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Normal vrs. a BIG problem??

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
You all may remember, my 9 y.o. daughter has been full of attitude and nasty as of late... well yesterday was horrible! It started over a dvd in the morning, went on all morning, her just talking back, being nasty, eye rolling, etc. I got so upset I called my hubby at work and asked him to come get her and take her into the office for the afternoon. She actually told him in the car that he was the worst dad ever and that she wishes she'd been born in a different family, then she started throwing things at him while he was driving! It went on like this for him the rest of the day, then more at home last night. I had to get away from it, went to borders to try and find some pre-teen discipline books. Nothing looked quite like what we're going through so I didn't get anything. Bedtime last night, out of control. She was so mean, wouldn't talk to us, went to bed, then proceeded to scream-cry like a tanrum, keeping the other kids awake. So the other girls came in our room to sleep which infuriated Allison even more. She finally cried herslef to sleep around midnight.

So is THIS normal? Is it time for therepy or something? I can't even decribe how aweful she has been. Anyone have any advice? Heather E
post #2 of 8
Well, my ds1 is 10, and has been acting this way on and off since about 9. Not the tantrum/crying that you describe, but the mouthing off, arguing constatnly, rolling eyes, etc. I feel the same way you describe sometimes.

Have you had a heart-to-heart with her yet? What works with mine is talking to him like I would talk to an adult; asking what wrong, telling him I notice that he's been cranky lately, is there something on his mind? Fears? Frustrations? And then I share some of my own "problems"; then he usually opens up. Not that this solves everything, but it gives me something to work with.

Is she having problems in school or with friends?

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks Kristi for responding! No problems at school in fact she's perfect at school. I wonder if that may be some of it- she's in the gifted program, always teacher's pet, etc... this is her one place to let it all out. I will try to talk to her, it's just so hard not to fly off the handle when she's all snooty. I'm comforted in the fact that you're going through it with a boy- I've been freaking because we have two other girls! Warmly, Heather E
post #4 of 8
My DD is 10, and we've been doing the mouthy, pouty attitude since she turned 9. I chalk most of it up to her hormones revving up. If you think about it, take her behavior and super-impose it on an adult...you'll get instant PMS.

There are times when talking it out absolutely did not work. Those were the times when she was sent to her room to calm down. No stereo, no nothing. Just sit there, when you think you can control yourself, you may come out and we will *calmly* discuss. If you start yelling, mouthing, *anything* you will return to your room. Particularly horrible behavior gets you sent to *my* room. Why my room? Because there's nothing in there that interests her.

There have been times when I took her bedroom door off the hinges for 48 hours because she slammed it hard enough to get the neighbor's attention. As I was taking the door down, I calmly said "I understand you need your privacy. Our neighbors do NOT need to hear you slamming doors. Think about it." And that was it. She went later on her own and apologized to the neighbor for making so much noise. I wish I could say she stopped slamming the door LOL but she just stopped putting quite so much emphasis in it.

Anyway, long on support and short on usable advice. We'll just ride the roller-coaster together
post #5 of 8
No problems at school in fact she's perfect at school. I wonder if that may be some of it- she's in the gifted program, always teacher's pet, etc... this is her one place to let it all out
You could be talking about my dd! She's now 16, and, like your dd, was in what they called GT, "gifted and talented" for many years. Her name for the program, however, was "get tortured." The work load was excessively heavy, and she was often just exhausted after spending all day in school, then facing hours of homework.

There was also that fear of being considered too smart, or too nerdy by her peers. My dd said she was walking on a thin line, about to fall into the river of nerd-dom. When she was awarded the "Student of the Year" award, she had to be forced to attend the assembly and walk on stage to receive the award.

We also had to take her bedroom door off the hinges for the same reason. She was awful at home. She started asking to go to parties with a certain crowd of kids who got into lots of trouble, just to show that she was "cool."

Not that I'm an expert, but I have been a teacher and a mom for a lot of years, and I've seen so many stressed-out kids. We want the best for them, but sometimes we need to listen a little more closely to what they're trying to tell us. It took me a few years to finally pull her out of that program and let her sign up for a dance class instead. She has since quit the dance class, but now she's going to work on the school yearbook.

If I may pass on just one more thought: Your daughter is looking to you for stability and guidance, even though she might now want to admit it. Get away when the storm is blowing out of control if you have to... Do some yoga, hit the sidewalk at a full run, go for a swim, take a walk in the woods, but return to be the mom you always have been. The storm will blow over, and your little girl will re-appear. Just be there for her, no matter how much it hurts to see her like this. Remember, she's hurting as much as you are, even if it's for different reasons.
post #6 of 8
This behavior may be common, but it is not normal. Having your husband come and get her because you didn't know what to do wasn't a good idea. You need to learn how to parent on your own. Be a tough mom. She is behaving this way because you allow it.

When any child is out of control in the car, pull over. Just sit and wait until the child sits quietly before resuming driving. It only takes a couple times of doing this before children learn they must behave in the car.

Suggested reading - check libraries and book stores
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen...
Loving Your Child is Not Enogh
Discipline: Kids are Worth It
anything by Elizabeth Crary

It's not OK to threaten but it is OK for children's misbehavior to have consequences. My teen loves to eat. He knows that I buy the food and that if he misbehaves I'm not going to be in the mood to take him out to eat or buy him special food. I'm not saying I'd starve him. He knows life is better with a happy mom.
I even joke sometimes and say, 'remember I buy the food.'
post #7 of 8
Hey, I'm a pretty tough mom, but I don't see anything wrong with calling in your husband to take her away.

Kids belong to both parents, and there isn't anything wrong with parenting as a team. It would be bad if you never dealt with her yourself, but that doesn't sound like the situation.

I don't use time outs with my children, but I do use them for me. If I'm losing control in a situation, even if all that means I'm going to start yelling and screaming, then I remove myself. In your situation yesterday, it sounds like removing yourself for the afternoon was a good idea. I'd have never made it through the rest of the horrible night if I hadn't had the afternoon off.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses. I too feel that if one parent needs a break, or a time out, then calling the other one in is good for everyone involved, Mothersong. And thanks Gabner for the books suggestions- I have two of the ones listed and would add Sear's Discipline book, at least for little kids. Anyone have a good pre-teen/ teen discipline book, maybe geared specifically towards girls? Warmly, Heather E
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