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My poor little girl has become very anxious and I dont know how to help her...advice please....

(14 Posts)
binkleandflip Sun 26-Aug-07 00:37:01

My dd (5) has in recent months become very anxious - she constantly fears that we will go out and leave her alone in the house, she is petrified at nighttime and wants to know exactly whereabouts in the house we will be when she is in bed - but reassuring her isnt enough - she will keep repeating the question over and over and then finally say she doesnt trust us not to leave her and bursts into hysterical tears. This is very wearing and of course very upsetting for all of us.

She has recently started asking when we go out if we will be ok, will we have a car crash, will we get run over etc and getting very upset again that something terrible is going to happen.

I have tried very hard to reassure her but she just says she cant trust me when I say that we will keep her and ourselves safe.

My poor little girl is tying herself up in knots daily about this and I just dont know what to do to cessate it.

I have ordered a book about addressing yound children's worries but would be grateful for any advice. As I say, constantly reassuring her is having no effect and is quite honestly wearing me down.


binkleandflip Sun 26-Aug-07 10:16:34

Posted this late last night so am bumping this morn

thanks smile

Carmenere Sun 26-Aug-07 10:21:29

Sorry I don't have any constructive advice really but how about for bedtime a pair of walky-talkies. The novelty might detract from the problem and they might act as a type of security blanket.

pirategirl Sun 26-Aug-07 10:23:16

I havent any answers but tons of sympathy. Altho it doesnt feel so, it is normal for them to see you as not being there forever, and they wonder suddenly, what would the world be like if youwerent in it.

I guess you shuold just be gentle yet firm that you are not going anywhere.

Has she picked up on the Madelaine stroy, as my dd5 had and was very upset.

take care

RedFraggle Sun 26-Aug-07 10:34:25

Can't really offer any help - just lots of sympathy. My DD is too young for this at the moment (thankfully) but I remember panicking about it myself as a child. The fear of being accidentally left behind. sad I think the walky talky idea sounds great. other than that I think all you can do is constantly reassure her.
No help really I'm sorry!

BBBee Sun 26-Aug-07 10:40:51

I think at this age they kind of become aware of the reality of life - the fact that they could be left, that people do die etc. I hope that the more that she sees that her worries do not come to pass and that you are there and looking after her they chould decrease.

I remember once with DS I told him to tell me something he had really woried about (he was worrying I wouldn't come back when I went out for a drink) and I was able to tell him that I had come back and I was fien and if you are worrying about it it does not mean it is going to happen.

With some children it may be that when you take it seriously it confirms it as a general concern. I would be tempted (if you think it would be okay) that next time she says she is worried you are going to leave her on her own say "Oh don't be silly - I have never done that and I never will - what a silly thing to worry about."

Best wishes - it is awful when you know they are worrying themselves.

binkleandflip Sun 26-Aug-07 11:01:18

thanks, i think the walky-talky idea might be good, had considered that before.

I do think she has got an inkling about McCann - not from me - perhaps at school as it seems to have come about at around the same time.

Last night she had got very upset and had ended up wee-ing on the edge of her bed (she has been dry for at least a year at night) so we changed the bed and all was well but inside I was thinking oh no I dont want this to start because obviously that is a sign she is even more anxious and it is starting to have physical effects. Anyway this morning she apologised for wetting her bed and I told her to forget about it as I have.

It's so sad and I just want her to relax and be happy

RGPargy Sun 26-Aug-07 11:07:44

Nothing to add, but just some more sympathy. I think the walkie talkie idea is a great one! Perhaps you could tell her that whenever she feels anxious she can just ask where you are and she'll feel safer knowing that you're just at the end of the handset?

Good luck and i hope she feels less anxious soon!

Doodledootoo Sun 26-Aug-07 11:21:23

Message withdrawn

startouchedtrinity Sun 26-Aug-07 12:03:07

I was a very anxious child and the media played a big part in it. I am very careful with our dcs but you can't control what they hear at school.

You could put a baby monitor in her room the wrong way round - that is, she has the monitor and can hear you downstairs or in your bedroom (obv. you may have to censor some of it!). Also my dds love having music on - I have a CD of New Agey 'angel music' going all night. Both dds believe in angels and dd1 has a rose quartz angel above her bed. Dd1's best friend died when they were four and just recently a schoolfriend's dad was killed on the road, she talks about death a lot, and I really believe these things help her to cope. She also has 'angel cards' and when she is worried, ill or sad she chooses an appropriate card and sleeps with it under her pillow. She also asks Archangel Michael for protection. I realise this may not fit with your spiritual beliefs but if you let your dd believe in the tooth fairy and Father Christmas and this might give her some comfort then why not? She can also ask her angels to protect you and dh when you go out if that makes her feel better.

Lavender oil is very calming - I use it alot when my dcs are sick and put acouple of drops on a tissue inside their pillowcases. Another option is camomile oil, Boots do a good range of oils now. Also get some Rescue Remedy which is excellent and v. safe - the spray on eis particularly good as you just squirt it straight onto your tongue. Your dd can use it whenever she feels anxious or panicky. And surround her with happy images - lots of photos in her room of you all having fun.

RedFraggle Sun 26-Aug-07 17:17:41

That is a lovely idea Startouchedtrinity!
Reminded me of my Guatemalan worry dolls that I was given when I was little.
These might be an option too. If you haven't heard of them, they are little dolls and the idea is that you tell a problem to a doll and the doll will then worry about it for you so you can sleep. here

Tinkjon Sun 26-Aug-07 22:33:04

Binkle, this is going to sound very unhelpful, I know, but it could be just a phase and that she'll get herself out of it in time - though of course it's horrible to go through for all of you My daughter had a terrible phobia about balloons, to the point where she was reluctant to leave the house - she was often hysterical and had real panic attacks and it was getting to be a terrible problem, she seemed to be on course for developing agoraphobia. She was like your daughter in that reassurance did nothing at all, and she didn't trust us when we said there wouldn't be any balloons at a particular place. But she just seemed to get herself out of it over a period of months and friends who have had similar problems to me have said the same thing - so maybe your DD will do the same. In the meantime, you could try talking to your GP who can refer you to a counsellor who specialises in helping children. Good luck, I really hope things improve for you all.

binkleandflip Mon 27-Aug-07 22:06:48

thanks for all your replies - so far this evening she has settled ok as she's really tired. I really do hope that it is just a phase and I just want to deal with it as best I can so that I dont make it a bigger issue than it is (if its just a phase IYSWIM).

I'm going to try the walkie-talkie/monitor thing and see how that goes

thanks again smile

startouchedtrinity Tue 28-Aug-07 00:07:54

Hope things get better - a good tip for not making a big thing is distraction - maybe a comforting bedtime story on CD might help - I did this for dd1 when she started Reception and was too wired to sleep. Also lots of very down to earth books - my dd1's room in full of books on steam engines and it's very hard to get anxious about those! smile

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