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Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:13 pm
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This is going to sound really weird but its starting to really weigh on my mind.

My 5.5yo is obsessed with growing up and being older and not being 5.5 and basically being anything and anyone other than what/who she is.
She asks me every day when she can get her ears pierced, have a sleepover, get a tattoo, dye her hair, buy a bra, when will she get boobs, be allowed a boyfriend. I have "decided" ages for all these things (obv not the boobs one) but she is constantly upset with my answers.

This isnt something new either. For about the last year, she has become obsessed with her
appearance, her clothes, hair. I gave her some vaseline for her lips when they were dry and she still dabs it on going out. She has to carry a handbag and gets upset when she has to wear a coat or a raincoat. She looks in the mirror all the time and sometimes wants to change her clothes 4 or 5 times a day. She gets desperately upset if anyone comments on someone elses appearance and they dont say she looks nice.

She always comments that someone doesnt like her and seems very concerned about what others think of her. She can be very confident talking to new people on her terms but will be painfully self-concious in groups of her peers. She wanted me to stay for ages with her when she started summer school, every morning she was nearly in tears but was fine after I left.

I've tried to tame the appearance down by hiding party clothes (sequin leggins and silly shoes) etc and by not painting her nails anymore (i only do it as a treat). I tell her to stop looking in the mirror and have explained "vain" and tell how lovely she is when she smiles and is happy. I just want her to enjoy being FIVE and being mucky and wearing crazy clothes and messy hair and do the things 5yos should do. When we were on holiday she seemed to relax a bit and enjoy being 5 and eating icecreams and getting sand everywhere but she regressed the minute we were home.

I try all the time to get her to play with children her age (school friends etc) but all the kids around the area are a couple of years older than her as are her cousins and she always compares herself to them. but these girls are all very chilled and very unconcerned with appearance or what others think. She keeps saying she wants to be older, be a teenager and what was life like when I was a teenager.

I dont think I'm explaining this all very well.
She doesnt seem happy and its breaking my heart.
Is this normal?
How do I help her be more confident??

I'm sure I'm leaving loads out but cant put my finger on what else to say.
TIA.

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Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:16 pm
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Sounds like hanging around with older kids is the problem. :huh:

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[list=][/list]DD is 5
DS is 4
DD2 is 2 -)
Dd3 is 1year old :-)


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Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:20 pm
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Overjoyed - I'm totally screwed then. They are our next door neighbours and her only cousins. They are 6,8,9 and 11 and are really "young-ish" girls!! None of them are grown-up like she wants to be or are into clothes or anything she is on about.
She didnt see any of the neighbours after her holiday and has only seen her cousins once and they went to tayto park and she came home exhausted and filthy and in her element. Now she's back to wanting to be a teenager and I'm exhausted.

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Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:24 pm
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Maybe when she's back at school arrange play dates with new friends her age. I'm sorry I'm not much help.

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[list=][/list]DD is 5
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Dd3 is 1year old :-)


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Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:29 pm
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overjoyed wrote:
Maybe when she's back at school arrange play dates with new friends her age. I'm sorry I'm not much help.


Trying to do that now but also desperately trying to keep her away from other kids cos she's due to get her tonsils out on the 17th. We had to cancel last month as she'd been exposed to chicken pox but never developed it.
Thanks tho, its nice someone is reading not not saying "ah shut up you gobshite!!" :D

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Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:30 pm
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Is she watching iCarly or any of that rubbish on Disney? I have banned that in my house as my 7 year old loves it and I find she starts talking like them and going on about hair, clothes etc.

My neighbour is also a bit older than my DD and when my DD spends time with her I find she is trying to act older than she is. Can she have some friends from her class over?


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Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:33 pm
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Avalon - she got really cheeky a while back so they were banned. Her behaviour improved dramatically. Now, she's allowed "Good Luck Charlie" at the weekends in the mornings but she hasnt even had that as we've been busy.
I really wish there were more kids her age nearby. I've exhausted most of the playdate opportunities already.

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Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:05 am
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How does she know what a tattoo / bra/ boyfriend is at 5 ?

My dd sees me getting dressed etc but don't think she knows its a bra & she's far from innocent . As your oldest , do you maybe speak to her like an adult unknown to yourself or is she around adults alot ? Have you asked her why she thinks she would like to be older ? Is she mimicking you do you think - do you comment on your appearance or have body issues ?

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Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 2:07 am
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alfiesmum wrote:
How does she know what a tattoo / bra/ boyfriend is at 5 ?

My dd sees me getting dressed etc but don't think she knows its a bra & she's far from innocent . As your oldest , do you maybe speak to her like an adult unknown to yourself or is she around adults alot ? Have you asked her why she thinks she would like to be older ? Is she mimicking you do you think - do you comment on your appearance or have body issues ?


With regard to how she knows stuff, I have tattoos and she got some removable ones at a party once and was devastated when they came off in the bath LOL!! Bras and boobs I presume from me, she always asked why I still had boobs when I wasn't feeding DD2 anymore and is fascinated with breast feeding. The boyfriend thing is new and I *think* it stems from my sister recently breaking up with her long term boyfriend. Lots of "where is he" questions and has he a new girlfriend and why can't we see him. It was a very sudden breakup so that's been hard as my sister has gone away.

Talking to her like an adult, I dont think we do. She asks a lot of questions and I like to respect them and have her feel listened to. I make sure not to burden her but have recently been telling her about my responsibilities as her Mammy etc. Maybe I will ask her about why she wants to be older. Never thought of that. Thanks!!

Body image isn't an issue around here, or in my immediate family. We very much love our food and activities and eat healthy and I'm very happy with my shape and weight (although I'm a bit overweight I think I look fab for me).

She once asked if she was skinny or fat and I said no, that she was perfect and fit and healthy and had a lovely smile. (She's a much smaller frame than me)
I encourage her to dress so she's neat and comfortable and that a big smile and manners is the best outfit of all. Clothes are to be enjoyed but I always encourage any opportunity to get mucky and never give out if things get wrecked.

I really wonder if it is something I'm doing wrong. It's breaking my heart seeing her unhappy. After DD2 was sick last summer we took us all to a child psychologist as she really acting out but it was a disaster. I ended up getting advice on here and it was excellent and we all settled really quickly. Which is why I'm back :-)

Thanks Alfiesmum!!! Things to think about.

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Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:14 am
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I've no advice on your DD but I'm in a similar-ish situation. My DS is obsessed with growing up too. He's 7 and he knows what he wants to be, where he'd like to work while he's in college, where he wants to live, how many kids he wants and their names. He's asked a few times where he'll meet his wife and how long should she be his girlfriend first. At first I liked his forward thinking because he knew that he had to have his homework done so he can go on to be what he wants to be but he's a bit obsessed now. I hope it's a phase. His younger DD has often told him to shut up and not worry about that now. I've always just answered his questions but emphasised that he should just be a child first.


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Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:07 am
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She just sounds like she wants to be you, I would think that's normal enough at this age. Bit of hero worship if you like, I would just ignore it, don't hide the clothes let her make her choices but don't allow changes during the day. I think it's a hard age they want to be separate from you but really they are afraid of losing your security. I would think it will pass if you don't focus on it.

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Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:33 am
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You sound like a great mum! Your DD sounds clever...maybe when school starts up again there'll be more distractions. I think it's part a phase and part of figuring out who she is, just keep repeating everything you're saying, you'll be blue in the face but sometimes it takes a while. DS was/is in a hurry to grow up too...his questions are few and far between now, but they did hit a peak around age 6 (he's 7.5 now).


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Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:05 am
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You sound worried. What do you think is behind it?


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Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:17 am
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Redb, DS2 is like that. I put it down to him having an older brother but as time went on and other things happened I realised he was very anxious and also had quite a lot of negative thinking going on. We have made a lot of progress in recent months with the help of a few books:

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/What-Do ... 1591473145

and (for negative thinking):

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/What-Do ... 1591474500

I also read two other books (for adults) to get more information for myself and I found them very useful:

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Freeing ... 0767914925
http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Freeing ... 0738211855

It will take time, it is a slow process requiring a lot of patience and reminders about how to recognise worry/negative messages and to use their strategies to handle it. Thinking way too far into the future is a typical symptom of an anxious child and DS2 had it. To the point, that when I stopped minding a mindee last year (the mindee was dreadful to him) he got upset because he was going to marry her and he was afraid he'd be too shy to ask another girl to go out with him! He was 5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Things are so much better now. I am able to be patient because I understand what's happening in his brain and also because I know what to say to him to help.

Lami

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Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:19 am
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Dd1 was like this at your dds age.
Shs is 11 now and it was just a phase.

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Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:34 am
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Lami - thats brilliant thanks i'll have a look at those. She has so many lovely traits that this obsession with being older is wrecking my head. She plays beautifully with her younger sister, is a brilliant little dancer and songwriter and has a great eye for fashion and colour and fabrics. She's also very bright and loves reading and imaginative play.

I asked her this morning why she wanted to be older and she said it was because she "would be allowed to do more things". When I asked her what she said "go out at night and get to wear make up and dont have to eat vegetables". *sigh*.

MaryE, I cant put my finger on it but I just dont want her to miss out on her childhood. I'm a bit overawed by all the social networking and pressure on kids to be grown up and the oversexualisation of children etc. I thought i had years to deal with this and i'm not prepared (clearly).

Apple thanks for that - nice to know the phase might wear out!!

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Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:40 am
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Redb, it could very well be just a phase. I just picked up (perhaps wrongly) from your post that there was more to it that you weren't able to articulate. If it is just a phase try just saying "yes, it can be fun being a grown up" but also let her know that there are downsides to it too - not to invalidate her feelings, but just to show the grass isn't always greener. Take every opportunity to show her the good stuff about being a kid (dressing up, playcentres, playgrounds, etc).

It is head-wrecking, I fully agree!!!

Lami

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Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:47 am
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Lami - i just wanted to know if anyone had any experience of this and if there was perhaps something more that i wasnt able to spot - if it was a sign of abuse or a controlling parent or that I was making some huge screw-up up or something. If others have been through it or it is just a phase, then its a bit easier to handle (i think).

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Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:34 pm
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Can you ban disney channel completly? Here there is no disney channel or nickelodeon but the junior versions are allowed. My rule is no programme with teenagers until you reach double digits :lookround: .This idea was passed on to me from a friend who had a similiar situation to yours with a 6yo talking about boyfriends, kissing etc.
Or it may be just a phase. DD1 wants to be a teenager because she can then chew gum :lookround: (I hate it). Lami had some good ideas if its just a phase.


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Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:49 pm
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I would say its just a phase. DD1 is nearly 5 and would be like this (well not the boyfriend part) she is a deep thinker and overthinks everything. I think when they are small they find it hard to figure out time and timelines. She is always going on about buying her own house when she is older and moving out with her sister but living near us and her Nana. Then about what she will do when she drives. She has ideas in her head of what she will do when she is X age and wants to know when will she be a mammy, get married, have boobies etc. She is constantly thinking and talking. She would ask everyone their ages and then depending on the reply ask "well when I am 35 will I have a baby" or "when I am 18 can I buy my own house". We just tell her to take her time and that when she is older she can decide what she wants to do. Dh has started telling her if she wants to buy a house then she better go to school and study hard so she can get a job to save up her money.

She loves clothes and we dont make a big deal over appearance but she knows what she likes for clothes and styles. We had some fight to get her to realise that if she is at playschool then she wears playschool clothes and if she is at a party she wears party clothes. She has started to dress more comfortably if she is going to be running about. There are a few older kids on the road who had started to knock for her but I stopped that pretty quickly. She is either with her sister or some of the kids on the road her own age or younger or playschool/school friends. Her female cousins are younger and she has fun with them. Only watches Disney junior or Ceebeebies.

My dd1 is the oldest so for a while she would have been around adults a lot more as the first grandchild etc and would be very clever so probably wants to grow up before she is ready but again I think its hard for her to grasp time and just how long a year/month can be. She has been organising her birthday since Christmas, its not until next month :lol:

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