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Sad/worried/anxious 7yo dd - anyone any help/advice please?

(19 Posts)
CocktailQueen Sun 28-Aug-11 01:13:36

DD has always been quite sensitive and takes things to heart. she's scared of the dark; doesn't like me or dh being upset (even when I do fake crying, she hates it) (tho she doesn;t mind her brother being upset!!); often has sore tummies (anxious tummies rather than a physical reason); worries a lot about things.

Since we got back from holiday 2 weeks ago she has been v worried about going to bed and wants to sleep with us. She doesn't know/can't articulate why she's worried, only that she misses me in the evening/at night and she's scared of having a bad dream (this only happens very infrequently).

She has been in tears the last few days because she can't stop thinking about bedtime during the day and she's worrying about it.

Have done the 'what's the worst thing that could happen/we're right here in the next room to you/downstairs/you can always come down to us if you're worried/wake us up but as she doesn't know why she's sad, nothing is working. Once in bed she's going off to sleep quite happily bit asking us to check on her lots in the evening.

Can anyone suggest anything I can do or say to help her? It's so upsetting to see her so sad, and not be able to help her.

Dorje Sun 28-Aug-11 01:17:55

Is she stressing about school?

Ask her to draw a picture or two of what is bugging her.
Do you pray to any deity? Maybe she needs a worry doll?

I have a DD who is 7 and she's just recently asked for a night light. A phase I think.

BrawToken Sun 28-Aug-11 01:23:49

I'd go in and sleep with her for a bit. But I expect to be told that's ridiculous by others smile

CocktailQueen Sun 28-Aug-11 01:29:30

Dorje - no, she's looking forward to going back to school and loves it there. She can be nervous about new things though so will ask again. Drawing a pic is a good idea - thanks smile

She has a worry doll already, and a diary that she can write her feelings in. And a nightlight ;-)

Braw - hmm, her room is very small and not enough room for me. She shared a room with her brother on holiday and she usually takes awee while to get used to sleeping on her own again afterwards. But this crying and level of upset is new.

BrawToken Sun 28-Aug-11 01:39:25

She sleeps in a cupboard? Being a parent is regularly uncomfy in my experience! I'm just suggesting you kip either in bed cuddling or on the floor till she crashes out. Not that you need a bed in there, just your presence til she's happy to be there. Good luck x

plumtart Sun 28-Aug-11 11:52:08

i think youshould lie with her til she falls asleep for a bit as well - trying all kins of other things will either make her more feasrful, make her afraid for longer or make her hide her fears

Carrotsandcelery Sun 28-Aug-11 11:56:20

There is a series of books on Amazon called, "What to do if..." eg dread your bed, worry too much etc.

They are sort of work books - they give advice but also have sections for the child to fill in.

You might find it helpful to have a look at them.

My ds has anxiety problems and although these books haven't solved them they do give you a basis to start from.

Jux Sun 28-Aug-11 14:40:40

When dd went through a period like this, I used to perch on her bed reading to her, stroking her hair, until she went to sleep. Of course, she enjoyed that quite a lot so prolonged the period for which I did it, but I quite enjoyed it too.

(Quite miss it actually, in a way.)

YellowWallpaper Sun 28-Aug-11 14:47:24

Hi she sounds very similar to my dd. I am very muchthe type of mum to crawl into bed with her or stroke her etc to get her to sleep until a psychologist suggested I was feeding her fear. She said that by staying with her I was showing her she was right to be afraid. So I changed my tactics. I couldnt outright leave her but I promised we would pop our head in the door every few minutes to reassure her. I explained I would pop head in door but no talking, just head in and out. It took a few weeks gradually expending time but it did work.

In addition I also found books on a cd to listen to in bed by herself helped especially funny stories and I bought some relaxation for children cds. Finally I bought a book called "A Boy and a bear" that teaches yogic breathing. My dd found this book very reassuring. Its really hard dealing with an anxious child so you have my sympathy. I am still on a learning curve.

CocktailQueen Sun 28-Aug-11 22:33:28

Thanks all smile

Carrots I like the sound of the books you mention and will hunt them down. They sound like something my dd will enjoy.

I am reluctant to stay with her while she goes to sleep as from experience this doesn not help and she then gets used to me being there and cannot get to sleep by herself! I prefer to reassure her by being hear her - the next room, downstairs - when she is going to sleep, and checking on her regularly.

Yello - thank you, she has CD stories so will encourage her to use theese more regularly.

Carrotsandcelery Mon 29-Aug-11 10:08:32

I had forgotten about cds Yellow. Ds also has a personal Cd player and we borrow audio books on cd from the library. He listens to the cd after we leave until he falls asleep. We go up later and remove his glasses and his headphones. He also has relaxation cds but he prefers the story. The dog also stays in his room until ds is asleep. We usually know if ds is asleep as the dog appears for a cuddle. grin

Jux Mon 29-Aug-11 17:12:23

Well yes, it was a problem, CocktailQueen, but less of a problem than the original which is why I did it.

My dd meditates to music; she particularly likes recordings of The Sixteen, which are very restful though probably not to everyone's taste.

Carrotsandcelery Mon 29-Aug-11 17:37:41

I have also done the co sleeping thing in the past. Sometimes you are just so desperate to get a night's sleep is seems the only thing to do. It is best avoided if you are strong enough though as it creates a new problem really.

JustFiveMoreMinutes Mon 29-Aug-11 21:32:15

CocktailQueen, your DD could be mine...I can't believe what I'm reading - our stories are almost identical. I logged on to look for some help on this and yours is the first thread I saw.

My DD became so worked up tonight she was nearly sick (one of her fears in addition to dark, monsters, bad dreams, etc).

Sorry I can't offer any suggestions, but I do know exactly what you're going through.

Some very good advice here - thank you.

flussymummy Tue 30-Aug-11 18:20:51

This might seem a rather random question, but she's not on any medication is she? Our DD had similar problems while on Singulair (prescribed for asthma and allergies) and all disappeared when we stopped the medication. Another suggestion is to try having two notebooks, one for worries and another for happy thoughts. Write any worries in the first, followed immediately by any happy things that happened that day in the second, dwelling on positive memories right before bedtime.

Jux Tue 30-Aug-11 23:10:38

Can't resist it, sorry. This is what is most likely to send dd to sleep.

ledkr Tue 30-Aug-11 23:24:56

I posted this exact thing about my 9 yr old dd a few weeks ago,anxious for no apparent reason. It sounds as if she has heard something that has worried her. Im not sure if im right or wrong but when mine have gone thru anxious at night phases i always make them a little bed on my bedroom floor,i havent found this to be habit forming as when the worry passes they just go back in their own bed.
I imagine how i would feel if i was scared and had to sleep alone.
DD hasnt mentioned it for a few days,i think going on holiday seemed to snap her out of it. Good luck.

CocktailQueen Tue 30-Aug-11 23:30:35

jux - thank you, it's gorgeous - more my style than hers tho I think! But will play it to her..... smile

Ledkr- have tried the lonely bed in our room too, but not for a while.

Justfive - hope your dd grows out of her worries and this post is helpful - let me know how she gets on smile

DD is much better tonight - we met up with 2 groups of her friends today and she really enjoyed that and went to bed happy.

mistlethrush Tue 30-Aug-11 23:30:59

DS has two imaginary friendly monsters that keep him company t night which are very useful. However, he also always goes to sleep to Radio 3 on a timer - gives him an hour before it switches off.

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