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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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My 6-year old acts like a baby. She talks like a baby, lays

Resolved Question:

My 6-year old acts like a baby. She talks like a baby, lays on the floor, and she also is very over-affectionate with other children and adults, she always wants to hug them and hang on to them, and tell them she loves them. It embarrases me the way she acts. She has a hard time listening to me. I don't know how to change this behavior without sounding critical. Is this typical behavior? She used to have anxiety very badly, and 2 years ago when she was about 4 I was diagnosed with anxiety and bipolar 2 disorder....did I not show her enough affection in her early years? What can I do now?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Norman M. replied 7 years ago.
To help me to help you better, can you tell me:

1. Does she sometimes act appropriatley for her age?
2. How is her schoolwork?
3. Does she have difficulty concentrating?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
She sometimes acts appropriately, but what I have seen it's more of the clingy behavior. Her school work is always done but she does it really fast. She always gets it done but she is the first one done and doesn't take her time with tasks, unless she is doing drawing at home or playing in her room. Sometimes I wonder if she has difficulty concentrating because I have to tell her things over and over and get down to her level and stare at her and repeat things. I know her hearing is OK because I've had that checked. She cant' sit still, for example when watching TV she is rolling over the couch, laying sideways, curled over on her head, has her feet over her head, etc. She just can't seem to sit still, she is always going, except for when she sits in her room and plays with her animals.
Expert:  Norman M. replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for taking the time to get back to me.

It may be that her clingy behavior is a hangover from early anxiety, but let me say right away that it's not likely that you caused it!

We humans indulge in behaviour that brings us rewards, and when the rewards stop, the behaviour changes - what rewards does she get from being clingy? Does she get cuddles when she is babylike? Does she get spoken to in baby talk when she uses it herself? Check these out, and if necessary, make sure the reward disappears, and is replaced with rewards when she acts more like her age.

Howver, there are is another issue to consider - her constant activity and apparent difficulty in picking up on what you want her to do suggest that she may, just may, be suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and I suggest that you have her seen by a pediatrician to have this checked out.

You can find out about the condition here:

Best wishes,
Norman M. and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you