Why does nearly 8 year old DD do this and how do we sort it out?(3 Posts)
She will be 8 in October and is at the end of Yr 2.
She is very bright and has always been very confident and had strong sense of self and high self-esteem. However since starting school she has had a few recurring issues that have never been very serious but that the teachers have spoken to me about. She is a perfectionist and gets upset when things are being done 'wrong' (as she perceives it) even when it's a situation she's not part of. She cries etc.
Over the last year she has been reacting to very minor telling offs (at home and at school) by immediately crying and saying things like "I'm the worst person in the world", "everyone hates me". Sometimes she hits herself as well. I have dismissed this as silly theatrics and have told her how uncharacteristic it is and that if it continues she'll be punished further (losing privileges etc). Apart from this one behaviour she has been her usual happy settled self. We are very close and she is very open with me and will tell me if anything is bothering her.
Today her teacher told me that this has been happening again and that in September the school's Learning Mentor (I have no idea what this is?) will have a sit down with DD and talk about coping mechanisms she can utilise. Does that sound like the right approach?
Her dad and I separated in December and have been keeping a close eye on her through this transition and she has seemed to adjust incredibly well.
I haven't spoken to her about my chat with the teacher today. I am torn between wanting to address the issue and hopefully fix it and not wanting to unnecessarily upset her thereby possibly making it worse?
Does anyone have any relevant experience of advice?
Coping mechanisms are good, but I think you need to get to the bottom of why she she is so anxious about being seen as perfect. Threatening to punish the behaviour has stopped her using it around you, it doesn't mean that she's not still feeling the emotions - and this does sound to be stress related.
One of the most important factors here is that she might not understand or have the language to explain what she is feeling, she possibly needs an adult to guide her. She needs to know that whoever is helping her isn't going to punish her for what she is experiencing, I'm not sure how you will convince her of that given that your message has clearly been that displaying her stress is naughty.
Ignoring this won't help and appearances can be deceiving - children can be very good at showing us what they believe we want to see.
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