Return to the Parents Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Help with my daugther and our relationship

Posted by bigideaslittlefunds (My Page) on
Mon, Oct 29, 07 at 10:12

I don't even no where to start. I have problems with my DD . She is 9 yrs old. She is a great student and behaves extremely well at school..... never ever gotten in trouble of any kind... but at home you would thinks she is a different person . She back talks, hits me (this is her latest). She says I dont care for her, she wants to die or us to die etc... She is worse when its just me around (and not my hubby) , she still acts up but not to the extreme.
When I ground her (which happens alot) she just steps it up a notch. She is mean to her brother. She is like this alot. I dont have a close relationship with her at all.
Please any advice would be helpful.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Help with my daugther and our relationship

How sad for you. It sounds like she receives a lot of negatives from you, and with kids I think they need to have more positives than negatives.

I appreciate how the teachers point out negatives at Parent/Teacher interview, it is always presented in a postive light: here's the areas Sally needs to work on/focus on etc. I have 2 kids, one is so easy going and complacent, he's maybe had 5 time outs in 5 years (he's the younger one so he's probably learned from the older's mistakes). My oldest, to hear the teacher's speak of him, I have to ask if they are talking about the same kid! He's so quiet, and hard working, and respectful etc in class, and I think it's hard for him to be that way for the day, so when he gets home he lets it all spill out and becomes noisey, rambunctious and annoying. So I let him do some of this, I think he needs to get it out, and I try to limit how much behaviour I correct him on, since it seems I'm always telling him to stop doing something, and never the other kid (who's not doing these things anyway).

But as for your daughter, whether she's read somewhere about someone declaring they'd rather be dead, or she's truly feeling that, that takes front and foremost attention. It's not healthy for her to make that statement, whether she means it or not. I don't know any good books offhand (Barbara Colorosso is the only author that comes to mind right now), but during my kids' younger years I read a lot of books about childrearing that I signed out from the library, you may find that helps you to. You need to change the way you look at her behaviors, and how you deal with her, and if you are able to write to us that you don't have a close relationship with your daughter, I have to suspect that she is able to sense you aren't holding her as close as to what she needs, and these behaviors issues could be her frustation in that. Maybe you have to increase the amount of time spent with her doing something with just her? A project or craft or activity? I wish you both well, since if you are unable to find a way to get closer to her now, imagine what things'll be like when she hits the teen years?!


 o
RE: Help with my daugther and our relationship

It sounds to me like this child is very unhappy about something -- and it may have nothing to do with you at all. She is saying she "wants to die" -- that is a BIG warning sign (her saying she wants you all to die is actually pretty much the same thing).

It doesn't surprise me that she behaves well at school (be grateful for that!) and then becomes "Ms. Hyde" at home. Step or non-step child -- same thing. Children take out their frustrations at home where it is "safe" (just like some adults do; think of the husband who has to kowtow to Mr. Meanboss or deal smilingly with rude customers all day and then comes home and snaps at his wife). It is very unpleasant to be a child's emotional punching bag, but in a way it's a healthy sign that she trusts your love and loyalty enough that she is not afraid it is not safe to let out her stress on you. That doesn't make it okay (not even for Mr. Meanboss's employee!) -- I am just saying that her behavior doesn't necessarily indicate a problem with you or the rest of the family.

I would get this child into some kind of counseling and help her resolve the things that are causing this serious unhappiness. I know it will be very hard for you all to be patient while she works through it, and I am not saying you should condone abusive behavior. But I do feel that her behavior is a symptom, not the root problem.

Good luck to all of you.


 o
RE: Help with my daugther and our relationship

I went through a rough period at age 9-10 with my daughter. I think it may partly be a phase. She was also under a lot of social stress at school with some bullying girls and it spilled over at home. It wasn't pretty. I was grateful for middle school when the social deck was reshuffled and my daughter had opportunities to meet more and nicer girls.

Also, depression in children is more common than people want to believe. Have there any big changes or upheavals in your lives that would cause stress? Moving, parent bickering, job changes, schedule changes, talk of separating? Saying she wants to die isn't so, she wants to stop feeling miserable.


 o
RE: Help with my daugther and our relationship

Thanks for responding... I Know I do need to spend more time with her but most of the time she would rather not or she would just keep doing these things while I am trying to have a good time with her.. Maybe I could just bite my lip and let her act that way cause I know that she likes to push my buttons and she knows exactly how to do it to.
If I ignore her she just turns it up. If I say something to help her she still turns it up. I to feel that she needs me to hold her closer but I guess I dont want to reward her bad behavior. I pick times when she seems in a good mood.... sometimes I think she doesnt know how to react and acts up then too. Its the Mother- daughter relationship thing.. I was not close to my mother either. I do try all the time to think of how I was feeling at her age, a lot of people gave into me and I think maybe too much. I dont have this problem with my son, for the most part we get along just fine (sometimes he acts like his sister because he sees her doing it).
This has always stuck in my mind ...Years ago when my DD was 3. I saw this mother and daughter in the store and the mom was telling her daughter( I'm guessing she was 15) she couldnt have something... and the daugther just kepty saying I'm gonna get it anyway and then went on saying I want ,I want, give it to me etc... the mother just gave in like she didnt know what else to do the daughter was really rude and negative and the mom was not being loud ore yelling back at her daughter either she was more calm than I would have been.. I almost wanted to say something to the kid. That has how I view my DD and me. someday soon its approching.
I have read books the latest one was "How to behave so your children will to" but I do that stuff tyhe book says and new things arise that I dont know how to respond after.
I the book acts like tell them they will lose xxx if they keep it up ... mine will keep it up then Im in the mall with them acting up and not stopping. Or dont respond to their whinning .. tell then you cant hear that tone of voice... that only makes her louder not using the correct tone and I'm not done shopping yet. So I have to hear it get louder and worse. I have started saying that you were punished for doing x so we cant do that but come sit with me and read a book or something....She acts like nothing I take away is importatnt to her.


 o
RE: Help with my daugther and our relationship

barnmon-- No nothing has changed same ole thing going on around here.. I think she says that because It is her way of getting too me... I dont think she truly means it because she sees Im at a loss for words. I have said to her you dont really mean it or thats not a good thing . It all just makes her act up more so I usually give her some space and them come back and talk to her after a while but if shes still fiesty nothing works. She says she knows everything and doesnt need me to explain anything to her.... she has no clue what lies ahaed of her, I see so much learning she has to do yet and she already thinks she knows it all.
My DD has Always been strong willed since the day she was born. the preschool teacher said oh when she is 5-11 yrs old it will be much better - well I'm still waiting. LOL
I cant event talk to her about her about periods.. I want her to come to me not someone else ... She just gets grumpy and plugs her ears and goes away. If she needs help with her homework she gets mad when I try to give her ideas on how to find the answer--- she just wants me to give her the answer and when I wont then says "you dont care for me" I say yes I do thats why I wont GIVE you the answer. or Ill say thats a good answer.. she'll get mad because she wants to know if its the Right answer. I say only your teacher can correct your homework. but it is a good answer.

I know I'm doing alot of venting... I dont even know IF this all makes sense to you guys But thankyou for this Its good to hear from other people and their points of view.
My one friend says its normal classic mother daughter relationship on the EXtreme side. Lucky for me.


 o
RE: Help with my daugther and our relationship

If she acts up in public, you might try looking at her in puzzlement and distaste, say calmly and quietly "You're making a fool of yourself" -- then walk away. That'll put the onus of her behavior back onto her shoulders. (She knows it's inappropriate and is old enough to be embarassed.) If you're not there, her behavior will not punish you, and that seems to be her intent.

Same with homework -- "When you're ready for help just let me know" -- and walk away. If she starts up again, just repeat "I can see that you're not ready yet" and leave. If she follows "You won't be able to learn anything until you're calm. Why don't you take a few minutes to calm down and then we'll get started."

If you can see that she's geniunely trying to hold it together, then tell her you understand that it's frustrating and that you appreciate her efforts. Maybe teach her some deep breathing techniques. One technique that has worked really well for my son is to visualize his anger and frustration as a big red balloon. He needs to let the air out of his balloon before it pops, and he needs to avoid doing things that add air. Deep breaths let air out on the exhale -- and it's easy to see if he's actually doing it or not.

Above all - do not let her abuse you and get away with it. IMO, leaving the room is a powerful tactic.


 o
RE: Help with my daugther and our relationship

Does her father live with you?
She obviously doesn't respect you at all and from what I hear you saying she has no reason to think you are a person with good judgement or one that gives her any indication of how to behave.
Do NOT give in....when she whines....do NOT give in! You don't hear her...I don't care of the Queen is listening...do not give in!
When she says she knows everything and doesn't need your help, tell her very well then I guess you will be doing your own laundry from now on, fixing your own meals and getting a job to pay for your clothes. Then turn and walk out.
Be aware that she doesn't like to feel like that but you need to allow her to back off and change her tune....with out begging nor asking.
She won't come to you and apologize...because that would be losing face.
From now on she doesn't get away with anything. When she hits you....turn and walk away and say "Ok...no going to XXXX" whatever is important to her.
Remember the old basic of psycology...behavior that attains a desired result increases, that which recieves a negative impact decreases and that which is ignored will eventually cease.
She gets some sort of satisfaction out of creating a stir....so if her actions create no result....she will stop.
If you have a husband living in the house, he needs to be part of your ignore bad behavior plan.
Linda C


 o
RE: Help with my daugther and our relationship

My daughter is and always has been a handful, sounds like yours is similar but with the volume turned up even more. There is a good book called "Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, Energetic" There is also an ivillage message board dealing with parenting high intensity kids.

My daughter is now 15. When she was ten I had a serious talk with her about how she treated me and how it affected me. I made it clear that her mean words and rudeness hurt my feelings. I also told her that she was going to live in my house for another 8 years and those could be really great years or they could be really difficult years, her choice. One time I left left her at a horse show to get a ride home with her trainer because I couldn't take her rudeness any longer. I wasn't angry just matter of fact and sad. She got the message.

Things are a lot better now. About the "talk" about periods, etc. I didn't have much trouble with this issue because I had always been open and honest about bodily functions, where babies comes from, homosexuality, etc. from the time my kids were really little. I never avoided a question but answered them honestly giving them information appropriate to their age.

I learned to walk away early on and keep my mouth shut. Mommy time out.

Reward the good behavior, ignore the bad as best you can. Find things to do that are fun for the two of you sans brother and dad. She should be getting interested in clothes, go to the mall (girls seem to LOVE the mall) and shop together (set a budget first to avoid that argument) and have lunch in a grown-up place. Have pedicures together.

Here is a link that might be useful: Spirited children.


 o
RE: Help with my daugther and our relationship

I agree with Sweeby's comments.

Have a plan and stick to it. Don't engage in irrational arguments. Don't allow her to abuse you, verbally or physically.

Don't ever enter into heated words with her. This is for your own benefit, and remember you are a role model for her, on how to conduct a conflict. She is looking into a mirror, in you.

Perhaps you could try getting her to make a deal with you. Along the lines of "I need you to help me at the shops, you can do this by speaking in a nice voice, and helping me with the shopping. If we have a nice time together, we can buy an icecream at the end of it." Or something along those lines.

Make plans for her activities. Like "when you have had your afternoon tea, we will sit together and work on your homework, after that we can go for a walk".

I was into "micro-managing" my children at that age. Keeping them in a routine, talking about the day, what would happen. Small steps...like "have your bath, then we can read a story".

I had a lot of problems with my DD, she was a bit like yours. She is now 20. I think, I have the benefit of hindsight, now. I think there where a few basic problems, in her world.

She was jealous of her little brother, she felt we spent more time with him, and showed him more love. I think she felt her father did not love her, because she needed to spend more time with him, but that did not happen. She would throw the "you don't love" me in his face. Over the years this situation improved, once we figured out the problem.

Kids are learning to become adults, and I don't think they know how they "feel" inside, sometimes. Perhaps you could ask her about her feelings, try to get her in touch with them. She is obviously frustrated about her situation.

I think you are doing the right thing by reading books. I have a whole book case on child rearing books! I found "Children are from Heaven" a good book. By John Gray.

Its a rocky road, guiding children into becoming good adults. There are a few detours along the way.

I have been in the situation where I just don't know what to do or how to react to what my DD is doing...in hindsight, I think I should have just said "I am going to my room to calm down for half an hour, you should do the same".

Good luck with it all, just keep reading and posting here, you are on the right track !

POPI


 o
RE: Help with my daugther and our relationship

thankyou barnmom sweeby lindac -- you guys have given me some new ideas to try out! I do feel very sad about the whole thing Its hard weh nyou want your child to have a happy life. Not spoiled just happy wanting to explore the world, notesweating the small stuff.... I dont want here to remember her childhod being like it is now... My hubby takes a more casual approach... He does blame me for arguing with her but he doesnt step in to help wit hthe problem --- he thinks I should let things go sometimes but I feel If I say it example pick up your dishes off the table then it should be done. But she doesnt and he doesnt seem to understand the importance of backing me up .. A couple weeks ago I vowed I wasnt going to remind ( or nag) about taking a shower I told her 1 time a day in front of my hubby and it was 6 DAYs before she took a shower cause I kept saying she hasnt showered yet ..etc..
I was trying to do it how he said to.. He never noticed that she didnt.
I have to go for now BUt thanks for your time and IDeas I am now feeling allitle happier now:)


 o
RE: Help with my daugther and our relationship

thanks popi--- Yes hind sight is a great thing -- I am able to help people with younger kids see things better -- how I could have done better -- I sometimes wish that I could clone my daughter to change a few things around to see how she would have been... I truly appreciate the views and ideas you all have given me :)


 o
RE: Help with my daugther and our relationship

I used to walk away from my daughter and tell her I wasn't going to argue with a (insert number) year-old! I'm the grown-up, end of discussion. This isn't a power struggle because who has the power is not in question!


 o
RE: Help with my daugther and our relationship

I can't help but feel, from what you have said, that your DH does not show you respect, and your DD is picking up on that.

He should be backing you up.
He should be listening to you, when you say you have a problem with the child.
You both must present a united front.

Do you think this is a fair assessment ?


 o
RE: Help with my daugther and our relationship

Sorry if my question seems off base,but has she started puberty at all?
My child is about the same age as yours,and she has started puberty already. Everything I've read about puberty says how emotional girls can become and much more sensitive.My own child often seems a little moody and overly sensitive.
Your daughter saying she wants to die seems kinda over the top though.I would be very worried if it was my child saying those things.
Are you sure nothing bad is happening to her at school or somewhere? Usually the first sign of abuse or bullying is acting out like she is or change of personality.
Any way she can talk to a guidance counslor about her feelings or a doctor/psychologist?
I'm sure some kids have said,"I wanna die" and not meant it. I just wouldnt take a chance if it was my DD.

Do you think is hard for you to relate to her because you werent close to your mom?
I hope things get better for both of you!


 o
RE: Help with my daugther and our relationship

popi-
"He should be backing you up.
He should be listening to you, when you say you have a problem with the child.
You both must present a united front.

Do you think this is a fair assessment ? "

YES and I agree- I have told my hubby that before and I was feeling like it was going in one ear out the other! Just like a true man.! because HE doesnt have the problem so its not a big deal to HIM. I am continuing to say this to him so hopefully he will see how it would help. He says for example "If you tell them to brush their teeth and they dont its their fault, they have to live with it." His childhood -- he was pretty much on his own, fend for himself kinda thing. I think he thinks since he did it when he was younger that kids dont need help that they just should "fall into place". But I feel that we do need guide them more than he thinks we should. Hes got the "look at me, I turned out fine " attitude. I do wonder alot if some of that also comes from being in the Navy.

Believe me I am not saying he is 100% in the wrong. I know that there are things that I could be doing better and thats what I am trying to figure out. I tell him this too.

plastic garden-
Yes she actually started getting armpit hair at the age of 5 or 6. and developing breasts and more hair( down there):) at 8. Which now a days isnt uncommon. But she has always been emotional. No period yet.

But I do think that she does not respect me and thats where I am lost. I know she knows it too!
I dont think there is problems at school But she is also not willing to share with me about anything either. Could be something as little someone laughing at her to set her off. And we have talked to her about "not sweating the small stuff" We all try to laugh at ourselves to show her things happen to all of us. THe teacher said she gets along with everyone and is well liked. She is very kind and helpful to the other kids too.
She is more willing to share with my dad or my hubby. But even then I still feel she wouldnt all the time. She doesnt like to be wrong. I think it could be low self esteem too. Which I do suffer from at times. I dont know if its hereditary but I have tried hard to help her with that. But she is not usually willing to listen (unless she just acts like she doesnt hear me) LOL

Yes I do think it is hard because I was not close to my mom
growing up (alcoholic parents). I feel I grew up to fast. I could see their problems before they could.

And I do think my DD is smart in that way too. I have asked her what I could do to help our relationship. What she doesnt like that I do. My hubby will say its my tone of voice sometimes. I have bveen working on that. But she goes from 0 to 100 in here attitude real fast. I try to stay calm but once she is at that point there is no reasoning with her.

I have thought that counseling is my next step. Im trying to decide if the school counselor or a private counselor is better. Also if it should be a man or a woman.

BUT today was a good morning No real argument or attitude to report!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry but I get happy about the smallest improvment.

Thanks for letting me get this out.. Sometimes I wonder if its all in my head and its good to see the points of view I am getting here.!


 o
RE: Help with my daugther and our relationship

My youngest DD was like yours. She didn't hit but was as mean as a snake to everyone. One day I sat her down and at the top of my lungs for about 20 minutes reminded her of her behaviour and how it affected us. I told her we all love her but could not stand to be around her and it was time to change. She cried, but did shape up pretty well for a long time. She must have been about 12 or so at the time.


 o
RE: Help with my daugther and our relationship

I do agree that it might be time to seek professional help. The mother-daughter relationship is known to get more stressful in the teen years, and based on where you are starting, that's not good.

In the meantime, I have a suggestions. Start a communication journal with your daughter. Like a 2-way diary. You start by writing a note to her in a notebook, journal, whatever you want to use. End with a question for her to answer.
Rules:
1. She can write anything she wants to write.
2. But you cannot write anything negative. I know it's not fair, but that's how it has to work. ;o)
3. Each entry, from both of you, must answer a question and ask a question.

This needs to be a safe place for her, so she can write anything she is thinking. But she needs to know that every time she opens that journal she is going to find supportive words you wrote about her. (A girl might have days when she just needs to read those words over and over again.) Make your first entries about your favorite memories of her, what about her makes you proud, what she should hear about herself that she might not hear every day.

Make your first questions to her benign, open-ended questions, nothing too deep until she starts to get more personal with her entries. Follow her lead. So start with questions like "Who is your favorite teacher, why?" or "Describe the character from a book who is most like you." Other questions that might give you insight into her thinking, "What was the best and worst thing that happened this week?" "The things I wish my mom understood about me are....." "I just hate when this happens...." "My favorite day would be..." "I am thankful for ..." Ask a variety of questions that will give a chance to think about the positive, as well as vent about what upsets her. Make a positive comment about her answers, but do not judge them. Let her know she can ask you whatever questions she wants to ask in this journal.

Write every couple days. Answer her quickly, but give her a couple days to answer you. When she starts in verbally with attitude, suggest that she write it down then you will read it. That will make her think it through, and calm her down. She is allowed to leave the journal with you and leave the room, she doesn't have to stand and watch you read it. In fact, it's might be best sometimes if you are not together, then you cannot speak out without thinking it through first.

I think this will be good for both of you. It will make communication less confrontational, it will give her a place to vent, it will make you stop and reflect on the qualities you treasure about your DD, and it will put those positives right in front of her face, to read over and over, boosting her self-esteem.

When the mood swings happen, stay calm, speak in whispers, focus on the immediate behavior not past behavior or generalizations about her character. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Use a sense of humor. Before you say a word, think to yourself what message you want to send, not just what is popping into your head in anger. Fewer words is better. Something like a word for every year of age, plus or minus a couple.

My DD is almost 8 and has her moments already, too. She is not as extreme with me as you describe (yet). Her teacher says she "wishes every student were like her." But DD saves the mean streak for home. She will demand my attention when I'm otherwise occupied, pitch a dramatic fit over homework that I know she can do, give me "the look" when I ask her to do a chore, pick on her younger brother out of boredom, and all those mean stunts.

I feel like we're at a fork in the road. I can control what direction we take by how I respond to her "tests." I try to teach her self-calming techniques. I tell her to go outside, get some fresh air, write, read, listen to music. I know the behavior she is capable of, so I expect it as much as possible. No one is perfect, though, we all have our meltdowns from time to time. But we don't have the right to impose our meltdowns on other people, that's what I want her to learn. I remind her make HERSELF proud of her behavior. Sometimes I ask "What would you say to a friend who acted like you're acting right now?"

Once, when she was whining about something or other, I told her "Whine louder, cuz you know it helps." She stopped instantly, confused, and said "No, it doesn't." Good answer! So why are you whining? Now I tell my kids that every time they whine. They will say it to other people who are whining! LOL!

Geez, that was longer than I planned. Hope something in my rambling was helpful. Good luck!


 o
RE: Help with my daugther and our relationship

"Once, when she was whining about something or other, I told her "Whine louder, cuz you know it helps." She stopped instantly, confused, and said "No, it doesn't." Good answer! So why are you whining? "

I LOVE THAT! Permission to copy?

When my kids used to badger me to let them do something, I would invite them to "Ask me again." They would. "No. Do you want to ask me again?" "Mo-om!" "What will me answer be if you ask me again?" Funny cirlce, but very effective. I haven't been able to use it in years...


 o
RE: Help with my daugther and our relationship

stephanie---

thanks that Journal idea is awesome! I'm going to get one this week. Maybe I'll take her with to pick one out. Its a whole new way to communicate with her!!!!! I would never have thought of it. just awesome! I cant wait to start it. It will be rough at first I think but Ill start off asking what is here favorite color? or number? just to get her used to the idea and see how well she does with it. And add lots of praise etc... THis is just such a wonderful idea I keep repeating myself - But just great
THanks Again... and thanks for the other "meltdown "ideas too.


 o
RE: Help with my daugther and our relationship

"If you tell them to brush their teeth and they dont its their fault, they have to live with it." His childhood -- he was pretty much on his own, fend for himself kinda thing.

This is what your DH said to you.

I would say to him....He has the RESPONSIBILITY to ensure that his children have healthy teeth. He is RESPONSIBLE for them until they are ready to accept that for themselves.

Children are not responsible for themselves until they are adults.

He needs to show some leadership, in his family, and take control of what is going on. Its unfair of him not to support you, in the raising of your child.

He may have had a childhood where he did things for himself, but that does not make it right. Does it ?

Sorry if I sound a bit bossy. I know you are doing a good job and I wish you very well.

POPI


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Parents Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here