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Thread: Question about Constant Complainer about Ailments?

  1. #1
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    Default Question about Constant Complainer about Ailments?

    How do YOU handle a kid who has constant ails to complain about? Teeth hurting, stomach aches, headaches, scratches, etc - and they always show up at bedtime. She wants me to worry about EVERYthing, when in reality, none of it needs to be worried about! She finds problems on the dogs too!

    We've had the "Boy Who Cried Wolf" talk in all sorts of various scenarios. She is not a child who lacks attention. She is my most difficult child who actually requires tons of attention.

    Any thoughts? I basically never believe that she ever really hurts or doesn't feel well, because I hear these things so often. When we go to the doctor (almost never), I feel like they don't take us seriously because she starts it up there too, though I make it clear enough (not for her to notice) that I don't buy it all.

    Essential oils are a good placebo, and good for her anyway. But I'm not sure what else to do.
    Melissa, Five in a Row Staff - Community Manager
    Married 19 years to Robert. Homeschooling Jacob, 16, and Mattie, 12 all the way through.

    "Once your enemy, now seated at your table. Jesus, thank you!" ~ Sovereign Grace Music

  2. #2
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    I've had one of those, too, and mainly I just did the "sympathetic murmur" while mentally sloughing it off. So, Basically I try to make her feel heard, without taking on the burden of worrying about imaginary ills. In the case of your daughter, since they manifest at bedtime, you might try the "it's probably because you are tired. You'll feel better in the morning" line.

    (Oh, and bad mom that I am, whenever my kids said "It hurts when I ____________," my standard response was, "then don't do that!")

    I feel your pain! Drama queens are not easy to live with!
    Family: DH Ayden; Chelsea/Francois; Shannon/Seb; Alex/April/Ayden/Luke; Lindsay/Jordan/Asher; Kimberly (24); Jake (22); Jamie (20); Olivia (18) and Kylie (16)

  3. #3
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    Ditto what Julie said exactly. I have one of those who also plays the Blame Game now that he’s grown. He HAS managed to live to adulthood, though, in spite of all his imaginary illnesses. When the person who figured out birth order wrote the part about second sons, they used him as an example.
    Wife to David, mom to 9, homeschooling Abby (16). Grammy to 6 granddaughters and 2 grandsons and 2 new babies due in the spring of 19! Homeschooling since 1986, Loving FIAR since 2000.

  4. #4
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    My autistic youngest is like this; always complaining of one thing or another. My stock response has always been, "Well, do you need to go to the ER?" The response is almost always no, so he drops it.
    Wife to Darrell, mom to John, Patrick, DJ and Ryan, Stepgrandmom of 5, grandmother to Adam, Harper, and Alexander. Done homeschooling but not done learning!

  5. #5
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    I have a couple kids that have these tendencies for varying reasons, but one of them is super sensory oriented. It's part of his neurology. So, I acknowledge whatever it is and see what sort of solution he might need. Most of the time it's nothing. But, I always acknowledge his level of pain because it is real. For most of us, these things would not be a big deal at all, but for him they are magnified...not in a psychological way. He is actually much more sensitive and feels things super intensely. Physicians telling us this helped to not just dismiss it.

    I don't know your child, but I'll share this article in case it fits. The Intensities of Giftedness- Sensual Excitabilities are helpful to look at for this sort of thing. Understanding our kids has made a HUGE difference in how we interact.

    I had missed the research on this, but us having this information was life changing for him. If this doesn't apply to your daughter, then perhaps it will be useful to someone else here!

    Oh and bed time is often the time they come up because they are no longer busy with their day's activities. They become more noticeable.
    Heather wife to Dan and embracing the independent nature of homeschooling with our fantastic four (20 ds, 18 dd, 16 ds, 13 ds).

  6. #6
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    I have one like that, too (the youngest). Of course, he used to complain about his stomach all.the.time. Constantly. And then we found out he's allergic to dairy That's helped.

    But, he, too, will always start regaling the dr about various complaints and ailments whenever we have to go

    I pretty much ignore, too, or ask if something needs amputating and then also sometimes, in exasperation, explain that it's not "manly" to be a complainer

    Wish I had a better answer
    Wife to Jim and Mama to Katie (1/01), Mattie (9/02), Cale (4/05), and Ben (8/08)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie Y View Post
    I've had one of those, too, and mainly I just did the "sympathetic murmur" while mentally sloughing it off. So, Basically I try to make her feel heard, without taking on the burden of worrying about imaginary ills. In the case of your daughter, since they manifest at bedtime, you might try the "it's probably because you are tired. You'll feel better in the morning" line.

    (Oh, and bad mom that I am, whenever my kids said "It hurts when I ____________," my standard response was, "then don't do that!")

    I feel your pain! Drama queens are not easy to live with!
    Or Drama kings.

    I do what Julie does. The key seems to be to be sympathetic, and DO something -- whether it's just calmly and seriously reassuring them that "we'll see how it is tomorrow," or sometimes a very small thing that "helps." Like last night, it was a backache. I rubbed his back for about 30 seconds, suggested new sleeping positions, and all was well. The key is that I must take it seriously and not act like he's lying or faking or being a baby.

    With my oldest, I tried the type of comment that Paige mentioned about being a man or being brave -- this totally backfired and made things worse, so I haven't ever used that with my current complainer. I'd be careful using that one unless you know your boy will react well (I know that you're talking about a girl, Melissa, but if anyone is reading who has a boy like this).
    "Ree-bee," Mom to former United States Marine ds and math teacher DIL * artist dd 19 * motion-loving ds 16 * piano-playing ds 12
    "For Miss Minnie loved children and she loved books, and she taught merely by introducing the one to the other." from "A Consent," by Wendell Berry

  8. #8
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    Yes, Rebe, I don’t do that often, but dh will frequently tell him to “man up,” but he doesn’t go to dh for comfort.



    I, too, will sometimes treat the ailment — lotion or itch cream for an itch/bite, a tums for a stomach ache, if it’s bedtime and a leg has aches all day, I’ll offer a Tylenol, a vitamin, etc.
    Wife to Jim and Mama to Katie (1/01), Mattie (9/02), Cale (4/05), and Ben (8/08)

  9. #9
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    Thank you Heather, for saying all I was thinking. Yes, it very definitely could be sensory, and yes, the pain IS very real to them. I treat it differently now than I did when

    Ryan was little, but he is an adult. Paige, I truly hate the term "man up." Once I heard a friend tell his 6 year old that, and I am like, man up? He is SIX for crying out loud.
    Wife to Darrell, mom to John, Patrick, DJ and Ryan, Stepgrandmom of 5, grandmother to Adam, Harper, and Alexander. Done homeschooling but not done learning!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merrilee Morse View Post
    I truly hate the term "man up." Once I heard a friend tell his 6 year old that, and I am like, man up? He is SIX for crying out loud.
    It's sometimes hard to walk that fine line between needed sympathy vs. coddling that encourages the problem. My 3-yr-old grandson is cheerfully and enthusiastically told to "brush it off" when he falls or has a minor boo-boo. He actually brushes off his shoulders with his hands and goes on about his play. If it's an actual injury, they can quickly determine that he cannot "brush it off." This technique seems so positive that I and my teenage daughters have started using it with each other.
    Family: DH Ayden; Chelsea/Francois; Shannon/Seb; Alex/April/Ayden/Luke; Lindsay/Jordan/Asher; Kimberly (24); Jake (22); Jamie (20); Olivia (18) and Kylie (16)

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