I'd love to hear your thoughts on my 10 year old and her intense need to know what's happening with our daily activities. It's been kind of driving me nuts all summer and now other family members are noticing, which got me thinking that maybe I should look into it a bit.
Basically, DC obsesses over what we're doing each day, what we're doing next, when we're doing what, what it will be like and etc. She recently remarked that she's looking forward to going back to school so she will know what's happening each day. We've basically done fun things every day all summer long so it's not as if there is something she needs to dread.
Because of the nature of this summer with family visiting, needing to stay flexible for the needs and wants of younger children and guests, it is difficult for me to tell her exactly what's happening each day. She also tends to want to hold me to what I say, which makes me reluctant to tell her if I'm not sure.
Also, she seems to be preoccupied with what's happening next. She can ask a hundred times when we're going to the zoo and (it feels to me) as soon as we get there, she's looking for the next thing. I will admit that it's kind of annoying.
I have found myself wishing that she could be "in the moment" more.
I have been attributing this to just the difference in lifestyle from the school year (she attends traditional school) to the lax flow of the summer. I also think she may have a case of what I call the summer gimmies (where you get so much stuff and get to do so much stuff that you come to expect "stuff" all the time).
But now I'm wondering if there's more to it - perhaps there is some developmental stage that can help shed some light on what's going on. I'd love to hear if any of your older children do this, if you know of any developmental issues that may be going on and any tips you have for dealing with this.
I've seen kids that are a tad anxious do this. They feel less anxious if they can control what is coming next. To its extreme it's kind of like OCD, but on a mild level can be connected to a stage of just wanting to have more predictability in life. My 7 year old does this to some extent. When my oldest was young he did it a lot. Now he is totally laid back and hates to plan ahead!
I do try to remember to keep her updated with what's going on, how long I'll be out if I go out, where I'm going, etc... I also tell her if my plans are tentative and if they might change. Again, I tell her no fits if things change.
She's actually a lot better than she used to be.
I'll add that my dd1 will often be asking about what we're planning when there are things she has in mind she'd like to do, but doesn't feel comfortable telling me (like she wants to watch a movie, but knows she isn't supposed to do that without permission - and doesn't want it interrupted by other stuff we might have planned that would just make it disappointing). Just in case something like that might be impacting why she is asking so often.
One thing my dd also really likes to do is make her own little list for the day of stuff she wants to do plus a few things I have for us to do, and then she'll just go through the day easily and always with something to do and something else to do next (she did this in school too this past year and really liked it. I think it helps her feel more in control of how she does things, even when they're things she doesn't want to do - so chores she really hates and puts off have even gone smoother when we make sure to add them to her list with all her other stuff: make bed play with dolls, climb tree, water garden, sweep kitchen, etc). So that might be an idea you could try out.
Thanks to you all for your input! It really helped to hear what your kids do, what you do and stuff. (sorry for the short response - I'll write more soon...gotta get some sleep!)
Ok, I'm back...
I really appreciate you all bringing up the issue of anxiety. My DC isn't especially anxious - I don't tend to think of her in that way BUT she does have some tendencies that way. The issue has pretty much stopped now that our summer fun has dwindled down.
As frustrating as this issue was -- it was great dealing with it (or not ) because we hadn't really done much to help. We weren't in one of those "tried everything we can think of" situations. I agree that a calendar would have really helped. Not to make excuses but now that we do so much online, a family calendar doesn't seem to take off that well. Maybe I can do some sort of hybrid where I print the family Google calendar.
Anyway, thanks so much for sharing with me!
My DD is a little bit like this and our family calendar helps her. I keep general things on the calendar (camps, events, etc.) and refer her to that when she asks about stuff. List making is also a great idea - the things she wants to accomplish in a day or week.
It also drives me a little bit crazy so I tell her she has to wait x amount of time before she asks again, or she can ask "how much longer?" two more times before we arrive somewhere.