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Avatar universal

6 year old daughter confesses everything

My wife and I have a 6 year old daughter and last week she began crying on the way to school and confessing to my wife everything under the sun, such as "the teacher told us to write our name then date but I wrote the date first, I was talking at lunch when I wasn't supposed to" and so on.  She never gets in trouble at school, during the resent parent teacher conference her good behavior was highlighted as a strength.  But everyday it is the same thing crying while going to school and confessing all night long.  We have tried explaining to her that it is good to tell us about things that she thinks is bad but she needs to let stuff go and not linger on small infractions that no one would have known about if she didn't confess.  I am in the military and currently deployed I am about half way through this 6 month rotation and believe that this could be a factor in her newly found guilt.  What should we do?  
77 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi there. I am 20 years old (female) and when I was 17 I was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Obviously, I am not a doctor. But it does sound like something I went through. You see, when I was in my pre-teens I went through these 6 month intervals where I felt compelled to tell my mom everything. My mom have always been super understanding and there for me, but for 6 months I would feel "normal" and not Tell her things she didn't need to know, and the other 6 months, something would "shift" in my behaviour and I would feel the NEED to confess everything to my mother, whether it be when I cheated on a spelling test back in second grade or told her that I masterbasted. when I told my mother, she was very openmided (yet confused) and said "I love when your share your thoughts and life with me, but some things are private and you can keep them to yourself. You don't need to tell other people." I knew that in some part of me, but the majority of me was feeling so guilty and worthless, like I couldn't function If I didn't tell her everything. That summer, it got to the point where I had all the notes on my phone filled with things I "'needed to tell my mom". some things were as minor as peeing and not washing my hands one day when I was 8, or writing my name on the date space, on a test, and the date in the name space. But once again, some things were very personal. So my mother knew this behaviour wasn't normal, so once I told her, we went to the hospital and the doctor told me everything was fine and normal. I was 12 at the time. 5 years later and things got worse, but I didn't tell anyone. finally at 17 I told my mom again and we went to specialist and I was diagnosed with OCD. I was a very sick child growing up (strep, etc), so the doctor talked about PANDAS (Google and read about that). If I had of been diagnosed earlier things wouldn't have gotten as bad at 17 as they were. Now I am 20 and I am an advocate for mental health. I am a proud highly functioning woman with OCD. with the right support, you can take control. Btw, obviously not saying your daughter definitely has OCD. just saying it sounds related to mine. Best of luck!
Thank you for sharing. My son is going through this very thing even with filling his phone with notes. What type of support did you receive that you can say made the most difference?
Have to wonder IF there really are drugs with the side effect of patient confessing anything and everything, if some police would not be tempted to slip some into coffee or soft drink of  suspects!   Have to remember this I guess if and when?  Officer:  :okay we just have some questions but FIRST is there anything we can get you?  Coffee  Soda?....Hmm  IF I had anything to hide I will be all "uhh  no thanks I'm good"
Avatar universal
My daughter has severe separation anxiety disorder and general anxiety disorder. She would cry when I took her to school and confess all sorts of things when I picked her up. I also found out that her teacher was raising her voice, intentionally slamming things down in class, and causing more undue anxiety.  I recommend therapy and I actually pulled my daughter out and started homeschooling her for the remainder of the year. Helped immensely along with weekly counseling. Really sounds like separation anxiety!
Oh, also have to agree with mississipilady-Singulair has a risk of increased anxiety. My child's doctor would not even put my daughter on it!
Please check out this site. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/pandas/index.shtml
What is PANDAS?

PANDAS is short for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections. A child may be diagnosed with PANDAS when:

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and/or tic disorders suddenly appear following a strep infection (such as strep throat or scarlet fever); or
The symptoms of OCD or tic symptoms suddenly become worse following a strep infection.
The symptoms are usually dramatic, happen “overnight and out of the blue,” and can include motor and/or vocal tics, obsessions, and/or compulsions. In addition to these symptoms, children may also become moody or irritable, experience anxiety attacks, or show concerns about separating from parents or loved ones.
Avatar universal
Something's not right.  You need to examine everything, watch her reactions and found out what's causing all of this.

It seems like an anxiety problems. If she had been going to school for a while and was doing fine and just suddenly experienced this, then it's probably not separation anxiety.   For kids that can mean anything.

Do she complain of doing things "right" st home or just at school?  

Keep an open mind about possible bullying, molestation, sexual activity, isolation, marriage issues, medications she's on, a large change in her routine,  or pressure to perform well, anything that can cause stress in a child.  

Seek professional help.  
Call the police, take her to the doctor
Avatar universal
My 6 year old had the exact problems. She's 30 now and graduated Summa *** laude.Your little one sets very high standards for herself. That's good and bad. It's good she's telling and not keeping secrets. Bottom line, it's the teacher. We moved in the middle of the school year and her new teacher was awesome, kind and gentle. Turned out the previous teacher would over criticize and finger point. My daughter would panic when she tore the paper trying to fix her mistake. Then she would wait until recess to say she was sick, because the playground monitor was sympathetic. Her new teacher said " we use boo boo tape" what a profound difference a piece of tape and a gentle soul made. Get her transferred ASAP. You will end up fighting for your little one for years to come. It's easy to say "get counseling" and a lot harder to get the right counseling. Been there with mine, and that's Traumatic as well. Most important, you are listening,and she is talking. God bless.
Awesome response.. I would also like to add. Your her daddy, you are gone, so I would have to add the anxiety about you being gone & to lil ones 6 mths can be a lifetime then possibly the teacher also... Your looking at a child who may feel a need to do everything right because she may feel that is why you left. Do you see how many lil things can trigger anxieties. So, just keep comforting & reassuring your baby girl your coming home & how much her daddy loves her.. If you get a free moment, why not send her a lil note, just to her & send your wife one separately to make her feel special.. I still like your response.
Excellent advice.
Excellent advice.
Excellent advice
Avatar universal
hi. im 18now but i was the same as your kid in the past. between the age of 7-11 i guess. i was confessing all the little things. not only those which could be 'bad' but also all details of my day. like 'mum today i ate this.. and i walked to home by the right side of the path, and saw 3birds'.i feelt this urge to tell her everything so it's all clear. it was begging of my ocd. it's also very religious - related. if u are very religious u have to calm down. i was freaked out im doing smth bad and I'm gonna die in hell. also i had a lot of obligations and iwas told i need to be perfect. it was form of ocd when i tried to relize this stress. i stopped talking to my mum about details when i grew up and found true best friend. but then the stress started to clog inside me and i had much worse ocd thoughts and i was left alone with it. my num thought that it was phase and now I'm okay, but it just disappeared from her sight and started to grow inside of me. get your kid to psychiatrist so she can learn some stress relief techniques and make sure she is not oppressed by the idea of being good or perfect. make sure she knows she is loved and accepted. i hope it helps you, i wish someoonee helped me when i was in this alone. its hard and i still suffer even more severe ocd and etc so take care of her.
Avatar universal

This is exactly what we're dealing with now.
978668 tn?1248924579
I've read all the responses, I'm a child psychologist (sports) & have a 7 yr old GD with a complex past. I wanted to say about people suggesting this is normal, crying & compulsively confessing such tiny details does not fall in the catagory of "normal".
Ask yourself, does she seem compelled to mention every detail? 2) Does she seem anxious?
It sounds to me that she does, this would be more in line with OCD or PANDAS. Getting her the help she needs now will insure this doesn't stay with her and snowball into internalizing & becoming stomach aches, etc.
My GD is in 1st grade, she's very outgoing, makes excellent grades, but she's obsessed of finding ways to not go to school, she's clearly highly anxious, cries all the way to school, & last year became hysterical in class crying for several weeks. She suffers from intense separartion anxiety since she was 4 yrs old. I send a picture of myself in her sock or locket, with a "magic" spell on it that she will be home soon, that seems to help a great deal. She was in therapy but had a disruption in coverage. Her Dad, my son, is also in the Military.
Don't worry about meds, a good therapist will not be giving your 6 yr old meds over this, he/she will talk to the child while playing with toys. Mine LOVED her therapist & begs to go back! She made her feel better about her feelings, the therapist said she was very intelligent & understood more of what was going on than we realized, which I suspect is an underlying issue with your child as well. Perhaps she thinks she's in danger of losing a parent causing separation anxiety or it's a comb of genetic & stress leading to OCD type behavior. Being a perfectionist is also a sign. I wouldn't completely rule out any abuse, which can take many, many forms, but a therapist will easily identify this.
What we don't understand can scare us....leading to more anxiety. Since she seems extremely anxious, so much so that she cries, I would start there. Best of luck to you in getting this resolved ASAP & I'm sure she will grow into a awesome young woman :)
Avatar universal
I'm a Navy wife of 2 girls (22 & 27). I understand where you are coming from. My oldest would do this whenever my husband was deployed for any length of time. Military families are a very different breed.

She was "trying to be perfect while Daddy was away" We explained to her that nobody is perfect at all times. All we expected was for her to do her best. Sometimes her best was great, but she would also have times where it seemed that things were falling apart.

I also started talking to the girls most evenings about our day. I made sure that I told them things that I did that weren't perfect (got upset with the dog, kicked the washing machine, yelled about something that normally wouldn't bother me, etc) I let her see that I was not perfect. I let her see that I was sad, lonely and missing Daddy. While we were talking, for everything we did 'wrong' we talked about how it was handled and what could have been done better next time. I also made her tell me something positive for every negative. I tried to get her to focus on the positive things. We talked about some of the things that seemed really bad at the time, no longer seemed bad. We always ended on a positive note, usually laughing.

I'm proud to say that my girls are amazing adults (22 yr old has her masters & is married and 27 yr old has 2 bachelor degrees & is engaged) They have both said that they would not trade growing up in a military family & they are stronger for it.

You are welcome to contact me if you need to chat.
Avatar universal
My sister used to do this when she was little. Turns out she suffers from clinical depression and a couple of other disorders. If we had known to get her psychiatric help when she was young, her life would have been a lot easier. She had trouble for years being untreated and people just telling her she took herself too seriously. She always wondered why life seemed so easy for everybody else. Now we know and she is doing so much better. She just turned 40 and has been under treatment since 2007.
Avatar universal
I experienced this as a child. Reading this brought back a flood of memories. The intense guilt I felt, constantly, about every little thing, was overwhelming. I remember feeling that something was wrong with me. I couldnt verbilize this to my parents so I suffered it alone. The fact that your daughter is cominh to you for help is huge. In retrospect I believe I was suffering from depression and anxiety. Please talk to her pediatrician about this and get her into some counselling to help her sort through this. I wish my parents had.
Avatar universal
I have worked a lot with children, I've seen this a couple times, including w my little sister. It's fairly common,  especially in little girls who think of themselves as "good kids".
  Schools, daycares, ect, are absolutely terrified of loosing control for even a minute. Frankly as an adult seeing how kids are treated to keep them under control creeps me out.
First and foremost most of the adults your daughter interacts with view her as something to be "dealt with",controlled so she doesn't start acting like a cartoon character. nurturing is more implied by education than it is actually a priority.
My point is in school kids are treated like criminals/wild animals, and for a kid who is already well behaved this treatment is like kryptonite.
Its telling her the behavior that makes her good in her family's eyes isn't nearly good enough for society.
When her teacher flips out on the rowdy kids, oh n believe me it happens often, your daughter doesn't get to wear earmuffs for that, she sits there getting screamed at right along with kids who talk and shoot spit balls at each other like the teacher doesn't exist.  
Sounds like your daughter is a nice kid,  she cares about following the rules or upsetting people. She's got a strong sense of right and wrong and a respect for authority.  Think about what it must be like to be treated like a mini criminal when she wants to badly to be good, to do good?
My advise, save respect for rank for the military, question the **** out of that school, ALL schools! Second guess their every decision because they are NOT as "professional" as they want us to think they are.  Read up on messed up school environments. You know what's scary? When you were a kid teachers were ADULTS but as an adult, theyre just the same sort of people you went to Highschool with, and no they haven't changed much.
-I substitute in my old high school sometimes, I was an anti establishment art kid, I'm shocked by the bullies and jocks and just straight up weirdos I've recognized employed at the school, and thats just Talkin about people I know from back in school :/
If your baby girl wants to be good and wants to learn and wants to be good citizen, public school is just gonna hold her back.  Consider private schools where they're Picky about staff and curriculum. She sounds like a good candidate for home schooling actually.  Theirs plenty of youth groups for socializing,  academically public school isn't gonna do anything for her she wouldn't already want to do for herself in time    
Avatar universal
It's easy to feel like all your kids problems are your fault. It's probably a popular topic of conversation on base,  the effects of deployment on your kids and how they handle it.
Kids are all different tho. Daddy is a soldier and that's normal for her.  True she could still feel that somehow it's her fault you're gone so long,  but it's more likely something else is making her feeling stressed n anxious
We just fired a kindergarten teacher for making a point of treating the boys in her class like ****,  she's been doin it since before I was in her class,it's been a public secret for at least 26 years and she JUST got fired for emotionally abusing 5 year Olds for sport
Avatar universal
I came across this post while researching a separate topic, and don't have much time on my hands today, so I'm typing quickly. So you'll have to forgive poor grammar and capitalization. Nonetheless, I'll try to make this readable.

If I were you, I'd look up for a psychiatric specialist on Google. I.e., children's therapist, counselor, psychologist,  etc. There are also family counselors that can see you, your wife, and your daughter all at once, and teach the family as a whole how to deal with this issue.

Make  sure whatever specialist you see has great reviews for working with children. Then take her to this specialist.

Note: If you live in country that has a national healthcare system, or if you have have HMO insurance, you probably will have to call your PCP's office and ask for a referral for her to see that chosen specialist --- or you may have to schedule an appt for your daughter to see the PCP, and at the appointment with the PCP explain what is happening and ask the PCP to write a referral for you your daughter to see that chosen specialist.

The thing your daughter is dealing with -- I had the same thing happen to me when I was a girl. It can be a symptom of OCD, high anxiety, or it can be a sign of some environmental stressor(s).

Note: By environmental stressors, I mean, for example, abuse. Abuse can make kids feel shame, a feeling which children may not understand. They can begin admitting to random things or obsessing over potential wrong-doings, admitting to everything to try to get the "guilty" feeling to go away. (Hopefully if this is your daughter responding to an environmental stressor, it's a less "severe" stressor than abuse.)

This could also be a symptom of some other disorder, besides OCD or anxiety, or the effects of environmental stressors.

Either way, I've worked with a lot of kids in my life, and don't see this in most children.

But then again, I'm not a doctor. what I'm saying is based upon personal experience, second-hand experience from working with numerous children, my research over the years, and what I have been told by my therapists, counselors, etc.) I

I could be way off here. But I don't think it's worth the risk, do you? Better she sees a doctor and they say it's normal, then that you find out 15 years from now that something bad happened to her and/or she had issues, and she wasn't treated early on. (Not sure about how important early intervention is for mental illness, but I know that in the case of trauma, getting the child help early on is key to increasing her chances at a more full recovery.)  

You were right to assure your daughter that it is okay to let these things go.

Also, I want to reassure you that if something is up with your kiddo, you can know that plenty of people have OCD or anxiety or have had something happen to them can still succeed in life. (I'm a senior Biomedical Sciences Major in College now, despite that I have OCD and anxiety and PTSD from multiple forms of repeated trauma from my childhood).

Please note, though, that recognition of the problem and proper treatment are important. If you can't afford treatment, there are tips online for how parents can help their kids deal with anxiety, excessive worrying, and intense feelings of guilt.

You can find out about childhood symptoms of OCD and anxiety disorders, and signs of abuse in children on Google. More importantly, you can also find out how to talk to your children about these issues.

Remember, there's nothing "messed up" with your daughter. She shouldn't be treated like something is "wrong" with her. She's just dealing with something and needs help and needs her parents to support her and guide her into proper thought patterns.

Lastly, if you think this may be the effects of abuse, I STRONGLY recommend you Google how to talk to your child about about abuse BEFORE you speak with her. Or better yet, Google it AND speak to a mental health professional about it. How you address the situation is VERY important.

But don't Google on sites like this for anything I mentioned. Or if you do use them, take it with a grain of salt. Anybody can post on here and give bad advise that sounds great. Use legitimate sites like psychology today.

You were right to seek out help. It sounds like you care about your kiddo and want what's best for her.

Best of luck.
Avatar universal
It's OCD. Pandasnetwork.org
Avatar universal
I have OCD and was diagnosed with it at 15. One of my issues was feeling guilty.  I would admit to everything under the sun. I would become so overwhelmed and cry because even though I knew it was silly, I HAD TO admit to anyone I had a close personal relationship with even though it's the last thing I wanted to do. My sister had the same problem. I'm now 23, own my own house and have worked in human services for 5 years now. So things do get better :) if you have any questions, feel free to ask. Not only do I have first hand experience but I also support many people with dual diagnosis.
I really identify with this. Remember feeling this way when I was ten. I think it may have been OCD however, I just want to emphasize that an OCD diagnosis doesn't necessarily mean that there wasn't abuse as well. There was for me, and I believe that mental illness often develops as a result of trauma. Or the trauma creates symptoms that mimic mental illness. It's kind of a chicken or egg question. Which came first?
I completely agree with this! I was diagnosed with OCD when I was 22 but as young as 4, I used to have a severe fear of contamination, poisons, germs and would do time consuming stuff to protect myself. I sought medical help at 21 because if I didn't want something bad to happen, I had to think of every bad outcome and then worry on it constantly. I would get momentary relief by confessing personal stuff to people, even if I barely knew them, and I realized that this oversharing was going to really mess up my life. I was super resistant to trying psych drugs but when the other treatments failed, I caved and, though the first medication sucked, the second one liberated me. When I think back on those dark days so many years ago, I am so so grateful that I received such good care.

Get your daughter assessed. I found psychologists had found I had OCD traits but it wasn't ok to label kids back then so I wasn't treated young. I wish I had as my childhood memories are of being fearful and frightened. But I've more than made up for it by becoming a lawyer and having a great life.

I just wanted to add that OCD is often genetic. I have relatives with similar problems but no one likes to discuss it because "madness" is shameful. My parents even get defensive about it as though somehow they're to blame. That's just wrong headed. People don't get blamed for passing on heart disease or cancer genes so why there's no reason to get judged for having a history of mental illness in the family. Forewarned is forearmed.
Avatar universal
I never post answers but happened upon your post and this spoke to my heart because I have been there, twice.  

I am a military wife of 22 years and going.  We have four children. Our oldest did this while my husband was deployed.  I believe it to be OCD and she is quite the over achiever still.  She jumped grades, graduated and went to college at 16, and commissioned at 20.  I believe it is in part due to her being the oldest child in a military family and how she dealt with fears of losing one of us or trying to step up when dad was gone but also just part of who she is.  We have always had to work to help her relax and her siblings tease her for setting unrealistic standards.  I still hear it in her voice at times and have to talk her into allowing herself to be less than perfect.  I wish I would have sought help though when she was young as Inthink it would have helped offer her coping skills that would have eased her internal battles.

Our second did at the same age as your daughter.  For us this was about six months into a new assignment and a new school.  It turned out that he was being abused at school and it took months for him to tell me after this behavior began.  It took us several years and many tears to get through the issues this brought about.   At the time, I beat myself up for not figuring it out sooner but in retrospect, it could have been any number of issues that brought on the change in his behavior.
The sudden change in the behavior is a warning sign of something usually (but not in all cases.)

Open communication was key.  We always talked things out and even had a chair designated "the talking chair" where we could sit together and discuss anything without judgement or anyone getting in trouble.  My second wanted to visit this chair all the time and would tell me some things that were quite hard to take on my own especially with dad gone on TDYs and no family support around.  This time I had to reach out and find professional help to guide me in how to respond and care for him in this delicate situation.  (He is now a very well adjusted, successful college student who is very close to his family despite the miles between us.)

I highly recommend seeking professional help. My child would not have told anyone but me and even when he did it wasn't until he was ready to implode however, the guidance of a professional child psychologist would have helped me in finding answers sooner.  (My third child tells my friends things he doesn't always share with me, which is wildly different from the first two proving each child unique and that some respond better to others or just appreciate having a third party to talk to.)  Whether something else is going on or not, I believe it will be beneficial to you all to seek out someone for your wife and daughter to see.  

I want to stress that all four of my kids will proclaim the positive aspects of being military brats and the benefits it has had on their lives despite the challenges it brings.  You are obviously invested in your family and that's what is most important, Keep reminding your wife that you are thinking of her and your daughter.  I don't know what kind of support system your family has at home or if the following information is redundant to you but it is good to know that there are resources the military provides that may help you.  Any base chapel or family services should be able to offer resources and Tricare covers professional counseling.  On top of that most bases have a rotating MFLC and even a pediatric one (Military Family Life Consultant) through the family services center who is a professional counselor not stationed at that base (so that people can be comfortable talking with them without the fear of an awkward encounter later on base/post.). They do not report to the Med group or squadrons so people can speak with them confidentially about anything and will even meet with people out and about over coffee/at a park etc. so it is as comfortable as possible.  They don't offer ongoing care as each is there for only a few months at a time but can make a recommendation on whether something more may be going on and get you the resources to find a professional in the area.
All that being said, having been there and hearing your story, I would highly recommend  seeking reviews/recommendations for pediatric counselors in the area and get an appointment made.
I wish you and your family all the best.  Safe travels to you and positive thoughts to your family!
Kidsrock95 left a great comment!  I would also create a good relationship and communication with your daughter's teacher and school.  Let them know what is going on.  As a Kinder teacher, I work with families  helping with them with difficult times.  
Avatar universal
I would second all of the advice to get her to talk to someone if this is an ongoing issue. She could just be a sensitive child, but sometimes it's an early warning sign for other things. I had the same constant need to confess things to my parents and so did my younger brother. I can't tell you exactly what your daughter is going through but for me the confessional urges came from feelings of doom, guilt and inadequacy. It felt like a generalized imposter syndrome. Later on in life both me and my brother were diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety, which we believe is hereditary. The negative feelings and urges to confess went away once I got effective treatment. Not armchair diagnosing your daughter but it would be worth checking out.
Avatar universal
Ah, not sure if this is completely relevant, but that truly reminds me of myself.
Parents weren't around much so I was basically raised by my sister, I would cry over everything and confessed that I've done wrong until no one was willing to listen anymore.

Don't shut her out. That's the first thing you need to do. Shutting her out will likely cause the start of a pattern, inwhich she bottles everything up, which can cause a lot of trouble in her future.

I'd suggest therapy, personally. Look at her interests and see what therapy would fit her.
At the top of my head I can count atheletic therapy, therapy by music, and therapy by horseback riding - all are fit for children.

I'd also suggest getting a doctor to see if they can diagnose ADHD, ADD or any other disorder that may cause hypersensitivity, as a starter.

And, if it turns out that she has it? Support her, the whole way. Make sure she's confident that she can do the right things, even if they are hard, that she can get where she wants, through hard work.

Make sure you understand her if you want to understand her behavior.
Avatar universal
I had a similar experience when I was in Elementary school. This may not be the case with your daughter, but mine was a result of being bullied. A group of girls would point out everything I did or said wrong. If I held my fork the wrong way or said a fact that they thought was wrong, they would blatently point it out and say I was stupid for not knowing better and that's why no one wanted to be friends with me. In secomd grade, a couple of girls called me 'the girl who couldn't do anything right'. I became so self-conscious and guilty, the only way I felt I could absolve myself of my guilt was confessing every little thing I did. Things like talking in the hallway or eating my dessert before my meal. Once I even confessed to writing my name in all capital letters  Kind of like with your daughter. This behavior went away shortly after the bullying issue was resolved. Maybe this isn't the case here, but I didn't tell my parents because I thought I was guilty and was afraid of getting in trouble. They finally found out when an aide witnessed it on the playground and told my teacher who called my parents. This may be something you would want to look into. Best of luck!
Avatar universal
I also came across this while researching something else and had to stop and take a look...because this was absolutely me as a child, and I didn't realize anyone else dealt with that. For me, it was mainly OCD, manifesting in huge amounts of guilt over every thing, even when I had done nothing wrong. I would make my mom come into the my bedroom before sleeping and "confess" everything I could think of.  Please take her to a therapist. My parents didn't know about OCD or how to handle it and I suffered for much longer than I could have. Also, try not to get irritated and shut her down, it just makes it worse because there is absolutely nothing she can do to stop it herself. I'm also now a normal (ok, semi-normal ;)) productive member of society so it can definitely be overcome with the right guidance and therapy.
Avatar universal
It sounds like she suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder,pure O. I was the same!
Avatar universal
OCD!! OCD comes in many ways and I'm telling you this is OCD. Please consider going to a  psychiatrist and hearing them out. You are dealing with a mental illness that could and will destroy your child eventually and possibly your marriage. Good luck!
Avatar universal
This happened to me at age 7 and I believe it was from a sexual trauma that I blocked out but then carried this "sudden and newfound guilt" about everything in my life which still affects me today at age 40- including blaming myself for things that are not my fault- shame.  Just felt the absolute need to share this with you, for whatever it's worth
Avatar universal
She may have anxiety. I know that my anxiety can nake little things seem like the end of the world. You may want to get her help or get advice from someone who suffers from anxiety
Avatar universal
You know what no! This is vaccines and diet :( i promise. This is what I do for a living, investigate cases like these
It's actually not, I promise. The only study ever to link vaccines with neurological disturbances was found to be a multi-million dollar fraud; the lead researcher was paid by lawyers involved in ridiculous "vaccine injury" lawsuits. The paper was withdrawn and the researcher (Andrew Wakefield) permanently lost his medical license. Wakefield's results were irreproduceable, and no other such links have been found since then.
If you make extraordinary claims, be ready to back them up with extraordinary evidence (peer-reviewed, published; YouTube doesn't count). Making your claims without proof is incredibly irresponsible, especially to parents of children in infection-prone places (I.e. school). Please do some proper research, and don't spread dangerous conspiracy theories with no basis in fact. This has prevented countless autistic children from receiving the support they need; and in some cases caused them harm from BS "anti-vaccine/autism" "treatments" (e.g. chelation). Recently where I live, a 2-year-old boy died because his anti-vax parents refused to hospitalize him for meningitis; instead opting to feed him garlic and chili oil. Please stop spewing this crap
Avatar universal
When she is crying on the way to school... she is giving you to know that something bad is happening to her there.

When she is confessing everything but nothing "seems to fit"... she is unable to communicate the underlying reality.

Where do pedophiles work?  Ans. Where they can gain access to children apart from parental observation and supervision.

Where are children most vulnerable and what is the perhaps the most dangerous environment for children?  Education systems.

When she cries every day on the way to school... stop taking her there.

Stop taking her there.  Period.

And give her time and space to be able to talk to you.
Avatar universal
hey! so im a 17yr old girl and i remember when i was around your daughter's age i went through a period of time where i did this EXACT thing. i would cry and confess little tiny things i did like this. my mother took me to the doctor and we just came to the conclusion that it was essentially a nervous tic. however, i have anxiety that i was heavily affected by as a child, so your daughter could be experiencing a tic or early symptoms of anxiety. as a child i was also bullied and experienced child-on-child sexual abuse, so it's possible your daughter may be experiencing something like this. try to talk to her one on one and bring her to her doctor to determine what may be going on. best of luck :)
Avatar universal
I was diagnosed with OCD as an adult that I've had since childhood. Though I can't remember myself doing what your daughter does, I can imagine how hard it must be. My OCD is to the point where I also suffer from intrusive thoughts as well as the usual counting and such. Your daughter is fortunate to be so young. The younger to be diagnosed the better. I am on a cocktail of two medications designed to treat my OCD and anxiety as well as stabilize my mood. They are Sertraline (for the OCD) and Divalproex. They can only be obtained via prescription and may or may not be good for children. Be sure to get a proper diagnosis first. I myself suffered no side effects, but I can't say that your daughter won't
Avatar universal
Hi there,

I went through a period when I was a kid where I did the exact same thing. Even as an adult I have similar tendencies.

My confessing was at night. It started after having what was likely my first panic attack, if I recall. It was pretty bad, night after night, crying and confessing any guilty thing.

Long story short, I've got fairly significant OCD and anxiety issues. The OCD impacts, IMO, the confessing. But, IMO again, it will take some work to fix. In me, the guilt came from a really interesting mix of things which are hard to communicate in text.

Basically, I felt guilty about things I'd done because my conscience kicked in big time. But it was obsessive because I couldn't let anything go.  I think I was partially pushed to guilt by my first major panic attack and subsequent ocd symptoms, then my guilt and empathy levels skyrocketted, but the guilt and shame hit harder than any feelings in my life. (Strangely, it started after I got scared my mom would die one night, and that  I thinking about it would make it happen.) I confessed so I could be forgiven, because I couldn't forgive myself. And I couldn't live with it on my conscience, or being a bad person. But I also was being compulsively honest as a way to seek acceptance, as I felt that I needed to be accepted even at my worst - almost a way to prove if my parents (and later others) truly loved and accepted me.

The way I learned to move on was not until relatively recently. Someone I really trusted basically held me and told me that I deserved forgiveness for it all (after hearing the worst of it), that I need to learn to forgive myself and that forgiving myself is okay, that I'm not a bad person but that I made mistakes (emphasize, imo, she will never be perfect and that's okay, it happens), and that I've really not done anything actually awful. But also, this person whom I trust (the trust is important to break through the obsessive and unreal thinking), told me that this was OCD, that it wasn't real, and that I was engaging in magical thinking (thoughts controlling things they don't, ie that punishing myself or being hyper honest for bad things somehow protects me, or is super relevant). Finally though, I was at some point (I think) told I was plain selfish. That being so sad helped no one and just made others not feel good - that the past wasn't changeable, but that the future was yet to be written, and to start focusing on other people instead of just how bad ai feel. (accusing a 5 year old of being fundamentaly selfish to help her may not work properly at all).

Also, I learned to feel, instead of resist, the emotions. To process them and not be afraid of them (she may resist them as much as possible because they are scary, I find this makes them worse. Then I like to engage in positive self talk, telling myself repeatedly how everything is actually okay, and having faith in that.

In short, it may be best to get her a really good therapist who is well trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

And don't let her start believing she has control over things she really doesn't.

Cheers, hope it helped, I write this while sleepy before bed, it's likely not a perfect account of my struggles, but should be helpful I hope.

Mental health problems suck. Help her as much as you can, as soon as you can. And, IMO, still ger her to a therapist even if things Seem better now.
Avatar universal

IMO again, the prescription drugs are Not a good answer, especially in kids. She could be very helped with good parental communication, love, support, guidance, and therapy.

Natural stuff like NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine), Inositol, St. John's Wort, GABA, L-theanine, maybe Relora, are much preferable if medicine must be used. Please trust me on this, prescription meds should be a last resort, imo. And stay away from anything actually n the Benzodiazepine class of drugs, like Xanax +I believe). They are super bad for you (even changing brain composition when using at least some products in the long term),and they turn some people zombie like.
Avatar universal
I was a marine corps brat and my dad went on year long unaccompanied tours overseas when I was around your daughter and as the sensitive,well behaved middle child I had a similar reaction to what your daughter is dealing with,my dad made an innocent comment to me about making sure I was extra good and to help mommy out more because my siblings wouldnt,he made it sound like him coming home was depend on me being good so when I was anything short of perfect like maybe I told a lie while arguing with my brother or I got upset and cried when I missed my dad instead of acting like the good girl and being helpful to my mom like I promised,it was harder being a military bday when I was little because all we had was letters occasional call at the MARS station,but maybe you could set up a video chat with your wife,her,and yourself but if you can't get to the bottom of this and figure out if it something more serious than maybe say simple separation anxiety then maybe it's time to go to the FRG and see if counseling or other steps are advised?! Best of luck to you and your family and thank your for your service and your family for the sacrifices they make in order for you to serve!!!
Avatar universal
I havent read all the responses to you, so sorry if someone suggested already that you look into PANDAS (also called PANS).PANDAS is short for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections. A child may be diagnosed with PANDAS when Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and/or tic disorders suddenly appear following a strep infection (such as strep throat or scarlet fever). Often a long course of antibiotics can help. That was all we needed to help my 5 year old son. But it was a difficult & scary journey inbetween. I believe the longer it goes untreated, the harder to repair. Google it for more info. There are groups on facebook for parents, too, where you can get helpful info. Good luck.
Avatar universal
Believe it or not, kids who confess and go on and on about negative behaviors they claim to have committed are most likely witnessing a classmate get attention for bad behavior. I've worked in an elementary school now for 5 years and find when adults/teachers reward a child for negative and/or bad behaviors other kids feel left out and want more attention. They feel left out and don't like the attention the other kid gets...your child may be getting brushed off or told 'good job' then have attention moved to a child with behavioral and/or social issues.
I was a child who, like those mentioned above, felt guilty all the time about making mistakes in school, even though my parents reassured me. Unlike what foxtale states in the above post, I was not seeking attention from the teacher. Quite the opposite. I did not want to draw attention to myself when I was in the middle of what I now know are panic attacks. In talking to my elderly relatives, I learned that some of my great-aunts, now in their 90s, experienced the exact same symptoms as children. So I believe there is a genetic componet to this. We should not assume that a kid who is suffering is trying to get attention from a teacher. And I have to add that any teacher who is giving all that attention to kids demonstrating negative behavior does not know how to manage a classroom.
Avatar universal
I went through a period like this as a child, I was an army brat and my dad was SF. It started after a night where I had a complete emotional breakdown thinking that my dad wouldn't come home from deployment as we were not allowed to know where his deployments were, only when he would be getting back, and when he was supposed to be home had gotten pushed back. This led to and obsession with death and eventually I became germaphobic, not to the extremes but nevertheless I developed OCD symptoms that carried on through my life. I am now 24 getting out of the army and the only explanation I can really offer is that while being an army brat builds resilliancy, you are more prone to psychological tics due to the constant stress. Individual stressful experiences don't lead to psychological change but constant stress does. And this doesn't just come from deployments but also moving around a lot. Things that have helped me didn't come until later in my life. Ultimately a better understanding of what you do is what she needs. I didn't reach full closure on the situation until I deployed on my own. But every time my dad got in depth on the bigger picture of why he fought the bad guys my symptoms improved a little. I became stronger for it. Knowing is half the battle and that's what she needs, especially because little girls are more emotional than little boys are as children. And OCD manifests in different ways. Sorry if this response is late and long winded, but it hits home. I wish you and your daughter the best.
Avatar universal
Sounds an awful lot like OCD
Avatar universal
I am a kindergarten teacher and have seen this happen with children which the family is going through some kind of difficult time. Such as a divorce, death in the family or a deployment. Separation anxiety can look like different things to different children and families.  As a teacher, I keep close communication with the family and make sure the child feels safe at school, especially safe to make mistakes.  I usually recommend that that family seek outside help if the problem doesnt subside, such as family counseling or a church pastor or leader. Create a good relationship with your daughters teacher.   My heart goes out to you and your family.  My son has Aspergers and  being a parent of a special child and an educator, I am cautious of diagnosing a child with a firm label at 6 years old unless the tested diagnosis is very clear.  You can still get help at school and at home!  There is hope.
Avatar universal
Wow I was looking up symptoms my cat is experiencing and this was right under it. I experienced this at the age of 9 and I never knew anyone else had experienced that same thing. I didn't even know what it was, but looking back I understand what was going on with me! I like most said would feel so guilty and have to confess everything to my mom. I didn't want to, but I'd cry all day long while alone and I'd have a need to confess things. I'd sit and think all day how I was gonna say it and I just felt very guilty and weird inside until I let the confession out. I wasn't doing anything wrong, it was really little dumb things. Looking back I realize I worried a lot about things and i grew up in a stressful chaotic household. I was very mature for my age and I think I was experiencing emotions that people don't usually experience until they can make sense of them. I'm now 23 almost 24 years old and I do struggle with anxiety and depression. It's not everyday, but I do experience it and I turn to meditation and healthy coping skills to ease my mind. The "guilty phase" I went through when I was 9 went away naturally with time. I also felt a little weird inside probably until 13-14 but not everyday. My advice would to just be comforting and to let your child know everything is gonna be okay and practice some breathing techniques. It sounds stupid, but at 13-14 I would have serious panic attacks out of no where, and I'd feel like I couldn't finish my breath and I didn't know what was happening to try and practice breathing techniques. much love and I hope I helped. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who experienced this.
Avatar universal
For me this happened a little later in life. Late elementary school early middle school? I cried every night and felt so much pent up guilt for little things. They would stew in my head, I dreaded bedtime because I knew I'd need to spill all these worked up things in my head to my mom when she said goodnight otherwise I'd feel worse and cry all night until I told her. At one point I challenged myself because I didn't know why it was happening. I know now that it was anxiety attacks, and am on medication for it.
Avatar universal
I did something similar when I was a child. I learned what Hell was in church, and I was afraid if I didn't confess everything I would go to Hell. It was a real fear for a long time. I felt damned. As a child, that is very traumatic.
Avatar universal
Similar thing happened to me. It wasnt a deployment, but I had cancer from age 4-9 and was always missing a lot of school due to illness and treatment. I remember in 1st grade I was so afraid of asking my teacher a question, I didnt even ask to go to the bathroom and I wet myself. Stress from cancer, bullying because I was balf, my dad was between jobs and my mother was constantly in and out of the hospital from type 1/childhood diabetes - they may be adult problems but children understand more than we think. They, and many adults, struggle with the stress. I agree making a strong relationship with the teacher and school so they understand the situation. But I most certainly think a councilor will help at lest set a good foundation to help her understand what shes dealing with... Best of luck to you and your family and thank you for your service!
Avatar universal
She seems like she is very paranoid I see you have tried to sit down and talk to her, but if things do not start to clear up you could schedule an appointment with a school counselor or even a professional counselor for her. Second there might be a bigger problem that she might be scared or afraid to tell you.
Avatar universal
It sounds to me like she has some paranoia. I went through about three or four years of this as a kid. Every single day I was paranoid about everything. Literally. It caused a lot of stress and family problems. Later was diagnosed with OCD and bipolar disorder so I would get a mental health assessment asap so she doesn't suffer.
Avatar universal
first of all, shes only 6... I was a stepmother for over 21yrs before I divorced her dad. Its a thankless job, theres no doubt about it. You are loving someone elses child, unconditionally and in my case anyways, she acted one way with me and completely different with her dad and his side of the family. She made me look as if I was crazy. When I first met her, I was the best thing since apple pie, but when she realized I wasnt going anywhere, my shiny tarnish started wearing off... You have to remember though, she is only 6 and they do things to get your attention. It seems like she has an honest love for you the way you have told your stories about her and her mother, although you should never let her talk poorly about a parent, especially the one not living there with you (mom). It just causes problems down the road between everyone and it will hurt your relationship with her later on when she does smarten up and learns to think for herself and develops a relationship with her mom. Girls are tough, I have two boys and a girl and my boys were so easy to raise and Im not sure if it was because my daughter was only 6-7 when she found out about her dad being unfaithful and used her to see the other woman but its changed her incredibly. Shes disrespectful and rude and you would think it would be geared towards her dad but its not, its towards me and my mom. She also just turned 17, so we both know how hard it is being a teenage girl... I wish I could say it will get easier but I dont know your girls personality and I will say some of my friends do have lovely girls and Im extremely jealous but their living situation is completely different also. Just be supportive of her, dont give up and please dont take anything out on a 6yr old. Trust me it will strain your relationship with your boyfriend and any other family members he may have nearby, trust me on that! Talk to her one on one and ask her why she did what she did, tell her you arent angry for giving it to her GG and youd just wished shed told her that from the beginning so the two of you hadnt wasted so much time looking for it. If she wanted to go on an adventure together, you could find another way to have fun! I wish you all the luck and have fun with her, they do grow up amazingly fast. Thats something I lever took true to heart and now my youngest son just turned 22 a few days ago and my girl 17, 9 days before that. Id kill for all of them to be little again....
Avatar universal
I'm not sure if this issue resolved or not but it sounds to me like your daughter might have PANDAS - pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococcus (or called PANS now because they found associations with other infections too). Our son has it. Please research it. It is a neurological disorder that basically causes a hyperactive immune response which causes OCD. It can be treated! Please, please research it online. Good luck and God Bless!
Avatar universal
PANDAS is short for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections. The symptoms are usually dramatic, happen “overnight and out of the blue,” and can include obsessions, and/or compulsions. Children may also become moody or irritable, experience anxiety attacks, or show concerns about separating from parents or loved ones.
Avatar universal
I would agree. I was molested at 3 by a cousin and immediately my anxiety issues which later became full blown ocd started to happen. PTSD of sorts.  Tell her that no matter what happened do not be afraid to tell you exactly what it is and that you will never be upset with her.  Because if something did happen it is not her fault and you will take care of it. My anxiety issues started with my obsessing swallowing and I couldn't do it without water at age of 3.  Then I went into depression as early back as 5 years old.  I believe the assault only happened once; however, it puts profound guilt and this age on a child and they will carry forever unless they therapy.  It is the most difficult thing for a parent to come to grips with that their child may have been assaulted, and it makes YOU feel terrible.  But just imagine how this MAKES HER FEEL.  She cannot even understand it nor know that it was not her fault or that she did something wrong.  All positive energy and Peace and Healing to your daughter - my love to you all.
Avatar universal
Are you guys Jewish?
Avatar universal
This is classic OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) beginning to manifest itself at an early age.  When I started going through this in puberty my parents were clueless - I never heard the word "OCD" till I was a lot older and then I realized what it was that I had been suffering from.  I wasted a lot of my teenage life in excessive worrying and confessing to my mother about ridiculous stuff.  My wife had it too.  Now my son started at age 4 to have the same issues.  I'm pretty sure it is genetic and runs in families.  We got him help straight away.  Get your child a psychiatrist as soon as possible.  There are medicines and counseling which can mitigate this problem and make it go away or at least reduce it to a manageable level.
Avatar universal
OMG...what horrible memories this brought back.  My daughter started at age 4.  Confessing EVERYTHING.  Like....I broke my pencil lead at school today on purpose.  Knowing she was confessing, I would ALWAYS say, oh thats ok.  Then she would say....twice.  Again, I would simply say thats ok.  She had to confess even though she always knew my response was thats ok.  She was diagnosed w/ OCD at 10 so it was 6 yrs of hell.  She would call me every single day at 3pm after school.  My close co workers and I called it the 3oclock confession.  Meds cured her completely and she got off them at 17 and has been fine ever since.   I feel your pain.  Good luck.  
There is definitely help out there.
Avatar universal
As a EYE, i would be horrified if a child followed my instructions at the detriment of her mental health. She is very well behaved but to become unique creative individuals we are we have to break away from the mould sometimes. The school system is one of control and being controlled in such a way gave my own daughter anxiety, that was displayed by 'bad behaviour'. I try and teach my pupils that its ok to say no , or to brake a rule or even to disagree with my explanation of a topic- this makes them thieve in later life and not become a 'sheep' or be put in situations where others in higher power can take advantage. We should not be teaching them to nob their head and regurgitate 'facts' because they can pass an exam. Exams are an awful measure of ones intelligence anyway.  The worries your daughter has are not anything she has done immoral or illegal- they are simply rules the school as in pace to make it easier to control a large group of children. Try to teach her to follow her own moral rules and have her own moral compass on what determines 'good' or 'bad' actions. The fact she spoke at lunchtime will not negatively impact her later life. But the fact she had the guts to finish her conversation will leave her in good stead when but up against negative figures throughout her life.
Its ok to tell her that the school rules are silly- actually teachers like someone the steps out of the mould an challenge them daily. Impart your own family and community morals and values on her and she can make decisions in the confidence that she will have your support whatever her behaviour.
However she is very young- (to young to school in my opinion) you need to speak to her teacher about her anxiety and how its effect her perception of the school environment. Teachers should only be offering incentives like positive reinforcement to a child of that age....what 'punishments' have been suggested - or stern words said to your child for her to be so worried about disobeying them??? no child should be getting told off for being 'naughty' as no child is naughty. their behaviour is just a reaction to something in physical reality or internal.
Ask for theraplay sessions - which is fun, safe and child led (all schools should have this service on offer ---if they don't you are being failed) Ask if their emphasis is on academics or creativity, happiness and thieving emotionally. NO CHILD SCHOULD FEEL THIS WAY. if it dosent improve i would be tempted to remove her for the situation. good mental heath if paramount for future success and takes president over academia.
Ask to observe a lesson or help out at lunchtime. You never know there could be a old-school dinner lady barking orders at them. Leaving them scared to say boo to a goose and anxious.   Ask to speak to your local CAMs team and get this sorted before she has memories of distress of school that will effect her in her teenage years.
Also honestly is soooooooo common for children to feel like this at school-- do not worry-----there is nothing wrong with your child, only wrong with society. Everyones unique and if shes having thoughts and emotions that are not neurotypical, that makes her diverse which is fantastic if accommodated for by the school and yourselves. Many educational theorists have said for generations the negative impact of schooling on our children---Maybe look at a reggio emilia or steiner school approach may suit your child better.
If you want your child to be confident in what she believes, morals and have a good understanding or the world around her - try looking at Global Citizenship education activities on UNESCO website under GCE--- gave my D a real grounding and confidence in her classroom and how she relates to the wider world.

Just remember your child doesn't need to change- the school need to change to make her happy !!
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