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Worried about my 6 yr old girl(6 Posts)
My 6 yr old girl (only child) has always been rather reserved and quiet. But recently her school report came back with her teacher saying that she's too quiet, and she's seriously concerned about my daughter's future development as she only speaks when prompted. She always completes her work but she never answers questions or talks in front of the class unless forced. My DH thought the teacher was over reacting and said "not everyone has to have a huge gob".
Apart from my DD's shyness, I am sometimes concerned about things she says. For example when at the playground she burst into tears and when I asked her what was wrong, she said that one of the other girl's hair was prettier than hers. She quite often has expressed a kind of jealously towards other girls, saying things like their "handwriting is better" or they are just "better than her in every way". She also sometimes repeatedly asks me "Am I sweet? Do I look sweet?" If she sees me give another child some attention she often sulks. Once one of the other mums teased her in the playground for calling her "Mrs so and so" instead of by her first name and my DD ran away and burst into tears.
Apart from all this, she is doing well at her school work and is fairly outgoing with the couple of little friends she has, very well-mannered etc. Because of all this my DH isn't worried at all. Because she's my only kid I'm honestly struggling to assess whether her behavior is normal and she's just a bit sensitive or whether I should be worried and take further action?
The most concerning thing to me is the wording of her question "Am I sweet? etc. That's quite an odd phrase for a child. Do you or your DH say she looks sweet sometimes and she's fixated on the phrase? Or could it have come from another adult that she spends time with?
My DD who is now 15 was VERY like yours without the reassurance for being sweet or worrying about her appearance.
She grew out of it.
I do think it sounds like your DD has anxiety issues. I would see the GP. Go without her initially and explain everything.
BillHadersNewWife - I think other family members and sometimes other random people have told her or us that she looks "sweet" so yes maybe she has fixated on that word. But she seems so concerned with how she is perceived by others especially about the way she looks
That's reassuring that your DD grew out of it. I do wonder about seeing a GP or psychologist though, as you say.
I think it's sadly developmentally typical to be this self conscious even at this age (such a shame that pir society forces our kids to think like this at such a young age) but to be doing it to this extent is perhaps a sign that she needs a bit of support. There's resources such as 'mindful monsters' and 'starving the anxiety gremlin' which I've heard are excellent. A friend of mine had a 'worry box' too which her child could write her worries in. Perhaps involving her in a drama group or rainbows or something (but not anything that'll be too pushy) would also help. Their personalities are still developing at this age so it's probably not anything to panic about but just remember the older she gets the less plastic her brain will become and the more difficult it will become to overcome negative thought patterns and behaviours. Little things now may be the most effective.If you feel that you need professional support I think your school nurse will be the most useful. GPs may be able to refer you or give you the details but I doubt they'll have the resources to do much else tbh. Good luck. She's your daughter and sounds lovely. That's all that matters really xx
PS have the school ever actually mentioned this before? IMHO they shouldn't just be making comments as severe as this in writing and not bothering to consult you. I would be asking for a meeting with her teacher and the head to see what the school's strategy for supporting your daughter is. They can't just make sweeping comments like this then absolve themselves of any responsibility x
I don't think it's a problem being quiet unless she needs help and won't ask for it it doesn't contribute in group/pair work. In many cultures being quiet in class is a sign of respect for the teacher and celebrated over the chatterboxes who hog teacher attention.
With regards to comparing herself with others, I think it's normal. My dd was aware of who had better handwriting or who had swishy hair and would tell me about it at the time.
The "Am I sweet?" question is a little odd- does she mean kind or pretty? Who's put it in her mind that being sweet is a goal that she should try and achieve? Is she friends with other children who can be a bit boastful?