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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.


(13 Posts)
ledkr Sat 13-Aug-11 10:48:37

My dd is 9 and had recently started feeling what she describes as "worried" she describes feelings of anxiety but cannot really explain why she feels like this.
She has 3 older brothers who are grown up and not at home and has a very close relationship with them-visits,lots of affection.
Her Dad and i separated when she was 8 months and he is pretty erratic with contact although has been slightly better of late at my insistence. He has a partner who has their baby 10 months who she seems to adore but has spoken to me about feeling a bit funny about as Daddy see's her more.
I am re married and dh is fab with dd,has been around since she was 5 and given 100% to her,he is very family orientated.We have dd aged 6 months who dd is besotted with.
We have a nice life,no worries and lots of fun times. She and i are very close too,i have lots of time alone with her-cinema,days out,shopping and recently a holiday to Disney paris for a few days,just me and her.
The reason for telling you all that is i can see areas where she may have issues but is it normal for a 9 year old to actually suffer from acute and on going anxiety and what do i do about it?
I am making sure she gets lots of reassurance,exercise and sleep but what more can i do. Its been about 4 days now.

daytoday Sat 13-Aug-11 11:25:58

Hello there,

I do think 9 years old is an age where a more sophisticated sort of anxiety rears its head. I think children start to have more 'adult' like feelings, rather than 'child' like feelings and of course, this is scary for us parents. Its fantastic she is talking to you about them.

It sounds like you are a loving and secure family and I would suggest just carrying on as you are doing and allow her a safe space to explore her feelings. It is only natural (and probably important) that she starts to think about her life and feelings, explore her relationship with her dad. She's never going to be happy and joyous about the fact he doesn't live with her, but she can have peace and learn to accept and not fight sad feelings. Add onto this that they are going to big school in a few years, and the knowledge they are getting older - it must be terrifying for them in parts.

They are also about to lurch out into going out by themselves etc.

You sound lovely, your family sounds lovely, but I think anxiety and 'difficult' feelings can't be avoided and are in fact, a necessary stage.

ledkr Sat 13-Aug-11 15:22:58

Thankyou very much. I must admit i am shocked about how strong her feelings are about me and her dd not being together as she wouldnt remember that we ever were. I ma trying to be and allow her to be as candid as possible.She says she would like to see her dad more and is angry with him for having another baby although she loves her.It so hard to see her suffering,she keeps saying "how will i feel this worry?"
Should she see a Dr if it carries on do you think?

menagerie Sat 13-Aug-11 22:57:57


I just posted above as my DS also 9 has started saying he feels anxious but doesn't know why. In him it comes out as nausea. He even wakes up in the night thinking he'll be sick or sweating but just goes to the loo and settles down. I'm wracking my brains as to what it could be. He has a stable, happy family life, a really good affectionate and close relationship with DP and me, and with his twin brother. He was very distressed about the riots. I caught him Googling them at 6 am last week.

I wonder if this is an age where they are far more conscious of the world around them and the possibilities. We might try to cocoon them but at this age they realise it won't stay that way forever. Just a thought, though. I don 't really have an answer. But your DD is not alone. I was interested that they are the same age.

Clara35 Sun 14-Aug-11 00:27:09

Hi all. My dd will be 8 next month & we have just come out of a bad time as she was very anxious. She complained of funny feeling & pointed to breastbone. Doctor gave her tablets for heartburn & she is much better now. She had herself so worried that there was something really wrong with her & she would need to go to hospital & I believe being so anxious was then making heartburn worse. She also worried about her dying or me or her dad dying. I thought she was going to have to see a psychologist or something but thankfully it has passed for now.

lisad123 Mon 15-Aug-11 00:02:34

Ok my dd had autism and im no way suggesting this is the case BUT this what we To help dd with it:

Worry dolls, a quiet place, a diary, a worry box she can write notes to us without having to say it aloud, a good excerise daily, massage, stress balls, gentle music and knwoing she can talk without being called silly. We talk though, what the worry is, what the-different outcomes might be ad how to get the one that's best (if possible)

saffronwblue Mon 15-Aug-11 00:09:43

My 9 year old DD has had a lot of anxiety this year- not helped by changing schools. In her case it came out with stomach aches and constipation. It is really hard - we just try to encourage her to do things and praise her for being brave in new situations. She has had a couple of sessions with a psychologist but I'm not sure if this has helped.

Janni Mon 15-Aug-11 01:18:52

I think this is roughly the age when children start to really understand how separate they are from their parents, how their parents can't actually fix everything, know everything, make everything better. I certainly remember a change in my two older children around the age of 9. They do come out of it though, with talking and reassurance and cuddles. Then they become teenagers smile

ledkr Mon 15-Aug-11 09:31:17

Thanks everyone.I love the idea of the notes to us in a box.
She still has it but cant put her finger on it.Dh is off for 2 weeks now so we can get out easier with the baby and we are off on holiday saturday so i think that will lift her somewhat.
I was thinking it may help when she gets back into her routines of school,dancing and brownies. Its sad to see though,she keeps asking when this funny feeling will go off.

nelehluap Mon 15-Aug-11 17:42:57

My youngest DD, who is 7.5...has had a few weeks of feeling very anxious which has caused her tummy pain and constipation. Quite recently its been quite hard to get her to go out the front door without crying and holding on to her stomach. There is absolutely nothing wrong with her medically. We're trying to get through this phase with her by just simply reassuirng her that she's fine, she's not ill, not to worry and that's more attention is given to her anxious feelings - we then change the subject, get on with what we're planning to do and put it behind us. I know that probably sounds quite cruel but sometimes if we give too much attention to their 'phases' it makes the situation a lot worse. Should DD2 manage to get out the door and enjoy our trip out...even if its just for a walk with the dog...then I say well done, praise her and then that's more is said. I treat it like this in the hope she'll grow out of it which I can safely say, compared to a few weeks ago, she's finally getting there.

DD2 is a bright happy confident child...but she was knocked quite badly at school by another child who was consistently picking on her...and the situation was made worse by that child's Mum also being deliberately quite nasty towards both my DD and myself...all ignored by us and eventually that stopped but it left a bit of a lasting memory for DD2 and even at her young age she's had to deal with friendship conflicts and childish behaviour from the Mum. I'm not fully blaming the last few months on what I now have left - a child who is slowly getting back to normal but it certainly didn't help.

I think the key with children at this age and their phases is simply to reassure and leave it at that...and chuck loads of praise their way when they have a good day. smile

ledkr Mon 15-Aug-11 19:05:16

I have been playing it down too.Today she told my Mum we were having a day out tomorrow and going on holiday Sat "cos of my funny feelings i put her straight.I aggree you can make too much of something.
DD had abit of that nastiness at infants. Very snobby school and quite clicky. One strange girl clashed with dd but her Mum was head clique so managed to give my dd all the blame and we ended up fairly isolated.It really was both girls cos the school confirmed this. Mum continues to this day to bad mouth dd to others even tho there has not been a problem for years.I told her last year that the only bully in the class was her grin

nelehluap Mon 15-Aug-11 19:42:45

ledkr - what you've had with your DD at school is very similar to what we've had. The mum of the child who was picking on my DD2 did nothing but bad mouth both myself and DD2...but fortunately those that she bad mouthed to either ignored her or told her where to go...but she was very insistent with her insults and whilst we tried to brush them to one side it was always there and always quite intimidating to a 7yr old. It got so bad towards the end of the summer term that DD2 felt quite isolated and left out but because she's a bit of a tough nut she got thru it and, if anything, grew up and learnt a lot in a short space of time about kids and their parents...

I agree that parents can be a bit over-protective and a bit over-attentive to their kids and their phases...its all too easy for us parents to get too involved in their little lives...but having had an elder DD (who is now 13) I've learnt to back off and let kids be kids and if they have these wobbly moments with anxiety to just assure them they're fine and ignore it...many a time we've cancelled our plans because of 'tummy ache', 'feeling sick' etc etc....whereas now I just tell DD to go get her shoes on and to get on with it!

Ruth338 Fri 09-Sep-11 13:14:16

My dd (7yrs) has tendancies to become anxious e.g. that she'll choke when eating, or that she can't get certain thoughts out of her head to the point she mentions them every few minutes. I panicked a lot that she was developing a mental problem but have found that intense distraction effectively banishes whatever the current anxiety is e.g. an intensive drama course, a break away for a few days etc. After each distraction, her anxiety disappears and she then is able to identify that she was worrying over nothing, and learns to manage her feelings a bit better.

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