DD (3.10) has just cried herself to sleep and I feel like absolute shit(8 Posts)
I have no advice but didn't want to read and run.
Hope someone else is along soon with some advice. It sounds like you are having a really tough time of it.
Didnt want to read and run and have no idea if this would help or not but would play therapy with a children's counsellor be an idea? The role playing with dollies sounds like her brothers seizures have scared and worried her - maybe a good way for her to get those feelings out iyswim?
Not sure if it will help, but we went through a difficult time as a family over the summer. My mum advised us to try and keep the same routines, boundaries and rules (as far as possible) to minimise the insecurity DD (2.5) was picking up on. She said (and was right) than DD might try to push things more than usual to test how unsettled her world was. We took my mum's advice, as much as we could (other than at night when she slept with us a lot as we didn't have the energy to fight that and to be honest I welcomed the comfort). Anyway, we are through the other side and she is back to her usual self. I think being aware of the potential impact on her helped us to help her and to think about the little things that reinforce her sense of safety - ie that we are her parents, that we are in change of the world (as far as she knows!), that you get up every morning and have to brush your teeth etc
And sometimes we all need to cry it out to relieve some tension - so don't feel too bad about that.
There is also something valuable about learning that scary things / change can happen and you and you DH (and in turn her) are resilient enough to come through it. But it doesn't stop it being hard for you as her mum to have to watch. Take care.
Argh just wrote a huge long reply and lost it!!
Basically I said that the feelings she has about her brother are going to be big and scary and play therapy would help by giving her strategies to express those feelings. There are some things you could try with her yourself though:
Talk about feelings with her - thats its ok to have big scary feelings and that you have them too. Talk to her about what you do to make those feelings less intense eg. have a cuddle or read a favourite book and help her chose something "special" she can do when feeling a bit anxious etc.
DC dont know how to express how they are feeling v well so use different ways of helping her do this. Do some drawing and talk about how the different colours can show certain feelings - big dark scribbly lines might show that you are feeling cross or smooth curvy yellow lines might show happiness. Look at picture books together and talk about feelings "The bunny is hiding from the fox, how do you think he might be feeling DD?" and talk about that feeling and a time that you have felt scared.
If she is feeling cross or like its all too much (hence tantrums and shrieking which is just her way of trying to express these feelings) use physical stuff. So get her to blow up a balloon and imagine all her cross feelings going into that balloon. Then let it go and watch it whizz around. Not only will the whizzing dispell the tension by making her smile but it will also be a physical thing that she can see and understand as opposed to saying "try not to worry" iyswim?
These are all things Ive pinched from refuge where they used them to help the DC talk about feelings when they had been witness to abuse. Its obv not the same circs however I think a lot of them are good ways of just getting DC to recognise and own their feelings. Def look into the play therapist if you can though.
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