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Disturbed Granddaughter

(44 Posts)
Lyndiloo Wed 04-Mar-20 02:14:10

Mt granddaughter is six, and has been at school for 17 months now. She really loves school and has no problems, and she is doing well in all the subjects.

However, for the past three weeks she has been crying every day, saying she doesn't want to go to school. She wants to stay with Mummy (who works full-time). She has been crying throughout the school day too. The school has been fantastic - having somebody sit with her all day, checking that she is not being bullied, etc., but this behaviour is still continuing. All she will say is, "I want my mummy."

My daughter is at her wit's end! This is upsetting her so much.

She has taken her to the doctor's, to make sure that there is nothing physically wrong with her, and after an examination, been told, 'She's fine, nothing wrong.'

My granddaughter has always been bad at sleeping, waking her parents up throughout the night. (Which makes them very tired too.)

My daughter and son-in-law adopted a little boy 15 months ago. (He is 3 now.) He's a lovely little boy, and my granddaughter has been wonderful in the way that she has accepted him, and she seems to love him very much.

Has anyone been through something similar? Advice please.

welbeck Wed 04-Mar-20 03:25:44

has there been anything in the curriculum, or seen on tv, about illness, catastrophe, or death, even of an animal.
i once heard of a little girl who was quite happy and then suddenly refused to go to bed, or to sleep when in bed.
eventually she cried out to her mother, no i dont want to die.
her mother asked her what she meant.
a sunday school teacher had helpfully explained that death was nothing to be scared of, indeed it was just like falling asleep...

BlueBelle Wed 04-Mar-20 06:45:22

Do you think she’s picked up any news about the corona virus and frightened to leave mum in case she’s not there when she gets home
If she’s fit and well and not bullied it must be words that have freaked her Unless your daughter can gently talk to her and find a clue I can’t see what you can do except sit it out

GagaJo Wed 04-Mar-20 07:04:46

Lots of mummy and daddy time when she's at home. Gentle talk to see why she feels like that. If it is sudden onset, I would be worried and want to check nothing is going on that her parents don't know about.

Gymstagran Wed 04-Mar-20 07:33:04

Does the school have a counsellor? My granddaughter went through something similar but in different circumstances. The school counsellor was brilliant allowing my granddaughter to talk about anything she wanted and it really helped.

vampirequeen Wed 04-Mar-20 07:46:31

Like Bluebelle suggested, it's possible she's heard about the corana virus and because of massive panic coverage she's been affected by it...maybe on a subconscious level.

Dancinjay Wed 04-Mar-20 07:59:37

At around the same age my daughter started behaving similarly. Then one day she came home from school with bruises on her arm. It turned out that the teacher had taken exception to her and frequently put her in isolation outside the heads office for hours at a time. We think the bruises were caused by the force said teacher used to escort her to the corridor where she was expected to complete work she didn't understand. Not saying this is the case here -but please investigate.

Liz46 Wed 04-Mar-20 08:08:46

One of my daughters is a trained counsellor and volunteered in a school for a few years. There was a separate room with toys where she could play with the child whilst having a 'chat'.

grannypiper Wed 04-Mar-20 08:22:17

Maybe she needs what she says she wants ! Maybe she isnt getting enough 1:1 time with her Mum. If Mum is working full time and has a younger child, just how much time is your DGD getting with her Mum on her own ?

GrannyLaine Wed 04-Mar-20 08:54:04

Lyndiloo I do sympathise. A couple of my grandsons have gone through similar spells for no apparent reason and it is heart wrenching. There may be not much at all that has precipitated this other than perhaps not enough sleep for the child and her parents. And while she may love her new sibling, as grannypiper rightly says, there may be some anxiety there. I do hope that it passes quickly and its good that school seems to be handling the situation with sensitivity.

H1954 Wed 04-Mar-20 09:05:25

I agree with grannypiper, it certainly looks like this little girl, having had mummy all to herself for some years, is now realising that she has a little brother and also has to go to school. That special time she had with mum is being disrupted by life and circumstance. Maybe mummy could set aside special time, doesn't have to be long, to be with the child each evening; perhaps her bedtime could be slightly later than the younger child. Also, maybe me special "girly" time at weekends, just an hour or so every now and again to reaffirm their relationship?

sodapop Wed 04-Mar-20 09:09:20

I agree with H1954 your granddaughter's life has changed now she has a sibling and this has left her feeling insecure. Lots of reassurance needed and time made for her alone. I hope things settle down soon Lyndiloo

lemongrove Wed 04-Mar-20 09:12:59

Good post H1954 I agree, definitely worth giving that a try.

lemongrove Wed 04-Mar-20 09:14:25

Also Lyndy could it be that her best friend is now somebody elses best friend ( my DGD had a similar problem.)

Luckygirl Wed 04-Mar-20 09:24:10

My DD went through something similar - she would glue herself to my side and follow me round the house.

It turned out that she had read "Charlotte's Web" in which a mother spider dies. It sparked off the realisation that I would die one day and she wanted to stay near me. Once we realised what the problem was we were able to talk about it.

The problem of course is that we are often playing a guessing game in these situations. This little girl is saying she wants her Mummy - and in the circumstances maybe this should simply be taken at face value. Her Mum works full-time and has a new toddler to deal with - that only leaves a small amount of time for the little girl - time when Mum is pretty exhausted I would think!

Could your SIL make regular time to spend with the little boy while your DD takes DGD out? - if she can find the energy!

Deed5y Wed 04-Mar-20 09:57:54

As a child, I used to hate being away from my mother and would cry if expected to be away from home, even though I enjoyed school. The reason I would be so upset was because I felt I was letting my mum down if I was not with her and that she would be upset without me..... illogical, but the mind of a child. Maybe she needs her mum to reassure her that she enjoys her time at work and is really happy, but also happy when they get back together. A release from the worry for the little girl.

Bluecat Wed 04-Mar-20 10:06:26

Upsets at school are often to do with friends. If she is feeling hurt or lonely, the need for Mummy becomes overwhelming. I would try to find out whether there has been any disruption in her friendship group.

jenpax Wed 04-Mar-20 10:28:48

Like others the first thing that struck me was the arrival of a sibling, you say the little boy arrived 15 months ago and DGD has been at school only 18 months so after the initial settling in and excitement of a new baby in the family she is starting to feel the difference to her life from when she was a preschooler.
My youngest DGD is also 6 and has never settled well at night she also had a wobbly phase after she started school (about 2nd term) but she didn’t have the added changes at home as well, however by and large she has now settled well into school life and I am sure that the same can be achieved with your DGD with time and support

M0nica Wed 04-Mar-20 10:48:20

I am another who thinks that the corona virus may be the cause of her fright. Half heard things from tv or just conversations completely misunderstood..

During the Iraq War teacher friends of DH said they had children in school weeping and crying because they thought they and their school were in imminent and real danger of being bombed and everyone killed by Saddam Hussein. This in a rural village in Berkshire.

Children half hear and half understand what is going on in the world around them.

lizzypopbottle Wed 04-Mar-20 10:58:13

My five year old grandson came home several times with wet trousers. As a former KS1 teacher, my immediate reaction was 'Big boys in the toilets!' A toilet visit buddy was appointed and the problem stopped. Bullying can't always be seen. It can be subtle. It's not always physical. It can be words. Teachers are so incredibly busy that they can't see everything. This sudden problem really does sound like bullying is going on, as yet unseen. The obvious question, "Is someone hurting you?", could also include hurting your feelings, being unkind to you, saying nasty things etc. It's worth investigating further.

CleoPanda Wed 04-Mar-20 11:01:22

If no school counselling, Is there a teacher at the school who could spend a little time playing and talking with her? As others have said, it could be something really simple that has upset her - a half heard comment, a misunderstanding, a worry that her mum is unhappy in her job, a panic that something is going to separate her from her mum. If not a teacher, another friendly person who might gently coax some info from her?

Debs551964 Wed 04-Mar-20 11:34:42

It could be a combination Of Many troubling things going on In the world right now. Children have such incredible imaginations. Or perhaps something misinterpreted at school or half listened from older kids/cousins friends kids can be thought of differently and blown so out of proportion in a child's eye.
It's hard being a child in this troubling world. Add to this the novelty of a new brother which she probably didn't understand the impact to her precious time now split for her time with mummy (realisation now setting in Bless her).
My point is who knows what goes through our childrens/grandparents minds? It may even be as one Gran suggested, her best friend has found a new best friend? Small things to us are huge things to little ones.
Be patient I'm sure it will blow over but if not go to see your GP and get her someone to help talk about her feelings maybe?
I hope it settles down with help and time. We're all here for you at tgis worrying time 🤗😘❤️

Debs551964 Wed 04-Mar-20 11:35:54

Sorry for misspellings! 🙄

Seefah Wed 04-Mar-20 11:44:00

30 minute mummy cuddles in the evening and a gentle probing like you don’t seem too happy. With my daughter at that same age it was a 6 yr old boy who kept lifting and looking up her skirt and talking about her nice bottom !

Patsy429 Wed 04-Mar-20 11:48:46

I remember my young daughter being so upset about going to nursery after being very happy for over twelve months. It was a time when I was taking my mother for regular chemotherapy treatment. One day I took her with us to the hospital to show her where I was and showed how I usually sat in the café waiting for her grandmother. She enjoyed her morning and from then I always bought her a nice cake or sandwich home from the café. No more problems at nursery.

The point I was making was I wonder Lyndaloo if you would be able to take your daughter perhaps one morning or afternoon to work with you so your little girl knows where you are actually going.