what's wrong with her ? (x-posted gd forum) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 04-28-2012, 01:25 AM - Thread Starter
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this is again about dd1. i love her dearly, she is funny, cute full of fantasy, but it's not fun to be with her. she is disrespectful, not naturally helpful, not really caring, plainly disobedient.

we are having her evaluated, but it still does take a couple of weeks until we get the results.
- but the psychologist took us (the parents) into a class for parents with children with disruptive disorders. - i take that as a sign since we are still in the evaluating phase and she booked us in after the first appointment.

i love dd1, i want her to be happy. i want to be able to have a loving relationship with her, without constantly telling her to stop, or simply getting exhausted with her.
yesterday we were shopping, and it was a nightmare - again. she is shouting, touching, taking, disobedient and not able to focus - i can get ds to help me a bit and get him to work with me - that#s not possible with dd - and she is 6 and he is 3.

the parent training asks us for strict consequences, counting to three and time-outs. that does not feel right to me. but i don't know what to do to teach her normal social behaviour. kids don't want to play with her because she is loud, wants to decide everything and is not good with compromising.
it makes my heart bleed ...

please help me help her!

Trin with DH , DD(7)  and DS(5) ,  DD(2) ,
I am not regularly online at the moment due to the above ...
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#2 of 5 Old 04-28-2012, 07:46 AM
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Hi there. For what it's worth, here's my reaction/my experience... Hugs to you - your DD sounds so familiar to me...


My DD has special needs. My DS, who is almost 9, does not, as far as I can tell, have a diagnosis. He's just an incredibly entitled bossy pants, despite many, many people in his life telling him in various ways (gentle and not) that he's coming on too strong. He has been this way his whole life. Maybe there's something we did early on to foster this... but I doubt it. I think it's his intrinsic personality, and we have been mindful to help steer him in more socially acceptable directions since he started walking! One example: He has had the same bedtime expectations since he was 3, and it's *still* an aggravation to get him to brush his teeth almost every night. And over the past 5 years, we've tried numerous strategies to make the bedtime teeth brushing less of a fight. He looooooooooves to argue - I mean, seriously, I think it's his preferred way of engaging with people. Very annoying to me personally, and to many others. He is a lot of work to parent. 




And, he is also incredibly imaginative, very smart, full of ideas and energy. He is *driven* to manifest his will in the world - a trait that is and will be an asset to him all life long, as long as he doesn't steamroller over people in the process. He isn't what I would call "sweet," but he is also not at all mean. He would never intentionally harm someone. He is very kind and compassionate and worried about fairness and bullying, in a clinical/logical sort of way. He has a hard time seeing the world through anyone's eyes but his own... and since *he* doesn't get bothered by impassioned and fervent arguing for one's position, he doesn't understand that it can feel overwhelming and upsetting to other kids. He assumes everyone is going to vigorously fight (verbally) for what they want, like he does. 


We spend a LOT of time coaching, coaching, coaching him. Including very direct statements like, "Other people will find that annoying and they may not want to hang out with you." Many of the gentle discipline techniques I wanted to use with him are too subtle. He responds better to very direct instruction (E.g., "Go brush your teeth now." vs. "It's time to brush your teeth, honey" or "Please brush your teeth.") He told me once that when someone says "Please" with an instruction, he takes it to mean that it's optional. orngtongue.gif  We do use counting... grrr, not the kind of parenting technique I want to use with an almost 9-year old... but otherwise he doesn't respond. We also threaten to use consequences (usually: loss of screen time) if he's transgressing other people's boundaries or failing to follow basic household expectations (e.g., getting his teeth brushed - and that is NOT optional for us - he's got a lot of his adult teeth in and we want them cared for!).


All of this is to say: he is a handful, and a BIG personality, and... to be honest, kind of a pain in the rear sometimes... but I don't think he needs an official diagnosis or label. Just a LOT of coaching, parenting techniques that he responds to, and patience. At his core, he is a great person, and I'm assuming he's going to grow into being a great grown-up. (I think the late teens/early 20's will probably be a bit rough for him as he tests manifesting his will in work environments...but I think he'll learn from all that boundary testing! wink1.gif)


If the track you're on with the psychologist doesn't feel right to you... stay mindful of that gut feeling. It might be helpful to try some things and see if your DD responds better... but always keep that balanced against your overall parenting values and goals for your child. I worry that some of those programs are focused on 100% compliance and social conformity, which - as a mama to a special needs child - doesn't feel neurodiverse enough to me! My goal with DS is not 100% compliance... I just want him to stay on the right side of other people's boundaries - the phrase "My rights end where yours begin" comes to mind. If he can master that, I think he'll be just fine.


Good luck - it's a journey! 


Mama to my talkaholic DS (Oct 2003) and my climbaholic DD (May 2007).
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#3 of 5 Old 04-29-2012, 03:50 AM - Thread Starter
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thank you for this response, I really appreciate the time you took into it.
It sounds as if you are doing incredible things with your son.

I personally think my dd doesn't have a diagnosis as well, my Mom always says she is just like me. I am worrying too much about her "possible" future feeling. My friend yesterday told me just to relax and love her and let her be. Since she is just like me I am afraid of the feelings and rejections she may suffer in the future, and this constant being too much feeling.
I love her and for me she does not have to change, I can deal with her. Maybe my friend is right and I should just stop worrying about others and just love her. It's just so difficult. I don't want to miss anything - like an opportunity to teach her.

Do you think there are personalities who actually "need" time outs to learn? Or does it just take longer for her to grasp the concepts because she is soooo focused on what she wants to do...

Trin with DH , DD(7)  and DS(5) ,  DD(2) ,
I am not regularly online at the moment due to the above ...
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#4 of 5 Old 04-29-2012, 04:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Triniity View Post

Do you think there are personalities who actually "need" time outs to learn? 


Yes, I do. My child with ADHD needs very strict consequences, enforced immediately.It also takes him much longer to learn certain behaviors than your average child.  By strict I don't mean, spanking/yelling/shaming/or any sort of abusive practices. I mean a consequence with enough impact to get his attention and that are consistently enforced. We use things like grounding, revoking TV privileges, taking away toys, etc. I try to make the consequence fit the crime whenever possible. With out the use of consequences I am positive he would be a complete nightmare to deal with right now. I love my son very much and I want what is best for him. He needs to learn to follow social expectations. Being rude, hurting people, being disrespectful, etc. etc. Are not ok and are not tolerated. We focus on positive and the things he does well, but we can not ignore the areas he needs correction in or they grow and grow. 

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#5 of 5 Old 04-29-2012, 02:50 PM
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Trinity, my DD is 9 1/2 and not exactly like yours. However, for the last MANY years, I have been chalking things up to her just being different and difficult and working via therapist a million different ways behaviorally. I don't know what happened this year but it has ramped up to the point where I can no longer see her as just her own difficult but amazing personality. Now, I am NOT saying your DD is like this, in fact I hope for you that she will grow and respond to your different techniques. However, I have to say that I know this feeling of asking what's wrong with my child, and personally wish I had pushed for an evaluation earlier before things exploded. So if you feel like something is not right, don't be afraid to keep pushing. I'm also not saying that every child's unique way of being should be pathologized, I just wish I could have helped my daughter before things got this bad (she has severe OCD/Anxiety and am getting her tested for other stuff, SPD etc.). Good luck! The people on this board are very helpful so don't be afraid to ask.

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