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DD biting herself when she is stressed/frustrated - advice please

(12 Posts)
PippaFawcett Mon 25-Jan-16 13:48:55

DD, 7, is biting herself on the hand when she needs to calm down. We have a typically busy and stressful household - DH and I both work full time and I commute so we are always running around. DD gets overwrought and sometimes has a meltdown at bedtime over something trivial and she says she bites her teddies or her duvet then. She also bit her hand this morning when something didn't go her way.

Obviously it is an outlet for her to let her feelings out and I will have a proper chat with DH tonight about how we can make the household calmer to help but is there anything else I can do? I wondered about contacting the school nurse...

00100001 Mon 25-Jan-16 13:57:44

Talk to the school nurse, talk to her teachers. Calm your house right down.

PippaFawcett Mon 25-Jan-16 14:13:16

I will do that, but I also want to know how to get her to talk her feelings through somehow. Our household is busy but I don't imagine our house in the morning looks much different to millions of others up and down the country so I do want to find a healthier way for her to express her emotions.

00100001 Mon 25-Jan-16 14:26:13

You need a routine for her - kids (and adults) thrive on routine. Also, it will help her anxiety with knowing what will be happening smile

Draw up a morning/evening routine together and all stick to it.

She might not be able to verbally express her feelings, she might be able to do it through play/art etc, but she is also expressing her feelings right now through the anxiety.

NathalieM Mon 25-Jan-16 14:32:17

Encourage her to express these feelings in a different way. It can be difficult, many people use pain as a way to distract their minds from something else and it can be the only thing sufficient.

It could also be a phase, which I'm sure it is, so please talk thing through with her. Good luck!

PippaFawcett Mon 25-Jan-16 14:49:59

A morning routine would be best and we do have 'family council' meetings which she loves so we could discuss it together then and agree it. I wondered if I should suggest an alternative if she feels like that - squeezing something for example?

Jw35 Mon 25-Jan-16 15:03:01

She sounds anxious and stressed, your house needs to calm right down! Smoother mornings and quiet evenings. She's probably shattered! How old is she? How is she getting on in daycare? Any other issues?

PippaFawcett Mon 25-Jan-16 15:13:31

She is 7 and absolutely loves school and after-school club but the DC do have long days - they are out of the house from 8.45am-5.45pm and we are always busy - activities such as gymnastics, Brownies etc so perhaps she is doing too much but it is all stuff she wants to do.

She is tired I think as she struggles to go to sleep, it seems to take a while for her to switch her brain off at bedtime and she is often awake until 9pm and she goes to bed at 7.30 so it is a long time but once she is asleep she is a deep sleeper and sleeps until after DS in the morning. But yes, calmer mornings would undoubtedly help.

Jw35 Mon 25-Jan-16 15:31:06

Yes that's a long day. It is doable and as you say many people work these hours. I've been an after school club manager for 3 years and the kids generally are fine so it may be more of a reaction to your stress in the mornings/evenings. If you have everything prepared the night before and have breakfast together that might help, also in the evenings I'd have a lovely wind down routine with bath and bedtime story. If she's not sleeping until 9 it might be worth letting her stay up until 8pm and spend a bit more time with her. No TV after 7pm might also help, a family game or some reading would help her feel relaxed and connected with you. Best of luck

PippaFawcett Mon 25-Jan-16 15:36:27

Thanks Jw35. She does have a bath/book/bed routine but perhaps officially letting her stay up a bit later is the answer and we could both read together for half an hour or so which I think we would both enjoy. And we do get most things ready the night before but the DC are both dawdlers so a simple request - get dressed for example - can take ages as they get distracted and will start doing something else.

Sometimes I think she saves up her frustrations throughout the day and lets it out at home where it is safe to if that makes sense, so she is a good girl for her teacher/after school club etc and then can't do it anymore once she gets back home and she is tired.

zaphod Mon 25-Jan-16 15:44:30

I know this is no help at all, but I bite my hand when anxious or stressed, and can't remember not doing it. I never thought about it until I read your post. I'd rather that than biting my nails.

PippaFawcett Mon 25-Jan-16 15:48:29

That's interesting, zaphod. She doesn't do it hard enough to leave a mark or break the skin or anything and it actually seems to help her a bit like someone shouting arrggh to let frustration out. But it just didn't seem like a particularly healthy way for her to express her feelings. I'm glad it hasn't had any long-term effects on you!

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