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Daughter 5 saying sad/ shocking things.(87 Posts)
My daughter (5) has been really emotionally deregulated recently especially towards bedtime.
She has always been very secure, intelligent, well behaved, straight forward, kind and light-hearted.
We bend over backwards to give her a wonderful, fun, safe and enjoyable life and her life is full of stability and predictability.
She started school in reception in September and (as I’m a reception teacher in a different school) I was prepared for her to change, to be exhausted and for her behaviour to change due to her becoming more peer oriented BUT... I was not prepared for her to be:
Refusing to do anything I ask of her.
Telling me she wishes she’d never been born.
Telling me she hates being a child.
Telling me she’s useless at everything (despite the fact she can already read, write and do difficult maths).
This evening she has pinched me, splashed me told me I’m stupid and seemed furious with me. I managed to stay calm until she pinched my under arm and a shouted “stop it” (it bloody hurt!) I’ve never shouted at her before and I’m really upset.
I don’t know what to do. She seems happy going into school and has plenty of friends and good relationships with all the adults.
Is it normal for children to say things like this? I’m really worried that she might have some kind of mental illness. I really didn’t think I’d be dealing with a child saying they wish they’d never been born at the age of 5.
Honestly don't read too much into it, although it's alarming. My DS at a similar age said the most ridiculous things and I felt he was testing the waters to provoke a reaction, kind of attention seeking. It's a big change for her with school so as she settles in to the new routine this should subside. It did with my son.
*said the most random things, not ridiculous.
Thank you, that’s good to hear. All of my NCT friends can’t relate to it at all. They’re kids don’t seem to spiral into doom as much as my DD has the propensity to do.
I find it hard to to be upset by what she says but I don’t show it.
TBH, while kids do say weird things often, saying she wishes she’d never been born would worry me a lot. Can you talk to her teacher?
Also, you’ve never shouted at her before?! You must be an extremely patient mum!
Surely it's phrases and attitudes she's picking up at school?
I have a child this age who can be quite tough to parent sometimes, but he's never said things like the specific examples you mention so I think that would be a red flag for me and I'd want to look into it further. Is she being bullied?
I wouldn’t brush this aside. She sounds really unhappy.
Check whether she’s unwell with something hidden like a UTI or ear infection. Check she’s drinking enough and is getting enough sleep.
Look into whether she is being bullying. My daughter had an awful experience in reception where a troubled child was re-enacting their home life in the playground. My daughter was disturbed by the things the troubled child was saying and doing. She expressed her feelings in the same way you’re experiencing with your daughter.
Start by asking her things like if she feels safe at school, if she can use the toilet when she needs, is she happy with the food, does she miss mummy and daddy.
My DD aged 6 will come out with very dramatic statements about being ‘useless’ or that nobody likes her. Tonight it was ‘I should be in the lowest reading group ever!’ because I pointed out that she’d missed a page of her book (she is a free reader so this is nonsense). I think your DD just testing your reaction and looking for reassurance that you believe in her/support her. I know it’s hard but stay calm and don’t indulge it. The ‘I wish I had never been born’ is perhaps more concerning, but I’d only worry if it was something she said very frequently. At that age she won’t really understand why it’s a worrying thing to say.
That should read “look into whether she is being bullied”
Listen to her, she is trying to let you know that she is not ok. It might be tiredness or it might be something more.
What's her routine after school OP?
The escalation towards bedtime could be anxiety at "leaving you" overnight. Knowing that tomorrow will cause her stress. How pressured is her school day, do you think? How is she with her peers?
Can you get in to meet her teacher?
Really sorry to say it but that doesn't sound usual to me. My DC were exhausted in reception year and we had many tantrums and some awful behaviour but those things she's saying sound really worrying to me...
This sounds like she is exhausted and emotionally drained from starting school. The positive is that she enjoys school.
There are so many worries when starting school, especially for well behaved children. Sometimes they can work so hard at "being good" at school that they are worn out when they get home.
It's a big change for her and she needs time to adjust. She sounds like she is needing a bit more attention from you too, but doesn't know how to express that.
Perhaps she has worries that she can't verbalise, that she's going to be told off, that one of the children will be mean to her, that she misses you or wherever she went before school. She might just be more exhausted and over stimulated than she's ever been in her life.
IME it is perfectly normal for little angels to turn into little demons when they start school. The first term is the worst, then things slowly start to improve. I'm sure she'll be back to her self in time. Good luck 💐
It was literally a brief phrase with my ds, he never said anything like it again. If he had kept saying those things I'd have become concerned. Staff at school raised no issues at all so we had no idea!
I think this all sounds like a phase.
At about age 7, mine started talking about me dying which threw me the first time it it seems to be phases that they all go through.
All that sounds like normal enough ‘5 year old just started school ‘things to me, she is probably just tired and you are too so it’s getting to you.
I do agree that it would be worth arranging a chat with the teacher though. It sounds to me like she may have heard another child in the class say these things. Worth catching up with them for their opinion. They will also be able to keep an eye on her.
I have a kid like this. It's not easy. She's being investigated for ASD now at 10 but I'm not diagnosing your kid I'm just saying I sympathise.
With DD she is very sensitive to praise and feeling like she's not 'clever' or the cleverest and this sort of behaviour resulted from there being a very obvious streaming system at school and with nothing to make kids who weren't top feel good (like star of the week or whatever). I find it difficult to believe this would be happening in a reception classroom but I would investigate exactly how the school is managing different abilities (even if she would be the top).
She will be knackered too though. Lots of unstructured time with you when not at school is good.
Mine used to so this. Found school stressful but not so anyone would really notice. Bright and thoughtful and stressed by the chaos of school. It all came out at home. Let’s face it if you are a bright calm child then being in a class of thirty five year olds is madness!
Our 4 year old son has been saying similar since he started school, along with the phrases
"I'm going to set fire to the school"
"I'm going to kill [insert teachers name"
"If you don't let me stay at home, I'll kill myself"
It's so distressing, especially as his teachers have continually told us he appears to enjoy school (apart from the occasional violent outburst with hitting and biting)
Could she be exhausted by school and a bit irrational?
Really overtired? Especially if she is bright and doing a lot at school?
(Should have added, we suspect our son has ADHD as I have ADHD and see similar traits)
Also being good at school all day, remembering the rules and being worried you’ll get in trouble is exhausting.
Sorry @Chiffandbip that sounds really difficult. My DD had a very tricky phase (albeit slightly younger at 4).
She would tell me she was useless at everything, would get extremely angry at me (screaming, and scratching my face). On a couple of occasions she even screamed at me that she wanted to kill me. It was really disturbing, and just awful and very unlike her.
She was being bullied by a neighbours child (which we knew about and were trying to resolve the issues). One day I heard him say 'I'm going to kill you' and it became pretty clear where it was all coming from. It was awful to see. We tried everything we could to stop it, but eventually just moved.
My DD is much happier now this isn't a part of her life, though she still talks about it, sort of trying to make sense of it all. She still often says 'I'm useless at X, Y, Z', though now more for attention rather than actually believing it.
Obviously there could be lots of causes, and kids go through all sorts of tricky phases, but I just wanted to mention our experience in case helpful in any way, in case there's a chance something similar could be happening. I hope things get better for you all soon.
Also it's nearly half term and I do distinctly remember both my kids being UTTERLY awful by this point when they were in the lower years.. They have short terms for a reason!