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Anxious 8 year old

(6 Posts)
ThisOneNoThatOne Wed 27-Mar-19 21:05:19

Hi, I was wondering if anyone has any advice on how to deal with an anxious 8 year old?

My Dd has always been on the anxious side, but in the last couple of months it has got a lot worse. She won’t be left in a room alone- she follows me everywhere. Doors aren’t allowed to be closed either. At home, or even out and about. When in the car, she will only close her door when I’m in the car and she gets panicky if the child lock is on. In public loos she won’t allow the door to be locked- I have to hold the door half open. In the evenings when she’s in bed, I can’t go downstairs. If I do, she sits on her bed waiting for me to go come back up. She takes a while to go to sleep, so I’ve given up trying to have an evening downstairs, I just go to bed at the same time as her.

She also wakes quite a few times in the night. Until a couple of months ago she generally slept through most nights.

I’ve tried talking to her, she says she’s worried the wind will blow the door and she’ll be locked in. Or she’ll be superglued in. She sometimes won’t talk- says talking about it will upset her more.

I did accidentally lock her in the car for about 5 seconds back in February (i thought she’d already got out). If this has caused this, how can I undo it?

Her general behaviour isn’t great at the moment either. She can be very shouty and rude when something doesn’t go her way.

I have 2 younger children and I’m finding it hard to look after them whilst also trying to keep my Dd calm. Any advice pls?

OP’s posts: |
starlight125 Wed 27-Mar-19 22:11:57

Dont have much advice but I am going through the same sort of situation with my 9 year old girl. She is fine during the day, happy, well behaved (majority of time) but at night the mood swings start. She wont go to sleep on her own and has been in bed with me since the start of the year. Every night she says she wont go to bed and sits on the floor stamping her feet or storming away crying then wanting me there.

I have a younger child aswell and find it hard to deal with the whole situation. I dont have any advixe but understand where your coming from and hoping it resolves for you soon.

ThisOneNoThatOne Wed 27-Mar-19 22:21:04

Sorry to hear you’re going through something similar. It’s so hard, isn’t it? Especially when you just want them to have a good night’s sleep in the hope that they’ll feel better the next day!

OP’s posts: |
MumUnderTheMoon Wed 27-Mar-19 23:59:40

It might be best to not give into her demands. This sounds like I child that wants to be in control. (I have a dd like that myself). If she gets entrenched in this behaviour it will be much harder to stop it. My dd also get anxious and worried, I myself have OCD and PTSD so I know all about feeling that way. I try and get her to understand that how she feels isn't bad, being worried isn't nice but it is a valid way to feel and it is ok to be worried. When she try's to control me I simply say "no" and if necessary I ask what is really wrong so we can deal with it. Allowing a child to have too much power makes them feel less secure in the long run, having a strong mum who sets boundaries does that.

BlueChampagne Thu 28-Mar-19 12:56:30

DS1 went through a particularly anxious phase about that age. I tried some of the ideas from Helen Kennerley's book "Overcoming Anxiety" and it helped.

turbototty Thu 28-Mar-19 13:33:12

Hi, I have an 8 yr old DD, very similar. She gets very anxious about being left alone, follows me around and also wants to know exactly which rooms I am going to be in before she goes to sleep, to help her feel safe. She also goes through a long list of things/people that she is going to dream about each night as part of her bedtime ritual - it takes a long time! She is always asking for reassurance that she won’t be left behind (which of course she never is). She is lovely but also volatile at times, especially around bedtime and doing homework. I give her lots of reassurance and things have eased a bit recently. I also always try and think of little incentives, before I ask her to do things that I know she won’t want to do. For instance, if she has had supper, I will say ‘let’s get your reading done quickly, so then you can have some of that lovely cake for dessert’. At bedtime, I say if she is super quick we can have a chapter of her book read to her and then have 20mins of a film. Basically, I reward her with stuff she would have got anyway, but she responds well to this approach. She is not the sort of child who responds well to harsh consequences and inflexible parenting as that would almost certainly result in a meltdown. Just remember - feisty DDs rule!

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