Hypochondriac 5 yo(5 Posts)
Sorry if there is already a thread (or 10) about this - I did a search, but still a bit new here... I'm a soon-to-be stepmom of a 5 y.o. girl and could use some advice from other parents. She is a sweet kid, and normally not any trouble, but is going through a bit of a drama queen/hypochondriac phase. Every day lately, she has either:
- a sore head
- a sore belly
- a sore knee
- a sore gum
- a sore ankle
... and usually bang on teatime, when she'd rather skip dinner and go straight to the sweets, but also in the car on the way to the childminder's, and sometimes at family gatherings if there are mostly adults and she is the only child.
DP and I think there's a bit of attention-seeking going on here, and we're a bit frustrated because we're not as inclined to believe her when she complains these days. And then feel like terrible parents when something is actually wrong.
I've started using the line, "Do I need to call an ambulance?" which seems to be having some impact, but is there anything else I can do? Ignorning her seems to make her anxious, but responding to her complaints seems to feed the beast. We've had talks (and tellings off) about fibbing, but those doesn't seem to be sinking in just now.
Normally when she is ill, she's completely out of character - no smiling, low energy, extra whingy, very quiet, etc. We think she's being a drama queen when she's happy chatty one second and "oh, my head" the next.
She is an only child in both Dad's and Mum's house, doted on by four grandparents plus Mum's partner's parents (mine in America and haven't met her yet but already sending her presents...), adored by teachers and childminder alike. I can't think of how she's deprived for attention, but maybe I am a wicked stepmother?
Perfectly normal behaviour for five year old, we have our own 4.10 girl with almost exactly complaints as your little girl ours complaints; wonky eyes, wants to go the optician again( nothing wrong with her eyes, 20-20 vision), she wants to have hearing aids, she says she can't hear properly(she hears everything she shouldn't), I have managed to suss her out, I put stop to it all, by saying "I am not going to talk to you if you continue to bore me with this sort of talk,I will stay silent for the rest of the day, also positive encouragement , such as; there are children in the world who have nothing to eat and they are starving, if they are to see you lovely dinner on the plate, they would eat it all, works very well at dinner times, don't worry about making her fell guilty little about it. Be gentle but very FIRM, don't indulge her. Hope it helps.
Also go by your gut feeling, when child is really unwell there are many tell-tell signs, you will be able to read those for what they are, STOP FEELING GUILTY, she sounds a lovely little girl with a loving family around her, all she needs is a little push in the right direction, my opinion those fibs all tough harmless now at the age of 5, left untreated and indulged can become problem later.
I say "oh dear, poor you" and change the subject to something she'll happily talk about. Usually she forgets about it then.
I agree with all of the above.
Also try "consequences of illness". I don't mean punishing, but:
sore belly/teeth/gums=oh dear, no sweets for you, that'll make it worse,
sore leg=playing outside may not be a good idea
etc. (I may not be explaining this very well!)
It does sound like you're all coping with a difficult situation very well. Best of luck.
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