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Confident 5 yo DD overly emotional

(10 Posts)
millingtonsmummy Tue 09-Apr-13 22:31:08

I'm at a loss with what to try with my emotionally sensitive but otherwise confident & bossy 5yo DD.

Her class teacher commented at parents evening recently that she needs to be less emotional (read not fly off the handle into a sobbing screaming mess) when told off or when a game / role play isn't going as she wants. A playdate today ended with a complete meltdown because her friend made a "I'm going to tell my mum what you said" comment over something genuinely trivial. She came running downstairs sobbing "I've said I'm sorry ..." She was completely uncontrollable for about 10 minutes and understandably her friend was dumbstruck.

If she accidentally hurts her brother (2.11) it takes several minutes to work out what's going on & who's hurt because they're usually both screaming. Poor DS who usually just needs a bump kissing better so he can get on with his play gets all attention deflected away from him while I try to establish why she's screaming too. I think it's because she's afraid of being told off, she's generally a very caring girl and would hate to hurt anyone.

I have issues with how bossy she is with friends but more visibly to me with her little brother. She can be very unempathetic and bad at sharing, not necessarily with physical objects but with the games played, who gets to play which parts in the role play etc.

She's also very dramatic with minor injuries & scrapes ... papercuts, stubbed toes etc. all result in tears and dramatics.

I'm planning to try a sticker chart to praise her for playing nicely with her brother / friends and listening to their choices, sharing etc. I feel I can guide her with this issue. But how can I calm her down? Can anyone offer any advice on how to get her to be calmer with her emotions? I've seen "the highly sensitive child" book mentioned on a few threads but is this more for shy children? She certainly isn't that.

Thanks all!

WeAllHaveWings Tue 09-Apr-13 22:58:38

Ds used to get really upset and even angry when things like this happened, trying to actively help him calm down didn't work or made him worse.

Told him one day, when he was calm, that he had to control his anger and in the future, we agreed if he was too emotional to talk to me he would be asked to take a few mins to calm down somewhere himself and when he had then we would talk.

He liked the idea nod it works for him. He even says a need a few mins now by himself.

steppemum Tue 09-Apr-13 22:58:47

The Highly sensitive child is not at all for shy children, in fact your dd fits the book totally. I found it very helpful, and it has lots of coping strategies.

She is still quite little to understand but you could try making a chart with her, a sort of sliding scale. 1 = a bit upset/small bump and 10 = really badly hurt, blood and major incident.
Talk to her about trying to decide how bad the hurt is.
Act out/talk through with her different scenarios, and then work out where they would be on the scale.
After each incident look at the scale, decide where it SHOULD have been, and whether she had a no 10 reaction to a number 3 incident.
Gradually get to the stage where you can say - dd this is too much, this is a small scale, and you are crying big scale etc

millingtonsmummy Wed 10-Apr-13 23:09:59

Think I need to purchase a copy, thank you ladies.

Doitnicelyplease Thu 11-Apr-13 21:27:14

Your post struck a chord with me - my DD 4.6 is also like this and it seems to get worse the older she gets, I will share an article I read recently, it helped me understand my DD a bit more...

Also off to purchase that book!

pamelat Thu 11-Apr-13 22:01:13

Gosh this is so like my DD, also 5

I think it's a personality thing and there are fun aspects to it. DD is such a drama queen, I try to make light of a lot of it or play a role back to her

She's fun as well as overly emotional/sensitive and has lots of friends, which I guess is the main thing?

Sometimes I lose my patience with her, she also has 2-11 brother!! He's much easier going but has learnt from her sobthey squabble terribly!!

I find I am constant mediator but I don't think the behaviour is an issue, or at least not something we can address smile

millingtonsmummy Fri 12-Apr-13 22:20:54

Doitnicelyplease that article is so interesting. The injury story is so familiar, she reacts to every slip, trip & scrape. I've never intentionally tried to make her laugh but I will now!

I know I'm an emotional person so it's no great surprise she is too but I deinitely use language like 'I'm disappointed" or "I'm angry". Hmmmmmm ...

freetrait Fri 12-Apr-13 23:14:12

Hi, DS (now 6.5) used to be like this. He still is a bit on occasion but has calmed down a lot. What helped was to stay very calm when he kicked off, not to react emotionally myself and to give him time out to calm down when necessary. Then talk it through but not invest too much time and energy on small events.

I've forgotten a lot of the process (sorry), but I remember going through a stage of telling him he was being "ridiculous". Sounds a bit harsh, but it was more telling it how it is......

I think the giving her attention when she kicks off over nothing is part of the problem. Can you ignore a lot of it (when she doesn't need an ambulance grin).

carolinecordery Sat 13-Apr-13 23:07:50

There's another good book, Raising Your Spirited Child, check it out x

millingtonsmummy Sun 14-Apr-13 07:21:56

Thank you carolinecordery, I'll take a look

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