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6yo has withdrawn from family life - apart from tantrums

(8 Posts)
BackAche21 Mon 01-Dec-14 22:49:12

10 days ago DD switched overnight from being usual mix of helpful/misbehaving to furious/fearful. The trigger was her brother, 3yo, being sick. We had a nightmarish few days when she wouldn't be in the same room, space, pavement with him at all without completely freaking out in a very wild, violent and untypical way.

After challenging her for a few days - saying if she didn't eat with the family then her food would be cleared & if she didn't sleep in her bed (they share a room) then she would have to sleep in the corridor - we relented as she was getting worse (she missed 3 meals) and fought me off the bed, and things improved a bit. We can now walk to school together and she will walk through a room that he is in, and will even play (aggressively) with him if other children are around who play with him. We are edging her every day back towards family life but have not managed to get her to eat with us yet and they are still sleeping in separate rooms.

However now she is getting very angry with me and biting, hitting, screaming at me for minor reasons, such as no cake left when she wanted some. I can't stress enough how untypical this is of her and am bewildered about how to manage in the moment and longer term. Today during latest tantrum I was very calm throughout and afterwards let her cry it out in my arms, but she is very insincere and rude when asked to apologise. At bedtime DP and I decided to withdrawn bedtime story and cuddles as she had been so foul (I stead quick kiss, hug & ILU).

GP says to give her a month or two to recover, but if she doesn't keep improving then she will refer her to CAMHS. A month seems a long wait - maybe we should see a therapist privately? Or is this just behaviour and we should be tougher with her?

BackAche21 Mon 01-Dec-14 22:51:15

I forgot to say that we have tried being quiet and giving her space to talk but she treats these conversations with suspicion and derision, asserting 'No!' Without being able to tell us what is bothering her.

FridayJones Wed 03-Dec-14 08:14:14

Did her brother get a lot more attention while he was sick, did she miss out on anything because of it?
Apparently I was a right mardy little thing dragged around behind my brother from dr to dr.
I remember being thrilled when I got an ear infection thinking, I was special too at last and being bitterly disappointed when I found out I wasn't going deaf (I was 7 ish)

Or does it seem more like the illness itself bothered her?

youbethemummylion Wed 03-Dec-14 08:17:24

Do you mean her brother being sick as in one episode of vomiting or is he suffering from a more long term illness?

BackAche21 Wed 03-Dec-14 20:12:05

He vomited (once) and the next day was fine. He got a bit of attention that night because I sat with him until he went to sleep ( very quickly), but DP was home so he sat with DD too. We didn't go to the doctor or anything like that.

youbethemummylion Wed 03-Dec-14 20:33:02

In that case I wonder if the being sick bit wasn't the trigger but something else or just a coincidence it does seem like quite a severe reaction.

teafor1 Thu 04-Dec-14 17:57:24

It sounds like she has a phobia of vomiting and is having a fight or flight reaction to him because he may vomit again. Does that sound like a possibility?

divingoffthebalcony Thu 04-Dec-14 18:02:11

Did you post about this before?

It sounds like she could have emetophobia. I have it too and it started in childhood. Hard as it may be, she needs sympathy and TLC, not punishments.

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