Separation Anxiety in a child

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  • Separation Anxiety in a child
  • scud
    Member

    Bit of a weird one, but has anyone had their child go through (hopefully) a period of separation anxiety and was it just a phase?

    Until the last couple of months my 7 year old daughter has always been a happy, outgoing child who would happily trot off to school, stay at the in-laws and at friends houses. But recently she has become really anxious and doesn’t want my wife to leave her side and is not sleeping and fits of crying if i try and take her to school, my wife has to set an alarm and show her that she her it to make out that it is set so that she will not forget to pick her up from school and she has all of a sudden started refusing to go to Brownies and youth club or do any after school activities which she previously loved.

    She is Type 1 diabetic, but we have been so lucky that as she goes to a small rural school of only 84 kids she is really well looked after, two or three of our friends parents are brilliant and have basically volunteered to be trained on how to use her insulin pump and have made sure that her diabetes has never meant she couldn’t go to friends houses or sleep-overs.

    She is getting herself really wound up and we often didn’t sleep much with her T1 anyway, but now she is wanting to get into our bed and cry from 5am onwards and it takes a long time to get her settled at nighttime too.

    Part of her Diabetes Care team at the hospital gives the option of a child psychologist, do you think we should do this, has anyone had the same, was it just a phase and any tips to help get her through it?

    Many thanks

    Premier Icon robbo1234biking
    Subscriber

    I would definitely make use of the child psychologist.

    Could she be being bullied at one of her clubs (brownies etc) which has caused the issues? Is it because she recognises that she is different through having diabetes to other children whereas when she was younger she didn’t see the differences?

    As a father myself I tend to trust my instinct and if in doubt I would always consult a healthcare professional as I would rather waste their time and it be nothing than not do anything about it, especially as the support is there.

    Premier Icon BigEaredBiker
    Subscriber

    My instinctive response as a dad is exactly what robbo has said.

    scud
    Member

    Thanks gents. We thought about bullying, but with only 13 in her year at school and us being friends with half the teachers and the headteacher, they have been looking out for us.

    When she is at home with us, or her friends come to us, she is full of it as normal, singing and dancing her head off!

    Premier Icon robbo1234biking
    Subscriber

    All the best and I hope you get to the bottom of it and get is resolved.

    vickypea
    Member

    My first thought was bullying too. Bullies can make sure they do it out of sight of adults. Hope you get it sorted out.

    johndoh
    Member

    Not sure if I can help here or not, but one of our girls (8 yr old) has been like this pretty well much since ever.

    • First days/weeks back at school after holidays – nightmare

    • Anyone but mummy (or daddy if she is feeling particularly okay) at bedtime – nightmare (pretty much only granny can do this for us if we want a night out)

    • Mummy just going out during the day and being left with daddy – not so bad but sometimes tricky.

    She is very slowly beginning to grow out of it but stil very draining. And she has her first school overnighter next May which we are already dreading.

    What we have learned…

    • The more warning she gets, the better (so she can mentally prepare)

    • The more tired she is, the worse it is

    • If she is struggling with something she gets worse (ie, if she is struggling with a piece of practice for her drums, she won’t want to go to the next lesson)

    Probably so much more I can add, but those are the first thoughts coming into my head just now.

    freeagent
    Member

    It might not be full-on bullying, just other kids asking questions which she has not been prepared for.
    Has the class teacher had a chat with the class and explained T1 diabetes to everyone? if kids understand what is going on, and empowered by suggesting they all need to look out for your daughter and help her feel included/normal she might be a lot happier.

    We’ve been through a bit of this with our eldest (aged 10), who is dyslexic (has special glasses, coloured paper, etc) has hypermobility disorder (inserts in her shoes, joint pain, poor co-ordination) and a Gluten intolerance) she was getting a bit of grief from other kids about being different, and we’ve had a couple of chats with various teachers about helping to make her feel more included.

    This situation can be exasperated by her younger sister who has no impairments/issues (other than mild ASD) and who can be a little unsympathetic at times.

    scud
    Member

    It might not be full-on bullying, just other kids asking questions which she has not been prepared for.
    Has the class teacher had a chat with the class and explained T1 diabetes to everyone? if kids understand what is going on, and empowered by suggesting they all need to look out for your daughter and help her feel included/normal she might be a lot happier.

    We have never hidden the condition from her friends, she openly pricks her own finger in public with them, they have asked questions and she answers them openly up to now and the school themselves have won an award for the way they have been supportive of her, they have even had a speaker come in from Diabetes UK to give them a talk and present the award.

    Just difficult i guess, as she has always been a very, (almost too much) bright, happy girl full of life, and now she doesn’t want to do very much and doesn’t want to any of the activities she previously loved.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    It’s probably not bullying and probably not connected to the diabetes either.

    More likely just part of development (aka growing up). Have a chat with the GP.

    ernie
    Member

    Scud, as Robbo has said.

    My 6yo has very similar experiences to those listed by johndoh.
    • First days/weeks back at school after holidays – nightmare YES
    • The more tired she is, the worse it is
    • Last days/weeks back at school after holidays – nightmare YES
    • If she is struggling with something she gets worse – she’s a perfectionist, likes to do everything right first time so gets very nervous, frustrated and reclusive if she can’t.

    We have used mindfulness CD’s (helped a bit) and now Yoga (helping a lot) to help her learn to deal with these things. She is very young for her school year (Aug birthday) which we don’t think helped, but we are confident she will grow out of it in time. Its good to hear others have similar experiences – reassures me we are not alone.

    johndoh
    Member

    As Ernie we have tried yoga (she sometimes goes into a position in the middle of the kitchen) and very much the perfectionist (although rushes so gets annoyed when things aren’t perfect). And we have also tried the CDs etc.

    Some days some things work, other days different things work.

    badnewz
    Member

    Social anxiety can be linked to IQ especially verbal intelligence. The perfectionist tendancy can make it worse. Sounds like she is living in a fearful state and catastrophising.

    If the cbt route is helping them i would pursue that and take up the offer of a child psychologist with cbt expertise. She may well grow out of it but always useful to have cbt skills for later life anyhow.

    scud
    Member

    Thanks all, we’ll take up the offer of the child psychologist i think, can do no harm, we did hope it was just something affecting and that she’s turn round as quickly as she turned in the first place, but it seems to be ongoing.

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