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8 year old DD seemingly falling apart - help!

(12 Posts)
OohMrDarcy Fri 03-Jul-15 11:10:28

Has anyone experienced this?
My daughter is 8 (year 3), Ever since my husband and I seperated last year (divorce happening) she has struggled with all sorts. She isn't coping at school - she feels bullied by 2 girls she has had problems with on and off for 2 years, but also gravitates towards them which makes things hard when talking to teacher about it,

she struggles at home with her younger brother lashing out at her when things don't go his way , and then she struggles with him getting more attention when I'm working with him to improve his behaviour...

She struggles at her dad's (living with his mum at the moment) because she is too soft, there isn't enough places for them all to sit in the lounge which is normally ok when they are running around / playing, but of an evening when younger brother is calming down for bed she ends up with nowhere to sit and pretends she is ok with it, she doesn't cope with Granny trying to tell her to be different in little ways too (just things like holding knife and fork another way)

so in short - life is hard for her right now, she isn't coping. Last night she told me she wished she was dead so she didn't have to worry all the time. I've been in to talk to the teacher this morning, she has already promised me she isn't in the same class as the girls next year, she is arranging for daughter to see ELSA (some kind of emotional support lady) today - she has seen her lots this year....

Teacher also mentioned that her focus is all over the place -she isn't working anywhere near her best ability, hardly working at all by the sound of it

I have her dad coming over tonight to talk too, but she is a people pleaser - she pretends everything is fine and this upset builds up inside her.
I'm so worried for her, and just not sure what more I can do to help her!

Any advice will be massively appreciated

thatsshallot Fri 03-Jul-15 11:14:04

No advice as struggling with Ds but great that school have recognised and can provide support

Hope someone along soon who can advise on the rest

poppyseedhead Fri 03-Jul-15 11:36:26

Hi there, instant practical thought, a small wicker childs chair, beanbag, whatever you have/can get, that she can take to her dad's/grandmas.

Also recommend parenting advice and support at family lives.

Be inspired by bruce willis and be a verbal champion for dad! It is half your child's happiness as she is literally 50% him.

Praise the good, ignore the bad, wherever possible.

Look after yourself, you need to make time for whatever recharges your energy, for me its a chat with a friend.

Make your focus the future, for you your son & daughter, think of something you can afford/would like to do, Make a date and stick to it smile

lexyloub Fri 03-Jul-15 11:47:52

It sounds like she needs some reassurance of what's going on around her. Are you and her Dad on speaking terms? Could you both sit down and talk to her together or could you attend some family counselling so she can understand that her relationship with you and her Dad is exactly the same and it's your relationship as a couple that has changed

OohMrDarcy Fri 03-Jul-15 11:49:11

Good call on the little seat of some kind to go with her... will discuss with Dad tonight.

I am always publicly in support of Dad in front of her, privately I think differently - but I never say anything in front of the children.

Yes - I focus on the positives all the time, her brother has a chart at the moment earning ticks for things like getting ready nicely, and not hurting people

Looking after myself I admit is taking a backseat - I simply don't have time. I work fulltime, and my children need me at the moment. I manage a quick 30 mins of chilling most days and I do something for me on the weekends I don't have them (as well as catch up on the household jobs I haven't done!)

We definitely focus on the future and fun things - we are going camping in the summer hols which they are excited about, and to the Harry Potter tour - and also booked to go abroad next year - first time on a plane for son, and first time daughter will remember, so thats very exciting!

OohMrDarcy Fri 03-Jul-15 11:50:28

Lexy - exactly that is happening tonight. I have told her dad about whats happened in the last 24 hrs and he is coming over after work tonight, once I have DS in bed with ice cream for DD. We are going to sit in the garden and talk it out as much as we can

QueenCardigan Fri 03-Jul-15 11:57:42

Bless her. Im glad that school are providing support and she will hopefully get lots out of it. My daughter sees the support person at her school and it's been fab. She also had been talking about wanting to die.

How old is her little brother? If he goes to bed earlier can you focus on some 1:1 time with dd. I know it's hard when you're knackered but it's really made a difference to us even if it's just 10/15 mins when she has your undivided attention. Anything from reading, drawing to sitting having a cuddle in front of the telly. Lots of praise at other times for anything she does well.

Can xdh talk to his mum about not mentioning the knife and fork thing and other things like that as it's just confusing and upsetting her. The more you can all be consistent the better.

Have you read a little book of worries. It might be worth getting a copy and reading it with her.

OohMrDarcy Fri 03-Jul-15 12:03:15

Thanks QC

Little brother is 5 - and struggling in his own ways with trying to understand his emotions around it, hence the lashing out - lots of working on that going on too! He goes to bed by 7.15 so I have time with her after that - we tend to read Harry Potter together (she's working her way through the third book) or sometimes do a game with drawing pictures on each others backs and having to guess what it is. Last night we sat and coloured - after she let out her upset anyway!

I will be talking to XH about the stuff at his mums tonight - he is unlikely to be receptive to it tbh, but I'm thinking through ways to say it which give him no ability to get defensive!

Will hunt out that book thanks for the tip

poppyseedhead Fri 03-Jul-15 12:14:25

That all sounds lovely, i think look at the positives, its nearly the end of term, she won't be with those 2 girls next year, 6/7 weeks of the summer holidays is a long time, for some healing to take place.

As a longer term plan for next school year, you could try to encourage her new friendships, pizza tea at your house etc.. I just put a margarita pizza in and serve with crisps and sliced cucumber, or whatever your easy dinner you prefer.

Would your daughter like a chart, maybe for some very easy to achieve things, if she needs building back up.

If you have a lunch break, you could go out and eat your sandwich in the fresh air.

OohMrDarcy Fri 03-Jul-15 12:18:50

A Chart for her is a good idea - focus on things she already does well to remind / boost her. Will get creative today.

Am also considering getting her some stick insects, someone on a FB group suggested it , and actually - she loves animals (helps me regularly with the guinea pigs) and last term she was in charge of the class stick insects and did really well with them.... might give her a focus away from her troubles.

Yes - I've been focusing on other friendships since february! The problem seems to be at break / lunchtimes, she wants to play with her friends - these girls try and force her to play with them, and lie / tell tales to get her in trouble if she won't... as well as pushing her over at times etc.... yet in class -for some reason she keeps gravitating towards them! She doesn't sit with them, nor in same groups for anything but teacher keeps finding them for example all sharpening pencils together!

poppyseedhead Fri 03-Jul-15 12:40:19

Of course she may have been bullied anyway, my friends daughter was bullied age 7/8/9 her parents being married, didn't protect her from it.

My daughter was bullied age 9/10. She got through it. My friends daughter got through it.

It is an unfortunate facet of human nature, that people who hurt us, make us go back for more! I think the logic goes, if this is the hardest friendship to achieve, it must be the best! We have all done it, i'm sure.

Have you been to the school, if you have, try approaching a different person with the problem, the P.E. teacher was in the playground after school one day, I told her the problem, and whatever she did worked!

Try telling your daughter that real friends wouldn't behave in those ways.

Bullies get a payoff, a sad face, tears, a worried expression whatever, they feel bad so they try to get these reactions from others to make themselves feel better. It is complex, when your child would prefer a friendship with the bully.

But maybe it would still work, if they push her over, get her to jump up happily, ignore them and carry on with her business. If they want her to play with them, just go along with it for a few minutes, then drift away to get on with her other friends, you end the payoff, the bully can't get what they need, so they move on.

It would take a lot of understanding on your daughters part, I don't know if she would be old enough to understand.

I can tell you that it can happen to the loveliest girls. I try to get my children to feel sorry, for the bullies, to give them a different perspective, I say just imagine how bad their life must be! If they need to upset others to be happy!

pause4thought Fri 07-Aug-15 00:21:42

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