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She's so unhappy, starting to think something is really wrong

(10 Posts)
MermaidLion Tue 21-Jul-15 02:35:06

DD is 4.10 and has always been a stroppy, feisty character. But usually pretty sunny.

The last few months though, she's been difficult to the point of tears, arguments and fallouts on a daily basis. Her sleep is dreadful - she often struggles to fall asleep, if she wakes in the night she can be up for hours on end (it's 2.30am and she's been awake for three hours now), and even if she does seem to sleep well she looks and behaves as if she's exhausted. She still shrieks like a toddler if something doesn't go her way. She refuses to speak about things that upset her, instead making silly noises and clinging on to me. She cries, all the time, and I don't know what's fake and what's genuine anymore.

Health wise she had chronic throat and apnoea problems, sorted out by an op last year. She seemed much better and sleeps through much more since then. She still has smelly breath a lot though.

Does this sound normal? DH wondered about diabetes but she's growing, not particularly thirsty, and hasn't lost weight. I'm thinking maybe we should try her without any artificial additives/sweeteners for a few weeks. She doesn't get much (maybe squash once a day, and occasional sweets), but I guess she could be sensitive.

I'm really desperate for any suggestions. Maybe she's just a stroppy horror but she seems so persistently unhappy. At first I put it down to end of term pre school exhaustion, then holiday excitement, but actually I think it's more than that. sad

Vijac Tue 21-Jul-15 03:53:20

I'm sorry I can't help with any ideas but I don't think in sounds normal. Could it still be over tiredness?

Noteventhebestdrummer Tue 21-Jul-15 04:09:15

What does she like doing?

Do you get enough fresh air and exercise?

Have you got a fun cousin/friend to ask round regularly to model how to be upbeat and not crying?

christinarossetti Tue 21-Jul-15 05:05:50

I would take her to the GP. It sounds as though there is something, possibly physical, bothering her.

MermaidLion Tue 21-Jul-15 07:33:07

Thanks. We're going away for a few days so I think I'll try to get an appointment for our return.

She woke at 7 confused

You might have a point about her seeing examples of good behaviour though. It is almost as if she's got in the habit of being a whiny horror!

Gwynfluff Tue 21-Jul-15 07:56:25

Any big transitions happened? Moving house, new sibling? Do not underestimate that she may be worried about starting school - even if she's seemed fine about looking round the new school and when you've mentioned it. They often can't articulate how they feel at this age - sometimes they tell you about things years later! I'm assuming here that she is starting school after summer. One of mine developed a stammer in the lead up to starting school - at the time I was insistent it had nothing to do with the change! Another had disturbed sleep.

Neither were as extreme as your DD, but you've mentioned she's a pretty strong character - so she may act out in extreme ways to.

She might need some extra babying AND some extra praise for being a big girl and a few more conversations about school. Just a thought

Theas18 Tue 21-Jul-15 07:59:44

It isn't dibetes. A 4yr old new diabetic gets very sick very fast ( a few days) Of course get her checked but don't worry about that.

MermaidLion Tue 21-Jul-15 08:06:09

I know Theas, I overruled DH on that one smile

Gwyn you might be onto something. She is definitely worried about school - lots of staff changes in nursery really affected her this year and we had tears beforehand some days - the staff could hardly believe it though because she was 100% OK when she was there. We also moved house six months ago, which she seemed OK about but perhaps isn't. And I've gone from part time to full time work. DH also works full time but it's shift work so he sees a lot of the DC through the week.

It's just really hard to coddle her (which I agree she needs, and some 1 on 1 time with us I think) when good behaviour is so thin on the ground. Time for a sticker chart perhaps.

Gwynfluff Tue 21-Jul-15 08:21:10

Lots and lots of changes then. Do set some boundaries though. We all have to get used to change and we can't constantly tantrum when it happens. But also show some kindness and sympathy and give her some words for what is happening. Tell her what might be worrying for her.

Hope she settles.

Cedar03 Tue 21-Jul-15 10:19:20

Lots of changes and if she's not sleeping then she will be permanently exhausted which is why she is so grumpy. Even if she has one good night the fact that she is having several nights of not sleeping will mean there is a cumulative effect of the lack of sleep. (My daughter was horrendous after 2 nights of overexcited lack of sleep during a recent camping trip).

You could try play acting it out with her teddies or dolls (or whatever) to see if you can get to the bottom of what is worrying her.

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