My 3 yr old daughters behaviour recently has changed dramatically. She has major tantrums, which she never used to do. She gets so worked up that she strikes out. Since she was 6 months old she has been a brilliant sleeper and in her own bed, but now she fights gong to sleep. She says she hates her bed and wants to sleep with us. We now have 2 night lights on for her as she will scream the house down if they are not on. She constantly speaks of monsters and shouts out a lot in her sleep. She is always stripping off the bottom half of her clothes, and never concentrates on anything you say at all. She has a compulsion for winning to the point that she's nearly pushed me down the stairs a few times to pass, and will throw a tantrum if you do not go back to the bottom or top so she can win. She insists that she s the boss even though she desn't get make the decisions.
My main concern is whether this is normal or linked to recent activities at her nursery. It recently come to light that a boy that she plays a lot with is a troubled boy, to the point that social services are involved. Whenever she says or does something really out of character and is asked why,she says he has said to so it's ok. Naturally we where concerned but it escalated when she came home one night and said he had been touching her bottom. She was very graphic about what had gone on and although some of the points surrounding the incident have changed slightly she doesn't waver from these original facts. I did notice on a few occasions that her bum was red and she has on occasion said it hurt but nothing that would arise suspicion. Social services investigated and decided there was no case but I am concerned that it is this that is triggering her behaviour. Should we just leave this alone now and just try to address the behaviour issues or should we be concerned about her state of mind, it is so hard to know.
Your help would be so appreciated
There is no way to know with any certainty if your daughter's behaviors is associated with developments in the pre-school setting. Of course you have to continue to manage the behavior, none of which is unusual for a child of three. In addition, though, an evaluation by a pediatric mental health clinician, particularly one who has experience in the field of sexual abuse, would be sensible. Finally, it is more than reasonable to ask questions of the pre-school setting about how it could be possible for incidents like your daughter described could have occurred. Wouldn't adequate supervision preclused suh a possibility?
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