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7 year old getting totally overwrought about minor issues

(7 Posts)
CroakingCrocus Mon 06-Feb-17 19:28:14

So my 7 year old just had a major tantrum(!) for over 30 minutes over having to wear her Brownie leggings to Brownies. She's become rather regimented in what she wears these days and, in her eyes, her Brownie leggings are too baggy at the bottom. She was convinced everyone was going to be looking at her and making fun of her.

She hadn't had tantrums for years but has started having the occasional one, which are always clothes related. There was one last Friday before school because all her favourite clothes were in the wash. It also carried on for about 20 minutes until she calmed down and got dressed.

I'm not sure what's causing this behaviour. We don't give in on issues like this. On the Friday tantrum, all her favourite clothes were in the wash and it's not like I could retrieve them anyways. Our approach is to try and talk calmly with her and/or reason with her to try and calm her down.

If she's this obsessive about clothes at 7, I shudder to think what she'll be like as a teen. What we can't figure out is whether there's something else going on which is causing the fixation about her outfits.

School-wise she's doing very well in Y3. Has had history of perfectionism in the past where she refused to do certain things because she felt they didn't measure up to the standards she set herself such as refusing to write in cursive as she felt her writing was too messy (it was beautiful handwriting for a child of her then age but not as good as the neatest hand-writer in the class).

Has a good circle of friends and I'm not aware of any current friendship issues. It's something I monitor closely as she had troubles in the previous year with being the third wheel in a friendship and getting pushed out.

Anyone else got a child this age that fixates intently on minor things like this? Or is she just a spoilt brat? We're really not sure what we should be doing to address this.

Believeitornot Mon 06-Feb-17 19:29:26

Have you asked her, at a different time, why she gets upset?

Okite Mon 06-Feb-17 19:33:04

Sounds entirely normal to me in my experience of 7/8 year olds. I don't think it's really anything to do with the clothes, or with whatever else becomes the focus. It seems to be just an outlet is needed for strong emotions and they simply don't know how to handle it. My DD is now 10 and is calming down a lot but she's had worse tantrums over the last couple of years than when she was a toddler.
As for dealing with it, it's so hard. It's really an irrational response so any logical and calm explanation just didn't help.
I found just letting her let off steam and calm down herself in her room or wherever without engaging with the argument she was trying to pick worked best.

highlandholiday Mon 06-Feb-17 19:34:28

Ooh I've got one like this. Watching with interest

CroakingCrocus Mon 06-Feb-17 20:45:14

Glad we're not alone in facing this!

When we asked her afterwards she's said she doesn't want to talk about it and rebuffs all attempts. So difficult to figure out the triggers.

Believeitornot Wed 08-Feb-17 06:46:47

Does she not want to talk because she thinks she might be in trouble? Sometimes with ds I tell him that it's ok to feel angry/upset etc and that he should take a deep breath and try and talk. Other times I talk about stories of when I was young and got angry (usually with my younger sibling). This usually gets him talking a bit. I always give him the chance to tell his story as well so he knows I will listen to him. He can then explain a little bit.

CroakingCrocus Sun 12-Feb-17 19:56:28

She knows she's not in trouble as we generally have the conversation about it when we're snuggled together on the couch. I suspect she feels embarrassed but doesn't want to come out and say anything.

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