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Dr. Tiye
Dr. Tiye, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 46
Experience:  As a Clinical Psychologist since 2002, I have conducted family therapy and taught parenting classes.
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I have a 6 year old daughter who just started 1st grade. She

Customer Question

I have a 6 year old daughter who just started 1st grade. She is my oldest child - she has a younger sister who is only 14 months younger than her. My 6 year old has always been my sensitive child. She is sweet, shy, caring and very bright. She and I have a special bond as I think most mothers and daughters would have. I work full-time, but whenever I am not at work, I spend my time with my girls. My 6 year old has been crying a lot lately and saying that she wants me and please don't leave her, etc... It is now starting to disrupt her sleeping and really just affects her whole day because she spends a lot of her day crying...not in a bratty, I didn't get my own way crying, but crying. Mostly if I seem like I am leavin or if she is frustruated with a situation, etc...She does cry if things don't go her way, but honestly not in a bratty way. She is overly sensitive to her younger sister if they are playing together and her sister says something to my 6 year old that she doesn't like...the tears start. It's to the point where my younger daughter says, "oh, she's crying again...why does she always cry?" I just don't know what has happened to trigger this where it did exist to some extend always, but now is worse than ever! She always loved school and she does really like schools still and does very well, but she doesn't want to leave me EVER. Trust me, I love that my daughter loves me and being around me, but I feel like it's bordering unhealthy and I no longer know how to react to her crying spurts. I've told her "crying doesn't help your problem, talking about it does", I've asked every which way if there is something she is worried about, I've tried talking about other scenarios to see if something would come out that way, I've told her to just stop crying, in an effort to be tougher and stop coddling her. I'm at a loss. She is getting worse and I don't know where to turn. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated! I just don't know if this is a normal behavior of a 6 year old and will pass or there is something wrong. She always seems to be tired as well even though she goes to be early and is getting about 10 sometimes 11 hours of sleep at night.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. Tiye replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Tiye :

Hello,

I'm sorry that your daughter is having such a tough time which is therefore impacting you. Typically when I've seen this behavior in young children something has happened that they perceive as big even if we as adults haven't given it much thought. These incidents that triger increased sensitvity can be either positive or negative. I would do I close investigation of changes in her life. I noticed that you didn't mention her father's response to this. What is his relationship with her like, have there been any changes therein? What are her thoughts about her new teacher and the kids in her new class? Is your younger daughter now going to the same school as her? Has your stress at work or elsewhere increased? What significant changes (good or bad) happened this summer, was she is camp or away with family? How does your oldest daughter perceive your relationship with your youngest.....as they get older have the ways you all interact together and seperately changed significantly.

It may be helpful to talk to her about the changes and then brainstorm other coping skills besides crying. Ask her to draw, write, collage, sing about, or act out her feelings. Also help her to discuss the advantages vs. disadvantages of crying (i.e. extra attention vs. frustration from her sister). I would also conference with her teacher about how she copes with frustrations and disappointments in class. I hope these reflections help. Please ask me any other questions so that we can move towards a resolution of your daughter's intense sensitivity right now. Although it may just be a phase, working through it as oppossed to ignoring it is still important.

Dr. Tiye :

Hello, have you been able to try any interventions with your daughter. How is she doing this weekend?

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