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5 year old worried about me dying

(7 Posts)
Caradoc Wed 24-Aug-11 22:24:25

My 5 year old daughter has sometimes become frightened and worried about the idea of me dying at some time in the future. She has been very tearful about this and we have always talked the issue through. 2 nights ago, after reading a couple of chapters of a new book (not dealing at all with the subject of death) she cried after bedtime and said she was again worried about me dying. We talked it through and I read her a couple more chapters of the book to take her mind of it. The next night, the same thing happened. I simply read 2 more chapters and the problem seemed to go away. Tonight, the same thing happened again, but I refused to read any more chapters of her book. I suggested that we talk about her worries during the day, not at bedtime, but she was almost inconsolable. Three questions:

Is it normal to worry so much about death at that age?

Am I being manipulated at bedtime in the hope of more bedtime stories?

What do I do, both about the issue of worrying about death and/or the bedtime manipulation??!!

If it is manipulation, it is the worst I have experienced so far, as the topic really pulls at my heart strings. I don't want to ignore her if she really is upset. Equally, she really needs to go to bed!

Davsmum Thu 25-Aug-11 16:07:37

Its normal for your daughter Caradoc although I agree its young.
I doubt this would be manipulation - a five year old would not come up with that for simple manipulation - I think its a real fear which something has triggered and for which she needs reassurance

When my daughter raised this subject she was probably 7 ( although she could have been younger) and I remember telling her ( at that time) that people die when they get very old and that it would be a long, long time away when she was all grown up and had children of her own. As the prospect of being grown up and having children seemed like centuries away to a 7 yr old - this seemed to calm her.
Please do not avoid the subject though, because I remember the anxiety when I went through this as a little girl and it is horrible,

TheHouseofMirth Thu 25-Aug-11 19:22:31

My son was just over three when we went through this so I guess it varies with the individual child and the circumstances that surround the subject being brought up.

I found that he asked me the same/similar questions repeatedly for quite a while and I as answered honestly and unemotionally as I could. These days (he's 6) he's quite pragmamatic about it all ("when you die Mummy I'm going to bury you in the garden...")

It's a huge and understandably scary concept for them to process and it's going to take time. I think night time is a common time for our worries to surface, isn't it?

imnotadaughter Thu 25-Aug-11 19:45:25

I know it is terrible when your child has those worries, but it´s only a phase and it is normal. I went through it when i was six and my children went through it too. My DD1 had it for about a year and she was asking questions like:``when will you die mummy?´´, or ``why do people have to die?´´. At first i got really worried, but then my mother explained to me that it was normal.

TheHouseofMirth Thu 25-Aug-11 20:35:16

Sorry my previous post's full of typos!

rotool Fri 26-Aug-11 18:43:03

It is normal, my ds2 went through this every night for weeks when he was 5 and now 7 still asks questions and gets a bit tearful.

I think she is genuinely worried but may have quickly realised that you will stay and read more of her book. You have nipped it in the bud, just keep answering her questions and reassuring her and it will get better.

Good luck smile

Asha101 Wed 09-Nov-16 21:19:37

Hi.. can someone please help me out! My 6yo daughter is currently under adhd & autism investigation so as you can imagine has always been very active, on the go ect... she loved all clubs, school, meeting new friends, playing in the court with her friends and all of a sudden since the last week in september has became 'scared' shes stopped all clubs, played sick to get sent home from school, says her tummy/head/back/knee (everything) is sore when shes to go to school! She wont leave my side anymore, if i stand up she screams where are you going and jumps up after me. She used to go to bed around half 7/8 alone and now she wont stay upstairs without me at all she keeps telling me she doesnt want me to die?? I dont understand the big change i no kids go through phases but this is a serious change shes like a different child!! Im so furstrated as i know how much she loves all the clubs and playtime with friends and i no she is missing it but she just wont bring herself to leave my side. Its braking my heart to watch her and not no whats caused it. Ive asked her why she thinks this and she says she doesnt no. Ive told her im not going anywhere and shes still convinced that i will die. I dont no what to do anymore and i feel awful saying this but i feel clostraphobic in my own home its awful! Please tell me there are other mums/dads experiencing this ive never seen another child react this extreme & i just want to help her move on from it & enjoy her childhood!!

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