|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Just a Phase?

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: I have two daughters, seven and ten years old. The seven-year-old is outgoing and talkative. She has a mind of her own, but at the same time lets my husband and I know we are the center of her world. But my ten-year-old, on the other hand, seems not to need us. My husband and I have been out of the military for almost five years. I work out of the home now so I can spend more time with the girls -- time my older girl doesn't seem to want. She confides in the comfort of strangers (teachers, other parents, etc.). It's is as if she has cut herself off from the rest of the family. People outside of the family are most important to her. Is this just a stage she's going through?

A: There are probably several things going on with your older daughter. First, she's ten years old. That's a time when girls are approaching puberty and are beginning to go through many hormonal changes. Girls who have been best friends since kindergarten suddenly can't stand each other at age ten, and girls who have gotten along well with family members may begin to have problems.

Your older daughter was five when you both left the military and probably had to be fairly independent for a good part of her life. Your younger daughter was only two then and it's likely she did not have to make as much of an adjustment.

Finally, you're probably dealing with differences in children's personalities, as well as some birth order issues. Your older daughter was encouraged to be independent at an early age as both a first-born child and as a military child. Your younger daughter has most likely been babied more and was a military child only until she was two.

Talk with the school counselor about what's going on with your older daughter. He may be able to give her some individual time or include her in a small group. You may decide that you could all benefit from some family counseling, and the school counselor or your pediatrician can refer you to a therapist in your area.

More on: Expert Advice

Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Gift Ideas Sure to Please
Find the best gifts for girls, and everyone else on your list! Visit our Holiday Shopping Headquarters. Brought to you by Monster High.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Print this free holiday wish list for kids, so they can tell you what they really want this year! Brought to you by Monster High.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!