10 year old year 6 anxious and not sleeping

(22 Posts)
SalaciousCrumb Wed 27-Mar-13 10:14:51

He keeps having histrionic meltdowns and just lately has been punching himself in the head and banging his head on things such as the sofa arm sad

Sometimes he is not asleep until after 11.30. The worst one recently was 1.30am (didn't send him to school). Things converge in on him and he starts thinking about how unpleasant some of the other boys are to him at school, being told off, etc.

Secondary school is coming up and he says he doesn't know how he's going to cope. They have this citizenship project going on at home with is more work on top of homework - he is having major stresses over it sad he says I am nagging him over it and not helping. Too late now anyway, as the folder was due in on Monday.

He says he's sad all the time at home. Younger sister doesn't help but have stopped her from winding him up at the moment.

I can't get him to join any after school clubs, he says he's too nervous and just refuses to do them.

Any suggestions from anyone with a similar boy? I just want him to be happy sad Have asked the GP to call me but at the moment I don't think I can talk to her without dissolving into tears.

Thanks in advance, sorry for long post.

Tintingal Wed 27-Mar-13 10:26:35

One word - counselling. I know a boy who went through much the same, albeit a little earlier. Counselling really helped him control his anxiety, helped him work out what was an actual problem and what was an imaginary one, and allowed him to do it away from his parents, who were anxious too. GP should be able to help. Another thing which helped this other little boy was going for a walk late afternoon/early evening with his aunt who lived round the corner. She wasn't immediately involved, but was close to him, and they just chatted as they walked. It physically tired him, gave him someone to talk to if he wanted, and company if he didn't. I know this must be extremely worrying and upsetting, but it is not uncommon, and it can be sorted out. Good luck to you and your boy.

DieWilde13 Wed 27-Mar-13 10:30:57

Hi Crumb, sorry to hear you are going through this! My DS is a little younger but of a similar disposition and I can see him acting exactly the same in Year 6!

I find that it helps us a lot to take as much pressure away as possible. We have stopped most after school activities and only do 1 playdate max a week.
We know that DS hates change and is scared of it, so reminding him how he was afraid of xyz and how he enjoyed it once it started is a good starting point for us.

Is he feeling pressure from school? Can you discuss what happens if he "fails"?

Re. secondary school: do you have any friends with older children who could tell him what it's like or even promise to be his buddy at secondary?

Is he open to calming techniques? Have a look at amazon, there are some meditation-like CDs you could look into.

brew for now, I am sure somebody with a better grip on things will come by shortly and give really good advice!

SalaciousCrumb Wed 27-Mar-13 14:04:06

Thanks for replies smile it's made me feel less alone.

Tintingal the GP rang me and said she has never referred a child age 10 to counselling. Also there is no sleep clinic in our area.

No help - she can't refer him to mental health as his difficulties are not severe.

She advised me to get some self help books from the library which I've done so today. Back to the drawing board.

The counselling the younger child had - was it arranged through school?

Diewilde Agree wholeheartedly with taking as much pressure off as possible, so non-essential stuff the school want him to do can be shelved. Year 6 is pressured <sigh> at the moment we are not communicating too well. He is feeling pressured. Also from me over this guff the school want him to do - citizenship - but I'm out of it now, up to him to take the consequences.

Your ds and my ds sound similar. Mine is very wobbly about change.

Great idea about buddying up, thank you.

Calming techniques - he has rainforest music but he was resistant to me getting him to do relaxation techniques.

I'm off for a brew and to see if the self-help books can suggest anything. Thanks!

Tintingal Wed 27-Mar-13 16:26:19

Hi there, I've just checked and the counselling was private with a child psychologist. I should say that I'm not one to rush into suggesting counselling, but the punching on the head and hitting head against other objects were the things which triggered such action from my friend. From what I remember, it got to the stage where both the parents and the child were super stressed, very anxious and unhappy, and that taking the issues to a stranger was really helpful. re secondary school, is there any way you can contact the new school and take him there a couple of times before September? Schools can be surprisingly helpful in these cases, after all, they will have seen it all (or something similar) before. There are usually bonding/settling in days for the new Year 7s and the children often do a day of activities to get to know each other before term starts. I feel for you and for him, so awful to hear a 10/11 year old say he feels sad all the time. It may help to know the child I knew is now in Year 9 at a large secondary school, is settled and happy.

OldBeanbagz Wed 27-Mar-13 16:45:21

Sorry to hear you and your son are going through this. Do you think his worries are justified? Is he being bullied at school? Are they piling the pressure on coming up to SATs?

I think my first port of call would be his existing class teacher. Let her know what's going on and she might have some ideas. It might be that if he could resolve the friendship issues at school, he'd sleep better and feel more able to cope with everything else. There's nothing worse with lying in bed worrying about things.

We had a very similar situation with my DD when she was in Y5 and she found that by using a bedtime meditations cd she started sleeping a lot better and the problems didn't seem so big and unmanageable.

We had a lot of help from her class teacher who came up with some relaxation techniques and helped sort out the issues in her class.

That's not to say we don't still have bad days but i guess that's what happens with raging hormones in a pre teen body. Am also expecting a few high school nerves come Spetember.

SalaciousCrumb Thu 28-Mar-13 10:12:30

Thanks Tintingal counselling is an option. I have been very stressed with the late nights I am not at my most patient gone 11pm with a wakeful 10 year old.

I have requested more visits to secondary school to acclimatise him; essential in his case.

He came home happier yesterday - he's made it up with a friend he's known since baby group not been friends since year 5 smile so one thing that's bothering him hopefully is resolved (if they stay friends again...!).

Oldbean Good question about whether his worries are justified - sometimes I can't see the wood for the trees. I would say most of them to do with friends are where he reacts very sensitively and doesn't let go when someone upsets him, just can't get rid of the anger made worse by not sleeping.

He could be more assertive but hopefully that will come with maturity.

The school are very much piling on the pressure for SATS. He is going in for 'booster' maths after the easter holidays starting at 8am hmm

He's more stressed over this citizenship stuff where he has to answer questions like "what akes you proud?" and "write about someone who is a good citizen" - he finds this challenging and just says "nothing" to me. Then I try and get him to think of things and it gets stressful as he can't see the point. He says he has to do it or they will make him feel ashamed.

Thank you for CD recommendations.

He was having help with the ELSA at school after easter I may ask if she can speak to him again, but last year with big friendship wobbles she tried to help him - but he's stubborn (he does attract other children with his sense of fun and imagination though). The ELSA didn't get anywhere and he ended up wandering around on his own at breaktimes. It's so much better now though.

Thanks for replies all smile

foxrivereight Thu 28-Mar-13 10:18:18

My 8yo dd is goin through something similar right now . I have been to school and gp and both have advised referral to educational psychologist .

I totally understand how you are feeling it's so sad sad on one hand I feel so sorry for her se is a nervous wreck ! But on the other I need to be firm with her because it's causing bad behaviour . She has been violent in school twice the past few weeks .

Have you notice any triggers or anything ? I'm trying to keep a wee diary just now to see if I can find any patterns .

HotheadPaisan Thu 28-Mar-13 10:18:19

Hueber's What to do series are very good, there's one on anxiety and sleep, practical, CBT strategies. I'd also look at PDA strategies, they tend to be quite good for anxiety in children.

Hassled Thu 28-Mar-13 10:21:32

Does your school have a Parent Support Adviser (they usually work in a cluster of schools)? The office will know. PSAs can be incredibly useful in terms of suggesting support/pointing you in the right direction.

SalaciousCrumb Thu 28-Mar-13 12:57:00

Foxrivereight I hope your dd gets some help sad a diary is a great idea my friend who's a nurse advised the same thing; she does that for her patients.

I know my ds suffers very badly at time with low self-esteem. Is your dd similar?

A computer game called Minecraft has caused my ds big upsets - I used to let him play on it before school in the morning but I have stopped that (no matter how much he argues) he's was late for school twice after getting in a hysterical state over it.

Hothead Thanks for that will have a look into Huebers & PDA strategies.

Hassled there's not a parent support adviser at school but the ELSA helps children. The school has never offered me advice - the pattern when he was little - he behaved badly with hitting, meltdowns, etc, they put their own stragies in place on IEP that he responded to, but they've not done that since year 3.

foxrivereight Fri 29-Mar-13 13:20:48

Yeah sal low self esteem is a big thing with her too . She thinks her everyone in her class hates her and she has no friends and never will (in reality she actualy does have a few friends in school)

She thinks the teacher hates her and that the teacher thinks she is bad (This might actually be true I'm looking into this)

And weirdly she has also recent discovered minecraft !!

Does you ds need an explanation about everything ? Everyday time I tell dd to do something it's a whole drama . Eg dd brush your teeth . Dd : why do I have to brush my teeth I hate brushing my teeth do I really need to but why blah blah blah . Never in her whole life have I gave in to her not brushing her teeth but she still tried every day . She just has to argue and moan about EVERYTHING !!

sad

foxrivereight Fri 29-Mar-13 13:21:10

Sorry I didn't mean for that to become a total rant there blush

Mynewmoniker Fri 29-Mar-13 13:39:27

Have a look at a book called What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety (What to Do Guides for Kids) by Dawn Huebner. I use it for kids at school and it gives some good CBT techniques.

Don't over reassure but rationalise. Explain that 'worries are a normal part of life for everybody...even adults...and this is what I do when I worry because I've learnt a skill that YOU will learn as you grow'.

Try not to say 'Don't worry' as that is negating their fear. Find a regular time of about15 minutes in the evening to explore worries. During the day if a worry is mentioned say 'Put it in your worry box and we'll talk about this at Worry Time.' The box can be imaginery or a decorated shoe box with a slot for a note to be put in. That way the skill of holding and rationalising skills are beginning.

Sorry for long post hmm

foxrivereight Fri 29-Mar-13 15:00:54

Greet advice thanks myn definitely going to try worry time x

SalaciousCrumb Fri 29-Mar-13 16:40:23

fox tis stressful, I apologised for ranting at the class teacher! DS also says he's unpopular a state of mind but he does tend to stick to very few friends
Is your dd obsessed with mine craft?

SalaciousCrumb Fri 29-Mar-13 16:41:34

Thanx for book recommendation myn

foxrivereight Fri 29-Mar-13 23:10:40

Yes and a game called talking Tom ? I have to limit iPad time or she would be on the blooding thing all day .

Mynewmoniker Sat 30-Mar-13 19:32:52

I'm pleased it has helped. smile

It's a frustrating time.

DS1 had a tough time in Y6. We found some books by J.Alexander that taught him some basic skills to reduce his anxiety and to notice when he was catastrophising. I will try to find some links for you.

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