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Oh wait, back to banging my head into a wall! *post 77* - Page 2

post #21 of 112

Random thoughts

I don't have much advice to add. All I can think of is this might be something you just have to ride through. I have not read the book mentioned but maybe that thought is in there. I dunno. Your dd sounds alot like a hurt animal (a disclaimer of my own: no I'm not calling her an animal) pushed to a corner, lashing out and trying to hold her ground. You seem to understand where that anger is coming from too. She might need counseling and I'm not knocking it... but that always seems the answer. In some cases it is. And others, well maybe not. You could try to be on the lookout for triggers and try to headoff some of her fear. If she saw you being beat by your ex she probably has very accute reaction to any conflict. I can see her getting upset when you're having an intense discussion with your current dh if in the past that led to you being hurt. She just might need lots of time to come accept that is not the way it is now. I really like the idea of trying to giv her outlets to express her anger that do not involve ruining your home. Also, if she is in a sport like karate or anything, maybe that will help her feel better in how she earns your pride. I can't imagine her liking how she get "points from you" now. It is too slimy (not the right word but I hope ykwm) and beneath the way you know you raised her. She knows deep down it is not right but does not seem to be able to break it.


s

PS- I really like how their are teens on mdc
post #22 of 112
I can relate to your feelings of being a failure. I have been there and it feels like hell. I am grateful that I felt like hell rather than justified or indifferent, because the feeling that I was in hell prompted me to make changes in the way I viewed my role as a parent. Emotions are often indicators of a need for change. You are looking for alternatives and that is a sign that you are looking for better ways. I think it takes a lot of courage to be critical of ourselves as parents and even more to admit that we have not found the best way to do this.

It sounds like your dd gets very resentful when being punished. I have learned that punishing escalates frustration, even when using the "nice voice". In fact, I can see from the teen's perspective how that would be even more maddening...a kind of "Don't pretend you are being nice when you are punishing me." thing. What do you think punishing will solve? In my opinion and from personal experience, it leads to resentment and a poisoning of a healthy relationship. What are your thoughts on never again punishing your dd?
post #23 of 112
Thread Starter 
She wasn't being punished when I sent her to her room, she hadn't even asked yet to play on the computer. DH and I started arguing, I stopped, asked DD to go read in her room, she complained she wanted to play on the computer and stormed off. It was like : I went in to talk to her, tell her I wasn't mad at her and say I was sorry for making her leave and she just glared at me, it wasn't til about 20 minutes later that DH discovered the hole.

Yes, I am looking at what I am doing with her as wrong, but I don't think I could do anything right.

She was only 3 when it happened, and she was in a couple years of counseling then for everything that was going on. She was kicked out finally because there was nothing wrong and the insurance wouldn't pay anymore! The only thing she can remember from our big fight is that her bio dad stepped on her foot on accident and she cried. Counseling couldn't bring any more out of her, so I don't think there's any more to remember, where she was so young. I have no memories before the age of 5 myself.

DD isn't growing up in a violent home. She was in one until she was 3, but not since and never will be again.

I do talk to her, and just let her talk without any judgement, but I guess it's not enough. I give her us time, DH gives her time. I truly feel like it's a "no matter what I do, it'll never be enough" because I'm giving her the us time, the love, the time for herself, the ability to be herself. I ask out of her no more then she can handle and bust my ass every day to make sure she knows she's loved and we want her in our home and in our family. I guess I'm angry and sad today because I look back over the years and realize that no matter what I did, it was never enough. She's been temperamental since she was born, just how I always was and still am, but refuses to use the tools I've given her to control the destructive out bursts. So frustrated.

I guess I'll get a punching bag on payday.

She despises my dad because he's a jerk. I take care of him because I am the last of 5 kids and the rest gave up trying. He's not the reason she's acting like this, she's been temperamental since before she ever met him, but he definitely sets her off teasing and picking on her (and my other kids). He's an ass, but it's not an option to put him in a home. We get plenty of time without him, when he's feeling well enough we can go overnight without him so we'll go camping and whatnot.

Can you ell I'm : and lost here?
post #24 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthea™ View Post

She despises my dad because he's a jerk. I take care of him because I am the last of 5 kids and the rest gave up trying. He's not the reason she's acting like this, she's been temperamental since before she ever met him, but he definitely sets her off teasing and picking on her (and my other kids). He's an ass, but it's not an option to put him in a home. We get plenty of time without him, when he's feeling well enough we can go overnight without him so we'll go camping and whatnot.

Can you ell I'm : and lost here?
Yes, I feel for you. Do you tell your dad he is a jerk and an ass? Do you stick up for your kids in front of him? Do you tell him, where your dd can hear, that it's not ok for him to pick on your kids? If not, that could be doing a lot of damage. I really admire you for taking care of your father, but I wouldn't do it at the expense of my children's self-esteem. I would say, "look dad, these are the rules for living here. Period." And mean it.

And clarification: I didn't mean to imply that your dd is currently living in a violent home, just that she had before.
post #25 of 112
Amy, it looks like you have a lot of changes taking place in your lives right now. I can see where your dd might feel like she has absolutely NO control in her life, and that can be frustrating for anyone - especially a pre-teen who is getting to the point in her life where she wants MORE control.

I second the suggestion that part of her problem might be hormonal. My sons started maturing early (body hair, acne, etc), and age 11 was an emotional roller coaster for them (even though their lives were otherwise very stable). We saw more tears last year that we had seen in the previous five. We talked a lot about puberty, and homornal changes, and the fact that it WOULD get better! I remember one of my sons screaming "I HATE puberty!" Knowing that it was a temporary condition really helped them get through it.

You mentioned moving and homeschooling. Does your dd have many friends? Does she belong to any organizations (music, dance, sports, etc)? Could part of her frustration be caused by loneliness?

I don't have any advice - just hugs for all of you.
post #26 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthea™ View Post
She despises my dad because he's a jerk. I take care of him because I am the last of 5 kids and the rest gave up trying. He's not the reason she's acting like this, she's been temperamental since before she ever met him, but he definitely sets her off teasing and picking on her (and my other kids). He's an ass, but it's not an option to put him in a home. We get plenty of time without him, when he's feeling well enough we can go overnight without him so we'll go camping and whatnot.
This really stands out to me. "teasing" and "picking on" an 11 year old can quickly translate into major self-esteem issues for the kid. What you see as annoying, jerky and rude can quickly get internalized by a kid that age, especially if she remembers Gramps being nicer to her at one time. And it can happen even if the teasing is pretty infrequent. Kids really pick up on that kind of thing. Someone said she may feel like everyone is out to get her - I think the grandfather might really be exacerbating these feelings.

When he's being a jerk, do you stand up for your dd? If he says something borderline, do you step in and say, "That's not true, dd was _______" or otherwise stick up for her? I think that would go a long way towards making her feel better about you and about herself. It's important to remember that while YOU may realize that he's "just being a jerk," if you don't say much to stick up for her, she's going to think that you agree with every rude, crummy thing he does/says to her because you don't stop him. And talking to him alone really isn't enough. You have to defend your dd, when appropriate, right in front of everyone. Make it known that that kind of treatment of your child/children is unacceptable in your home.

It's wonderful and hard that you're taking responsibility for your dad. But at the same time, if he's being an ass to your dd, you owe it to her to do something about it (and not just expect her to "get it" because we all pitch in, make sacrifices, etc.). Depending on how mean or caustic he is, it could really be a painful, poisonous influence in your dd's psychological health and no amount of "But you understand, we have to take care of Gramps" will make her feel better when he's being a jerk to her. It will just make her feel like, at least on some level, you agree with him.

Sorry to write a novel. Obviously, I've had personal experience with this kind of situation . . . as the kid. I hope it helps a little to see where some of her frustration/perspective might be coming from.

Julia
dd 1 year old
post #27 of 112
It sounds like your DD has had to deal with a lot in her short life. I can empathize with her. I agree with the PP who said that she might be feeling like nothing is within her control.

Back to your feeling that she should be happier because she has it better than you did, have you talked to her about how you grew up? Can you tell her a story about how hard it was to grow up with your dad? Have you talked to her about the reasons why you've taken him in?

Also, I don't mean to step on toes, but have you considered sending her out to school? Is she interested in trying it? Just getting out of the house every day might relieve some stress on both of you. I understand if there are reasons behind your homeschooling that make that impossible, but I had some homeschooling relatives who had a similar issue with a child and they ended up putting him in school, and it really helped them.

I hope you find a way to make things better for both of you.
post #28 of 112
Thread Starter 
I tried posting twice earlier and both times, my ever mobile 9 month old got to the power button on top of my computer I had looooong posts written, and just don't have the oomph to type all it again, so I apologize if this sounds weird...

Public school has always been an option. She's not interested, nor am I. We're working on the friends thing (YMCA, Camp Fire Kids, SCA or other medieval group, etc).

My dad: I stick up for her and back him the hell off immediately and abruptly. He's from a very odd era and thinks his way is right, so it's a never ending battle. We talk about how he is going senile often so she understands he's lonely and just doesn't understand the right way to ask for attention. She mostly ignores him. DH is a great dad for the whole male role model thing.

I distinctly, and painfully, remember the years from about 8-15 (when I got pg and actually grew up). I remember the pain and loneliness and helplessness and fear and hatred and jealousy of other kids...maybe I'm trying to hard to make her happy and just need to let her be? Everything else I'm doing, all the hands on, caring stuff, isn't working.

I think I got most of what I had typed before, just not written as well Sorry! Scatterbrained bad today....
post #29 of 112
That's great what you said about sticking up for her. I'm not surprised, since you seem very on top of things in your home.

We have some of this with dh's little sister, who's almost 14 and really more his daughter than his sister (large age difference, her dad is an alcoholic, there's been a divorce, etc.)

I think that part of what you said at the end is so true. That being that age is hard no matter what, and that there is only so much you can do to help her to feel better . . . the rest is just suffering through adolescence. I remember it as the most difficult time of my life emotionally, and I'd never want to go back. I remember pretty much everyone was pretty darn miserable most of the time, though we found plenty of ways to have fun (some of them not very healthy).

So I want to make dSIL feel better all the time, but I also know that some of that is just what it is, and I can't fix it. I can just try to be accessible if she ever wants to talk or needs me. I can tell you're doing that for your dd.

It sounds like you're very in tune with her, communicate well, and are doing your best. I hope things improve.

Julia
dd 1 year old
post #30 of 112
When dh and I are having a disagreement we go in the bedroom or outside, wherever we can talk alone. It does sound like your dd is really hurting. I don't care is a mask for pain. For caring and for not feeling safe. Counseling really can make a huge difference in peoples lives if they are willing to be honest and work on their personal issues. Sounds like the whole family could benefit.
post #31 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
When dh and I are having a disagreement we go in the bedroom or outside, wherever we can talk alone. It does sound like your dd is really hurting. I don't care is a mask for pain. For caring and for not feeling safe. Counseling really can make a huge difference in peoples lives if they are willing to be honest and work on their personal issues. Sounds like the whole family could benefit.
ITA. to the OP and your Dd.
post #32 of 112
My dd gets very grumpy after dh and I argue. I have a lot of personality and am VERY dramatic so it's been work to keep the drama down for her.
Do you think it's at all possible that the arguing was a trigger for her? Like it triggered a bad feeling from her early childhood?

You are in such a hard situation with your dad. It's great that you are so vocal about sticking up for your dd.

I have no great advice but I don't think you should feel like you failed your dd. Eleven is a hard age and there is a lot going on in your family.
post #33 of 112
to you mama and your family.

Another book that is a great resource for parenting the difficult child is Transforming the Difficult Child by Howard Glasser. I took the series of class as CEUs for work and got so much out it. I have 2 really high spirited/strong willed kids and what I learned in this book/the class transformed our parenting of them. Things are so much better! Here is the website http://www.difficultchild.com/
post #34 of 112
Synthea, I hope you and dd are having better days at present. My dd also saw me being beaten up and verbally abused. I have set some serious boundaries this week concerning pc time, going out and general attitude. My dd has been going about going on about how I'm ruining her life! by setting these boundaries, but I have stuck firm. She immediately attacked me when I told her of my intentions( to remove the pc for a coupla months til she can sort herself out) It will pay off and I think she is sleeping better already just by getting to bed earlier. I find it hard having no back-up/support bringing the dc up on my own and we are financially poor which has it's own stigma. My dd has got some interviews for partime jobs, I think this will really help her be more responsible. Streuth I was working at age 10. My dd is coming up 15.I'm gonna stick to my boundaries despite the constant complaining. So and hope things improve soon.
post #35 of 112
FWIW - my 11 yr old has responded very well to "alone time" with me. We can talk about things better out of the house. We go to a coffee shop (and you know what - I get him a coffee!* ) I think it makes him feel like I am acknowledging that he is growing up - something he craves from me...

(((HUGS)))

Kathy
* disclaimer: he only gets a coffee once a week or so, no flames!:
post #36 of 112
i don't think your daughter needs professional help, just a bit of perspective. Here is what I do...

I go into my dds room when she starts getting out of line and I remove every scrap of what we call "luxuries". I lock them up. I'm talking DVDs, Comp.Games and all her cool clothes. Each good behavior is rewarded by allowing her one thing back.

It works, my dd slips up (as mother nature intended her to rebel against her mom and move away from the tribe around 9 years old!!!) so its a natural thing but mostly she catches herself mid "bad behaviour" and stops it, which gets a hug...

GOOD LUCK
post #37 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muaile View Post

I go into my dds room when she starts getting out of line and I remove every scrap of what we call "luxuries". I lock them up. I'm talking DVDs, Comp.Games and all her cool clothes. Each good behavior is rewarded by allowing her one thing back.

GOOD LUCK
From Personal Experiecne

The price paid: resentment
What is learned: manipulation and tit for tat

Is that what you want your dd to learn?

It might come back to bite you in the you know what.
post #38 of 112
Quote:
I remember the pain and loneliness and helplessness and fear and hatred and jealousy of other kids...maybe I'm trying to hard to make her happy and just need to let her be?
This seems crucial to me. Your posts sound like a mama who is trying really hard to make everything perfect for her kid, but is learning that her happiness is not entirely in your control. Letting go some -- recognizing that she is the only one who can decide to be happy -- might aleviate some of the stress you are feeling. A little emotional detachment (in terms of being in control and feeling responsible) might be helpful to you. Your feelings of success or failure do not need depend on her behavior.

Quote:
We haven't raised her this way. I know too many kids who are like this and I've deliberately tried to raise her not to be so selfish and uncaring, but I failed
From your first post. This line of reasoning seems faulty to me, and makes me feel concerned that you are carrying a burden that you don't need to. We don't really get to decide how our kids will be, what choices they will make, etc. We maybe can influence them, but they make choices, and they have stuff going on inside of them that we didn't necessarily plant there, and that we can't necessarily control.

I don't know the answer to the problem of kicking holes in the wall. But something is telling me that distinguishing her actions and feelings from your parenting goals might be a good first step in feeling better. She is her own person.
post #39 of 112
P.S. - I once read in a parenting book that parents should not be judged by their children's behavior, but instead by their reactions to their children's behavior.
post #40 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Susie1 View Post
From Personal Experiecne

The price paid: resentment
What is learned: manipulation and tit for tat

Is that what you want your dd to learn?

It might come back to bite you in the you know what.


No I want my dd to learn that bad behaviour has a consequence and that the authorities (me now, the state later) will see punishments through. I have, in return, for being strict a very good child. People comment on her fine behaviour all the time. Children need discipline. Trying to be their "friend" never works. A mothers job is to teach her kids how to live in the world, and the world is a place where everything doesn't always go your way. We need to learn Patience, and disappointment, and all the things we need to equip ourselves for the future. My mother was strict on bad behaviour and very rewarding on good. She took us around the world, to concerts and restaurants because she knew we wouldn't risk acting up.

I adore my mother. We are very close.
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