easy child Causing Concern


New Member
easy child will be 8 in two weeks. She is usually our good natured, bubbly, easy going child. Timid, but not to the point of worry.

Lately, she is tearful, clingy and super sensitive. She cries daily over something. She frequently cries/whines "I don't know what you mean" to a simple request. She freaks over simple decisions such as lunch choice, etc. She wants to sit by me where ever we go and acts as if she is living under a microscope and is being hovered over. If she is in her room, or in another room, and I call to her, she screams that I've scared her.

This is not constant, but enough to concern me. She and I had one-on-one time together yesterday - we played games (I taught her how to play checkers) and we figured out her sewing machine (she made a pretty cool felt bookmark), etc.

She is getting adequate sleep and food. Things with difficult child have been fairly stable. I'm not sure what's going on. I have emailed her teacher this morning to see if this behavior is carrying over to the classroom.

On one hand, I don't want to look for trouble, but on the other hand, if she is going to also have issues, I want to be proactive - guess that's my nature.

This behavior has been going on for quite some time at home.

Anyone have any thoughts??


Well-Known Member
My first thought is that she is disturbed by a specific event or scenario. Perhaps she was scared by someone yelling - either at school or home. Maybe saw something on TV that disturbed her. And I hate to even say it, but has anyone been around her that may have touched her inappropriately? Or even spoke to her in a bad way, perhaps threatened her with harm to you if she mentioned it?

timer lady

Queen of Hearts

kt was pretty clingy at that age (however, she has different issues all together). I wonder if some of the demands at school are more than she can handle right now.

She's of an age where she's expected to complete homework for school, chores at home (I'm sure) & other age appropriate requests.

I wonder if she's just isn't feeling a bit overwhelmed by this...add in a difficult child sibling, well.

Another thought, are you seeing any signs of puberty .... some girls start showing hormonal changes at this young age. Little hints here & there.

I agree, don't make a big deal of it. If easy child will talk, let her. In the meantime, if you can, let her be the "little girl" for a while. She'll overcome that need sooner than you think.

Just some things to consider.
I agree with the others that said that maybe something traumatic happened to her that you are unaware of. I would try talking to her first. I think it was a good idea to send a note to her teacher to make sure everything is going well in school.

How long has this behavior been going on at home? If it doesn't seem like anything out of the ordinary has happened to her, it could be, as Linda said, early signs of puberty...

If, after getting all the information from easy child and the teacher that you can, and you think that it isn't early signs of puberty, I wouldn't hesitate to have her evaluated. in my humble opinion, it is always better to be proactive. If she is evaluated and found to be a typical developing child, it will put your mind at ease. And, after evaluation, if there is a problem, it is better to find out asap so she can receive appropriate treatment.

I'm keeping you and easy child in my thoughts... WFEN


Jamie, I'm not trying to frighten you -- just share our experience with our easy child. She fell apart just before her 8th birthday last spring. She has always been an anxious child, but suddenly she was refusing to go to school and experiencing frequent somatic complaints (nausea and stomachaches). She then became convinced that she would choke and die if she ate anything. When she lost 5 pounds in 5 weeks, she was hospitalized and fed through an NG tube. Today, with medications and intensive therapeutic interventions, she is doing great.

In retrospect, we think she had a Post-Traumatic Stress response to her brother's prolonged intense manic reaction to Zoloft, which had occurred the previous fall and included nightly raging and aggression toward family members. I'm wondering if that's what's going on with your easy child.

I happen to be pretty proactive myself and wouldn't ignore what you're seeing. When all this started with our easy child last spring, difficult child 1's psychiatrist told us that easy child siblings frequently need their own psychological supports and gave us referrals for psychiatrists for easy child. So even before things spun out of control with the choking phobia, easy child had started to work with a psychiatrist (who does therapy -- we see no tdocs). And I was glad that we had the support in place when things got really bad.

This is all my long-winded way of saying that I would encourage you to talk to your pediatrician or difficult child's psychiatrist about locating appropriate support for your easy child. Sending hugs your way.


New Member
As a sufferer of PTSD myself I have to say that that was my first impression of your easy child's behaviors also. I think maybe an evaluation by a trusted psychiatrist would be a good idea. I do not think that early onset puberty would bring on all of these types of behaviors. -RM


my difficult child 2 (who used to be a easy child)seemed like a very stable, happy child til she hit puberty. When her older sister (difficult child 1) went away to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) then difficult child 2's problems showed up. She has been in therapy for a couple of years now and was diagnosed with dissociative disorder last fall. She was physically, sexually, and verbally abused by difficult child 1 when they were young (started when their dad died and they were 8 and 5 yrs old). I had no idea--I knew difficult child 1 could be mean and I certainly knew she had many emotional problems but had no idea the impact she had on difficult child 2. I don't mean to frighten you either but just please be aware that she could be suffering effects from living with a difficult child!


New Member
My easy child - ten years old tomorrow, goes through the same bouts of depression, anxiety, and clinginess. difficult children psychiatrist says it's post traumatic stress from living with his rages and verbal abuse (which is very often directed towards her, but he thinks I love her more). He recommended she see a counselor in his office, now she does that twice a month and it seems to help.


New Member
Thanks to all who responded.

We have considered early puberty, because she developed a "bud", and I took her to the pediatrician immediately. He said it might be premature thelarche (puberty), but that we would have to watch. The "bud" since disappeared, but it could definitely have something to do with hormones. I don't believe that she has been abused or touched inappropriately, or had the threat of that kind of abuse, but I will delicately approach the subject with her. I know that in that situation, most parents don't know. I'm not naive enough to think that I know everything that goes on everywhere.

The behavior has been going on for quite some time. I have often believed that she might need some counseling due to our situation with difficult child, etc. My sister was a bit of a difficult child growing up, but I was the older sibling, so I handled it differently. I cannot imagine how she feels when we are in full blown meltdown. Even though she has grown up around it, it has got to be scary.

She still plays babies and Barbies and Bratz and is sure she is a Princess, so she is still a little girl, but must have some conflicting feelings, for sure.

I spoke with easy child's teacher yesterday and she said the behavior really wasn't showing at school - other than some tears if she is corrected on something once in a while. The teacher is meeting with her one-on-one this after noon after school and will let me know if she thinks she needs to meet with the school counselor. We will need to go through this channel for easy child to get a referral to see a doctor where difficult child goes. If this channel doesn't work for us, I think that I will seek a private doctor for her, although in this county, if you go that route it sometimes takes 3 or more months to get an appointment.

Thanks again, all. I will let you know how this progresses.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts

Watch her doll play. kt often reenacts her daily pressures, situations & interactions while playing with her dolls.

It can be quite fascinating. psychiatrist at Residential Treatment Center (RTC) can tell what kt needs to process just by letting her play with doll during therapy.

Just something to consider.


New Member
Funny thing about kids. They open up when you least expect it. I was playing with easy child - she was making me a super duper special smoothie in her play kitchen - when she told me that when difficult child is angry, she gets scared something bad will happen. I asked her what a bad thing might be and she said that she is afraid that he will have to go into the hospital again. Just like that.

She went on to say that just because "difficult child has bipolar, he shouldn't be treated any different because that would be wrong". She said she thinks it is mean when we take difficult child to the hospital and he has to stay there. She said she misses him, even though he is mean sometimes. Of course, she cried. I tried to explain to her that there are times when the hospital is the best and safest place for difficult child, but I'm not sure I was very successful at reassuring her.

I have put the wheels in motion for her to see the counselor at school. She will probably have a weekly session and we will see how it goes. If she needs further counseling, I will get a referral to the psychiatric hospital difficult child goes to for counseling.

When I think about it, it certainly is a lot for an (almost) 8-year-old to take in and understand. I mean there are some days when I feel overwhelmed and confused - and I'm (almost) 38. She has grown up with difficult child being difficult child, but I think the older she gets, the more she can see the "gap" his gfgness causes between him and other children his age, etc. I think the counseling will be a good thing. I'm not too sure husband is on board, but I'm getting pretty used to that.

Thanks again to all who responded.

Never a dull moment, right?