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Do all 5/6 year old worry this much?

(9 Posts)
SquongebobSparepants Tue 13-Sep-11 18:32:49

DD1 is 5 and a half and has started to worry about everything.
Things like going out to a restaurant and a week later she is still crying and saying she is worried in case she left something behind. She didn't and she knows this, but then still cries and says 'but what if I did?'

She went to bed last night and got up after an hour and started yelling at me to go up. When I got up she was on the verge of tears because I hadn't put her fruit money in her bag and she was worried she would forget it and not be able to buy any fruit.

We also have had tears about her putting lego in her mouth (to separate pieces) and then crying every so often as she was worried she may have swallowed some. Even though she knows she didn't.

I have recently gone back to work but over the last year I was at uni so wasn't around much then. They have started with a new childminder but she is lovely and there haven't been any problems there.
DH went away for a week recently and she cried every single night that she was missing him, and a good 3 or 4 times in the day as well.

Is this usual? Are all 5/6 year olds drama queens?
More importantly, how would you deal with it? I am starting to lose patience after the 5th conversation about how she can't have swallowed the piece because it is there, on the table, and she starts wailing again that she might have swallowed it and not noticedhmm

SumIRam Tue 13-Sep-11 18:41:27

Make sure that she is not worried about things that she is not talking about. Sit with her, talk to her, be patient, I am sure you did all that, but you need to keep going till you get to the bottom of it. Sometimes children listen in to adult discussions and make their own interpretations. Or she could simply be tired, misses you or her old childminder. Try dropping in to school, come home earlier, speak to her teachers. Constantly reassure her if she is worried about changes. I hope she feels better soon.

SquongebobSparepants Tue 13-Sep-11 18:44:49

Thanks. I can't get into school but DH does pick them up when he can.
Her grandma died last year (12 and a half months ago) and she has stopped fixating on death so I was just hoping this was another phase!
I do ask her but she comes out with random stuff like 'I don't know where my pony toys, hairbrush is' or something equally bizarre.

peggotty Tue 13-Sep-11 18:48:52

She sounds like a sensitive child who is feeling a bit anxious at the moment, probably due to all the things you've mentioned. Although she may not be able to articulate that it is what's making her upset, that's what it will be. You need to keep reassuring her. I have a sensitive dd, who's 6, I know they're bloody hard work sometimes. I refer to to her as a drama queen too when I'm exasperated with her, but really, she just genuinely seems to feel things more acutely than other children, and has strong emotions about certain things. Is she affected by other things, like noisy atmospheres, or seem easily overwhelmed?

cantpackwontpack Tue 13-Sep-11 18:52:38

I have a 5 year old dd and she does tend to worry too.

She started school a couple of weeks ago and I knew she was worrying so I bought her a little worry doll that goes in a little pouch. She tells the doll her worries and puts it under her pillow. I have listened in a few times without her realising and her worries were just what I had expected - about not having any friends etc.

It seems to put her mind at ease and also by listening in every now and then I get an idea of what she is thinking and then I can bring up the subject at a later date to put her mind at ease.

I wonder did she swallow something that gave her a fright at some stage and even though it didn't cause her a problem maybe she is still fretting about it.

As regards forgetting her fruit money and leaving things behind I suppose the important thing to remember that things that seem trivial to us might mean much more to a child. She sounds like she has had a lot of changes in the last 18 months so it wouldn't be unusual for her to be feeling a bit unsettled.

pedalpants Tue 13-Sep-11 20:12:08

my 5 yr old doesn't worry this much at all.

but my 3yo has a few problems with anxiety, particular around irreversible choices. so seeing a stick whilst he's in the buggy that he wants to pick up but i've just sailed past it, cue hysteria. or he wants shoes on, then he wants shoes off, then he wants shoes on etc. etc. he seems genuinely troubled by making the wrong choice or he gets stuck on ideas or in places. he also is a bit funny about knowing exactly where his toys are.

your dd is older but it sounds similar in that she is worried about making irreversible mistakes, like swallowing something or losing something.

don't know if it is just some sort of existential angst about never being able to get something back.

i doubt it is anything to do with her home environment or any changes. it isn't in my sons case and his sister is a non-worrier. i think it is a sort of developmental stage that troubles some kids more than others.

We're still working on how to help him but I try to anticipate some of the problem areas to avoid them and I give him a lot of praise when he breaks out of one of his worries and lets it go.


SquongebobSparepants Wed 14-Sep-11 21:22:21

Thanks guys. She has always been quite sensitive/shy and has just started coming out of her shell, mostly forced through new people looking after her I think.
I was thinking it was more than your 'average' 5yo because of the stuff we've all been going through so will endeavour to be patienthmm and keep reassuring her. She is not permanently worrying though, she gets so so concerned and earnest, and then 2 minutes later laughing with her sister.

I have gotten the lego out, which is still a fairly new toy for them, and making time to spend half an hour sitting and playing with them both and she has seemed a lot calmer tonight so have rearranged the lego men to say good morning, and will keep making time for hersmile

GetAwayFromHerYouBitch Wed 14-Sep-11 21:29:59

It might help you to read The Highly Sensitive Child.

CocktailQueen Thu 15-Sep-11 19:49:56

Soudns familair! My dd worries a lot, often about things that I think are silly. someone on here recommended a bok from Amazon called what to do when you worry too much, and it's great - there are bits for her to fill in a draw in, and bits for you tor ead to her, plsu some great advice.

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