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help me reconnect with dd1

(12 Posts)
Cappuccino Thu 14-Aug-08 09:55:35

dd1 is 7, will be going into KS1 in Sept

I'm realising over the summer that she is becoming very, I don't know, self-contained and a bit selfish. She's always been a bit like this but as she is getting older I feel she is slipping away a bit and we are ending up at loggerheads

she has been going to playscheme and to summer school some of the holiday and she has loved it, but she has told us nothing about it. Except how we have to book her on next year. And we say "What did you do?" and she doesn't tell us

she has always played her cards close to her chest but it is getting ridiculous now. She will come in, turn the TV on, if we say it's not TV time she will throw a strop, she will not respond to "Let's sit down and read your book" or "Let's do something" she will say "Oh no"

if you ask a question she is so far in her own little world that often she will not answer

or she will say "I will tell you later" and go on with what she is doing

she is driving me mad I am getting so wound up I found myself saying "dd1 I might as well get a new chair to talk to" which I know was a BAD THING to say

the other day me and dh were going somewhere together and the children were with grandma and our 3.5 year old waved us off shouting: "I love you, have a lovely time!" and dd1's last words to me were "Have you got my cardigan?"

I know it is my job to bring her out of herself but I am really frustrated as to how and it is so much easier to interact with lovely sunny dd2 sad and leave her to her own devices

help me see this from a different perspective; I'm sure I know what to do but I am so far in I have forgotten

FAQ Thu 14-Aug-08 09:57:15

Sounds just like my DS1 (nearly 8) - it's like having a totaly different child in the house - sadly talking to most of his friends mums it would appear this is a common trait among 7/8yr olds hmm

cthea Thu 14-Aug-08 09:59:55

DS had a phase like this. He's back to his old self now (8.5). Still more selfish or inconsiderate as time goes on, though...

Acinonyx Thu 14-Aug-08 10:10:37

This is just an opinion from my own childhood experience and some children I know and may be completely wrong - but perhaps she needs less attention? I had that kind of behaviour when I felt irritated by my mother hovering around and trying to interact with me in what felt like pointless and unwelcome ways (not meaning to imply that's what you are doing - just that it might feel like that).

I recently visited my 8 yr-old nephew and he refuses to answer any questions about what he has been doing at school etc. I remember being like that - guarding my privacy - my own world.

So my advice would be - don't try too hard to engage her as it may be making things worse. If she has space, hopefully it will pass and she will come to you.

branflake81 Thu 14-Aug-08 11:46:23

actually she reminds me of how I was when I was a child. I never really grew out of it. I think I was unwilling and a bit embarrassed to show affection and found my parents' questions about what I'd done at school etc annoying and probing. Not sure what my point is, other than perhaps that is just her personality and she is sullen old thing like me? grin

Cappuccino Thu 14-Aug-08 11:55:56

acinonyx I can see what you mean but I am so not a helicopter parent; she has lots of space, and I'm quite hands-off when it comes to both my children

branflake why were you embarrassed to show affection, if you don't mind me asking? I don't think dd1 is - she will come for cuddles

I wonder if there is another way to engage with her other than questions. The How To Talk book talks about engaging with your child and listening to what they are saying, but if they are not saying anything to begin with, it's a bit tricky...

Lazycow Thu 14-Aug-08 12:04:40

I remeber being like this too I In fact to this day my mother complains that I don't talk to her as much as my other sisters do/did. My sisters would tell my mum about boyfriends, things they had done, ask her advice etc.

I really didn't and tbh it is something I still struggle with. I also find the whole cuddling and saying I love you to my mother difficult (She seems to have no such difficulty with me though)

For me I think some of it started as a combination of me wanting not to have to much interference and wanting to be independent. Also I had a very strong sense of needing to protect my mother as I knew she was liable to worry.

My sisters talked to her about their problems but I really didn't want to worry her or to deal with her reaction. Then the habit of not talking to her about my problems developed into a habit of just not talking to her much.

In a way my behaviour I think is a a result of the fact that my mother and I are very close emotionally. I had difficulty seperating properly from her so had to do it by shutting myself off IYSWIM. Not sure if any of it makes sense or not or if it is helpful but I do think some children find too much 'intimacy' forced on them a bit hard to deal with.

Cappuccino Thu 14-Aug-08 12:11:24

hmm, it's interesting

I don't want 'intimacy' or anything cloying, as I've said I'm v hands off, and I'm thinking about my behaviour and thinking no, I'm not crowding her at all that I can see

atm it feels almost as if there are 3 people in our family - me, dh and dd2 - and then this little misery that just bawls out when she wants something

I think it's important that she shows a basic respect to others, while still keeping her independence and own space, isn't it?

Lazycow Thu 14-Aug-08 12:22:52

Well I'm not sure I can give any advice as I don't have children that age but as others have said she may just be going through a stage. I remember one summer spending my usualy few weeks with my 8 year old niece and thinking "What happened to the lovely girl that I spent time with at Christmas?" she was stroppy, moody, uncommunicative etc. By the following Christmas she was back to her normal self again.

The other thing I would probably add is that when I was younger I did feel a bit left out sometimes and part of me wanted to join in but I didn't really know how.

I do agree though that she needs to show basic respect to others. I was never rude or very defiant really, in fact I was the one who gave the least trouble, just the most uncommunicative.

It sounds like your dd has more spark than that grin - not always a bad thing, though wearing I know

StormInanEcup Thu 14-Aug-08 12:29:16

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Cappuccino Thu 14-Aug-08 16:08:56

oh all good ideas Storm yes

I have done some stuff today with her, reading and stuff, and that has been nice

maybe it is just 'being' in the end and making an effort

I have also put a limit on TV today I am sick of it this holiday; and I am making the remote an Adults Only toy

StormInanEcup Thu 14-Aug-08 16:16:11

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