Please help - is this normal for a 9yo girl?
Sunnydelight · 13/08/2012 04:14
9yo DD has always been a total joy, very level - no drama queen tactics - and generally a very happy little girl. For the past couple of months there has been a real increase in tears and a few friendship issues, and she has come sobbing a few times saying "I had this bad thought, I thought something mean about (insert me, DH, friends etc.) but I love you really, I don't mean it". Ok, a bit strange but I have spoken to her lots, explained that now she's growing up her hormones might be making her feel a bit funny, given lots of cuddles etc. She's had a major growth spurt but there doesn't seem to be any sign of breasts or anything like that.
This weekend however it has been non-stop. Every few minutes it seemed she was sobbing over something in her mind that she had no control over. I gave her a few tactics to try and control her thoughts "think of something happy, say NO I'm not listening to you mind etc. The idea of the "monkey mind" my yoga teacher used to talk about made her laugh for a bit" but as the weekend went on it spiralled a bit out of control. DH was fairly sympathetic to start but by Sunday night he said he thought I just needed to tell her to stop it. I don't want to over indulge, but it feels like I need to keep encouraging her to talk to me.
She's my only DD, I have two older boys aged 19 and 13 and have never even had a Kevin moment with tham. For the first time ever I found it a bit of a relief when she went off to school this mornings which, of course, I feel really guilty about. Is this just the start of puberty, or is she developing some kind of anxiety order that I need to deal with - I really don't have a clue here. I don't really want to talk to my friends in RL so would appreciate any advice or stories once you all wake up!
savoycabbage · 13/08/2012 05:25
I think girls do have a bit more of a reputation for having all these feelings churning around them that boys just don't seem to have. Girls think a lot more than boys about other people and what they are thinking and feeling. I am poised waiting for all the cattiness to start at school. My dd is nearly 9.
Last year at school she started worrying about the weirdest things, like not putting her library bag in the box till the right day. She was filled with anxiety. She became fixated on Africa (she's mixed race) and was so emotional all of the time. Eventually I took her to see the school councillor who have her some stragegies to help with the worrying. She had two years of a really shit teacher which didn't help as I think she was bored rigid. This year has been smoother.
Sunnydelight · 13/08/2012 06:10
Thanks savoy, that's helpful, "filled with anxiety" just about sums it up. I'm just a big concerned about putting everything down to hormones, I'm guessing as your DD is a bit younger that wasn't the issue for you.
DD is in a lovely school, with very caring teachers so we are really lucky there. I actually have a meeting with her teacher and the head of primary next week as she is supposed to go on school camp next month - one night away - and is freaking about it. Maybe her anxiety around that has kicked this off, I am much better with boys!!!!
CatholicDad · 14/08/2012 00:45
Not meaning to be harsh, but. What do you mean, of course you felt guilty? We cannot always empathise with our kids. Why should we try?
NanaNina · 23/08/2012 22:43
Hi SD - I am wondering if your daughter could be being bullied at school. I would check this out as sometimes happens to the nicest of children. I think the friendship groups at school with girls chops and changes at times and there tends to be a lot of "falling out" and then making it up again. As I'm sure you know, girls are more emotionally mature than boys at quite a young age and they do talk to each other about emotional matters, while the boys are kicking a football around!
I am wondering if this anxiety is school related given that the summer holidays are drawing to a close and the new term is almost upon us. I think it best if you steer a middle course between your DH and you, so that you do obviously keep an eye (or ear) on her but not make it a big deal either. You could ask her how she feels about the new school term and moving up a class the new teacher etc.
I don't know where Catholic dad is coming from - I thought the milk of human kindness flows quite freely from Christians.
Growlithe · 23/08/2012 22:56
Oh OP, I read your post out loud straight away to my DH because you could have been talking about our DD who is nearly 9. She has 'mean' thoughts about people close to her, has friendship issues and gets well too emotional about the smallest of things.
Again no physical signs of puberty, but I have gone so far as to have a chat about periods, because the outbursts are so similar to PMT like symptoms.
My DD is also having problems getting to sleep at night.
I've seen a few posts on MN about problems with 7-8 year olds, but yours was spot on what we are experiencing.
Slowcooker123 · 24/08/2012 12:07
I think these "bad" or "mean" thoughts are very very normal. I he heard of someone who's child has the same and I know for a fact I did too when I was about 8/9. The hold thinks bad things like someone dying or has a though such as punching someone en Rey are angry. I think atthat age it's hard to know what to do with these feelings and they think it makes them bad or means it's something they will really do. Rather than an adult being able to think "I wish he'd get hit by a bus" and knowing that you don't telly mean it and it's just a thought provoked by an angry reaction.
Hope that makes sense. Try explaining to her that it's ok to have these thoughts and that they are the sort of thoughts that we all have and thinking something doesn't mean we would really do it or want it to happen and doesn't make you bad.
Sunnydelight · 29/08/2012 23:52
Sorry I haven't been back - I didn't realise anyone had posted after CatholicDad.
Thanks for the responses, it is always reassuring to know that other people's kids are going through the same things and it's not "abnormal". I had a meeting with her teachers and we came up with some strategies for camp (including telling her that she could definitely be with one friend of her choice) and tbh things have really settled down since then so maybe the anxieties were camp related? We're in Oz NanaNina so in term 3/4 of the school year. To complicate things though it looks like DD might have glandular fever - we're waiting for the result of blood tests, so if she hasn't been feeling very well that probably didn't help her.
You would think by now that I'd have this parenting lark worked out
Growlithe · 30/08/2012 14:37
Just goes to show wherever we are in the world we are all having similar problems.
bigbuttons · 30/08/2012 14:57
My 2 oldest ds's are 14 and 13, next comes a nearly 11 year old dd who is turning into an absolute nightmare at times. Next comes a nearly 9 year old dd who is fab but highly sensitive and somewhat judgmental! Next comes a nearly 7 year old dd who is more like the 11 year old. last but not least comes a 5 year old ds, much more simple. I would take my 3 ds's anytime, mood wise. Girls are a different kettle of fish altogether. I wouldn't worry.
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