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Concern with almost 7 year old DD self punishing.

(6 Posts)
wombatcheese Wed 01-Jul-15 21:10:17

My DD is generally a happy, imaginative sensitive child. However, every couple of days (sometimes a few times a day) she gets in a tizz about something, usually if I tell her off or things don't go her way and she runs away crying and then refuses to do the fun thing she'd been looking forward to and says something like, 'I want to, but I won't let myself'. She will hide in her room and refuse to be comforted.
I'm really concerned this is the start of self harm and I don't know how to help her work through issues without being self destructive. I've tried, when she's calm, talking about ways to deal with feelings and encourage her to talk about how she feels.
Her younger sister is much more open, will just say what's worrying her, or making her sad. It's then easy to chat about, cuddle, reassure etc.
It can't help that younger DD is naturally better at sports and drawing and more outgoing so gets more attention from relatives and our friends. Older DD is very aware that her younger sister is faster at running etc than her and really minds this.
We try so hard to be fair, encouraging and non-critical. I frequently tell her how great I think she is and how much I love her.
She is doing well at school and had a stable loving family. Her teacher has no particular concerns.
Has anyone had anything similar or any ideas on what to do to help her?

Fordito Wed 01-Jul-15 21:23:26

I have a very sensitive child. She also suffers from anxiety which can manifest itself in all sorts of ways when stressed. When we were going through a very difficult time, my daughter would have sobbing fits in which she wanted to wash herself, strip off her clothes if her sister had touched her and would ask me to pull her arms off. I thought this was sort of self harming behaviour but it has largely disappeared since our home life became more stable.

My DD was always fine at school. At times of stress she was very negative about her self, her appearance etc and compared herself unfavourable to her sister.

It sounds as if your DD might have some anxiety/self esteem issues so might be good to look and see if anything has changed recently.

I should also say my DD hates being told off but then I haven't been very firm with her for various reasons so she isn't used to it.

Can I ask if you suffer from anxiety at all? I only ask as my own anxiety makes my daughter's worse.

wombatcheese Wed 01-Jul-15 22:19:20

Ford, thanks for your reply. I don't have any anxiety issues, I'm generally pretty calm and relaxed. She is a worrier, she's currently really concerned about speaking to her teacher about a reading book.

Fordito Wed 01-Jul-15 23:32:33

That's good as modelling calmness will help her. Some children do seem to worry more than others. Maybe she is worrying about school work and conscious that she is quieter, less able than others. Peer pressure starts early so maybe worth talking to teacher again about it. Does she have good friendships in school?

wombatcheese Thu 02-Jul-15 12:37:46

she does seem to have good friends, there are some great kids in her class. hopefully she'll just grow out of it soon. it's just sad seeing her unhappy unnecessarily.

Fordito Thu 02-Jul-15 12:58:11

I know.... it is worrying. Maybe someone else has some advice so bumping thread...

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