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reacting to minor bumps and scrapes ...

(8 Posts)
Countingthegreyhairs Fri 27-Feb-09 15:05:57

Just need some straightforward advice from more experienced mothers pls. Apologies in advance for the pfb nature of the question!!

Dd (5 yrs was naturally very "brave" as a toddler. She bounced around, fell over, got up again and always smiled and never complained, even when she had bashed herself quite heavily.

For about the past year though (since her 4th birthday approx) her behaviour has done a complete 180°C in this sort of situation and she cries and makes a HUGE fuss about the tiniest little scratch or minute bump and then goes on (and on) crying.

Two questions:

- are all five year olds drama queens?

- what's the best way to handle this pls?

At the moment I am vacillating between

(a) reassuring her calmly and saying "your fine - no harm done - let's kiss it better" type thing and trying to ignore, distract and move on swiftly ...

(b) taking it very "seriously" and saying "oh you poor thing, let's have a big hug, let's have a look, let's find you a cream and some plaster" and trying to see it from her point of view in the hope that that would "satisfy" whatever need she has from me at that moment ...

Both methods seem to prolong the wailing rather than shorten it though tbh ...

Any advice pls? She's a very bright/sunny/lively child with a well developed humour the rest of the time ..

sobanoodle Fri 27-Feb-09 16:04:17

I would do (a).

Countingthegreyhairs Fri 27-Feb-09 16:49:02

thanks sobanoodle - but she just carries on crying ...I try to ignore it but her persistent crying makes it difficult

MiaMamma Fri 27-Feb-09 16:49:22

I do (a) every time when my DD has similar situation. Never fuss about it, quick kiss and move on. You can tell when the fall/accident is more serious and she's in 'real pain', then obviously more attention is needed.

Countingthegreyhairs Fri 27-Feb-09 16:55:28

thanks MiaMamma

I suppose it's obvious really that I should do (a) but I'm overly obsessing about this because consistent ignoring doesn't seem to have lessened her protests over time .. which made me doubt myself ....if that makes sense ... I'll go and lie down in a darkened room now and stop fussing grin

sobanoodle Fri 27-Feb-09 19:15:36

My first post was short because I was rushing out so hope it didn't seem brusque. What's interesting is the way she used to be in the face of bumps and scrapes. Maybe she is testing boundaries with you - not in a deliberately manipulative way but as a reflection of the fact she's getting bigger now, has started school etc. is school OK ? Maybe she's a little insecure and this would tie in with the boundary testing over minor bumps and scrapes, sort of looking for reassurance that you are still her mum and that you love her.

I think in time she will settle down if you are consistent. I think if you change tack and over coddle on this issue all she will learn is that your boundaries are not as firm as she'd thought which must for a 5 year old be an unreassuring and uncomforting thought.

<<I am on my 4th 5 year old now...don't know everything but my advice to you is what I'd do myself. definitely>>

Tamarto Fri 27-Feb-09 19:21:40

My DD is exactly the same, she'll cry about a scab she hadn't even noticed before hmm

When she was younger she didn't bat an eyelash, i doubt she'd have bothered if she'd chopped a limb off.

She's nearly 5 and has become a serious drama queen.

Usually my response is, i hope you haven't put a hole in the floor/wall/big brother grin

Countingthegreyhairs Fri 27-Feb-09 23:06:24

Sorry - just got back home -

No didn't take it as brusque at all Sobanoodle and I think your expanded explanation (thanks for taking the time btw -much appreciated) is spot on. Her life IS more complicated now and I went back to working pt when she started school so we went from spending alot of time together to much less.

School is fine but quite demanding, particularly as she is the only English-speaker in her class so she has had to adapt to quite a few changes.

Yes, I think the boundary/security issue IS key. Therefore will try and reinforce more.

I guess it also ties in with the age when their imaginations grow and expand and "monsters" start invading the bedroom and everything seems just that bit more frightening... again ... reassurance + firm boundaries seem the way to go .. plus trying to teach her a few self-soothing techniques (deep breaths etc) so she feels more in control herself.

Thanks for the tip Tamarto - I'll remember that one - and glad to know dd isn't the only one causing a scene!

I guess I sort of knew all this already but not having had the benefit of a glistening childhood myself [cue violins] + not really knowing any dc until I had dd + having just finished reading Alfie Kohn for the second time grin .. I started to doubt !!

Mumsnet is brilliant for these niggling issues ..... ... thanks again

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