what do i do (very long)

hoakie2601October 3, 2008

I am a grandparent by marriage to 2 children that we have custody of. My life has been a wreck lately. I am a young grandparent to these kids (more like a mom) We have a boy and a girl.

My grandson has his moments and he is not hard to deal with right now.

My grand daughter on the other hand is so hard. She is 10 years old. I just dont know what to do. This is going to be very long but if someone out there can read this lengthy blog and give me advise I would be greatful!

Things go from good to bad with her all the time. Her theropist says she is a child with many issues and will be in counceling most of her childhood.

2 weeks ago we went shopping and she talked her grandfather into purchasing her a 90.00 halloween costume. This is something that we really could not afford. He told her to ask me but it was OK with him. (by the way she looks like a hooker in it, but he did not pay close attention to the costume before it was bought). He told her that it was OK with him but to ask me. This put me on the spot since I am always the bad guy in the house. They stay with me all the time and only get to see him about 5 hours during the week, since he works quite a bit. I am sick of being the bad guy so I told her that I did not think it was a good idea but if grandpa said ok it was up to them. So she got it. I told her that she would not be getting anything for awhile if she got this. She got it. The next day she told me that she needed to get her hair highlighted. And I told her NO her highlights where setting in the room in the form of a costume. She got very upset with me and told me that I should have told her this before she bought the costume. I told her that I did I told her she would not be getting anything for awhile. She got very upset with me over this. I also told her that the costume was non returnable so she needed to make sure this is what she wanted.

The same day she told me about her hair. We where on the way to school and she forgot her patrol belt. I asked her 3 times before we left the house if she had everything. She kept saying yes. She demanded that I go back home to get the belt. I told her no that she would have to go without it that day. She was so mad at me that she would not talk to me and about broke that glass in the car slamming the car door. That was a Monday.

Than came Thursday night. She came home from cheerleading and told me that some of her friends where making fun of her over something sexual. That is another long story! I called the coach and had words with her regarding this and not wanting to have her picked on like this. The following day at practice when she was taken into a meeting with the girls that where doing the talking she changed her story. I heard the coach fussing at her and went in to defend her only to be told that what she told me the night before was not the truth. I was so hurt by this and felt like I had pie on my face over it. That it made me cry (the rough week had soemthing to do with it also) When she saw me later I took off my glasses and asked her if she saw something different about me. She said no and I told her that I had been crying because she really upset me over this. She turned and walked away from me. I asked her what she was doing and she told me that I was making her mad of course that upset me and I said I am making you mad? Than she said I was making her sad.

We had a family meeting about not telling the truth. Than Yesterday was her brothers birthday. She has to be the center of attention. So the school called me and told me that she has done something at school and now she could not walk and I needed to pick her up. I went to the school and had to carry a 75lb kid to the car by myself and when we got home. He grandfather came home to take her to the hospital. She claimed all along that she could not walk and she felt a pop in her leg. So after setting in emerg for a couple hours they came into the room and said they needed another xray. She was not thinking and got up and walked out of the room. Come to find out it was a charlie horse or a pulled muscle. They put her on crutches for a few days! Last night when she got home she was walking all over the house and this morning she was also. When I told her to get her book bag for school she grabbed the crutches I told her that she was fine and she did not need them. She got so upset with me and stormed out to school. Not talking to me again. When she got home from school the attitude continued. Back talking me and if I said something she would put words into my mouth .

I am so tired of all this and do not know what to do. I guess maybe I needed someplace to vent. But this is making for a very stressful life. Im not sleeping and having a hard time with all this. If anyone has advise I would love to hear it.

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Well, for starters, I don't know where you live, but a 10 year old getting her hair highlighted is too much too early.

I don't know her health problems that have taken her to counseling, but I will say that a 10 year old certainly can be upset with a change in parents.

First, you and your husband need to have a long talk about how you will set boundaries, being supportive of each other, what you see are problem areas, etc. Then back each other up.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 4:48PM
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I think that must be the toughest time to raise a girl through, just thinking back on when I was 10-12 years old. I was miserable all the time and so was my mom (and she had actually given birth to me and raised me from birth... you are working at a disadvantage here, so first of all congratulate yourself for being so dedicated to her!) It is entirely likely that a 10-year-old is verging on that period of awkward and miserable sexual adolescence that is throwing her mind and body out of whack. The most important thing, in my non-professional opinion, is to remain a person that she'll respect (if not outwardly, then in the back of her mind) as she goes through these awkward years. She is probably desperate for a healthy female role model, and you don't have to be hip---just knowledgeable, female, and interested in her life. Maybe put up with her fits of attention-seeking (like the crutches) without making a big deal about it, but pay her the same level of attention when she is just being her normal self. Would it help if you set a day for the two of you to go shopping, have lunch, and just hang out together and see if she opens up to you?
In any case, you deserve compliments for sticking with this kid at a difficult time. Keep trying, she's hoping you will!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 3:21AM
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I am assuming from reading your letter that you don't have children of your own. If that's the case you deserve a lot of credit and some xtra support for the task you have taken on. I am rearing my 3 year old grandson but it feels easy so far compared to what you are dealing with ESPECIALLY if you didn't raise children of your own.

Dynamics between females in a household are often tricky and I think you are seeing signs of this in your 10 year old granddaughter. She is working at establishing herself as a young woman, and you are working at establishing yourself as an authority figure in her life while you amange a home, amarriage, and other obligations. Tough going!! There are bound to be rough spots but I will make a couple of suggestions about smoothng things over.

First, try to take your own ego out of the equation. Don't get your feelings hurt if at possible and stay calm as if you were a teacher or doctor. This is hard but it can really help defuse a hot situation. Tell her you will speak with her about it later when you and she can think about the topic some more.

Tell her calmly that you are trying really hard to make a happy and safe home for her and her brother. Tell her you don't have all the answers but you will always listen if she needs to talk. Show openess and kindness to her...sounds like she has had a rough childhood and might be needing some soft guidance from a female figure.

If she's got a therapist, I think you could use one too! Not forever, just a few appointments to support you in this job. You are worth it.

Set your husband straight that he was unfair to dump the costume decision on you and that you and he SHARE this job. Yes, you spend time with them but he cannot sail in to be Fun Person. Not fair to you OR these children who could use a kindly, protective father figure.

If I had to guess, I would say your GD is doing some attention-getting behaviors and rather than turn your back on that, give her what she needs now. Otherwise, you will end up with a defiant, ugly teenager who battles with you non-stop. Fix things NOW...you won't be sorry.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 7:57PM
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First off, you need to tell your husband, who is gone most of the time and buying her $90.00 costumes, that he needs to step up and act more like a father to these kids and that ultimately it is HIS responsiblity to at least help raise these children 50/50. I know he is your husband and marriage is supposed to last a life time etc... but we all know it doesn't. You could divorce tomorrow and then what would he do? He needs to think about that and not just take you for granted! Because that is what he is doing, big time taking you for granted.

Second, she probably is troubled what with no father and a mom that is also absent, but she also is majorly pushing your buttons. Having her hair highlighted at 10 is ridiculous! Letting her wear a $90.00 costume that makes her look like a hooker is even worse. She is just a little girl! They want to grow up fast but you must step up and take the reigns. Never let her see you cry, she will know that being mean to you works and she will not hesitate to hurt you, if nothing more than to just see if she can make you cry. Do not worry about being her friend or buddy, you are her mother now and need to start acting the part, or you will be a step great grandmother in just a couple of years.

For your own sanity get some counseling, it will help you, your marriage and your relationship with the kids.

Good Luck! Its tough raising your own kids, let alone someone elses.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 8:47PM
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