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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dd will be 5 Tuesday.

Today, as per her request, Dh took her to the gym where they use the pool. They haven't been there in awhile and it's the second time Dd has seen the outdoor pool. I took the car, leaving them at the door, and went shopping for an hour.

When I got to the pool, Dd was huddled in Dh's arms crying. He said she cried the whole time and did not go into the pool at all. It was a bad day for me to have left the gym since they had to wait for me to return in order to leave, but it is not the first time I've left them there to go and shop. Usually they have a great time.

He noticed 'she was the only 5 year old acting like that,' and thinks she is abnormal.

Opinions? Thanks.
 

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Why was she crying? Was she tired before they got there? Has something big happened in your family lately? Has she seen something scary on TV or heard something freaky about the news?

It seems that there must be more to this story.
 

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My nearly six year old son often seems like the "only five year old doing ________." The more parents I talk to, the more I understand the HUGE range of "normal" behavior for the age.

If, upon one occasion, my five year old cried at the pool and stayed huddled in her dad's arms, I would not be concerned enough to post about it-- unless it was a typical, frequent behavior for her. In other words, if I had a general feeling of concern that my child is not quite "like" other kids her age (for whatever reason), this type of incident might serve as an example or a reminder of my worries, and I might seek advice. As an isolated incident, I say no big deal. For all you know, she may wake up tomorrow morning with a fever and a virus...and that could easily explain it. If, in fact, you do have additional concerns about dd and you're willing to share, I am sure you'll receive some additional advice to consider.
 

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Sounds to me like an isolated event. There must have been something that triggered the behaviour, even if your DD does not know what it is. If this happened to me, my first thought would be that my child was coming down with something. My son (just turned 6) will behave oddly and do a lot of crying for no reason when he is not feeling well.

Being a one time event. And this has not happened before, even though she had been in the same situation before, I would not worry at all. It could have even been something your DH did without knowing it. If my DH is doing something with my child and he inadvertantly show that he is frusterated or upset, whether or not he really is, my child can become sullen. And then DH really does get angry or embarrased, then child will begin to cry and be very adgitated. Put these circumstances in a public place where the stess of embarrassment can be high, things can become out of control really fast.

Perhaps talking to your daughter after she has calmed down will produce results. But I would not worry unless it became a regular event.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the comments. Dd is sleeping now.

This is her first nap in weeks!!! We have a number of late nights, especially because she has trouble falling asleep with the long days anyway. She often sleeps late in the morning, but sleep from 9:30-9:30 just doesn't seem the same as sleep from 8-8; her body clock doesn't like it as much.

In fact, now that I think of it, the last time he said she 'wasn't acting like other kids her age,' during an episode of crying at dinner, was also after several weeks of disrupted sleep associated with daylight savings time and summer fun (it's just hard to take her to bed when it's light when you KNOW it's going to be tossing and turning until it's dark).

This, after a double size breakfast and a double size lunch. A hungry day, maybe a growth spurt coming.

She will not say anything much about what bothered her at the pool. Dh was very frustrated, probably thinking of all the work he could have gotten done if she wasn't going to swim, and feeling stranded because I had the car. Usually he is enthusiastic about what a great kid she is and how enjoyable it is to be around her.

We have no television and there have been some adult discussions of world events, but I think that what is big in her world right now is that she is turning 5. She likes her clothes and her hiding places that she's afraid she won't fit into anymore. Even though she wants to be older than some of her friends (the older ones sometimes take over the play plan and Dd wishes she had more power in those situations), and is excited about the birthday (presents, cake), she did get a little teary eyed talking about getting bigger over lunch.

I've discussed this wanting to stay little in other threads with parents whose kids experience the same thing. It's something our homeopath uses to determine what remedy to give. She had a remedy a few weeks ago, which can make everything that can be bad, worse, while things settle out.
 

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Well, I don't think it is normal for 5 year olds to act like that all the time. I do think it is normal for them to of days/incidents of weirdness. I don't think it sounds like normal behavior for your 5 year old either. Which is even more important. So that just means there is something that needs to be addressed. something causing abnormal behavior for her.
: no big deal. and it sounds like you have already identified it. so its good to know that this was not normal for her and goo to know what causes her off-ness (is that a real word? is today. . . .) and when this behavior might be likely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Dh's point: Is Dd different from most of the other kids we see? Perhaps. She's been lovingly attachment parented all her life.

Just last week Dh was distressed to hear a woman at the story yelling to her child, shut up shut up! Yet we have encountered families who consider this acceptable, and people who are full of adages such as 'go to your room with that attitude young lady,' and 'act your age,' is the common mainstream home kids around us are likely to live in. Perhaps many other kids have been taught that expression their inner selves is unacceptable and will lead to punishment. Dd feels free to let it go when she is not feeling right, because she is accustomed to parents with strong shoulders and listening ears. We have always moved toward treating Dd in ways that feel as if they bring us all together rather than put walls between us.

There is no method of child raising that is without bumps, but in our AP home, I feel we are building something, that Dd continues to feel free to vent to Mom and Dad and this will carry over to open communication when she is a teen (I hope). I did not want to bias responders into defending AP; when I give this to Dh to read, which is why I posted, I wanted Dh to feel that people responded with as little prejudice about the situation as possible.

Comments?

Thanks again.
 

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sounds like you just have a somewhat sensitive 5 year old. my 7 year old is the same way. he's a GREAT kid... proud to say his teacher says he's the smartest in the class... straight A's. i think he's well adjusted and he gets along well with others, BUT he can be a little whiny, easily embarrassed, and at times a bit teary eyed. i think it can be perfectly normal. what's "normal" anyways?
 

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I don't think it is abnormal for a 5 year old to act like that sometimes.

My dd has done things like that when she is tired or something. She was also resistant to becomming a "big kid". She would get very upset if someone called her a big kid.

She has days where she is clingy and days where she is bold even at the age of 6.
 

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I don't think it's abnormal for a 5 year old to cry. Especially if tired/hungry/schedule thrown off. I have a nearly 5 year old who I would say is more sensitive. One of her friends' siblings can really get her goat, and she comes home crying every time. Before she goes over to play (and when she asks to go over and play) I remind her that the older sibling frequently makes her feel bad, and she has a choice to either not go, or go and risk that the older sibling will make her feel bad. Sometimes she chooses to not go (or will ask for her friend to come over by herself) but when she does, and if I can't go with her because of commitments to her brother or sister, and has the inevitable breakdown happens, I just hold her and let her tell me what happened. Sometimes she can, many times she can't. Sometimes it seems it's the dumbest thing. But to her, it's the whole world. Perhaps this is what happened to your dd? Something upset her and she can't articulate it?

(and lest you think I'm a terrible mom for allowing the older sibling to push my DD around, know that (a) it doesn't happen all the time, (b) we do limit the number of times she can go over and play, (c) I use the incidents as a teaching moment to help her resolve conflicts in her play, try to figure out how to do better next time.)

A long explanation to say, no I don't think it's odd that a 5 year old cries hysterically, even if it's a place she's been before and had a great time.
 

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You mentioned that its her birthday soon. My son was convinced that when he turned 5 he would have to give up some of his treasured toys (Rescue Heros) because he would be too old to play with them. It took us weeks to figure out why he would suddenly burst into tears. We just figured out that he has been resisting reading (he's now nearly 7) because he thought we would stop bedtime stories and snuggling if he could read to himself. Clearly, neither were true. But, sometimes kids get odd information or assumptions that really impact their emotional wellbeing.

My son, 2 years older than your daughter, even this summer sometimes resisted swimming lessons and just wanted to cuddle on the side of the pool. And he still cries over stuff that seem trivial to me, but must have more impact for him. I think that sort of emotional upheaval is completely normal, though not always supported.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
momof4peppers: no need to explain how you manage your child's play encounters - those can be complicated! Yes, seemingly tiny things can be a child's whole world.

jeannie81: we've noticed the sensitivity you refer to. The last time she was at the outdoor pool, Dd was embarassed by one of the lifeguards. I'm wondering if she got there and saw the same lifeguard on duty.

No one bit on my question, are AP kids different? Or is it just that kids are different because they span a wide range of 'normal' behavior, largely irrespective of AP or not?
 

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I think it's both....AP kids are *going* to be different, simply by the fact that AP parents are more in tune with their child's individual temperament and needs. I don't really see this happening with more mainstream families, where kids are expected to conform to somebody's idea of what normal is. We have created a safe and secure place for our children to experience and express such a wide array of emotions, and we have children who know that we respect their right to have these emotions. This isn't always the case with other families, who tell their kids to quit crying or quit acting like a baby (or the many other horribly disrespectful things that are so common).

But I do think that kids are individuals, and that their temperaments are decided before they're born. An easy-going laid-back child isn't going to "buck the system" as much as a high-needs or spirited child.

Remind your dh that what he saw was only a snippet of those other children's lives. He doesn't know how they behaved/acted later that day, or the day before, or how they'll act in 2 weeks. I read a quote recently that I found very poignant: "But when you look around at others just remember you are comparing
the inside of your family to the outside of others. Never works."

Kristen
 

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normal. I know my baby's still little but I have extensive childcare experience. Five year olds are in the doorway between little kid and big kid- they will still have their off days with temper tantrums, feeling scared, needing extra attention and love, etc. The last five year old I nannied would act this way occasionally- certainly not every day but maybe once per week or every two weeks she'd have an episode of being upset for whatever reason.
 

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I don't think AP kids are abnormal or very different because of AP.
Your dd and my dd might be different from other kids just because they are and would be regardless of parenting.
I was raised by mainstream parents and I'm different from a lot of people- including my siblings- in how I react to the world.
 
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