DD is a worrier. Phase or problem? m

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Registered: 03-26-2003
DD is a worrier. Phase or problem? m
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Wed, 04-09-2003 - 2:46pm
DD seems like she worries a lot about things. Most recently, it was a bday party she was invited to (the one right after school when I worked). All week, she kept saying she was so confused and didn't know if she wanted to go. I tried to get her to talk about it. Then she would say she was going. Then she wasn't. Back and forth all week. Last night, she started crying saying that she couldn't decide. I told her to sleep on it. This morning, she said she didn't want to go. I just don't know why either.

Last night she was also "worried" about getting married. She has told me before that she doesn't want to get married. So, last night, she asks me, "how do you know when you want to get married." I asked her if she wanted to get married. She said, "maybe." I then asked her if she had someone in mind that she thought she wanted to marry. She giggled and said, "no" (used to be her Papi. LOL!). I emplained how DH and I met each other and decided we wanted to be together all the time, so we got married. She seemed OK with that.

A couple of weeks ago, she was "worried" about how we were going to move the fish when we moved into a new house. She was all worried that their tank would spill, that they wouldn't be able to breathe in the bag, etc.

She's also told me and DH on several occassions that we are driving too fast. Usually happens when we're "revving" the engine to get on the highway or something.

WWYD? Does your DD/S seem to worry a lot? Is is a phase? My co-workers says her 5 year old DS seems to worry a lot too. I am probably too quick to tell her not to worry and should tell her it's OK to feel what she does and to try to get her to talk to me about her feelings.

TIA,

Kathy, Alexandra (6/19/97) and Christian (12/22/99)

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Wed, 04-09-2003 - 3:41pm
Hmmm, Kathy, this sounds like it worries you. . .in fact, it sounds LIKE you! I think it's safe to say that at least on line, you come off as someone who analyzes things a lot, feels there's a lot riding on getting things right, double checks things, is concerned about what others will think, etc. Clearly that's a great characteristic when it's directed toward reasonable things! It's quite possible your daughter has a similar caring and serious temperament, and that it just comes off funny because a girl her age doesn't have the life experience to know, say, that fish will be fine in a bag for a short trip. (It's sweet, really, that she's wanting to take care of them!) You're right, telling her not to worry is not apt to be very comforting. To use that as an example, how about telling her how proud you are that she wants to be responsible for her fish, how thoughtful she is to think of their well being, and what a great question it is? And then remind her that although you are ultimately responsible for them, she's welcome to raise questions or issues or ideas she has to keep them safe. You can give her little opportunities to succeed in helping making things good for others, and can point out that the two of you can handle anything that comes up. ;-)

It's a little unclear to me - did she say she was worried about getting married? Or did she just say she didn't want to? I frequently get a lot of info from my DS when I ask him, "Why do you ask?" or "What makes you think of that right now?" It's perfectly normal not to want to get married when you're 5 - does she think that she's supposed to want to, I wonder? Or that she'll have to someday? It sounds like you had a perfectly good discussion about it, so maybe she's fine with it, but if she brings it up again, maybe those are some angles you could explore.

The other thing I'd watch for is that maybe she's picking up some anxiety from you. I recall you mentioning that you told your daughter that you were concerned about letting her go to the party because you didn't know the mom. I guess I'm not surprised that she's now really ambivalent about wanting to go, even now that you've worked out your original concern - I'd think she must be wondering how she could want to go now that she knows you'd be worried. Just an example. Hope that's food for thought!

Donna

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Wed, 04-09-2003 - 3:54pm
WOW, Donna. Are you a part-time therapist too?? LOL!!! I think you hit the nail on the head. I am a worrier too - and sometimes a bit compulsive. Although, it has gotten much better because I'm determined to not let "the little things" get to me.

What a wonderful analysis of her not wanting to go to the bday party too - because I don't know the mom. Again, WOW!!! I bet you're exactly right. I had no idea I was sending her that kind of message. I'll really have to be careful about what I say.

And about marriage. She has told me before (it's been some time) that she doesn't want to get married. And when asked "why", it's usually "I dunno!". Hopefully, our conversation last night will help her realize that she doesn't have to get married - especially at 5 years old. LOL!!

Thanks again, Donna.

Kathy

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Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 04-09-2003 - 8:23pm
I agree with Donna. I know that "my issues" ceratinly rub off on Tre. It is a very good possiblity she is getting mixed emotions from you and so is not quite certain of her security. KWIM? One of the biggest things in getting children to feel more secure is to loosen the leash a bit and verbalize how secure YOU are with situations.

The other things I wanted to mention is that at this age, fears are coming into play a bit more so than before. They are nervous about making the right decisions, and in genearl, how the world will feel about them and their decision making.

Talk things out with her, Kathy. Let he talk about what's bothering her. First, validate her fears. "It sounds like you really want to make the right choice, honey. Maybe if we talk about it a bit, you'll feel better about choosing."

Then, go with what she tells you. If her concern is that you will be upset, reassure her, "I think it would be a good chance for you to have some fun." Ask her more questions about why she would say somethings she is saying.

Once you have talked, encourage her. "Well, if you get there and decide you don't want to stay, what can we do? Maybe we can find someone who can pick you up and bring you home."

The main things with fears is for the children to be able to express htem and have us pick up on the ques (sp?). Once we do, we can take the fear all the way to a solution or favorable outcome. That way they know they can overcome it, even if they are frightened about it.

Tre is a worrier too. I alsways have to spark convos with him. Today he said out of hte blue, "You have to think of good things, not bad or sad stuff. Right, mommy?" I was thrown for a loop, but knowing him, I knew that was his que to telling me he had some thoughts that made him sad. So I asked, "It's nice to think of good things. Sometimes they can cheer us up. Are you trying to cheer yourself up, Tre Tre?" It progressed from there.

So try to listen in on the small stuff. Maybe she has ways of shring her feelings with you before the actual fear comes into play. Maybe she just needs clarification sometimes. KWIM?

I hope this helps! HUGS!

Janet =)

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Wed, 04-09-2003 - 8:45pm
Thank YOU, Kathy! I'm glad to hear that made sense to you. I guess it's nice to know that we have kids who care what we think - I'm sure that'll change by the time they hit their teens, but it's nice (if dicey sometimes) for now! LOL!

Alexandra's questions about marriage put me in mind of an incident that happened with me as a little girl that we have a hilarious string of photos from. I had run across my mother's wedding tiara and veil when I was about 4 and had put it on and floated downstairs in it - we have a photo of me in it, just beaming, that we actually put on a table on the way in to our wedding reception. I told my dad at the time that I couldn't WAIT to get married - obviously I was enjoying the "princess" appeal of it all. Well, my dad apparently had a hard time hearing that, because then he said, "You don't want to go and get married, 'cause then you'd have to go away and leave me!" OMG, it was like the floodgates burst! The next three photos are of my dad holding me (still in the tiara, also now clinging desperately to him AND my "lovey", my Snoopy dog) trying to get me not to cry my little eyes out! Geez! ;-)

Donna