To be worried about what my 6yo DD said last night??(59 Posts)
Last night after having a girls night with my 6 (almost 7) year old DD and giving her some much needed atttention she said something that has really concerned me.
I was putting her to bed and she asked me if I loved her and her brother the same. I said of course I do, why? She said because I spend more time with him when she is at school. I said again I love them both the same and always will no matter what they do.
She then asked me if I would still love her if she killed her brother.....I didn't know what to say so I said I would be very sad and she would be in lots of trouble. I asked her why she had said this and she said she didn't know. I asked if she had thought about hurting him and she said no. She then got vey very upset and I couldn't calm her down. She ended up just sitting with me until I went to bed. She cried herself to sleep. She said it's because I think she will hurt her brother.
I tried to reassure her I didn't think she would hurt him and I knew she loved him but I am very very concerned about this.
For background she has been very emotional lately and her behaviour has been difficult to say the least. Also I suffer with bipolar and recently had a manic episode. I am feeling very low and depressed myself so don't know how much of this is her picking up on how I feel.
Her dad also left 2 years ago and I don't think she has come to terms with his either as she keeps asking if i love him and when he is coming home.
AIBU to think she needs some counselling and to be worried about what she said? I couldn't sleep last night for worrying!
This is possibly not helpful as it is now the summer but as you have bipolar then your daughter will qualify as a young career and the school may be able to access help and support for her because of this.
I would think she was just pushing boundaries and it was your response that made her inconsolable. I am not saying you said anything wrong, it just brought it home to her. I don’t actually think she has any feelings about harming him, she just finds it hard to convey just how she is feeling. I think more one to one time could help and just loads of reassurance. It is a lot of change in a short life, I am sure you are doing well by her. But I think you should discuss it with school or GP.
Kids say silly things. Hopefully your reaction - which was probably what upset her - showed her that this particular thing isn't something she can say again. I doubt she needs counselling. Just keep an eye.
Things said might be more intense and emotional when they’re tired at bedtime.
YANBU to think she would benefit from counseling, it sounds like the poor little thing has a lot on her plate, and so do you, and I say this as someone with ADHD and depression.
That being said, my 6 year old went through a whole "I'm going to kill...insert name here (changes from me, to his sister, to his dad, to his cat)" (and he's always laughing, joking, when he says it), but then when I ask why, etc, he doesn't seem to understand what kill actually means. When I explained what it meant, he got very upset as well. I think it's the age when they start to think about death, dying and what it means, and are trying to come to terms with the whole concept.
I think your DD didn't make the connection between killing someone and hurting them, she knows hurting someone is bad but never made the mental leap to killing hurting. (If that makes sense). The fact that she was upset when you made the connection for her, shows that she understand hurting is bad. So I wouldn't worry about lack of empathy or anything more sinister.
I wouldn't worry about what she said as it may have just been to get a reaction.
However if she's been through a rough time lately and is feeling emotional, some casual counselling may help, might let her open up and talk through any fears in a safe place.
Either that or maybe you two could go somewhere alone together to bond and talk. it would be nice for both of you.
I have a similar situation with my DD with the jealousy of her younger sibling. I'd be a little upset if she said similar but I wouldn't take it to heart.
Mine has said things along the lines of wishing her sibling wasn't here and it was just us again, that she never asked for one etc. I think its just pushing boundaries and being unable to express the emotions properly.
My kids say stuff like this, I think all kids do, and it's almost always a straightforward rewut for information, it doesn't come loaded with all the subtext that it would do coming from an adult. My kids are also 6 and recently we've been through what would I do if one of them died, if both of them did, if DH died, if I died, when I die, whether I'm likely to die before DD2 has a baby (DD1 is dead set against the idea), and where they would live if DH and I both died. I find that if I just give the information without too much emotion - indicate that I would be sad about the event, without appearing sad that they asked the question - then they are fine.
I get that you're worried that witnessing your manic episode or also the stress of being a single parent is affecting your DD and the advice upthread about counselling and support through school is good advice. But I just wanted you to know that 6yo topics of conversation can get a bit macabre and it doesn't have to mean anything.
Was she maybe trying so ask if you would still love her if her brother didn’t exist? Is her brother younger than her?
I have a 6 year old dd. She is pretty intelligent, but she can’t always articulate what she wants to say.
How old is your son compared to your daughter?
She obviously has got to process as do you so the counseling would be a good thing.
I do think what she's feeling is normal and I don't think she would hurt her brother. My 5YO DS1 is obviously starting to grasp the idea that while he's at school DS2 is still home, getting more time with me etc and I have noticed times he gets upset or angry with DS2 because of it. He obviously gets punished for it, but I do try to talk to him about it as well.
I also think as another PP said as this age they don't quite make the connection between killing and hurting. They hear the term kill being used flipantly. 'I'll kill so and so' when someone is cross with someone else. Or in films and in games characters 'die' and come back to life. I don't think they quite understand what it is or means.
In honestly don't believe she would really hurt him, I just do t know where she got the from?
Her brother is 4 years younger than her and does demand my attention. He is also having speech problems (almost 3 and barely says anything) so I am worried about him as people keep throwing the word autism at me!
Think I need to spend some more one on one time with her but I fe l like even when I do it's never enough. She always wants more x
Also worried I'm completely screwing her up with my issues and I'm going to end up with a messed up child. She is very empathic and knows something isn't right with me. Her dad also isn't very supportive, hardly sees them and was also abusive when we were together x
I've had similar conversations with my children.
It sounds as though she was trying to determine if you'd love her 'no matter what' and definitely the same as her brother. So she came out with a scenario she knew was really bad in relation to him (but didn't fully understand). She probably needed to hear "yes, I'd love you even then" even if it had "but I'd be really upset by what you'd done" or similar tagged onto the end.
I suspect it was your reaction, in part, that left her inconsolable. She didn't get the declaration affirming your love that she was after and realised she'd said something you considered pretty awful. So she was probably scared she'd undermined your feelings for her.
Don't dwell on it. Don't make a big deal of it. Just continue to ensure she knows you love her unconditionally.
My 4 year old said if anything happened to ds2 who’s 2 it’s ok because we could have another baby. She doesn’t really understand the meaning of death and being gone forever contempt.
I'd try not to worry, it's one of those things that kids ask. Dd has asked me before whether I would still love her if she killed someone along with a million other questions about love and death, who I love more/ most etc. I don't think for one minute that she has actually thought about killing someone. I think arranging counselling is a very extreme reaction to normal kids questioning unless you have other concerns.
I am a huge believer in proactive counselling / therapy utlisised early and often when a problem threatens. There is almost nobody in the world who wouldn't benefit from it. So in that regard, I think it would benefit your daughter.
Kids say daft things so I don't think you should be unduly concerned about her comments - I remember asking my mum if she would still love me if I killed someone. It wasn't because I was actually inclined to do so, it was me testing the unconditionality of her love.
But your DD's reaction (inconsolable tears) to your questions suggests that she has a lot on her plate and could do with some help processing her feelings and developing her emotional resilience. She may well be picking up on your feelings if she is very empathetic, and she could be struggling with fears of abandonment due to her father.
It sounds like you are a lovely, supportive mother doing a good job. You aren't failing if your DD needs some extra support, just like you wouldn't be failing if she got an infection and you took her to the doctor for antibiotics. You're just recognising that her emotional toolkit could be better, and helping her to develop techniques that will assist her.
I don’t think she needs counselling as such but talking as a family with her brother around wouldn’t hurt, ask her what she would like life to be like, she sounds articulate so will be able to tell you and then as a family decide how you can go forward just the three of you together, how you can both help your DS to express himself. If your son is struggling to begin his speech take a look at something called Makaton that is something you and your daughter and son can learn together, it may help your DD feel she is included and helpful.
I just do t know where she got the from?
Everywhere. I'm sure she's hearing questions about life and death, etc at school. I know it's easy to start blaming yourself, but as all of the other PP's have said, saying this stuff is normal for a 6 year old.
She is very empathic and knows something isn't right with me. Her dad also isn't very supportive, hardly sees them and was also abusive when we were together x
The only reason to seek counseling would be for the above.
I think I'm so worried as I don't want her to end up like me. Ive always been depressed and anxious, used to self harm and had problems with alcohol and drugs in the past. I just don't want the same for her. Apparently she is very similar to how I was at that age so I'm scared the pattern will repeat itself if I don't get her some help. On its own I wouldn't worry, but her behaviour has been awful and even school have said she seems a bit quiet and withdrawn sometimes. I think I will speak to my doctor at my appointment next week.
Did you explain the separation as "mummy and daddy don't love each other any more"?
She could be scared that you could stop loving her, if so.
It's very normal for small children to be insanely envious of their siblings, and to act unkindly to them. Try to encourage love and kindness between them wherever you can, and try not to be cross if she acts out about it- it's hard to go from being the only one, centre of your world, to having to share that. It takes some children a lot of love and support to accept and care for a sibling.
Sounds like some counselling might be useful for her, just because there has been and is a lot going on in her young life and having a neutral third party to talk to might be helpful. Especially so because she will have feelings about but not words to describe things like your condition and her father's behaviour. A counsellor might help her draw out any concerns, name and talk about them, to help make them definable, containable and let her know it's fine to want to talk about how they affect her. So that they don't rumble on unnamed and emerge later.
I think when dc that age say kill, they just mean 'if he could disappear', they don't have any idea about the act of killing, that isn't what they're thinking about.
I think I'd have answered her first question by saying I love her just as much, little children just need a bit more looking after sometimes and I used to spend as much time with her. In fact she will always be special and lucky because she was the first, so had all your time when she was little. Her brother will never have that, so it's nice for him to have some of your time for himself, while she's at school doing much more interesting, big-girl things, with her friends.
To her 'if I kill him' comment, I would say I'd be very sad if anything bad happened to either of them. Then maybe I'd say 'wouldn't you be sad too?'.
I do understand how shocking it must have been to hear her say that and that you wanted to check what she meant, that she wasn't having any violent thoughts that needed ot be addressed. It's impossible really to think through what is the right thing to say every time, in the moment it needs to be said.
I haven’t thought about this for years but I remember saying precisely this to my mum! Would you still love me if I killed [little brother].
I can’t promise it’s the same for your DD but in my case it was simply trying to come up with a sort of loophole. It was nothing to do at all with my feeling about my brother.
Ahh if it makes you feel better i was very jealous when my sister was born and used to say terrible things such as i would pull her toes off or kill her! I did even bite her really hard and she was a tiny baby! I was and am totally normal i promise!! My poor Mum was in a right state and told the health visitor who said it was nothing to worry about and just to supervise. I have never been violent before that or since and it didn't last long xxx
Counselling doesn't hurt anyone. We should probably all have regular sessions so if you can afford them I'd give them a whirl. Unless you can get them via the nhs?
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