My oldest is six as of a couple of weeks ago. She's always been a little sensitive but a happy girl who made a lot of friends. Her favorite person was my mother in law, who she calls Mimi. She slept over there a lot since she was two.
We moved out of state about 2 months ago and things have changed. She has gotten very quiet at times and serious. We're still in driving distance of our old home (3 hours) so we go back to visit and Mimi offers to keep her for a weekend and she says no. She used to spend half the week there sometimes. My boys 2 and 4 do stay at Mimi's some weekends and not having the same issues. She doesn't like me to leave the room too much even. I know she's been wanting to make friends, and where we live now, I teach a dance class so she's sort of friends with the girls in class so that's been helping. She's going to kindergarten in a few weeks at her request.
She used to eat up attention from people...and where we moved, people who work at businesses fall all over her trying to talk to her but she stares at the ground and becomes really quiet. We have tried asking her if there is something bothering her. If she likes our new place. If she's scared. She says no or she doesn't know if something is bothering her and yes she likes our new place and then she'll become angry if we ask too much and yell, "I DON'T KNOW, OKAY?"
This is only a portion of the time. The rest of the time she's fine, laughing, happy, playing with me...the other part of the time it's like a major personality change. I don't like her looking so depressed.
I just wondered if this is a phase, since this is my first six year old. Has anyone's child gone through this after a move? Anything I can do to figure this out or should I just let her be.
it sounds like she is just struggling with the change. Maybe she wants to like it but wants to like where she was, maybe even feels like she'd prefer to be there but feels obligated to like where you've moved her to and in many ways does. So she feels torn. Sometimes kids think things are only either/or and they feel compelled to chose a side. If this is sort of what she is feeling, your question are probably making her feel pushed into a decision that she doesn't want to make yet. I say give her time. It should pass, and when it does she will feel comfortable staying over at Mimi's too.
Depression at 6 is very common. I don’t think much is written about it, but i see this in soooo many children.
She is also on the verge of a conscience change. so it can be developmental.
And as CM said change is also taking its toll.
Keep an eye on her to see if this is indeed a phase or something more.
I think there is a wee bit of separation anxiety going on too. Some kids do have this too. Could be related to the change.
I would have increase physical touch with her. Give her more one on one time. Spend a little more time at bedtime if you can manage it. Give her lots of surprise hugs. Tell her you love her. Make observations. I really appreciated you doing so and so for so and so.
They are very perceptive at this time too so be careful you are true to yourself too. They at this time pick up more of the unsaid than the said. So if you feel concerned but you say you are fine she will KNOW you are not. So its OK for you to share your emotions too. Be honest. I have shared with my dd that at times her actions doesn’t make her desirable company for me. I still love her but dont like her action and so want to stay away from her. Want a time out myself.
Well today was a tough day, she had given me several stern looks when I was trying to take her picture earlier.
Tonight we had a breakthrough in what is bothering her. After months and months of this big mystery. I feel a bit foolish for not mentioning this earlier but I had no idea it was this. Right before moving she had to have a dental procedure done. She was put under in the hospital and needed six(!) crowns. They said her teeth are really close together causing decay more than someone who doesn't. When they put her on the operating table I had to hold her as she cried reaching for me as they put her under. She came out of it very miserable, groggy and shivering as well as a lot of crying. This was in May and we moved in June. It coincides from the time of surgery that her behavior did change. She told me tonight that it makes her scared, upset and angry that it happened. She said school helps her forget about it temporarily. She was fighting back tears while telling me. She said she is scared that ant time I leave she could have surgery again. I tried to explain I was sorry I had to take her for the procedure and it was what we thought was best and it happened once and doesn't mean it will happen again. Anything else I can do to help her feel secure again?
actually OP you cant really “DO” anything. This is one of the things she has to go through herself to figure out everything will be OK. Its an illogical fear and this is the age for it.
I would say keep repeating the mantra - i am here, i am here. I am not going anywhere except to run errands.
To be very honest with you i prefer anger to sadness. Does she get V. Frustrated when she gets angry and collapses into tears? THAT is a good thing. Because it leads to actions. Those tears help all that emotion get out of the body. It kinda washes things away. Very healing. Sometimes my dd had to take a little nap as the crying and emotions exhausted her so much.
We've walked out on countless dentists because they wanted to 'put my kids under', and we said no. Through lots of bribery and prompting, they both had crowns put in with just novacaine. It was hard, but it was their decision (sort of, I think they were 4/5). I can totally understand dental/surgical fears. I put off having wisdom teeth removed for about 10 years due to anxiety.
" rel="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/familybed2.gif"> DD1 12/05, DD2 12/08
Computer Engineer- I write better in 1's and 0's. ;-)