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DD has party phobia. Anyone else had this?

(9 Posts)
tulippa Sat 04-Dec-10 09:58:13

DD is nearly 6 and is becoming more and more unhappy when in party/disco situations. She likes the idea of going but once there becomes very clingy and any suggestion of joining in games etc is met with hysterical crying. Then any suggestions that as she's not enjoying herself we should go home is met with even louder hysterical crying. Explanations range from it's too loud, too noisy, there's kids there she doesn't know, so and so wasn't there so she couldn't show her her break dancing. hmm

She doesn't have any problems making friends at school and gets loads of invites but am concerned that this will affect her socially if it goes on too long. Just had to tell another mum she wasn't going to a friend's party today as she getting anxious this morning.

Any ideas? I'm worried if she stops going completely it will become this big monster that she'll never get over but I don't want to keep putting her in situations that make her unhappy. sad

scurryfunge Sat 04-Dec-10 10:02:56

Could you take her to small parties only for a while.

Is it possible to leave her there without you? If you were not there to cling onto maybe she would get more involved.

tulippa Sat 04-Dec-10 10:30:24

Thanks for your reply.

She is fine with small gatherings where she knows EVERYONE but if there is boisterousness or any unknown children (unavoidable at parties) she starts to freak out.

I don't think I would be able to leave her on her on own as this would mean peeling her off me at the doorstep and leaving the party host to deal with an upset DD which wouldn't be fair on them. But I know as well that at nearly 6 she should be getting to the stage where I can drop and run (not that I mind staying if I have to especially if I am friends with the other kid's parents).

Maybe small bits of 'party exposure' and positive reinforcement is the way to go?

MentalFloss Sat 04-Dec-10 10:37:42

I could have written your OP when my DD1 was 6.

She would scream hysterically from the moment we stepped into the party until the moment we left.

I found that starting off with smaller parties, having a party at home and me not taking her helped a lot.

My Mil started taking her to parties instead and somehow she was then fine??

I don't know if she was feeding off my anxiousness about it all or what but as soon as my MiL started taking her it was much better.

Could anybody else try taking her to one and see what happened?

It will get better I promise!

annielennox Sat 04-Dec-10 10:38:06

Just don't go to parties for a bit; it's just a stage and it will pass but the more you push the worse it will be IMHO. If it helps we didn't do Santa for about 4 yaers when DS1 was little as it totally freaked him out (a weird man in the house at night - etc he found it very spooky) and whatever way we tried to explain it made it worse. So we just didn't do it; luckily had v supportive family and friends and he just out grew it as he got older.

deaddei Sat 04-Dec-10 10:40:28

Mine did this- hated loud noiuse, fear of balloons.
I just didn't take her in the end, unless it was a very small "tea party" type thing.
She grew out of it at about 8- and by then, friends' parties were small affairs- none of this invite the whole class malarkey.
She does have OCD but I think lots of dcs just hate the loudness of it all.

tulippa Sat 04-Dec-10 10:58:32

Phew - at least she's not the only one.

Mentalfloss MiL or her Aunties could try taking her in future. Her birthday is next month - was thinking of not doing any sort party ivo all this but maybe a small low key thing may be an idea?

annielennox strangely enough she used to have a problem with Santa when she younger and would freak out at grotto visits. She has grown out of this now so maybe there is hope.

deaddei yeah I think the loudness is a lot to do with it - might just have to scale things back a bit (other parents have always been very understanding)

Thanks for your responses - they've been reassuring! smile

annielennox Sat 04-Dec-10 11:58:04

I work in a school (and have done for about 20 years am very old!) so I have been able to see a agreat range of childrn and IME for every child who likes parties/discos and exceitement there is always another who hates it. In fact a lot of children hate the run up to Xmas (parties, dressing up days, other out-of-routine stuff) but no-one likes to talk abut it cos we all have to pretend that it's marvellous and 'all for the children'. Since the experience with DS1 I have been much more vocal about saying that Xmas, birthday parties etc are torture for some children and THIS DOES NOT MAKE THEM ODD!!!! And when I think of my own feelings I would rather have social situations with a small group in a quietish place (e.g nice meal out with a couple of friends) than go to a nightclub for example, and I always have not just now that i am old!

annielennox Sat 04-Dec-10 11:58:57

Sorry awful typing, DC3 on lap trying to put a ball down my jumper.

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