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Child Anxiety

My daughter is 7 yeards old and is having a terrible time in school again this year.  Her father and I divorced when she was 3 and we share custody.  She wants to be with ME ALL THE TIME.  She will not take a bath alone (as long as i am in the room), she will not sleep alone, she cries when she goes to school and all day in school, she worries about  everythin g(red-tide in the ocean, fruit having a virus) she worries that she will get left a school.  She will not go on play dates with friends, stay at her girl scout meetings, she will not even spend the night at her grandparents house with out me.  And she only does this with me....no one else.  She cried for 5 weeks when she started KG, didn't do it much in 1st grade, but now beginning 2nd grade, it's starting all over again.  She cries so much in the mornings that she tells me her heart beats so fast she thinks she's going to have a heart attack, she pukes, un-controllable crying.  She got sick at school on the 4th day and the nurse called saying she may have strep.  I took her to the dr., had her tested twice for strp and both tests were negative...she was so upset because that meant she had to go back to school and not stay home with me.  Not sure what's going on because i have never been a stay at home mom anyway, although she did stay with her grandmother as an infant while i worked and gets to stay home during summers too.  Wondering if i should increast social activities for her or what to do.  I am at a loss....this is the hardest thing i have had to deal with and i don't know what to do!
3 Responses
134578 tn?1602101550
Talk to a children's therapist.  I don't think this high of a level of anxiety will be alleviated by more social activities.  She wants you, what can you do to be more available, or are you at your limit?  
973741 tn?1342342773
Hi there.  Oh, I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter and how bad she is feeling.  Anxiety feels awful.  Even when we don't understand the root cause of the anxiety or have any idea what it is, it feels terrible.  

I also understand it from the point of view of mothering a child through this.  First of all, it concerns you.  We all have deep down worries about our children being 'okay'.  But also, we are people too and that feeling of someone gloming onto us is . . . well, frankly, annoying sometimes.  We need to breath for a second and that is hard to do when someone is holding onto us for dear life.

I would guess that your child has instability issues.  I'm sure you guessed that too.  I don't know if that is the trigger for what you are seeing or not.  It very well could be.  Sometimes a child will also find something that 'works' and stick to it.  It gets reinforced as we develop a pattern with them around that behavior.  There could be a little of that too.  Children are just like adults as well in that they can have chemical issues within the brain that relate to anxiety symptoms.  

I would absolutely consult a child psychologist at this point.  This could be very helpful. I'd talk to your prediatrician and get a refferal and get this lined up as soon as possible.

In the mean time, I agree that social outlets are not what this child is seeking.  She is looking for security.  Play dates not good outside her house, have them at yours and stay involved.  I personally do this any way as 7 year olds (I have a 7 and 8 year old, both boys) need help at times with play dates anyway.  So, you stick around but let her play with a friend at your house to keep her friendships going.  I'd go to the girlscout meetings and stay there.  Honestly, my boys are in cub scouts and it is a parent child activity.  A parent stays with every kid at meetings.  I know as a former girlscout, that isn't always the case with girlscouts----  but explain to the leader about her anxiety and that she'd feel better if you stay.  

Scool is stressful for her right now.  Don't add anything new into it right now.  

Seek help with a therapist and work on this anxiety and coping skills for her.  good luck!!
134578 tn?1602101550
Another thing is, you commented that she only does this with you.  Sometimes kids feel too much in existential survival mode to show their fear to anyone else, but they feel safe enough with their mom to reveal it.  Please don't take it that she is being somehow worse with you than with others, it might mean that you are the only place she feels safe to open up.

Good luck.
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