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8 y.o. odd behavior
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I_love_prada posted:
Hello everyone. My DSD has been exhibiting some strange habits, and I wanted to know if these fit a pattern that anyone recognizes. I would give kind of a history (some of you may know a little of it from the other board) but I don't want your opinion to be swayed lol. Oh and keep in mind that I do not have any kids of my own, so I don't have that "instincitive" understanding of kids. I may just be having back-to-back "non-parent idiot" moments LOL.

Anyway, DSD has this fixation with covering herself with things. Every so often we find out that she's been (for lack of a better word) "coating" herself with stuff. When we catch her and break her out of it, she moves on to some other substance.

Example...she went through a phase about a year and a half ago where she was glopping vaseline all over her face. She thought it made her pretty. We caught it a few times and we explained to her not to do that, it wasn't goood for her skin and clogs pores. She kept doing it, going so far as to fill her palms with it and just walk around closed-fisted until she got to school. We got her out of that.

Then she went through a few weeks of drawing on herself (face, hands, arms) and her clothes with ballpoint pen. Then she started using glittery lotion from one of her classmates and smearing it on her face and hair every day. When we broke her out of THAT, she started scribbling on her face with chapstick and putting actual craft glitter on the chapstick streaks so the glitter would stick.

THEN she went through the coloring nails with marker phase. Now her latest fixation is with glue. For the past 3 nights, she has been putting elmer's glue all over her arms (shoulder-wrist) and legs (knees to toes) and going to bed with it on her. Maybe it's because I don't have much experience with kids, but this behavior seems very bizarre to me. Is it normal? I'm worried that there could be some underlying condition or self esteem issue. Should we be worried? Am I reading too much into this?
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Louise_WebMD_Staff responded:
What an interesting question. Can you ask it on the Parenting Exchange too. I would like to hear what Dr Adesman has to say-he is a pediatrician whose interests run to behavioral issues.
 
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OneAndDone responded:
Hey Prada, can you remind me how old your DSD is? I have a boy, so there's no glitter in our house, but I'm trying to think of all the girls of various ages that I know of, and I can't think of any mom who's mentioned this. So I think your hunch that there's some behavioral or self-esteem issue is probably a good one. Either way, it's not acceptable to glue yourself all up, and probably bad for the sheets too, so try to work her out of that as you've done with the other stuff without making a big huge deal of it (could it be a play for attention?). Shame she's not using glittery nail polish or shimmery lip gloss or something more socially acceptable as an adornment. Maybe she just wants to be different. Good luck.
 
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I_love_prada replied to OneAndDone's response:
She's 8, will be 9 in November. I was thinking a self-esteem issue as well, but I wanted to be sure that I wasn't reading too much into it. Her bio mother would always remark that DSD looked just like "him" (DH) and then remark that she can't stand him. One time she even said in front of DSD that she can't stand him (DH) and can't stand anyone that has anything to do with him. I don't know much about kids, but I do know that they are waaaaay smarter and more perceptive than people think they are. I'm sure DSD was smart enough to correlate "looking like dad=looking like someone that mom hates."

As far as the shimmery lip glosses, she's got sensitive skin, particularly with heavily fragranced items, so we are still looking for different things that won't break her out. And stuff like nail polish...she sneaks it to school and gets it taken away almost every time.

We reasoned with her on the glue thing by saying that over time it would mess her skin up and that could lead to other health problems. She had impetigo last year and developed an abscess that needed to be lanced, and she does not want to go through that again. She needs glue for school, so we're going to go for the gluesticks and hope for the best LOL.
 
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moonbeamgarden1 replied to I_love_prada's response:
The glue thing kids do a lot, but mostly on plastic stuff, not on themselves. The rest of it seems like she doesn't have a good handle on "appropriate" and inappropriate. I think most kids explore with the shiny glitter stuff and the markers as nail polish (I'd get her a set of nail polish!). However, she has taken it to a bit of an extreme. It sounds like she doesn't have the natural "boundary" line thing that tells most of us when we are being a little too different. Has she been diagnoised with learning differences or anything unusual?
 
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teeny79 responded:
I remember some of your other posts so i remember some of the other issues you have had. I think some of this could maybe be a sensory thing? Maybe she likes the way the vaseline and glue feels on her skin. I'm not sure about the whole marking on herself thing. I used to do it a lot, maybe she is getting bored in school and starts to color on herself. A lot of kids mark on their skin and clothing though. Some of this could be her way of expressing her personality for lack of a better way of explaining it. Does she have any makeup at home to play around with? If not maybe get her some to use at home so she can use that instead of markers and glue. Get her some things that are meant for using on skin. Some of the stuff for girls already has glitter in it and is ok for use on skin. Then let her know it is only for play and that it needs to be washed off before bed so she will understand that it is just for play not to be worn to school.
I guess what i'm trying to say is see if giving her some allowable things to use will get her to stop using things not meant for skin and will get her to use them in moderation.
 
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I_love_prada replied to moonbeamgarden1's response:
Just the ADHD diagnosis, nothing other than that so far. She has had nailpolish but she kept sneaking it to school and getting it taken away, now she's down to none.
 
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I_love_prada replied to teeny79's response:
We did try the makeup thing, but she has insanely sensitive skin, especially with heavily fragranted stuff, so we are still looking for age appropriate stuff that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Does anyone know of any particular brands that are hypoallergenic or something? We've tried some that claim to be hypoallergenic and they still break her out. We did the whole Bonnebelle line, and that was a nightmare lol.

She has glitter lip gloss but decides to use it to draw on paper with, so it gets used up quickly. She has tons of markers, colored pencils, crayons, and construction paper, though. Like Moonbeam said, I think it may be a boundary thing...


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