8 year old just threatened to kill herself(26 Posts)
My 8 y.o. dd just had another big tantrum (every Sunday evening for 4 weeks now) shouting and screaming, not going to bed. Tonight though, she just said she will kill herself as part of her ranting. She just laughs when we tell her off. I filmed a bit of this and will ask at school if anything is happening there. Any helpful advice please. Is she simply craving any kind of attention?
Is she overtired at the end of the weekend? Is she enjoying school?
A few friendship issues maybe but she does do these tantrums on other nights too. Maybe I should write down when they happen to see if there is a pattern. I am getting low with her behaviour. It had improved but back to square one with the defiance and attitude.
Any chance of bullying or struggling at school.
Have you thought about GP, I'd think that was quite serious for an 8 year old to say.
IT seems a co incidence that it is every Sunday..Is she having late nights on the weekend that are making her overtired by Sunday night.
How does she feel about school? How about friendships...Has anything changed home or school that may make her anxious leaving hom ro going to school?
I would suspect there is a problem with school.
But you should take her to the GP and get her referred for an assessment. Suicide threats should always be taken seriously.
My 8yo dd said this a few times over the summer. To absolutely heartbreaking isn't it. We went to the gp who reassured its that because she was eating/sleeping/playing, has good friendships etc that she's unlkely to be depressed and therefore unlkely to really kill herself.
She's stopped saying it now but she still has massive tantrums and meltdowns and also scratches herself. She just seems to get so angry about something small and it escalates as if she can't control herself. The tantrums are random though and I also wonder whether hormones are starting to affect her.
Have you talked to her once she's calmed down and asked her if anything is bothering her (I'm sure you have)? My dd is very closed and reluctant to talk about how she feels but we're slowly getting there. If it's a regular Sunday night thing it does seem that it may be an overtired thing or a going to school thing. What year is she in? I have found that my dd is finding it hard to adjust to year 4 and feels 'stupid' and 'rubbish'.
Definitely speak to school and let them know. Our teacher last year was fantastic. This year we've been referred to the school family liaison person who is doing some 1:1 sessions with dd. I also referred her to the school nurse although it took weeks
months for an appointment to come through.
keep the channels of communication open with dd and praise her when she does go to bed with no tantrum. When you tell her off is it after the event or during? I don't tell dd off as such but I make it clear that her behaviour is unaaceptable and that we need to work on better ways of her releasing her anger. It's a slow process though. Good luck.
This can be common in girls with undiagnosed Asperger's Syndrome. They are excellent at masking their symptoms and are often angelic in school. However, being in school is stressful and very hard work so they express it in meltdowns at home.
It's worth Googling Tony Attwood and seeing if what he describes rings any bells for you.
Don't get your hopes up about GP, when we took our ds to ours for similar reasons he was slightly less use than a chocolate teapot.
Sorry to butt into someone else's thread but QueenCardigan, what is your family liaison person doing in the 1-to-1 sessions? Is your dd finding it useful?
I agree with Goldmandra 100%. Really advise taking the advise about looking at Aspergers in girls. Although one of my sons presented in the same way, huge tantrums all linked to not wanting to go to sleep, so the morning didn't come and he didn't have to go to school. He said he was stupid and rubbish and he wanted to die, wishes he wasn't born, was going to run away at 8yrs old it was very traumatic. I felt such a failure as a parent, my precious baby by 8 wanted to be dead. It took two years to navigate the process, but he got a diagnosis of high functioning Autism and understands he is different from his peers and that has given him a peace that wasn't there before and he have moved school and he is such a happy child again. I think you should ask for a referral to CAMHS and definitely talk to school as they can tap into all sorts of support for you and your child. This in my opinion/experience is a cry for help from a child who doesn't/can't explain why she is so unhappy, but she is telling you in the only way she can she is very, very unhappy.
I took my DD (undiagnosed at the time Aspergers) to my GP as an emergency appointment - she spent 20 minutes with her and referred her to CAMHS - who assessed how much of a risk she was, gave me advice on what to do if she seemed at increased risk, and then started diagnosis.
Any child threatening this needs to be assessed by a professional, and may well need someone to speak to/work with to find out their worries/feelings.
My dd has Aspergers and threatened it when she was 9, we had a chat afterwards and she admitted to saying it to get her own way as she didn't know how else to go about it, she was then very upset that she had upset me and dh ( dh lost his mum to suicide ), after our little chat she was fine, we talked about 'how important it is to talk about problems and not bottle them up until she gets in a state' and we talked about 'how it's not alway possible to get your own way and we sometimes have to do things we really don't want to do ( go to bed, have a bath etc,.,).
You need to work out if it was just a meltdown, trying to get her own way, trying to upset you or weather there is a underlying problem.
We're not, Mummytime, we've moved house since then to a different county, but since 2 of them in that practice were equally clueless and CAMHS assessed him but didn't offer any help I assumed this was the norm.
He's now at a school with Enhanced Mainstream Provision so they will flounder less than the last one (nice but tiny village school where staff had no experience of this kind of thing) but it would be helpful to know what kind of support we should be pushing for.
Thank you for your posts. I watched the video of her tantrum on my phone with her and she was sorry. There are a couple of things I need to talk to her teacher about that she mentioned. As for the suicide threat, she said she didn't want me and her dad to split up and thinks it would be her fault if we did and that's why she said it. I tried to reassure her. Should I still take her to gp?
I'd still take her to the GP personally.Try to get her someone to talk to about her worries and concerns, preferably outside the family (school might be able to help).
Are you and her father likely to split? Its important for you to know if this is a fear with no basis in reality, or not
GP appointment booked for next week, and I'm seeing the teacher this week. I feel so worried that I have caused this with my own mental health issues.
It is normal to feel guilt!
Thats part of parenting. But give yourself a firm talking to, feeling guilty doesn't help any one (well once its done the job of making someone do something, like my DC revise).
Also remember at 8 she has a limited vocabulary to express her emotions, and also a limited ability to think about them and understand.
You've done well. Now just give her time to feel safe, to unwind, and reassure her honestly as much as you can. Eg. even if you were on the verge of divorce you could say "Mummy and Daddy will always love you." etc.
I had a nice afternoon with her and then tonight she was so badly behaved again (I was out so it was just directed at my husband). She wouldn't stay in her room and was being deliberately loud and obnoxious. A warning didn't make her stop and she continued being noisy and sarcastic. She seems to not care what we say or who she upsets. So tired.
She keeps mentioning a girl at school but it sounds now like she is making excuses for her behaviour at home. Any clues?
Rather than trying to work it out yourself, start to keep a diary. Include how she is, what she's done, who she's with, what she's eaten, the time etc.
Is she worse more often for any specific person? At night? In the mornings? Believe what she says, as it's the truth for how she feels at that moment. That doesn't mean "Amy" is the source of all her problems necessarily, maybe "Amy" said something mean at one point and now late at night it seems like a huge issue. But at the precise moment you DD goes off about "Amy", her feelings probably are that "Amy" is really mean and nasty, even if after a good nights sleep they are best friends again.
At 8 you are not very good at thinking about your thinking. Or thinking about what you feel.
My DC often kicked off at bedtime, often in tears over little things that had happened during the day. It's just as you get tired the social mask slips. Children (and teachers and parents) are all tired at present, this is a long term.
Thanks. I'm not ruling anything out at the moment and will keep researching over the weekend before we see GP.
My DD starting making threats like this when she was 6. I spoke to the GP over the phone who referred her to Camhs without a consultation with her. At the time I thought a consultation would have been very stressful for her.
What is your gut feeling about this? Has she shown other signs of being very unhappy or wanting to self harm? My DD started with "hating herself" for various reasons before making suicide threats so there was some escalation or progression there.
She may be doing it for attention so try not to react too much, otherwise you could be unwittingly rewarding her with attention for making threats. With my DD I very calmly say something like "I would be very sad and miss you if you did that" so I reassure her without going OTT.
Something I have found useful is to distract my DD to disperse the energy of her rages. I try to be unpredictable but loving. She gets consumed by her rages and sometimes doesn't know how to end them. Sometimes I will do things like just pick her up and wrestle with her in a cuddling, tickling loving way. It gives her a way out and changes the dynamic and stops me from feeding the rage by engaging with it.
Your distress will add to her distress. She needs to know that, as the adult, you can handle these big feelings for her.even if you fall apart later, try to be calm and playful and loving during the rage.
Sometimes I match her rage and contradict what's he says with love eg if she screams "I hate you" I scream "I love you" at her etc.
It's tough, it's a case of trial and error. Prepare yourself for a long wait for anything from Camhs though. It took my DD two years to get psychotherapy, and that was after a suicide attempt.
This is not your fault. Your own MH issues have just equipped you with a great understanding that you can use to your daughters advantage to help her through this.
You are a great mum
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