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Posted by: Cindy | 2018/05/15

Troublesome 7 year old

My daughter is almost 7 and life with her is getting tough. Her preschool teacher tried to blame her high energy on ADHD but I had her evaluated by a psychologist and psychiatrist and she was diagnosed to be 100% normal, happy child. 2 years of preschool (from age 4 - 6) went relatively well. No crying...she loved it. There was bully in her class who was never reprimanded properly for hitting and biting. My daughter was his Nr1 target. DESPITE this, she loved playing with the other kids. Now, Grade R (or 0). In September school started and by the end of her first month of school, we encountered a serious medical problem (blood in her urine...no infection). Since this initial instance, she has been up and down to doctors, tests, and the works. She was not allowed to continue sport (basketball and karate) and I just about held her hostage for 6 months straight. She was not even allowed to run around or she would urinate blood. Between all the tests, needles, and stress as well as not having a life, I feel like she has become increasingly frustrated. She is super bright and she reads, writes, and does maths really well. The problem is that she just does not WANT to participate anymore and she is becoming very stubborn. Today she gave her teacher an ugly look and she has NEVER done this before. I feel so lost. I've tried to be the soft mom....the stern mom....I've tried taking away privileges...nothing seems to have any effect. Is she suffering from a lot of built up energy from being so restricted? Is she suffering from lack of social interactions because we have not been able to take her to the park as often as we used to? I'm desperate to remedy this and I was wondering if it would help if I take her out to play at the park more often. I'll try anything - I feel like an empty cup at this point. I've given my family everything I have and I don't have anything left. I also suffer from depression so I really need to get things running smoothly or I fear that I will slip back into those bad thought patterns and habits. Any advice is appreciated...I'm not sure if you specialise in child psychology at all but I figured I'd give it a shot. Thank you!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2018/05/24

Hi Cindy,
Firstly, I'm sorry that someone, I don't know who, has caused needless delays in putting your question to me, so I can answer it. 
For various reasons, teachers ( who are not trained as expert diagnosticians ) tend to over-diagnose ADHD.
Sometimes we find that people, especially children, respond to an illness that limits their freedom to roam and play, by becoming more stubborn and controlling whatever bits of life they can control.  And kids often have an inspiring realization that saying NO, being oppositional, is usually a more powerful position than going with the slow and saying Yes.
Some thoughts.  Taking away privileges might not work. ( her illness already did that, didn't it ? ). One can have more success with the old technique of picking the issues. Instead of entering an argument about whether or when he'll get dressed,  you set up an argument about WHICH dress she'll out on, the red one or the green one, picking two both of which suit you. Help her to be stubborn about the right things.
Also, surely you have discussed this with her, calmly : what does she think ?  Does she think anything is less than perfect ? Why does she think other seem to be any problems ? What does she think would help ? Does she feel restless, and needing more chances to exercise ?  Is it possible she is in some way worried about you, and reluctant to leave you alone ? Don't blame yourself ; you didn't create this or any such problem, deliberately.
And it might, indeed, be worthwhile having her see a child psychologist, for a fuller assessment, and more detailed advice ?

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