon as that's over the hormones start kicking in and they go truly bezerk.
And you thought the baby years were hard.
My policy is lots of cuddles, as much attention as you can and as few telling offs as possible, I think that's all you can do really.

PixieOnaLeaf Tue 23-Feb-10 12:43:05

Message withdrawn

Venslou Tue 23-Feb-10 13:49:04

I read your post and really felt for you and your DH.
My daughter is very emotional too and she is only 5. The slightest things set her off into a dramatic display of tears and dramatic phrases.
At first I was shocked that she should behave like this and now it just upsets me that she should think the world is against her.
I can only help her by giving her lots of love and cuddles when she lets me ( which is usually after the event) I try and reason with her but I think she is just as confused as we are.
I really don't know what the answer is, emotional issues are the most difficult ones i feel, as there is probably no right or wrong answer.
I just wanted to let you know you were not alone.
Hope that helps a bit,
L x

BicycleBelle Tue 23-Feb-10 16:40:02

Thanks everyone, reassuring to know the general concensus is that she will grow out of it.

Venslou - your DD sounds exactly the same, and my DD has been like this since the age of about 4 or 5.

DH and I find it very worrying and upsetting when she says that she hates herself, is a bad person and doesn't deserve her toys / sweets whatever. We're terrified that this could lead to serious self esteem problems later on. But on the other hand it is attention seeking behaviour, and its not fair on the other DCs when we pander to her to quieten her down, or worse give in to her to try and divert her.

Hence we just don't know whether to be strict and deal with the poor behaviour, just ignore her when she's ranting, or try and cuddle and reassure her.

Confused confused

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