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Trying to be understanding but it never ends....

(8 Posts)
wimpofawoman Sat 03-Sep-11 14:16:00

My dd age 10 is a great girl, I love her to bits. However she has a very serious and at times anxious personality, she worries a lot about everything and needs to talk at length about literally every thought in her head (it feels like that anyway...) I know it's wonderful that she feels she can tell me everything and I try to always be available to listen, even though it's hard sometimes as I also have 2 other dcs.

The problem is that she gets herself into such states about what she sees as problems, and it can go on for hours. This happens probably 2 or 3 times a week at the moment. I think she is probably hormonal, but is it normal to get so emotional for so long and so often? She usually doesn't want any advice from me, and comes up with reasons why everything I suggest is wrong. Apparently I "don't understand".

Todays' problem is that she says one girl is her best friend but now dd is sometimes playing with another girl and the original best friend is getting jealous. Fairly normal stuff I guess, I asked her what she thought she should do (she wants the original best friend but doesn't want to hurt the other girls' feelings but doesn't know what to say), she didn't like my suggestions (tell them they are both your friends, if best friend is jealous that's not your fault blah blah blah), and she has only just calmed down after a good 2 hours of crying.

Does anyone else have a child who does this and any advice for me?! I'm struggling in my limited counselling capabilities, and wonder if at some point she needs to realise there's a limit (like 30 mins wink)

ragged Sat 03-Sep-11 16:42:37

Distraction? Talk it out & then do something else very engrossing to get some distance from her worries? Same as when any of us has a problem we find too big.

junkcollector Sat 03-Sep-11 20:21:50

Perhaps now would be a good time for her to start a diary which she can write in every day, then she can share it with you once a week if she wants to.

I started one at about that age it's hilariously boring reading now, full of angst ridden moaning and lists of tv I'd watched. I'm obviously nothing like that now of course...wink

wimpofawoman Sun 04-Sep-11 02:39:05

She does already keep a diary, which I don't think she would ever show to me.

I think if she doesn't like any of my suggestions I'm going to stick to just emphathising with her and leave it to her to sort out (with problems of this scale).

She's very determinedly dramatic, so distraction is difficult. She tends to carry on wailing through whatever we're trying to do.

It's hard to get the balance - my parents would have offered advice and then told me to stop "the histrionics". I want her to express all her emotions but you do have to move on after a bit.

LeBOF Sun 04-Sep-11 03:05:36

You sound like a lovely mum smile

Really though, you have to just um and nod, and let them make their own way, and be there for reassurance if it goes tits up. Harsh, but true.

wimpofawoman Sun 04-Sep-11 04:39:01

Thanks LeBof, I am actually too grumpy too often!

I agree, I think the best way is to make the right noises then wait for it all to blow over. I guess it's wrapped in her growing up aswell - she is quite moody lately and nothing seems to please her. She doesn't want to play with her younger siblings, they just seem to annoy her even though they adore her and are very forgiving of her moods! Last night she actually kicked out at dd2 for "bothering" her when she was trying to read. I told her she could make it up to her by playing with her for a while, which she did, albeit grumpily. Later on dd2 made her a card saying "I love you dd1, thank you for playing with me." I hope she feels bad for kicking her!

mathanxiety Sun 04-Sep-11 05:22:59

How about giving her a job to do while she's talking to you? Could you invite her to cook or sort the laundry or iron while she's talking?

How about getting her into a drama club?

She probably doesn't want all her problems solved, just a sympathetic ear. You could say 'DD it sounds as if you have a really good grip on the problem, you have articulated your feelings well, you are a girl with a good head on your shoulders, and I trust you to figure out the best way of solving it.' It's not the same as saying 'yeah yeah, deal with it' but it is actually telling her to get on with it.

I would be very unsympathetic with 'moods' and lashing out at the younger ones though.

wimpofawoman Sun 04-Sep-11 05:46:56

That's a good idea, will do that, thanks. She would actually say that she doesn't like drama and performing, although we see a lot of it at home! Her moods do really irritate me - I don't think she understands or can totally control them but lashing out is not tolerated. I told her yesterday that she needs to make an effort with her siblings - even if she prefers only to play with her friends that's not how life works and I won't feel like arranging playdates etc if I don't see her trying to get along with her siblings. She rolled her eyes at the time but did seem to be trying a bit harder later on so she probably took in what I said.

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