Upset about what my 7yo daughter wrote
KatyBeau · 20/04/2018 01:09
Earlier today I found my seven year old daughter's notepad and alongside some funny pens she'd written a list entitled "How to kill yourself" and written three things. I was a bit worried but talked to her about it calmly.
I went to show it to her gently and she get really upset and angry with herself. I eventually calmed her down and said I wasn't cross but it's not nice to write about scary or horrible things and if someone reads it they could be upset.
I wondered if it was partly because get great grandpa has recently died. We then talked about how she feels about that and she seemed ok about it.
I also said it's great to have a good imagination as it brings so many great things but that it also means we can imagine scary up upsetting things. I really hope she feels like she shouldn't be ashamed or scared of her thoughts and that lots of kids write things they feel bad about later.
After our talk she was smiling again and we've had lots of hugs.
I was ok about it earlier but now I'm feeling quite upset about it. Is this a normal thing just out of curiosity or some ideas she's got from a story or is it something to worry about? Should I dig further to try to find out why she wrote it or am I better not to make a big deal of it and make her feel bad about it? Have you ever been concerned about kids writing about distressing topics?
Andro · 20/04/2018 09:37
Have you ever been concerned about kids writing about distressing topics?
My DS has (now well managed) PTSD, we have had journal upon journal of distressing content as he has processed his emotions. A child writing about these things can be as simple as learning to process the language of the particular topic - in this case death - or the emotions surrounding it. Even with a child as young as 7, it can be something more sinister but in the absence of behavioural changes I'd keep the lines of communication open and adopt a low key approach.
I think you've done the right thing so far with the exception of telling her:
but it's not nice to write about scary or horrible things and if someone reads it they could be upset.
If writing is how she processes it's a lot healthier than some other ways, maybe suggest she uses a journal and has a method of ensuring you see it if she wants to talk about what she's written. Yes, it can be upsetting to read, but the alternatives can be infinitely worse.
KatyBeau · 20/04/2018 13:07
Thanks Andro. I can see your point about saying anything that might make her feel ashamed of what she's thinking about. I really struggled to work out what to say put on the spot. The last thing I want is for her to hide things. It was probably my own fears projected onto her to be honest.
KatyBeau · 20/04/2018 13:09
"A child writing about these things can be as simple as learning to process the language of the particular topic - in this case death - or the emotions surrounding it."
That's so helpful, thank you for that perspective. It's hard sometimes to see things from the perspective of a seven year old and they have so much to get their heads around.
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