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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4850
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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My child is ten years and 10 months old. She is very matured

Resolved Question:

My child is ten years and 10 months old. She is very matured for her age. I am worried about the fact that she tells some of her classmates that we, her parents are very unkind to her; we are not her real parents. Recently she told one of them that she was forcefully married off when she was a child! her class teacher has also noticed attention seeking behavior in the class with her and other students. She has a lot of anger which she displays at home but not in school. One more thing she got her menstruation at the age of 8 years and physically her body has matured quite fast. Please tell me how I can help my child.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 9 months ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello

Dr. Z :

I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that your daughter has been telling these stories and having this level of anger at home

Dr. Z :

I agree that most likely her advanced maturity level for her age is contributing to this, which is why she is acting out at home with anger because she is seeking independence even though she is still very young.

Dr. Z :

How long has she been telling these stories at school for?

Dr. Z :

Also while in school, would her teachers describe her as a good student?

Customer:

Once when she was 7 plus she had told some of her class mates that we have kidnapped her and we are not her real parents! after that she had stopped. Now that we have to another country and she started a new school late last year she mentioned to some of them last year and then just a month ago.

Customer:

Yes, her teacher says she has no problems with her academics. She is good, sometimes very good.

Dr. Z :

Does your daughter have any issues with focusing and concentrating? Also does she have a difficulty to stay on a task?

Customer:

No, not really. Some weeks ago she was very upset with one of her classmates who she happened to be close with until their recent fall out; that girl had been telling things about my child, so one day my child went to the school toilet and wrote the name of that girl and another boy from school! which really worried me. Of course she confessed to me on her own after few days otherwise I wouldn't have known about it. And until she shared with me I noticed she was complaining of headache.

Dr. Z :

I see, well to be perfectly honest I think there is nothing wrong with your daughter on a psychological level in terms of a disorder. I think what is the most likely culprit here is that because she matured so fast physically (menstruation at 8 years old), her emotional maturity level is still behind as she is 10 years old, so her physical characteristics and hormones are pulling her in one direction and her current level of emotional maturity is pulling her in another direction. This occurs commonly with girls as they mature faster than boys, so it usually takes some time for the emotional maturity to catch up to the physical maturity. But one thing that can be done to hasten this process is to see a child psychologist/therapist to help her balance her emotional maturity and better understand her physical changes that are currently going on

Dr. Z :

A therapist can help her understand and express her emotions in a more appropriate way. For instance for the anger issues, I use this worksheet with patients her age to help her express her anger in a more assertive and appropriate way instead of in an uncontrollable way that lashes out at you and others in the home.

Customer:

Thanks for the suggestion. Why do you think she would say things like she was forced to get married when young? I do realize that she is conscious of her physical growth and for that reason she doesn't swim with her classmates. How can I as a mother help her with her emotional situation?

Dr. Z :

Well because she is telling these stories, it could be for a variety of reasons. Many children that tell these lies/stories is because they are self-conscious, and that is the case here. Many children do so as a coping mechanism to help with their self-esteem, but obviously this does not work and it makes things worse. This is why a child therapist can help her develop a proper coping mechanism to help her deal with these self-confidence issues that she is currently having.

Customer:

You are right, she also wants to go away to a boarding school or stay away from me for a year and study in another country so that she can learn to be independent. At the same time if I am out of the house for few days on work she is very sad and wants me to return home soon.

Dr. Z :

A good way of helping her is to try to help her see the positive and objective view of things because right now she has a negative perception of the world and herself somewhat too. So by reinforcing objective/positive view points will help her see herself and the world in this way too

Dr. Z :

Yeah she is confused right now, which is normal for what she is going through and a child therapist can help her put things in perspective and help her understand better what she is going through and what she is feeling

Dr. Z :

This is also a technique I use with patients called a thought record. It will help her keep track of any negative thoughts she has. She puts the negative thought on paper, the emotion accompanying, the evidence to support it, and the evidence against it. Then I want her to come up with an alternative thought for the situation (more objective and plausible). This will help her change her way of thinking to be able to think more positive and not automatically go to a negative type of thinking.

Customer:

What should I tell my child when I take her to a child psychologist? she is too smart for her age and I don't want her to feel "labelled" in any ways.

Dr. Z :

Well you can tell her that the therapist is just someone there for her to talk to about anything and that you think this will be good for her independence to talk to someone else about anything she chooses.

Dr. Z :

Like I said she does not have anything psychologically wrong with her, so there are no needs for a label, but therapy is meant to help her, so be positive about it and help her see it as something that will be a benefit for her independence and intelligence.

Customer:

Thanks. The worksheet and thought record that you have shared, could that be used by a lay person like me?

Dr. Z :

Yes it is very easy to use by a lay person, that is why I recommended them and gave the short explanations for them too, but they are very easy to understand as well.

Dr. Z :

I use them with all my patients and they are very helpful

Customer:

I would like to ask you one more thing please. Taking my child to a therapist, does it usually take several weeks or months before a child can start becoming stable. The reason I am asking is because currently, I live in a country where there are no child therapists. So I will have to take her or be with her in a country where there are good child therapists.

Dr. Z :

Yes unfortunately therapy is a gradual process and she will slowly get better with therapy, over time. If there are not therapists for children in that country, you may want to try online therapy or E-therapy as it is sometimes called, where she can do that from her computer.

Customer:

Do you think she needs immediate help? or could I start with your worksheet and thought record?

Dr. Z :

You can start with the worksheets, and I will also like to recommend this Therapy book designed for Children as well that you can use too before going to a therapist.

Dr. Z :

I do not think your daughter is in need immediately and I think her emotional maturity will get on par with her physical maturity in time, it just needs to play catch-up. I just recommended a therapist to help hasten the process for you and your daughter.

Dr. Z :

Also this one is good too.

Customer:

Dr. Z, you have been a great help in reducing my worries. I have been worried sick thinking my child has some serious emotional and behavioral problems. I shall follow your advice. Many thanks.

Dr. Z :

Anytime, I am always happy to help and it is perfectly natural to be worried about your child, but I believe that she will be just fine with these techniques. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.

Customer:

I will do so. Many thanks once again.

Dr. Z :

You are most welcome :)

Dr. Z :

Before you sign off though, I would very much appreciate if you could rate my performance in helping you so that I can get credit for this question. Thank you very much

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4850
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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