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Do you think I should be worried about 6yo DD's behaviour (anxiety)?(12 Posts)
I'm worried about 6yo DD.
DD has always been a very serious child and prefers the company of adults to children.
She has certain behaviours that I thought she'd have grown out of by now and is developing some new behaviour and, with her being my first child I'm not sure whether they're age appropriate. They all sound silly individually, but I'm worried about how it may progress as she gets older.
Please be kind - I'm quite sensitive about this topic.
1) She's really funny about her feet. If the sock line is slightly off or the material is uncomfortable she freaks out about it and ends out crying her eyes out. There's only a couple of pairs of tights - soft, ballet-type tights that she wears without complaint. Same with shoes.
2) She's quite serious and doesn't engage with the more 'silly' games that seem common
and fun amongst her peers.
3) She tolerates other children well and will include them in her games if they approach her but she won't seek out children to play with. She will often be playing by herself in the playground.
4) There are lots of kids that she likes at school and that like her (no shortage of party invites etc.), but she doesn't seem to have a consistant group of friends yet which seems in contrast to her peers.
5)She's very in to routine and gets distressed when the usual routine changes. E.g We usually eat A on a Tuesday, but this week I had to change this and tears ensued.
6)She hates anything 'new', for example this week she was due to start a new after school club and, although she'd asked to go she started getting anxious about it and was complaining about abdo pain to her teacher all afternoon. When she got there, she loved it.
7) She complains of physical symptoms when she's worried about something, headache, abdo pain, nausea. Sometimes she's sick and sometimes she hyperventilates. This is usually due to having to try something new, especially if I can't stay. But can be, for example due to having to wear trousers instead of a dress for school, when she was expecting to wear a dress.
8) She's doing well academically but is a perfectionist and if her work isn't quite right she gets quite frustrated and has been known to screw up her work in anger.
9) She's very self-conscious about her work and hates to show it in groups.
10) She struggles with creativity. E.g she builds quite complex lego models by following the instructions, but won't put anything together herself. Same with cross stitch. She has beautiful handwriting, but struggles to think of anything to write.
In contrast to the above, she plays beautifully with her 3yo DS - role play games mostly, but as though she's older. So she'll let her sister win, or praise her sisters drawing even if she thinks it's rubbish.
She's usually quite well behaved.
She's doing well academically at school - above age related expectations in all areas.
School are doing some social group work with her in afternoons to help her to build friendships and have given her a written schedule each day so she knows the routine.
So, if you got through all that. Do you think this sounds 'normal' for a 6yo DD? Do you think she's just a 'drama queen' about the socks/routine etc. I have anxiety issues and I'm worried she's following in my footsteps.
Only an expert can say as there's a whole spectrum of normal.
I'd personally be querying Sensory Processing Disorder (the socks and tights) but then again she could be "normal" like my son who has to cut out all clothing labels as they feel painful to him.
The other stuff could be an anxious personality or something like autism but you'd have to talk to someone who at least knows her (like her teacher) to know if it's the former.
Sadly, we're onto teacher number 6 so far this year so she hasn't had the chance to know DD yet.
New teacher seems nice and I've spoken to her (hence the daily schedules and the social group work that's about to start).
I've had difficulties with anxiety in my life and am so worried DD is going the same way. I've always been very social though, her Dad struggled socially as a kid.
I'm worried that if she's inherited my anxiety and her Dad's social difficulties, she'll be in for a really hard time as she gets older.
I'm not sure who in the real world I should discuss these worries with as it doesn't seem serious enough for a GP, but I think she's too old for the health visitor.
What about last year's teacher?
6 teachers in a year is a lot!!
I am a worrier too and worry about passing my anxious streak to the kids. (I sometimes lie there at night worrying about forgetting pe kit when it's next to the front door. I end up thinking what if the kids move it? What if I move it absent-mindedly (because I'm crap
At mornings) and leave it at home?)
It's a chicken and egg question - how much is nature and how much is nurture? I don't know and tell myself to stop thinking about it because I just tie myself into knots.
Last years teacher has left the school. We've had some really bad luck at our school, which we're hoping has turned around now.
The funny thing is, the other parents around are always surprised if I mention that DD is an anxious child as she appears so confident and outgoing to them, but that's with adults. She's much more self-conscious around and less interested in interacting with her peers.
Your post rings some bells for me re DS1, who is nearly five. He gets very anxious in unfamiliar social situations like parties and classes, though great with adults and with familiar kids. He has perfectionist tendencies and is reluctant to try if he doesn't get things right. When he's anxious he has anxiety dreams and wakes frequently in the night, poor boy.
Neither DH nor I have any particular history of anxiety, so in DS1's case we chalk it up to personality. I try and give him opportunities to talk about things that worry him and always encourage him to try things. I try and praise effort a lot (and try to hold off on praising achievement too much) and try and help him practice things he finds harder to build his confidence.
Just wanted to say I have a 6yo son. I have no worries at all about him but he is similar to your DD in that -
1. He has a real thing with socks. Will take them off whenever he can and cries most mornings as his socks annoy him. It's to do with the line and he constantly rearranges them. I researched it and it's very common.
2. He would never seek out friends in the playground. He does have two best friends but if they aren't there he'll stand with me. He would never approach another child in the park.
He's also noT creative. Can follow Lego steps but will never build with his imagination or rarely even plays with it imaginatively.
Fwiw, I think it's normal to be anxious with regards to something new. I still get nervous in a new setting.
This could have been my daughter at age 6. She is an only child so had nothing to compare certain behaviour to.
She is now 12 and is still largely the same, she is very sensitive and that's what it all boils down to. High Sensitivity. She is overwhelmed in some situations (we had to withdraw her from School last year as she was having panic and anxiety at school - she now attends online school which she loves). We did think about CBT but she wasn't really interested and in all honesty I love the positive qualities that she has and don't want to change her personality - we are hoping that as she gets older she will manage her sensitivity more and more.
Dr Elaine Aron (USA) has written extensively on the subject.
Some (by no means all) of the things you mention are flags for asd (autistic spectrum disorder). That's something you might want to read up about , specifically how it presents in girls, just in case it rings any bells.
I did have a ? about ds2 and autism at a similar age but although he's traity he's not on the spectrum. He does struggle with anxiety though and is now seeing a therapist to help him develop coping strategies.
Nothing to add, really, except a lot of what you write is very similar to my DS (4.5) and I struggle with anxiety as well. It's hard to know how much is his own personality and how much is picking up on cues from me. I'm keen to find ways to support him to overcome the anxiety, but like you don't know who to turn to for help with this. It's not at GP level and nursery aren't concerned as he's confident with staff and children he knows well. Really worry about the transition to school this year, as he'll not know anyone at his school.
you may be able to self-refer her to an NHS paediatric occupational therapist, and get the school to support the referral. OTs help with sensory issues and other stuff by assessing the child and planning strategies to help them cope better. I self-referred after meeting with the school head, SEN teacher and class teacher to discuss my worries about my 6-year-old. We are still on the waiting list, but even on the phone taking details, the OT has already given lots of useful suggestions and reassurance.
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