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Kath Kenyon

Question

Posted by: KLH | 2011/08/31

Q.

Daughter of 8

Hi Kath, I am a single parent to the most amazing little girl. She however seems to be very emotional of late and is battling to socialise with other kids in her class. As she goes through school she finds it harder to make friends. she is very sensitive and her moods fluctuate constantly during the day. I am not sure what I can do to help her. I need to find a way to help understand what it is she needs. She is also now asking to change schools because she does not want to be at her current school anymore. If I ask her why she explains all the kids in her class and how they stare at her and lie about her. I am lost, I dont know what to do. She has been playing ill and when I try to discipline her she goes into an emotional wreck. I merely send her to her room but she will then curl up into a corner and lie on the floor, almost like a child who has been beaten and abused. She will fetch her bag and tell me she no longer wants to live with me and then break down saying she cant live with out me. I do not raise a finger to her, I must admit I do should sometimes not always and I always shower her with love. Please help.

Expert's Reply

A.

Kath Kenyon Kath Kenyon
- 2011/09/20

I would say there is a combination of factors at play. The most likely is that she is being bullied at school for some reason. I would discuss your concerns with her teacher and see if s/he has noticed anything. I would also try to talk with your daughter about how she is feeling - but not when she is caught up in the emotions. Try to wait until she is calm and able to think. 

Maybe get her to write or draw how she feels. Another factor that is likely to be part of the problem is the onset of puberty. It may seem early, but the hormonal swings that cause PMS in older girls and women may already be in play with your daughter and so she is having to deal with feelings she may not understand and can't explain.  Look for any signs of this - breast development, possible early periods etc. If you are worried about this I would see your GP as the hormone swings may well be causing problems and these can be addressed medically if needs be.'

Similarly if she is an early developer this may be why she may be bullied at school. If the other children (especially girls) are not as well developed they may say hurtful things which will make your daughter uncomfortable as she may not understand why her body is misbehaving and why she feels and looks different when she never used to. Discuss these changes with her and let her know that all the girls will go through these changes at some point. The most important things you can do are to keep talking and to keep reminding her she is loved. 

If her behaviour becomes more concerning or you are unable to find a way to help her cope, I would consider contacting a counsellor as she may need professional help.  However, at this stage it may just be that she needs reassurance that she is loved and that things are ok and hat some intervention by her teacher will do the trick. 

Keep an eye on the situation and follow your instincts.  If you feel things are deteriorating - seek help.  


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