PDA

View Full Version : My Daughter Doesn't Want to Grow Up - for real!


eldragon
08-01-2006, 06:53 PM
My daughter, aged 9, has consistently maintained that she does not want to grow up. It's true that being a baby was good for her, I spoiled her, her dad spoiled her. She drank out of a bottle until she was five, and slept with me until ........well, even last night. She's a mama's girl, a wonderful child.

This child is so sensitive and thoughtful. She plans for my birthday and mother's day for days. She showers me constantly with "I love you" cards and verbal compliments. She tells me I'm the most beautiful person in the world - I'm the best mom - you name it ...........several times a day.

And she is concerned
about growing up and changing the status quo. On her birthday - she cries and cries. She's in a near panic.

Yesterday we spent all afternoon eating out, shopping and seeing a movie together, and she loved it. We are together 24/7. But last night, she was in a panic at bedtime, because she doesn't want to be 9, doesn't want to grow up. She's afraid someone will see me - a psycho - and follow me home and kill me. She's afraid I'll die.

Now, I know I worried about my parents dying when I was a child, but she's obsessed with this.

And, it's not like I can lie to her and tell her that parents don't die. They seldom want to, but sometimes it happens. And, recently - a woman my age was shot to death by a stalker - and we knew her daughter - a friend of my 17 year old. So, it's not like horrible things don't happen.


For those of you who will think :she'll get over it, it's normal. I'm not sure. It is my deepest fear, also, that something will happen to me and she will have her worst fears come true.

We have spiritual beliefs different then most people who live around here, so I'm pretty sure finding a counselor that might help her, and support our beliefs, would be nearly impossible.

It's been my pattern to discuss things with her, trying to calm her down. Last night, she was in a panic for over an hour. I told her that the fear of something happening is often worse then the actual event, and that she shouldn't worry about things she can't change - that I would never do anything to jeopardize my safety or my health - but what the heck else can I do?

Has anyone ever experienced anything like this before?

NeuroFizz
08-01-2006, 07:49 PM
Pam, my advice, for what it's worth (I do have an adult daughter), is to avoid at all costs making her feel like her fears are anything but normal for her age. She is talking about her fears and her feelings, which is important. The children who hold these feelings inside are the ones who frequently get into emotional trouble. Also, she's getting to the age where her hormones are probably starting to shift a bit, even if the main events may be a few years away. Maybe she's really afraid of these impending girl-to-woman changes. My daughter was very frightened of the beginning of menses. She's still not jazzed about it all, but back then, we talked through it when it became imminent. Change can be disturbing to senstivie children. She's what, two years away from middle school? Maybe she's finding that horizon intimidating. I'd suggest you talk it out, but only when she brings it up. Don't force the issue, but be willing and ready to get into it when she is. You'll have to be a calming, steady influence through these times. If your life is in turmoil, you'll have to work extra hard to keep up an exterior of calm. Kids are way too perceptive, even the boys (where does it all go?). I hope this helps.

eldragon
08-01-2006, 08:00 PM
Thanks. We're an open book, she and I.

She said last night she wished she were 2 weeks old again, or 1 day old. I reminded her of all the fun things she can as a 9 year old - like swim and read and ride her electric motorcycle; but she said she'd rather be a baby and not have to worry about anything.


As I said, this has been consistent since she was old enough to talk. We used to think it was cute and that she'd grow out of it, but she hasn't. She seriously doesn't want to grow up.


It's like anorexics counting calories ......she counts how many years it will take for her to be 12, or 15, or 29 or God forbid - 40. And, then she tries to figure out if I"ll still be alive.


She also says she never wants to move out, that she always wants to live with me. That's fine with me, and I actually know a family to lived this way. The girls grew into adults and stayed with their mom forever. They had kids and all lived together, in a happy little cocoon.

I also know a woman who is 65 years old, never married and never had kids. She went into the nursing home with her mother - who she had lived with her entire life - and they shared a room. The mother died last year and the daughter is bedridden, waiting for death alone.

But, she had a great life, she says.

So, it does happen.

eldragon
08-01-2006, 08:56 PM
All I mean is : we believe in reincarnation and kharma and the like, and we live in the bible belt. Baptists rule here.


My daughter is popular in school, has lots of friends, is on the honor roll, & a star basketball player in the local youth group. She sleeps alone most nights, but does like to sleep with me, and sometimes with her sister, too.

She has spent the night at friends houses and has been fine with that, although there was one time I had to go pick her up at midnight, but likewise, I have returned other people's children home at the same hour -- when they spent time at my house. (One 2 occasions, to be exact .......2 different kids.)

Your spiritual beliefs should not impact upon counseling unless there is something in your lifestyle that would be considered illegal or threatening of a child's welfare by social services.

The medical community is required by law to report suspected instances of child abuse.

I know you mean well, but these statements are unjustified.

Christine N.
08-01-2006, 09:16 PM
I think he just means if you were something like scientologists, where they wouldn't seek medical treatment even for a life-threatening condition. I don't think he meant it in a bad way, and only said it because he didn't know. :)

eldragon
08-01-2006, 09:36 PM
Ouch.

She's both. She's the happiest kid in world - popular honor roll student who sometimes, at night -usually- gets worried that things will change.


My husband says it's because she is so happy, she doesn't want anything to change.

I don't think she has a phobia, but I was just curious to hear if any other parents had experienced anything similar.

eldragon
08-01-2006, 09:41 PM
I think he just means if you were something like scientologists, where they wouldn't seek medical treatment even for a life-threatening condition. I don't think he meant it in a bad way, and only said it because he didn't know. :)

No, we're not scientologists. :)

We're not part of any organized religion, which is a problem for where I live. Here - in Southern Missisippi - most people are Southern Baptists, which means that they believe in hells fire and the devil is gonna get cha if you aren't born again.

I don't believe in the devil and I believe being born again means something else entirely.

We are not religious people. I only mentioned it because I expected someone to suggest talking to our pastor, and that wouldn't apply here.

That's all.

SC Harrison
08-01-2006, 09:47 PM
Either your child has some fairly serious problems or you're just yanking our chains for sympathy and then whining about having to take responsibility as a parent.

Which is it?

I gotta tell ya, I'm having a real hard time understanding where you're coming from here. Pam is trying to sort some things out that she is concerned about, and your response has been less than sympathetic, to say the least.

OP is not just for zany humorous threads, it's also a place people can relate to each other about life in general.

Switch shoes for a minute and reread what you've written.

NeuroFizz
08-01-2006, 09:52 PM
Either your child has some fairly serious problems or you're just yanking our chains for sympathy and then whining about having to take responsibility as a parent.
Innkeeper, am I correct in reading before that you don't have children? If so, I'd suggest you back off just a bit. Your previous advice was good, but your approach isn't so good. These things with kids can creep in from time to time without being pathological, but they can be bothersome to the parents. El asked for some advice from people who may have experienced these kinds of situations. And, yes, children can be at both extremes at the same time without being psychiatrist-bound or abused. Your quote above was out of line, in my opinion. El is bringing this up because she is taking responsibility as a parent. She is seeking advice from a diverse group that includes many parents. Children from the ages just before teens through late teens tend to be quite confused, and quite confusing to parents. And there is no how-to book that applies to each and every child.

Please back off the attitude. El is having a rough time right now, and she needs our support, not our criticism.

Fern
08-01-2006, 09:53 PM
I remember lying awake at night when I was about that age, thinking of various family members dying and worry about it until I would cry. Some kids just "feel" everything. I don't think its abnormal, to a point. . . my thoughts on the subject are pretty much in line with what NeuroFizz said.

Also, the death of the lady near your age that was stalked may have upset her more than you or she realized. Just knowing someone by even a distant association makes something like that more personal than it normally might be.

The obsessing over growing older might worry me a little. You can take every opportunity to reinforce that each stage of life has something wonderful to offer and help her work through it that way. . .not bringing up her fears directly, but just be aware and when an opportunity arises, make use of it.

Something else I might add, and I know lots of folks may think its hogwash, is taking her to see someone who does aroma therapy, muscle testing, Iridology,etc. I can't tell you how beneficial this has been to our family in ridding one of a variety of obsessions, worries, etc.

eldragon
08-01-2006, 09:56 PM
Also, the death of the lady near your age that was stalked may have upset her more than you or she realized. Just knowing someone by even a distant association makes something like that more personal than it normally might be.

You're right, Fern. Thanks.

I wasn't aware that she knew the details of this horrible crime that happened 5 miles from here, but apparently my 17 year old dropped the bomb on her one night before bedtime.

NeuroFizz
08-01-2006, 09:56 PM
Unless your child is five or younger or unless you have a job that puts you in harms way, your child shouldn't be worried that someone will follow you home and kill you. This appears to be a classic symptom of separation-anxiety disorder.

You have also indicated that you're with your daughter 24/7 (although presumably not while she's at school.)

If the problem you initially described truly exists, you really can't deal with it yourself. It has nothing to do with whether or not you're trained as a clinical psychologist and has everything to do with the fact that you're a primary caregiver. What am I talking about? Simple. Your child's anxiety kicks in your protective instincts which in turn generates more emotional dependence and ultimately heightens the child's anxiety. It's a classic negative cycle. The closer you draw to your child in an effort to deal with this problem, the worse the situation could actually become.

Please read more about separation-anxiety disorder. The following report is from the U.S. Surgeon General's office.

http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/mentalhealth/chapter3/sec6.html
Please provide your credentials to make these diagnoses. Citing a web page without knowing the parents or the child is pissing into the wind. Get off it. Now.

Mattie123
08-01-2006, 10:00 PM
Hi,
I used to be a psychiatric social worker although I never will profess to understand kids, I do know that for a 9 year old, this fear and anxiety isn't so unusual. You need to slowly let them test the waters until they can be without you. Sometimes this happens sooner in some children than in others.

I am concerned about one thing: Many children have been exposed to sexual subjects or to sexual acts way too early either by a family member or by their friends and aquaintances. They try to avoid these people and situations by clinging to their parents in a childlike way. For instance, when I was 5, my mom paid a 13 year old to see to it that I walked home safely from school. This 13 y/o girl was always trying to "talk dirty" around me and also had tried on a few occassions to get me to undress and fondle her. I ran like hell.
I never told my mother. I just stayed away from her. I would run home from school as fast as I could and my mom would wonder why. ( mother and I never discussed sex because it wasn't her style- thus, I would not open up to her. )
So, before you chalk it up to baby behavior, consider all sexual posibilities.
Kids are naturally curious about their bodies. I had another incident where mutual friends of my families kept wanting me to sleep over at their house. That's because the girl, a year older wanted to try and grope me in bed! Can you imagine? I never told my mother about this incident either. I have other similar issues that would come up when I was 9 and younger, but I think you get the picture. Preditors come in all shapes and sizes, all ages, both sexes.

Obviously,she is suffering from major anxiety, phobic reactions to something. It could be learned behavior, it could be chemical. The apple don't fall too far from the tree. If you are afraid of spiders, your child will be. You need to speak first to your pediatrician about her behavior and see if they have any suggestions. Forcing them to sleep over at others homes, and go to girl scout camps and such in order to "grow up" might be the very place they are experiencing anxiety. ( ie, sexual issues ) I might be off base, as well. I am stabbing in the dark on this one.
She may have generalized anxiety disorder and other bio- physical issues causing free floating anxiety. This should be a doctor's call.
Do you have any males in the family that might make her uncomfortable? You need to be very honest with your private evaluation of all of these prospects.
Also you need to speak openly and candidly with your kids about sexual issues and prediators, inappropriate behaviors- all sorts of books are on the subject to help you do this. Also, the internet is helpful.
As a mother, I commend you for being concerned and for wondering what might be wrong. Be careful with denial. It happens to all of us. Defending people when you don't know the facts, doubting doctors opinions, ect.

Good luck to you! My heart goes out to you.

Claude123

eldragon
08-01-2006, 10:00 PM
You have also indicated that you're with your daughter 24/7 (although presumably not while she's at school.)


Right - I'm a stay at home mom, pretty much. (She starts school Thursday ......yippee!)

We even do volunteer work together, so, in the summer, we're together 24/7. At least this year we were.

But I am enrolled in college, for December classes and there is talk that I might be taking an outside job, which I haven't had to do in 7 years. So - she no-doubt is worried about this.

BTW - we're together 24/7 - but we have a 3000 sq foot house on 5 acres - so alot of times we're spread out!

TsukiRyoko
08-01-2006, 10:02 PM
She IS seeking help for her children. That seems to be one of the reasons she came here.

It doesn't seem like she is using her spiritual beliefs to deprive her child of getting help (help she might not even need; the girl sounds completely stable to me, just clingy and loving), she is simply trying to find the perfect conditions. Spiritual beliefs, though not the biggest issue nowadays, can still cause a LOT of friction, even against a young child.

I say that sending your kid into someone who is completely against your own beliefs is FAR worse than not seeking any help at all.

you're just yanking our chains for sympathy and then whining about having to take responsibility as a parent. I don't even think I have to BEGIN to talk about how classless, distasteful, and rude this is.

eldragon
08-01-2006, 10:10 PM
Do you have any males in the family that might make her uncomfortable? You need to be very honest with your private evaluation of all of these prospects.


No. My husband is the only male here, and he's the best dad in the world. They have a comfortable relationship and do things without me, too. (Like swimming - something I'm not good at - and bike-riding. Her dad is more into those things.)


Her only male relative lives 2000 miles away and only comes to visit every two years and when he does - he stays in a hotel. My daughter hasn't spent anytime alone with him since she was an infant, if even then.

And, there is nobody else.

We're overprotective. We don't drop her off and leave, we stay there. (Wherever - the public pool .......birthday parties, whatever

Pomegranate
08-01-2006, 10:12 PM
I'm glad you're taking your daughter's fears seriously. I think counseling would be a good thing because the fears you describe are about things no one can control, we just have to learn ways to cope. It should be possible to find a non-denominational counselor, even in a conservative city, just make that one of your screening questions.

Have you tried having your older child talk to your daughter about the cool things about growing up? Staying up late, R-rated movies, being able to drive... She needs have good things to look forward to as well as good things to look back on.

My mom taught me that it's a parent's job to raise a child to be able to function independently. We want our children to leave the nest and thrive at the appropriate time. Personally, I think the story of the woman who spent her whole life with her mother is very sad. It's one thing to have a close friendship with mom, but another to be so co-dependent.

*full disclosure* I have no kids but I was one! ;-> I was also a nanny.

NeuroFizz
08-01-2006, 10:14 PM
Good grief. If we consider all of the data presented, and I'm not throwing this out with qualifications other than as an experienced parent, El's daughter falls well within what I consider the bell curve of normality. If El is guilty of anything, in my opinion, it is of holding her daughter a little to tightly, in a figurative sense. My experience in talking with and observing other parents, including my siblings, is this can create a separation problem that lasts a little longer, and is a little more intense than one for parents who instill independence in their children at a younger age. But the age at which a child reaches independence is a lot like the age at which they walk. It, by itself, rarely mean anything in the long run in terms of normal development and maturation.

I'd like to hear how other parents have dealt with these kinds of anxiety issues in pre-teens, without bringing mental disorders or sexual abuse. I'm sure El would have sought professional help long before now if she suspected either.

eldragon
08-01-2006, 10:16 PM
Have you tried having your older child talk to your daughter about the cool things about growing up? Staying up late, R-rated movies, being able to drive... She needs have good things to look forward to as well as good things to look back on.

No, my older daughter is mean. More like Wednesday Addams then Marcia Brady, if you know what I mean.

eldragon
08-01-2006, 10:22 PM
Innkeeper - I understand where you are coming from.

This must sound confusing, and like I'm back-peddling.

Actually, this thread has helped me to see that her latest fears probably have to do with the woman killed in our town, and because I am returning to school and work, and have always been at home.


I'm sure there isn't a person in the world who wouldn't benefit from therapy at some point in their lives, and I'm certainly open to that.

NeuroFizz
08-01-2006, 10:27 PM
As a teacher, I was required to report suspected instances of child abuse or neglect. If a parent walked into my classroom and told me all of the things Pam started with her initial post and then concluded by saying, "but my spiritual beliefs won't allow me to address this problem," I would have called social services in a heartbeat if I couldn't wrangle permission from the parent to allow the child to see the school counselor for further assessment! I wouldn't have cared about Pam's feelings. My education, experience, and training pushes me in the direction of doing what's best for the child.
But if you go back and read El's original post, her quote about spiritual beliefs wasn't directed to a solution to her child's problem, but about her likelihood of finding a helpful counselor. So, you're flying off the handle, suggesting CPS be called, when you actually misread her comment on the spiritual situation.

I have seen the consequences of far too many parents who have rationalized away concerns about their children only to see the child later have serious problems. I have taught elementary students who have in later years committed suicide, commited violent crimes, or overdosed on drugs.
So, they must all do it?

I have zero sympathy for how parents feel. Parents are adults. If they choose to be idiots and to make bad choices in life, they are legally allowed to do so as long as their choices are not criminal.
All parents, or just those you suspect of being poor parents? And, did you automatically suspect the worst from parents?

I wash my hands of this thread.
First, go back and re-read the quote from El's first post and see if you didn't misinterpret it.

eldragon
08-01-2006, 10:45 PM
Innkeeper ........if you come back to the thread, you might want to read this old one I started back in March - about a time I called CPS:


http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27706


And BTW - nothing was ever done about these kids.

Shadow_Ferret
08-01-2006, 11:25 PM
I still don't want to grow up. :)

But as a child, I worried about my parents' dying. I'd have nightmares and I'd have to get up and sneak into their room. I'd stand there and watch them in the dark until I saw them either move or breath and then I went back to bed.

For what it's worth, I believe what your child is going through is fairly normal.

MidnightMuse
08-01-2006, 11:39 PM
I wish I was a parent, and I really wish I had some great advice I could give. It's plain to anyone with eyes that El is a concerned parent and very aware of her daughter's environment.

I'd agree with the idea that this is stemming from the other woman who was killed. That kind of thing is on the news all the time, but when it happens near by, to someone you know even in a round-about way, it can have real effects on people. Especially children.

If I could, as someone without kids and no kid experience, offer any advice I'd say just be there for her, listen when she needs you to (as clearly you are) and try not to panic. If and when she really wants to talk about these issues, you'll be there to listen and talk to her.

And if the other parents here feel this could be normal, then I'd try to relax a little and go with the flow of it all.

But I have no kids and never even babysat ! So there's your grain of salt :D

cree
08-02-2006, 12:01 AM
First of all Eldragon, I'm so sorry people saw fit to attack your brave request for people with similiar experiences. My interpretation of your post was of a very concerned, loving mother, not someone who needed to be attacked.
Secondly, I have a 9 yo daughter too. And she is not so different than your daughter, except I would not say she gets visibly panicky. She is super sensitive and clingy to me, and I think right now in her life is when awareness of social status and the questionable roles of beauty and popularity and all those things many teen girls grapple with are just starting to become apparent -- and they don't include me, these new issues, and I can't make them better among her peers, she has to forge through alot of them on her own. That is scary. The rules are unclear. Kids can be nasty for no reason. It's a foreign territory where for the first time it's uncool to bring your mom along for every step of it.
So, she goes back and forth between asking me to rock her in my arms while she cuddles a teddy bear, and rolling her eyes at me if I say something "uncool" in front of a neighbor. It sounds like your daughter may seem to do more of the teddy bear behavior than the eye-roll behavior, but to me, it does not by default means she needs counseling. She's growing up, it's possible she feels helpless about it, and it's possible she sees losing the special relationship she has with you as a part of growing up. That's a very big deal. And not unfounded, strange, or an indicator of a severe problem.
Here's my only advice, because it helps my daughter (and I have no older children, FYI): Instead of pointing out all the things she'll be able to do as she gets older, make a point of pointing out the things the TWO OF YOU can do together as she gets older. If you get ice cream together every Friday night now, say something to make her think that is never going to change, like "I bet when we do this when you are 16, you'll still order strawberry every time like you do now." Or if you like to shop together, say something like "I bet we'll wear the same shoe size when you're a teenager, and we can pick out some really cool outfits together that you can wear with my purple sandals." Or about driving, "When you get your license, you can drive us to the movies on Saturdays instead of me always driving." You know what I mean. Then, when she's 12-13-14, she'll think of ways to go without you. :) But for age 9, it's reassuring to think that she's going to grow up and you are going to still be a comrade. Maybe couple this by pointing out how your relationship has changed since she WAS two weeks old, but one thing remains constant: your bond together. E.g.: When you were one I had to go down the slide by myself while you watched because you were too little. Now we both get to go down. Or, I'm so glad you learned to ride a bike, because now we can go on a bike ride together. We couldn't do that when you were five.

And in deference to the people who are going to attack me for not suggesting you send her poste haste to XYZ Clinical Psychiatry Group, of course look for signs that he behavior has crossed the line - and get help if she does. There.

Good luck, and may both our daughters see that growing up doesn't equal loss, but gain of deeper bonds :)

writerterri
08-02-2006, 12:15 AM
My 5 year old has the same fears, but on a much smaller scale. I'm an at home mom too so all my kids are very attached to me, because they can always count on me "being there". But for some reason when I leave the house they freak out, like I'm not coming back. when they leave the house it's okay cause they can count on me being at home and they feel secure. When I leave they feel insecure because the rolls are changed.

I have to say no when they want to go with me or when they want to sleep with me (every night) and I stick to it. I want them to know I'm coming back and they will be okay if they go to bed in their room. I also let them know that I want to be alone with daddy :D that they have me all day and daddy needs me at night. I have to stick to it.

You may need to go out for a couple of hours a week and not give in when she wants to go and you know what you have to do with her sleeping with you at night. :)

I have to tell my daughter she can come in in the morning or in the middle of the night after she falls asleep. My son sleeps with us once in a while too but he has to make a bed on the floor when I'm not in the mood for his kicking. My other daughter is allowed to sleep with me under the same conditions.

Saying no and sticking to it is the key though. It breaks my heart but I know it's for their own good.

Also we talk about death when they bring it up. We believe in the whole after life thing. My kids are concerned about my dieing. I just simply tell them that everyone has a time to die and I will some day but not today and I will be waiting for them in heaven for when they get there too. It's also important that I let them know I want them to live their lives while I'm waiting for them to get to heaven so it will make me happy.

Keep it simple and on her level.

I wish you the best in this.

Terri

AmyDoodle
08-02-2006, 12:35 AM
I don't have a daughter at all, but I do have two sons. One is now 18 and has always been a sensitive sort, noticeably but not obsessively so. Recently in our communitiy, several teenagers--one of whom graduated from the same high school a year earlier than my son and went to our church--have been killed in automobile accidents. My son is hesitant (understatement works well here) about getting his driver's license. He let his permit expire, but we explained that he would need to drive to go to college, and my husband took him to have it renewed. He's not keen on going to college either, so he'll start at a local one and transfer later. When he drives, he holds the steering wheel so tightly that his knuckles turn white. But he's doing it. Little by little. Short trips. Sometimes when kids have scary things happen, you have to move in baby steps.

Bamponang
08-02-2006, 01:18 AM
For those of you who will think :she'll get over it, it's normal. I'm not sure.

My initial response was to say, like other posters, that your daughter concerns are normal. I have an 8-year old who went through something similar (about my possible death and fear of growing older)

But re-reading your first post, it sounds like you think your daughter's fears are extreme and you need help to do something differently ( from what you've tried so far) to help her.

So I think you should try counselling, which you said you were not opposed to, to get to the root of the issue. If your daughter's concerns are within what's normal, then you can walk away reassured. But if not, then a trained professional can help your child and also equip you to better deal with your child's fears.

eldragon
08-02-2006, 02:10 AM
The last three posts were wonderful, thanks guys.

Cree's made me tear up. I'm not kidding. It was that good.

astonwest
08-02-2006, 02:29 AM
Be worried when your children are 30+ years old and don't want to grow up (or leave home)...


My biggest worry growing up was that my parents would get divorced, and I'd have to choose which one to go live with.

Then my mom died, and I didn't have to worry about it anymore.

whistlelock
08-02-2006, 03:12 AM
oo, I have an idea that will make things worse; tell her if she doesn't knock this crap off, you'll bury her alive in a box in the back yard.


That'll give her all new stuff to worry about.

writerterri
08-02-2006, 03:56 AM
oo, I have an idea that will make things worse; tell her if she doesn't knock this crap off, you'll bury her alive in a box in the back yard.


That'll give her all new stuff to worry about.


Put your finger in an electric socket please!


:D

eldragon
08-02-2006, 05:39 AM
oo, I have an idea that will make things worse; tell her if she doesn't knock this crap off, you'll bury her alive in a box in the back yard.


That'll give her all new stuff to worry about.

I tried that, in a kidding way. I asked her if she thought psychos had nothing better to do then hang around in our yard waiting for me. I asked her if she thought a man was wearing scuba gear in our pond, waiting for me to go feed the fish so he could take a swipe at me.


On a drearier note: we had more disturbing news today. A girl we knew had a baby last year - at the end of her junior year in high school. The baby drowned recently. Another case of the baby not being watched around a swimming pool.


I can only imagine how devastated the young mother is; nevermind the grandmother who was watching the toddler. These incidents are so easily avoided, it's unbelievable that it still happens so often.

PattiTheWicked
08-02-2006, 06:16 AM
Pam, my oldest daughter is 14 now, and when she was around 8 or 9 she developed all kinds of new and unusual thought patterns.

She was dealing with my divorce and remarriage, so she occasionally asked if I died, where would she live? Who would take care of her? Would she ever see her brother and sister again?

She was also dealing with the death of a neighbor boy who was killed by a hit and run driver, which of course led to all kinds of car related questions.

A girl she knew at school was molested, and that led to questions about what happens if someone tries to hurt me/her/people we love.

Nine is a hard age to be. Partly because your body is doing weird things, growing lumps and hair where there didn't use to be any. Also because all of a sudden, things that you took for granted as a "little kid" suddenly seem so huge. I think, as a parent, it's normal for her to have these mood swings where one minute she's happy go lucky, and the next she's clingy and sobbing. They do that. However, I also think it's normal -- and good parenting -- to want to resolve this in a way that will most benefit your child.

I do understand about your comment regarding your spirituality -- I've had people tell me before "if you went to church your daughter would be fine". Well, she IS fine, but it took a bit of counseling to get through it -- mostly because she just needed someone to talk to who WASN'T her parent. I'd suggest calling your local children's hospital and seeing if they can recommend a decent counseling program that's not faith-based.

It doesn't sound at all like you're trying to avoid the problem, but rather solve it.

eldragon
08-02-2006, 06:58 AM
Another good answer, thanks - Patti!

writerterri
08-02-2006, 07:28 AM
This is good to know. My girls are 5 and almost 7. I'll know what's happening when they get worse.

eldragon
08-02-2006, 05:07 PM
When I was a kid, I couldn't wait to grow up. I assumed all kids were like me.

End the end, she'll probably be better adjusted then I was. I couldn't wait to date - wear make-up - drive. Waiting would have been monumental, I think, in my case at least.


Since I had her, I've thought about how few babies are allowed to babies long enough. From the second they are born - we are trying to get them to do thing unbabylike. We want them to sleep all night so we can sleep - we want them to wean off the breast or bottle by the age of 10 months or one. It all goes by too quickly.

The next thing you know - they are in High School.

Stacia Kane
08-02-2006, 08:16 PM
Eldragon, I think everyone else has said everything I would say. I think a lot of girls go through a period just before adolescence where they are afraid to grow up. Their bodies will change, they'll be confronted with scary boys, etc...even if they look forward to those things it's still scary.

The time to worry is when it starts interfering with her life, like she refuses to go outside, or she won't sleep alone, things like that. Then a counselor might be helpful.

I also agree that maybe she needs a little independence forced on her, hard as it is. My girls are only little (5 and almost 2) but I try to make them play by themselves for a little while every day, things like that, to teach them that being alone and doing things for themselves isn't so bad. (Obviously this is only for a very short while, they're still so young. But I like to think it's building a basis for independence and strength later.)

Provrb1810meggy
08-02-2006, 08:51 PM
Well, I'm thirteen, but I remember when I was 9 and 10, I'd sometimes cry myself to sleep. I was afraid of dying myself or my family members dying. I think it's normal. It's helpful that you're just making yourself available to talk to her about it, and that she seems so open with you about her fears.

Before you know it, your little girl will be rolling her eyes at every comment you say, asking you when she's allowed to date, and begging you to let her wear makeup. Or at least that's how it worked with me, anyway.

aruna
08-02-2006, 09:12 PM
Eldragon, I totally understand what you are saying, especially about the spiritual stuff. Professional counselors aren't th eonly ones who can help with a problem of this sort; sometimes a strong, wise and warm person can be better, and as a social worker I have known countoess cases where professional counseling has done more harm than good, while in my personal ife I have known countless cases where spiritual counselling was exactly what was needed, and what helped - BUT that counsellor had to be on a similar wavelength to the person being counselled.

My daughter at 16 is one of the most balanced teenagers I know, but when I was clearing out the house recently I found a diary she had written when she was 10. I couldn't resist leafing through it - it began as simply accounts of her days, harmless stuff which I read with a nostalgic smile. And then she began saying things like "I hate myself, I want to die." And stuff abnout how she was crying herself to sleep every night, and that if she could she'd kill herself, and she hates me, and that I love her brother more than I love her, and that she can't talk to me and she thinks I hate her. I was totally thrown; she had never given me any reason to believe she was unhappy, and to the outer world she wasn't. An "expert" reading that diary might easily think I was a monster and abusing her.

I am not so sure your daughter's problems aren't just an ordinary part of growing up.

I know I had terrible complexes and went through difficult phases myself. For instance, I would not speak to anyone except close family. I just refused to speak - for a year or two or longer. It was like a phonbia I had - nobpody was allowed to hear my voice. One day I was in the car with my dad, next to him on the front seat, chattering away - and then I looked behind and my aunt was onthe backseat, one of the people who couldn't hear my voice! I almost died! I was six or seven at the time.

cree
08-02-2006, 11:31 PM
The last three posts were wonderful, thanks guys.

Cree's made me tear up. I'm not kidding. It was that good.


<Smiles>

Lauri B
08-03-2006, 10:00 PM
Pam,
This is such an interesting thread (I don't usually come to OP). I have a pack of kids, and my 9 year old is at a similar, very worried state. He doesn't seem quite as upset about things as your daughter, but he definitely has what seem to be very irrational fears about being the last person in our house awake at night, what will happen if I die, etc. I actually took him to the pediatrician because I was worried that he was depressed (or exhibiting early-stage mental illness, seriously), and his pediatrician said that it's not unusual at all for kids this age to be full of anxiety. The advice I was given was that if the anxiety became debilitating, then it might be worth finding a child psychologist, but if he was worrying about things that seemed to be sparked by incidents that have happened in his life, then talking about them and coming up with rituals for addressing them and allowing him to help himself independently were how to deal with it. It seems to be helping him, and he's slowly getting less freaked out by everything.
So good luck--you're not alone!
Lauri

ChunkyC
08-03-2006, 10:14 PM
Pam, I'll just offer you and your daughter a great big hug to go along with the (mostly) thoughtful posts in this thread.

Charlie
Father of one daughter
Grampa of three granddaughters, the eldest nearly 10.

JAlpha
08-03-2006, 10:34 PM
When my youngest son was eight, I had an eye-opening parent teacher conference. It was only six weeks into the school year, and my son's teacher asked me this question. "What's going on in your home on Tuesdays and Thursdays." I was puzzled by the question. "I attend classes at GSU. Why?" Then she told me that my son's behaviour on those days was very withdrawn, as if he had his mind on something else--a sharp contrast to the other days of the week. I had no idea he had been worrying about me traveling into the city of Atlanta, away from our cozy suburban oasis. Discussing it with him didn't seem to help either. What I did do, and what I continue to do, because he is still a very cautious person is this . . . I make sure he's able to work through his fears and still remain happy and active. Like your daughter, he has friends, is well liked, enjoys school and work, and he's looking forward to his first year at college.

I have two other children who never gave/give a thought to where I was/am or what I was/am doing. I've chalked it up to the fact that some people just worry more than others, and some people manage worrying better than other people. For me, the key word is "manage". Is your daughter managing her fears? Sounds as if she is. I have known people who can not manage their fears, sometimes to the point of having a very negative impact on their lives, and they did need to seek professional help.

L M Ashton
08-04-2006, 06:27 AM
I've been through therapy, and none of my therapists had even similar religious beliefs to mine, but it didn't matter. They were professional. Since my spiritual/religious beliefs were not at issue, they didn't come up in therapy. And our differences in beliefs did not impact my therapy in any way. (Personally, I've encountered some excellent therapists and my therapy went very very well. Useful, helpful, and all that good stuff. :))

This is the way that professional therapists should act.

If yours or your daughter's beliefs don't impact on the therapy, they shouldn't come up. I wouldn't let that stop you from seeking professional help should you find it warranted.

I have no children, so I have no idea what is or is not normal with children (I was hardly normal myself :tongue), so I have no advice there.

Good luck.

aruna
08-04-2006, 12:32 PM
I've been through therapy, and none of my therapists had even similar religious beliefs to mine, but it didn't matter. They were professional. Since my spiritual/religious beliefs were not at issue, they didn't come up in therapy. And our differences in beliefs did not impact my therapy in any way. (Personally, I've encountered some excellent therapists and my therapy went very very well. Useful, helpful, and all that good stuff. :))

.

Religious beliefs, no, doesn't matter. Spiritual practice, yes... because (and I've studied it at college!) conventional psychological counselling CAN contradict spiritual practice (as opposed to belief), in which case I and mine stick to the spiritual.
There are indeed some excellent therapists out there. But finding one can be difficult. There has to be some affinity... it's not like hard science.


(BTW, and I hope this question is not either crazy or marks me as a nitwit - but is Fahim your husband?)

eldragon
08-04-2006, 10:51 PM
I hadn't read this thread in a few days, it's nice to come back to it and see new and thoughtful posts.

My daughter started 4th grade yesterday and everything is fine.

I think, as many people mentioned, that she is just a bit nervous about my possibly going back to work, and entertaining attending college, because she is used to my being here. I have always been here. Before we moved to the country, I walked her to school and back every single day - unless, of course, it was raining - and then I drove.

I am so reliable - other moms used to call me to get their kids. I have never left one of my children waiting.

One thing is for sure: no matter how many children you have, they are all different.

Shwebb
08-06-2006, 11:33 PM
Pam, I know I'm coming late to this thread, but I went through a horribly anxious period when I was eight or nine years old. Of course, I had reason to be anxious--my parents had divorced, my dad left, and my mom wasn't around much. She preferred staying out after work and partying, instead of coming home and taking care of her kids.

I was terrified that something was going to happen to her. I was also frightened of natural occurrences, like storms. When my mom was late from work, which was often, I'd actually run through the house, screaming in hysterics. If we had a tornado watch, I'd start to cry, thinking that we were in danger because my mother never used to take them seriously.

What would have helped me (besides having a father who was still present in our lives and a mother who took care of us) was someone acknowledging that sometimes things happen, but we'll still be okay. Like, "Yes, tornadoes happen, but if one is coming our way, we'll seek shelter and do the best we can. We'll get through it." Sometimes admitting that bad things can happen is like facing our worst fears, and then we can see the other side of that.

I don't know if that info helps at all, but my heart goes out to you and your daughter. We all know how seriously you take your parenting, and I'm sure that whatever you decide, she will respond to your love and concern for her.

eldragon
08-06-2006, 11:36 PM
Sure it help, thanks.

You and I are both examples of people who learned from our parents mistakes.


My parents were good, but not communicative, which I think is key in any relationship.

It's taken me 42 years to understand what was lacking in my childhood, and those things were physical affection and communication.

Kida Adelyne
08-07-2006, 06:38 AM
Not much I can add that hasn't been said, but I do know that I also went through a very similar period.

I used to (and still do, to some extent) do a lot with my mum, and need to be with my mum a fair bit (I'm even part of the same message board as her :tongue ). I was clingy up until a few years ago, hated doing new things on my own. I was 13 or 14 before I had the strength enough to tell my mum I could go something alone (I think she nearly died of shock that day.)

Also, when I was 7-10 I used to do worst case scenario's in my head of what could happen to my family or those close to me. I'd end up crying from fright. I was afraid of someone hiding in my closet, and It had to be shut before I went to sleep. I went though a time where I prayed every night against my house catching fire and having my family die.

I also like to think that I'm a funtioning human being now. And I know that having my mum be there for me is what helped the most.

I'm sure that your daughter, whether though therapy, if it comes to that, or the natural coarse of things will grow up to be an outstanding and vibrant young women.


- Ally

mdin
08-08-2006, 12:42 AM
/mini hijack

like scientologists, where they wouldn't seek medical treatment even for a life-threatening condition.

I'm not a fan of Scientology, but you're getting Scientology mixed up with The Church of Christ, Scientist aka The Christian Scientists. They're the ones who sometimes believe serious medical conditions should be treated with prayer, not modern medicine.

Scientology has some wacky beliefs about medicine, but it's all related to mental conditions. Their belief is that people who are mentally ill are that way because their bodies have been invaded by the ghosts of aliens who were murdered by the intergalactic overlord Xenu. (Really. Look it up.)

But if a Scientologist has cancer or a broken bone, the only thing that would stop them going to a hospital is the fact they have no money left for the treatment.

/end hijack.

stormie
08-08-2006, 04:02 AM
One thing is for sure: no matter how many children you have, they are all different.
Oh yeah. I have two sons, and when they were little, after their doctor observed both of them together, laughed, and said, "You don't just have opposites, you have extreme opposites." I felt like crying right then and there but couldn't break down and sob in the doctor's office, so I sucked it in and decided to see it as an adventure. And what an adventure! So, yes, every child is different.

Pam, you're doing your best. Dr.Brazelton (the pedi from Boston--don't know if he's retired yet) once said (and I paraphrase) if you love your child as much as you can, he or she will turn out okay.

aruna
08-08-2006, 09:37 AM
/mini hijack



I'm not a fan of Scientology, but you're getting Scientology mixed up with The Church of Christ, Scientist aka The Christian Scientists. They're the ones who sometimes believe serious medical conditions should be treated with prayer, not modern medicine.

.
I think the Jehovah's Witnesses also don't accept medical treatment.

Shwebb
08-08-2006, 09:54 PM
Funny, but I just rented "Peter Pan" for the kids yesterday. And then I thought of this thread.

Peggy
08-08-2006, 10:25 PM
I think the Jehovah's Witnesses also don't accept medical treatment. I think they only refuse blood transfusions.

eldragon
08-09-2006, 12:01 AM
Funny, but I just rented "Peter Pan" for the kids yesterday. And then I thought of this thread.

Yeah, and the Toys R Us commercial.

"I don't want to grow up, I'm a Toys R Us kid!"