to be worried about my DD?(7 Posts)
I’m genuinely at a loss & im panicking. DD is 6. No problems at school, generally a happy girl. Has occasionally said
Oops posted too early!! ...has occasionally said some things that have indicated low self-esteem, I think because when she first started saying things like that (I’m rubbish at this etc) I really over-reacted (in panic) & it’s like she got attention for being negative, iyswim. But I’ve spoken to her teacher numerous times & there doesn’t seem to be a problem with confidence etc at all. She can be wonderful with her sister (4) and also very competitive. So if she falls, the 4 year old will show immediate concern, if the 4 year old falls, DD6 will show no concern for her & immediately say ‘what about me?’ Today I overheard her tell her sister, in all seriousness, that Daddy hates her. I rushed in (she didn’t know I could hear her) & dealt with it, but I’m horrified. Earlier today, she’d said she always ruins everything, & I feel like I’m constantly telling her to be kind. I’m trying not to damage her self-esteem, but I feel like I’m forever telling her off for how she is with her sister, sometimes so kind but often nasty. I’m so worried, she seems to lack empathy, I’ve no idea if this range of behaviour is normal for 6 year olds. I don’t know how to make her feel better, I presume she’s lashing out at her sister because she feels hurt somehow, but I praise her when she’s kind & I have to punish her for being cruel & to protect my youngest too. I’m in tears over it all tonight, I feel like I’m handling it all wrong & getting it wrong for both my girls.
Hi there op, don’t be hard on yourself
I have two girls close in age too , that are now 10 and 12 . When they were your dds ages I could have written that post .i felt my older dd lacked empathy and had low self esteem especially towards her younger sister who happened to be the opposite . What helped :
-lots of 1:1 time
- engaging with her deeply according to her own interests
- demonstrating empathy overtly and explicitly at every opportunity
- talking to her about options - how we can react for example when someone hurts them selves ? Which of those options make us feel better ? Try to connect being good to others with feeling good inside / feeling good about ourselves - so try to activate that feeling of having been kind to someone and then feeling that warmth / satisfaction of having been nice to someone . Some children need to be taught that being kind, showing empathy , etc can also be self serving and doesn’t defeat self preservation .
- being as calm and rational as possible , I know it’s hard and they really do test you but try to avoid turning it into a battle !
Thank you for replying, I was in tears about it last night 😥 I'm torn between fearing that I'm being too hard on her and therefore damaging her self-esteem and being really worried that she's basically bullying her sister. I have MH issues, under control with meds, and I fear passing it on to my eldest in particular. So self-esteem issues are normal for girls of this age? When should I step in between them and when should I let them battle it out?
Two things here. She shpuld not be allowed to say mean things to her sister. That aside, she may at times feel like her sister "spolils everything ". This is a normal, if somewhat dramatic, part of the sibling repertoire. Next time she says it, rather than trying to close her down for expressing negative feelings, listen to her. Let her tell ypu sll the reasons she feels this and empathize with her feelings (even if you don't agree with them).
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