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Anxiety in 6 year old DD

(18 Posts)
kerstina Thu 27-Jun-13 20:38:04

If she has not always been that way something could have triggered it ? Did she seem happy at pre school? What sort of provision was it ? Full time playgroup, school nursery or private?
I dont remember being anxious until i started full time school. I think it was just such a shock for me as i did not go to any pre school. I just remember feeling so anxious. I would not eat my lunch or go to the toilet. The teachers were so patient and lovely.Settled eventually though but generally worried a lot through out school.

toffeefee Thu 27-Jun-13 15:38:18

Thanks for the recommendation, Bellini. I will take a look! DD hasn't always been this way, it's since she started pre-school. She used to be a very confident baby and toddler right up until the age of 3. But I also think that we have a genetic predisposition to this kind of thing and that we can't fight it. We just have to find ways of coping with it. Thanks again. smile

Bellini12 Wed 26-Jun-13 18:22:59

May I recommend a book? I've just ordered 'the highly sensitive child' from Amazon. I was recommended it by my CBT therapist who said I would recognise myself and my children in this book. I do believe some of it is genetic (my children were very nervous from toddlers and still are to an extent). My 4 year old won't be away from me at a party or go on a play date. Of course as an adult we learn coping mechanisms for situations that we find stressful.

I haven't read it yet but the reviews are very good.

JuliaScurr Tue 25-Jun-13 18:11:36

yy toffee dd was 'cured' after returning to a new school after we home edded for a while. The brilliant Head of this 'failing' primary got the whole sitation sorted in a few months. Dd has never looked back. The key was always giving her a way out of unbearable anxiety - I went to school with her for a while.
good luck

toffeefee Mon 24-Jun-13 22:02:28

Thanks Kerstina. I do try to get her outside as much as possible. She plays outside with friends every evening after school (weather permitting) and during free time at the weekend. She loves making mud pies and dens with her friends! It is one of the only times she is relaxed and happy, so you are right about that! smile

toffeefee Mon 24-Jun-13 21:50:05

Thank you so much for all of your replies. There are some really helpful suggestions here that I will definitely try with DD. She has actually had a good day today (once I handed her over to the teacher at school!). She had a swimming lesson after school and her little brother had his first lesson too and was worried, so she looked after him and told him that he would have lots of fun. So lovely! But funny how she was quick to reassure him when she would normally be the worried one!

I will take a look at that website Juliascurr, thank you. I hope that your DD is now doing much better with her anxiety.

Monikar, that is a good idea to get her to concentrate and focus on what we are doing after something that she is worried about. I'm going to draw up the timetable tonight and let her decorate it tomorrow, then we can see how that works.

Coco, she loves those little crystals and I'm sure I have a little bag of them somewhere. I'll have to have a dig round and see! I have asked her before what she thinks the worst thing that can happen is and she just says that she'll be frightened and on her own sad. It's so black and white with her - something is either scary or it's not. No in between.

Thank you again, everyone.

kerstina Mon 24-Jun-13 21:04:43

I was an anxious child and really believe it is genetic and physical so she really can't help it. Instead of trying to change her tell her a lot of people worry but still need to do things. Try and get her out in the sunshine as much as possible as it really does boost your mood and will make her more chilled about things she is worried about. I think that holiday will do her the world of good smile

cocolepew Mon 24-Jun-13 17:36:21

Sorry about last sentence, I could get my phone to type!
Asking them what the worse that happen is a good idea. Sometimes they realise that it was a daft thing to be worried about.

I think it's all about trying to let them take control of the fear/situation.

My DD had anxiety related to a genetic condition of her nerve endings so this is why she had such a severe reaction as she hit puberty , so as not to concern you smile

JuliaScurr Mon 24-Jun-13 17:35:49

www.youngminds.org.uk/

were very helpful with my anxious 6 yr old dd
good luck

cocolepew Mon 24-Jun-13 17:30:12

M DD had a full breakdown when she was 11, she has OCD as well as her anxiety. She had to see a therapist which went really really well.

I gave her a crystal to carry, probably more than one kind. I don't believe in the healing power of crystals but told her what each one meant. She took a lot of comfort from them, holding them in her hand and putting them under her pillow. This might be something your DD might like, they are very pretty grin.

DD needs to know in advance where we are going, what time etc. Rather than fight it I tried to tell her as well as I could.
I admit I found her very tiring, and had to bite my tongue more than once. We had a row just this afternoon over boys going to scare her with a balloon blush.

Al them washy is the worst that can happen

monikar Mon 24-Jun-13 15:02:35

That is just it isn't it? You want them to be children, enjoy themselves and not worry so much.

The timetable sounds like an excellent idea. You could link this in with another idea that I had after I posted. After an activity your DD is worried about, try focussing on something good that is happening afterwards. I do this with my DD now. It gives them the control, as you say, but also distracts them a little from the current worry. So, if she is worried that you won't be there to pick her up after dancing, after going through the whole 'well, it's ok to be worried but who could you wait with if I am late?' then remind her that you have to call in to the shops on the way home or that that evening X is coming round. It doesn't have to be an enormous treat, just some everyday fairly pleasant activity. It just helps them see beyond their immediate worry.

If I think of anything else I'll let you know.

toffeefee Mon 24-Jun-13 14:04:44

Thanks for your advice Monikar. I really like the idea of giving her something of mine to for if she gets worried. I will try to find something that will fit in her pocket that she can carry to school or dancing.

I really try to get her to acknowledge how she feels, but I must admit I get to the 'enough!' stage where I can't see a way through it. Someone at her school had their car stolen from their drive way and for a month afterwards she would come down at night as ask us repeatedly if we had locked the cars and the front door. I tried to reassure her, but it was as if she was on a loop and couldn't break out of it. It finally stopped when she found something else to worry about! I will definitely try as you did with your DD and get her to work out what might happen in her head and a solution.

A friend of mine has just suggest making a plan/time table with her so that she can see what is happening each day and it might give her time to prepare herself and feel like she has some control. She'll also be able to see when she has time each day to do as she pleases. She is such a lovely and kind girl and I really want her to enjoy herself and not worry so much.

monikar Mon 24-Jun-13 13:39:59

toffeefee Oh dear, you sound so worried. My DD has suffered with anxiety so I have some idea of what you are going through. It is so difficult when they are worried about what we consider to be such small things, and I have to admit I have been rather frustrated by it in the past.

What I found helped in the long run was actually acknowledging her anxiety rather than trying to talk her out of it. Easier said than done, I know, and it took quite a while to see an improvement.

So, with your DD if she is worried about the scanner thing at the airport you could explain that a lot of people are worried about that, and that you hope it doesn't happen to you too.

Similarly, I tried to get my DD to sort out in her head the 'worse-case scenario', again acknowledging her fears. So if she is worried about there not being room in the restaurant for everyone, you can ask her what she thinks will happen. She probably won't know, so you could explain that you will have to go somewhere else, or come home and have fish and chips. As she gets a bit older, she will be able to work out simple solutions for herself with your help.

The separation anxiety is tricky - my DD was like this. I gave her small trinket to put in her pocket and told her that if she felt worried to touch it and then I would be thinking of her. It sounds bizarre - she was about 7 at the time, but it did help a little.

My DD improved as she got older - she is nearly grown-up now and is still anxious by nature.

toffeefee Mon 24-Jun-13 12:25:24

I've not used rescue remedy for ages! I do love a bit of rescue remedy, if only for the taste! grin Yum! I'd not thought of trying that. Can you use it on children? Your lovely DD sounds very much like mine and what with her overactive imagination she just imagines all sort of things are going to happen, when in reality it's all quite mundane and ordinary. We booked a holiday last week and as I told her about it and expected her to be excited about it, all she said was that she was worried about going through the scanner thing at the airport in case it beeped! She can't see past the thing that frightens her.

I'm going to keep everything as simple as possible with her at the moment and hope that we get through though the last few weeks at school with as little upset as possible. May be the long break will help her feel ready for next school year.

Thanks again for your advice. Oh, and I looked up the book and have ordered it as it looks like it will really help her. smile

cocolepew Sun 23-Jun-13 23:32:30

It reminded me of DD2 separation anixiety, but she was much younger.
Unfortunately some people are just worriers, I think my DD1 is. You never think that anxious adults were maybe anxious children!

I used to think DD add a fear of the known rather than the unknown. She is scared of balloons because she
knows they will make a noise if they pop. She was scared of dogs because they might bark or jump. She is always on edge in case something happens.

I'm a bit woo grin and found Rescue Remedy to be useful. You can get blends made up online if your interested in that sort of thing.

toffeefee Sun 23-Jun-13 21:46:37

Thanks for the reply cocolepew. I will have a look for that book as we may be able to go through it together. I really can't pin down exactly what she is so anxious about, but it is affecting everything at the moment. I had thought about stopping her dance classes, but I know she enjoys it so much once she's there and she never stops dancing when she's at home! It's almost like a separation anxiety in some cases, but in others circumstances it is just plain fear.

cocolepew Sun 23-Jun-13 21:40:49

Poor thing. The good thing is she is happy when she is at the activity. Is not unusual, IMO, for this to be the age when children start to sorry about thing like death. Maybe something like that is praying on her mind?

There is a good book Why do I worry so much, available from Amazon. DD might be a bit young for it on her own but is suitable for you to go through it with her. My DD had it when she was 8.

With my DDs anxiety I never pushed her into going to something she didn't want to. As she got older and more confident then she was happy to go to activities. I don't think she missed out on anything. She's 15 now and still prefers to do her own thing and is happy in her own company, I don't see that as a bad thing.

Good luck smile

toffeefee Sun 23-Jun-13 21:29:18

I really don't know what to do. My DD is 6 and is suffering from really bad anxiety. She gets so anxious about everything. She worries that we will get locked in the car or a toilet cubicle, she worries that if we are going out for a meal that there will not be enough room for us all to sit, if she needs cream on for a skin complaint she cries and hides, if she needs her nails cutting she gets really upset and so on. She is reluctant to go to school/swimming/dancing and I have to hand her over to a teacher as she cries and wants me to stay with her. When I try to talk to her about it she just says that she misses me and gets scared when I'm not there.

Her teachers say that she is fine and very happy within minute of me leaving and she is almost always disappointed when I come to collect her! Every week she comes home from dancing saying that she really enjoyed it and won't worry next week, but she does.

The only time she seem happy and relaxed is when she is at home playing with her toys or colouring in, or playing out with the children on our street.

I'm not sure who to turn to in the first instance for help. Is this something a GP could help with, or the school nurse? Any advice would be really helpful I just want my happy girl back. She seems so sad.

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