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Advise me on my dd, please. (long. sorry.

(18 Posts)
seeker Mon 14-Jul-08 10:54:17

My dd is 12. All her life she has reacted to being over tired or stressed by getting headaches and sometimes stomach aches as well. We have always been pretty matter of fact about it "Oh, dear, it's happened again, Never mind, it's just the way you are - here's a painkiller, now carry on" sort of approach. The last two weeks have been incredibly busy for her - parents evenings, concerts, plays - all the usual coming up to the end of term stuff.

Last Wednesday evening, she started a head/tummy ache and it was still there on Thursday morning. She was obviously shattered, so I let her have the day off. ~Same on Friday - so I thought she could have Friday as well. By Friday evening she was recovered enough to go to Scouts - and she was fine over the weekend - until about 5.00 on Sunday when the headache/tummyache came back. She had an early night, but it was still there this morning.This time I made her go to school - I said that if it got worse, I would come and collect her, but she wasn't having another day off. Last night I did suggest to her that it was a bit strange that she was fine over the weekend and the prospect of school made it come back, but she is adamant that she is happy at school and there are no problems. She is doing very well - was delighted with her report and her parents evening and she seems to have plenty of friends. If there is a problem at school she's hiding it well.

She is a worrier, and very conscientious naturally a very hard worker, so she is inclined to overdo things. I'm sure the symptoms are real, but are psychosomatic. How far should I 'indulge" them, do you think? They never seem to happen before anything like a party, or something she really really loves, like riding. Funny, that!

She thinks I'm the meanest mum in the world today - but I'm almost sure that I was right to make her go to school. Any thoughts, anyone?

seeker Mon 14-Jul-08 10:56:13

Oh - I did wonder last week whether she was about to start her periods - but nothing happened. She's well prepared for this happening - we've talked about what to do and the school has also told them who to go to for help.

stealthsquiggle Mon 14-Jul-08 10:57:22

Lurking interestedly for responses as DS(5) seems to be heading the same way...

TheProvincialLady Mon 14-Jul-08 11:09:05

I think you should be a bit firmer in your treatment of days off school. When I was young, a day off school was because of illness and meant a day in bed - very boring, but a definite reason to go to school unless absolutely necessary. There is no way I would have been allowed to do an after school activity like scouts. It might help your DD to recognise the difference between aches and pains that you just get on with and make the best of the day, such as if you have riding to do etc, and those which are serious enough to warrant stopping everything and treating as an illness.

TheProvincialLady Mon 14-Jul-08 11:11:49

That was when I was young as in, that is how my mum treated it, rather than "in my day" BTW!

My MIL really indulged my DH and SIL when they had minor aches and pains and consequently they both feel ridiculously sorry for themselves over the slightest thing. It was a real shock to my DH that you can't take a day off work for a slight headache! DH is much better now though.

seeker Mon 14-Jul-08 11:12:39

I've never let her have a day off before - it was just because it was combined with being incredibly tired. I probably should have made her go on Friday, I agree. And I let her go to Scouts because it was a lovely evening and I thought sailing would give her fresh air and exercise after a day inside. Great believer in fresh air and exercise, me!!

Uriel Mon 14-Jul-08 11:14:21

Headache +stomach ache = migraine in kids. Has she seen her GP?

seeker Mon 14-Jul-08 11:18:38

A long time ago, yes. He said it could be stress-related migraine and to treat it with painkillers. Generally that works fine - and she deals with it very well. But this incident seems a bit different, somehow.

Uriel Mon 14-Jul-08 11:37:46

If she's doing well at school and she says she's happy, then I'd simply put it down to the stress of the end of term, as you already have.

Perhaps she's a little worried about next year, moving sets or tutor groups - does the school re-set them according to exam results?

christywhisty Mon 14-Jul-08 11:44:08

I let my son have 2 days off last week. He was exhausted. In just over the previous week he had

Friday - day trip to france. Left house a 4.30am! got home 7pm went straight to scouts

Saturday - went as a volunteer to cub camp - stayed overnight

next weekend
Friday to Sunday - scout camp

Came home absolutely exhausted and complaining of feeling sick.

Monday morning he was still fast asleep when it was time for school,he normally is an early riser. He missed lifesaving that night. we let him have tuesday off as well.

He went back to school wednesday to find out as House captain he was expected to be in school that night to help out with the new year 7 intake. He spent all day thursday with the Yr 6's then had prize giving in the evening.
Friday they had a sponsored walk, he walked over 5 miles.
This weekend he was still tired and grumpy.

It's been a long year 7 and he has worked really hard, and had a few stresses which he has managed really well.
A couple of days off at the end of term when they are not doing much work,really isn't the end of the world.He is ready for his summer holiday.

bagsforlife Mon 14-Jul-08 11:59:47

She'll probably come home from school tonight and be fine. Sounds like over-tiredness to me. They are very tired at this time of year, esp at the end of Year 7. I wouldn't worry unless she comes home tonight and is still complaining, but I bet she won't be, will have re-charged over the weekend.

iheartdusty Mon 14-Jul-08 12:07:50

I don't have DCs as old as yours, but from my own childhood I know that doing well at school doesn't = lack of stress & worry, in fact it can be the opposite. Girls in particular seem to be very prone to anxiety about their academic performance, & can be very competitive about everything including their weight & looks, as well as their exam results.

especially when you say "She is a worrier, and very conscientious, naturally a very hard worker, so she is inclined to overdo things"

there is a good chapter about this in Oliver James' book 'Affluenza'.

have you explored alternatives to painkillers, eg relaxation techniques, meditation, that sort of thing?

TheProvincialLady Mon 14-Jul-08 12:12:47

I was going to suggest the same thing iheartdusty. She could learn to manage her own symptoms with relaxation - assuming they are definitely psychosomatic.

seeker Mon 14-Jul-08 12:18:57

She has a relaxation CD that she got as part of the "leaver's pack" from her Primary school. Trouble is, it gives her the giggles - which I suppose is sort of relaxing!

She does have what we call "the baby music" to go to sleep to sometimes. This is a cd I used to play all the time when they were babies and they always associate it with sleep. It's (ponce alert) the Goldberg Variations. Ds still has it on every night - maybe I'll suggest to dd that she has it every night for a while.

iheartdusty Mon 14-Jul-08 12:37:19

These websites came up on a quick google:



it might help her to have a few techniques she can do anywhere anytime = breathing exercises, that sort of thing.

branflake81 Mon 14-Jul-08 14:59:57

I was exactly the same as your daughter at 12. I just went through a stage of feeling really ill and not really liking school (there was nothing wrong with it, I had good grades and wasn't getting bullied, it just all seemed a bit pointless). In hindsight, I think I was probably a bit depressed.

seeker Mon 14-Jul-08 15:39:10

Branflakes - I wonder sometimes if she's a bit depressed - not sure if I'm glad or not that you said that. Eeek. Can I ask what make you look back at your young self and think that?

The thing is that she says she loves school - and she certainly seems to.

cory Mon 14-Jul-08 18:53:44

I think a sympathetic approach coupled with making her go to school is the best way. (this time was clearly an exception as she was otherwise exhausted).

Moral outrage or suspicion IME does no good; besides, she can't help having psychosomatic pains or tension headaches; a lot of us get them.

Just carry on being matter-of-fact, 'yes, it is a shame that you get these, let's see how we can help you carry on'.

I have to deal with a lot of these decisions as dd (11) not only has migraine-like stress headaches but also a joint disorder that involves pain. It is getting easier as she gets older and takes more responsibility herself.

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