Is it normal for 11 year old girls to be upset/cry for no particular reason?

(13 Posts)
Dancergirl Fri 21-Mar-14 13:51:05

Dd2 is just 11, Year 6. She's always been quite emotional, lots of ups and downs, takes things to heart and can over-analyse things.

I've posted on MN a bit recently about her as she's had some friendship issues at school. No nasty behaviour as such, she just seems to be on the outside of friendship groups.

She's got her first choice of secondary school and is delighted and looking forward to starting, although she has the usual worries of will I like it, will I make friends, suppose I won't keep up etc? Because of the nature of her personality I think she analyses/worries more about these things.

I'm worried as she often seems so down. I think the upshot of it is that she doesn't always like herself and feels frustrated with her own reactions to things. I tell her time and time again how loved she is and I wouldn't want her any other way. I'm guessing here but I suspect she sometimes wishes she was more easy-going, relaxed about things.

Last night she had a meltdown - lots of crying for over half an hour. She looked a bit upset and I sort of knew something was up but she didn't really know herself what the matter was.

My feeling is that it's a combination of hormones/worries about secondary school/worries about friends etc that makes it overwhelming for her. She's worked hard for her 11+ and even now she has the school she'd set her heart on, it feels a bit like an anti-climax and brings home the fact that she'll be leaving primary (I'm guessing this, I could be completely wrong). But how do I know it's not more serious or depression or something like that? Sometimes she says to me she wishes she could disappear sad BUT she's always been very expressive and poetic so I don't know how much to hang onto her words.

JuliaScurr Fri 21-Mar-14 13:54:19

hormones and anxiety about change
hope she soon settles

VestaCurry Fri 21-Mar-14 13:58:12

It's a particularly tough time, dc1 found it hard, but has come through. Dc2 is at the same point but has always been less highly strung than Dc1.
The bit that worries me slightly is her saying she wishes she could 'disappear'. What has she said when you asked her about this feeling?

Dancergirl Fri 21-Mar-14 14:02:36

vesta that's the bit that worries me too. She usually says she doesn't know but I'm worried that I'm not asking the right questions.

Other times she seems very happy. Apart from the friendship issues at school, she enjoys the work, goes to her drama club, enjoys messing around with dd1.

VestaCurry Fri 21-Mar-14 14:50:07

It's not surprising she finds it hard to articulate more about the idea of disappearing.

Has she repeatedly said this kind of thing or was it a one off? If it's more than a one off, I'd monitor and if she continues to say this kind of thing, I would seek further advice. I'm not sure if the GP is the right move (I'd go alone for a chat). My GP is wonderful so I would see her. If you don't think your GP is suitable in the first instance, then have a look on the Internet to see if there are any advice services you can have a confidential chat to (I don't know any offhand but it's surprising what's out there when you look).
In the meantime, lots of love, talking (about fun stuff, things to take her mind off her worries). Plan some days out, places to go to look forward to, maybe sometimes with friends who are going to same school or others who are not but you can reassure she can keep in touch with. Sleepovers, etc, just fun stuff in the diary to focus on.

yegodsandlittlefishes Fri 21-Mar-14 14:54:54

Have her periods started? Could it be low iron? It's very common among pubescent girls.

Dancergirl Fri 21-Mar-14 17:05:41

No periods yet, only signs of puberty so far are discharge and her hair gets greasier.

BertieBotts Fri 21-Mar-14 17:09:02

Definitely hormonal. I remember myself and my sister going through this stage, it lasts years. "I'm upset that I'm upset because I don't know why I'm upset and I'm SO STUPID!!" <giant sobs>

Hugs, tea, tissues. It will pass.

ILikeToClean Fri 21-Mar-14 20:47:34

My dd is the same and in the same situation - passed the 11+, got a great school but now realises she's the only one going from primary so feels worried and nervous as well as excited, hormones are all over the place, one minute she's super cuddly and the next she strops off hating us all! She also says she's ugly etc, it really is a combination of all those hormones and the unknown. I'm trying not to nag too much, letting things go and being nice even when she's not! It's so hard...but she'll get through - we all did smile

beginnings Fri 21-Mar-14 21:10:48

You're describing me. I have a vivid recollection of my Mum wearing a mohair sweater (yes yes it was the '80s) and my headgear braces getting caught on it as I sobbed on her shoulder without knowing why.

It is anxiety and if she's always been a bit like that then it will be added to by hormones. Bits of my teens were tricky, as were bits of my 20s but I've been absolutely fine for years. One of the things that I did a lot, and a lot of people with anxiety do, is catastrophise (is that a word) things. When she does that, help her work through it but don't minimalise it and don't whatever you do laugh at it. That makes it worse.

She will get through it.

Dancergirl Fri 21-Mar-14 22:51:59

Thank goodness for MN! It really helps to know I'm not alone.

bertiebotts it's EXACTLY as you describe!

I can live with it as long as I know she'll turn into a well adjusted happy adult, that's all I want for her. She seems to think she's the only one feeling like this but I pointed out to her she doesn't see her friends at home. She's also VERY worried about puberty, hates the idea of body changes and periods, she says she doesn't feel ready. I was a really early bloomer, earlier than her and I sort of felt the same way. I pointed out to her that physical changes could have started a LOT earlier but by 11 most of her friends will be starting to go through it and it's all very normal and she wouldn't want to be the odd one out.

BertieBotts Sat 22-Mar-14 00:55:39

I suppose you could put it to her that these changes aren't really something that she needs to be ready for, they will just happen regardless. Things that you need to be ready for are things that you choose to do, just because she is developing it doesn't mean that she needs to start dating or being an independent adult or any of these things and it will be a long time until she's ready for those, so in the meantime some body changes aren't so bad.

With the random crying thing it might help to tell her that most girls (not sure if boys get it) go through this and that it's not stupid to cry over nothing, sometimes it can feel good to have a cry and it's just a way that our bodies help us to release tension. Use it as an excuse to watch a sad movie if she feels stupid for not having a "reason" to cry. And maybe tell her some stupid things you've cried about when suffering from PMT/when pregnant etc? There are about three current threads about "Stupid things I cried about when pregnant" which might amuse her and help her see that she's not alone and hormones can do funny things to our emotions.

Dancergirl Sat 22-Mar-14 13:38:08

Thank you, that's great advice.

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