Please help -- out of ideas with 10yo dd and ready to cry with frustration. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 03-28-2010, 11:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter is a beautiful, kindhearted, loving soul. She's been living the blended family life since she was 5.5; her dad moved out and immediately hooked up with a woman with 3 kids who was immediately pregnant. She seemed to transition beautifully; loves the extended family. When I was remarried this summer, she was thrilled. She doesn't have obvious "adjustment problems," so to speak, but the family situation is relevant.

Around 7.5/8, we started having major issues with in-home bullying (by her) of her younger brother. Here and at dad's. Dad and I don't communicate well. We've done better lately in talking about dd, but generally, we're on different pages. Also about 8, he put heavy pressure on her to go to public school over homeschool, and so she did that. We still struggle with bullying to a degree, but it's not overwhelming.

However, here are our problems (don't want to go on forever and I feel like I will):
1) lying - consistently, since she was young. as in, stands in front of a pile of freshly folded clothes scattered on her bedroom floor sulking "but I DID put them away! why don't you ever believe me?" after I point out I can *see* the clothes I just folded on the floor. she hates that i don't believe her about stuff. yet she blatantly lies to me constantly, and i have trouble trusting her word on anything.
2) school - she just doesn't care about it, even though she chose it. doesn't want to be homeschooled. brings home 1 out of 4 points for effort, won't do homework, etc. colors things like she's in kindergarten. teacher's no help, says she won't babysit a fifth grader, that dd just needs to "do it" in regards to work, keeping track of homework, etc. but she won't.
3) keeping track of "stuff" - losing her electronics (mp3 players, etc) comes with natural consequences. however, losing 3 pairs of sneakers to i-don't-know-where is a huge and expensive problem for me. she doesn't have enough income to require her to replace them herself, and she needs them for gym class, for instance.
4) sleeping - her teacher has complained for months that she's sleepy in class. i put her to bed early; i check on her after she's in bed. i leave her door open so I can see if she's reading. finally i've begun going through her sheets each night. i'm finding candy (a HUGE chocolate bar i bought for smores tonight, last week a package of cocoa mix) under her pillow, and flashlights. i feel like invading her space this way is really damaging our relationship. i also have absolutely no other solution anymore.

We carve out time together. We cuddle. We play. Her dad even finally came to a teacher conference with dd and me together so she could see us trying to be on the same page with her. Trying to increase communication with her father won't be extremely helpful; he has 9 kids altogether and doesn't provide individual attention or coach on organization, etc. I do extra to make up for it. She's nearly 50/50 between homes.

I'm running out of patience, though. We had a huge argument because she was refusing to choose appropriate, matching, respectful clothes for my husband's grandmother's memorial this weekend. She yelled "You say I'm in charge of my own life!" and I replied, "You are. And you can choose not to attend the service, or to be respectful by wearing clothes appropriate for church."

My last words to her tonight we "I love you, but I am seriously angry." I am not happy with that. Yet, I went into her bedroom for a final tuck-in and reached to pull back the sheets and she said "What are you doing!" I realized she was hiding things and said, "I'm checking your bed," and she said, "There's nothing there!" when I unearthed the flashlight and huge candy bar under her pillow. Then, "I didn't put that there!" and "I don't even know what it is or where it came from!" GRRR!

I didn't expect parenting to be easy, ever, but I didn't expect to be so. out. of. ideas. this early in the game!

HELP!
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#2 of 16 Old 03-28-2010, 11:56 PM
 
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What are the consequences she has to face for lying and not doing her work? Does she lose privileges? That is what I have found to work with most kids I know. When it is something they really like to do, or upcoming events like birthday parties, etc. and the parents really follow through and stay home than it is successful.
I also think 10 is a little young to be "in control of her own life". Sometimes too many choices makes things harder.
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#3 of 16 Old 03-29-2010, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have not found any consequences that seem to matter to her. She gets her social needs met by being at her father's; she has a 12yo stepsister and a 10yo stepsister and they all get along well. So cutting out social stuff as consequence hasn't made a difference. Cutting out dessert stuff hasn't made a difference -- she just sneaks it; she just sneaks huge candy bars, apparently (there are few sweets in the house generally). Cutting out electronics doesn't matter to her. She's had to cancel sleepovers last minute for either lying or bullying and it just makes her mad rather than changing the behavior.

Last night was particularly frustrating as it comes on the heels of a parent-teacher conference that felt productive. So, I asked her to practice her flute last night. She left her music, including my music book that she borrowed without permission, at her father's. Even though she doesn't practice her flute over there, so I'm not even sure why it was out of her backpack. Then, she tells me she left her flute at school. I asked her TWICE Friday if she had her flute when I picked her up at school -- once in the school, then in the car I asked her to check her bag to make sure. She opened the bag and said it was in there. To find out Sunday night there was no flute???

I had her sit and write me a 200 word essay on what she can do to be more responsible about keeping track of things. It was a lovely essay, to be honest. She didn't even complain while she wrote it, which shocked me. It included a bit about getting enough sleep and getting to bed on time. Then I found the flashlight and candy bar 20 minutes after she'd finished.

So obviously what I'm doing, is not working.
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#4 of 16 Old 03-29-2010, 11:14 AM
 
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There's a lot here, but I do have to say that the school issues, the disorganization, the impulsive-sounding behaviors, even the lying, etc. would raise a red flag for me in terms of looking at ADHD and depression. I'm not saying that this is totally the issue, but there are some signs there. Have you spoken w/her pediatrician? Has she had any sort of an eval done at all?
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#5 of 16 Old 03-29-2010, 03:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by karne View Post
There's a lot here, but I do have to say that the school issues, the disorganization, the impulsive-sounding behaviors, even the lying, etc. would raise a red flag for me in terms of looking at ADHD and depression. I'm not saying that this is totally the issue, but there are some signs there. Have you spoken w/her pediatrician? Has she had any sort of an eval done at all?
I was thinking the same thing about ADD...the inattentive-type can be hard to spot if you're not looking for it. My dd and I both have it and I can relate to the not caring about school/homework, losing things, the disorganization. One of the markers of ADD is that it's nearly impossible to find the self-motivation to do something you're not interested in. When I was a kid I used to lie to get out of doing homework--I'd tell my mom I did it at school. I'd lose stuff constantly and then lie so I wouldn't get in trouble. I didn't know I had ADD until I was in my 20s. So I just thought I was a bad, lazy kid...which made it okay for me to keep lying.... In my dd's case the school hasn't been helpful at all. They don't recognize ADD without the hyperactivity.

Is counseling an option? This is such a critical age...If she starts to see you as the enemy, the teen years will be really tough on both of you. Are there situations where she opens up to you? It sounds like she feels kind of alienated and is lashing out--believe me, I've been there! It sounds like counseling might be in order...
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#6 of 16 Old 03-29-2010, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wish counseling were an option. xh won't agree to it, and she doesn't like the school counselor, so without a court order, I can't get her into counseling.

I'm hyper aware of the depression possibility -- I've been diagnosed in my lifetime with depression, bipolar, and most recently, ptsd, and her dad was diagnosed add and learning disabled as a kid -- but really, I don't see enough to be really concerned about depression. It's all well within the range of normal.

That said, I'm a fan of counseling for everyone.

I thought of something today that may help -- when she was younger and the bullying at home got out of control, I finally told her, that if I couldn't trust her to be kind to her brother, she could stay with me all the time the way a 3-yo would need to. That's the only consequence that ever mattered to her. Recently, I've given her the freedom to stay home for 45 minutes or so at a time if I'm running and errand, etc. she doesn't want to do. I told her today that since she can't demonstrate 10yo responsibility, I won't allow her the privilege any more.

I don't want to fight with her. I've read tons of parenting and communication books but can't find the answers; I feel like I must be missing some strategies. Our communication is of utmost importance to me; I'd like to come back to a place of trust and understanding one way or another, and to find a way to allow her space and freedom while also setting clear expectations and having her meet them.

Is this way too idealistic?
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#7 of 16 Old 03-30-2010, 08:11 AM
 
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To be honest, it seems like your dd needs some adults to step up to the plate here. Does your ex need to give an OK for you to take your dd to her pedi and discuss what's going on? If you can do this, and her pedi suggests further eval w/a psychologist, what would your ex do about that? Mental health issues are every bit as important as physical health issues.

I don't understand the comment about your dd's teacher not wanting to "babysit" her? That's quite an amazing statement. W/a family history of add, LD's, etc., it would seem that her actions are crying out for some evaluation/intervention.

Your dd is young, and she needs the support of the adults in her life to navigate what's going on here. While I can't say if you are being idealistic or not, I'm not sure that the steps you've put into place are the most helpful? It seems like there's an effort on your part for some sort of a "natural consequences" plan. But, it seems that her behavior is across the board-school, home, etc. This warrants a more comprehensive look at what's happening. By seeking help you may be able to be "on her side", and preserve the communication that is so important to you.
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#8 of 16 Old 03-30-2010, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We have joint legal custody. So technically we have equal say medically in making choices. When my son had a hard time adjusting to divorce, the doctor referred him for therapy. I notified xh (as required), and his response was to show up to the appointment and say "I do not consent to this appointment," and the therapist couldn't see him.

I've always perceived dd's times of "defiance" for lack of a better word as a desire to exert more control over her life (since in split custody at her age, she has very little control over a lot of things). We used to homeschool; she finally stopped homeschooling. Would sit in front of her work for hours but refuse to lift her pencil, and that's when bullying began in earnest. She was under a lot of pressure at dad's to go to school -- the kids over there and her father and stepmother gave her the feeling I was depriving her of the school experience by homeschooling her. Since unschooling is not an option in her situation, she finally had the choice to work at home or go to school. She went to school; she's more relaxed but academically slid way backward, and her teachers refused to require more from her, preferring to believe that she had been poorly homeschooled rather than the testing that showed her above grade level.

My husband is excellent about being on board with me about things and helping to stay on top of her -- both her attitude and her actions -- but I can't force her father or stepmother to be better parents, and they're not bad enough to lose custodial time. With 9 kids in the house, they seem to give adequate attention to none of them, but as I said, I've finally managed to get a bit of coparenting solidarity from xh recently.

As to her teacher -- I don't know what to do about that, really. I had the same teacher years ago; she's due for retirement and very badly set in her ways. She refuses to think there's a potential "issue" (and there may well not be) and simply says, "Well, she needs to just 'do it.'" Of course, that hasn't worked thus far. Next year, she moves into 6th grade, where she'll be changing classes, etc.

Maybe I'll make an appointment with the guidance counselor to see if she has some ideas. In last year's school, dd occasionally sought the guidance counselor out, and liked her. She just doesn't like this year's counselor and doesn't want to see her.

We set clear boundaries; there are consequences when she doesn't meet them. She doesn't really care much about whatever consequences I've set down, though, and I can see the "f-you" set in her eyes and the anger when they get set. Given the choice between a well-behaved, angry child, and a happy, disorganized child who fails at school, I'll take the happy one. I don't want her to be angry all the time. She's sincerely hurt that I don't trust her; what I'm doing is not changing the behavior -- so continuing to do the same things seems like a bad option.

I wonder if it's simply that consequences don't matter because if she loses dessert or electronics or social privileges here, she regains them Wednesday mornings when she goes to her father's.

One thing I have done is implemented a clean room policy -- previously, I took the "it's your room; I don't care if it's a mess as long as you take care of your clean clothes" policy. Because frankly, I'm not that tidy either. However, I've told her she'll keep her room neat now in hopes it will help her stay organized, and she is, and she's no more organized.

And again, last night, she came home from school saying "Well, I kind of have homework but I'm not sure what we have to do." Even though I went over her teacher's procedure yesterday morning -- "Don't forget to check the board at the end of the day, and have your homework written in your homework notebook, and check with the teacher if you don't understand the assignment."
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#9 of 16 Old 03-30-2010, 10:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by morgainesmama View Post

However, here are our problems (don't want to go on forever and I feel like I will):

1) lying - consistently, since she was young. as in, stands in front of a pile of freshly folded clothes scattered on her bedroom floor sulking "but I DID put them away! why don't you ever believe me?" after I point out I can *see* the clothes I just folded on the floor. she hates that i don't believe her about stuff. yet she blatantly lies to me constantly, and i have trouble trusting her word on anything.

2) school - she just doesn't care about it, even though she chose it. doesn't want to be homeschooled. brings home 1 out of 4 points for effort, won't do homework, etc. colors things like she's in kindergarten. teacher's no help, says she won't babysit a fifth grader, that dd just needs to "do it" in regards to work, keeping track of homework, etc. but she won't.

3) keeping track of "stuff" - losing her electronics (mp3 players, etc) comes with natural consequences. however, losing 3 pairs of sneakers to i-don't-know-where is a huge and expensive problem for me. she doesn't have enough income to require her to replace them herself, and she needs them for gym class, for instance.

4) sleeping - her teacher has complained for months that she's sleepy in class. i put her to bed early; i check on her after she's in bed. i leave her door open so I can see if she's reading. finally i've begun going through her sheets each night. i'm finding candy (a HUGE chocolate bar i bought for smores tonight, last week a package of cocoa mix) under her pillow, and flashlights. i feel like invading her space this way is really damaging our relationship. i also have absolutely no other solution anymore.

HELP!

In some ways I agree with needing a counsellor - not because I think she needs counselling per se (her issues do not really soound extreme) but so you can get a fresh perspective. Have you thought of going to counselling solo on this? (as you ex won't agree to her going?) My friend has an 11 yr old in counselling - and, honestly, for the most part the counsellor counsels the parent who them implements changes with the child.

My own 11 year DD is causing me some challenges - so big hug to you! I commiserate!

I would like to address your above points - not to attack, but to give you a different perspective.

1. Do not give her the opportunity to lie. Do not ask her if she put away her clothes - go check and if she didn't, say "put away your clothes". Be very specific in instructions: "put all your clothes away". That way she cannot pull the "miscommunication card" in discussions. This is not always practical, I know. If you catch someone else lying (even a character on TV ) make a comment: "no one is going to trust him for a long time after the lying he did". I would make it about a secondary character as I bet she is unwilling to admit she lied - so talking about it directly might not get you very far . Secondary character are easier and safer to talk about.

2. Well, she didn't really choose it. She was torn between parents who wanted different things. She has a teacher who is acting like she can't be bothered with her. I am not suprised she is underperforming - she is probably messed up on the whole issue. Acknowledge that it is no suprise she is behaving as she is (take any blame you have on her off) and figure out a plan to go from "messed up" to thriving. I would start with an evaluation for LD to rule out that possibility. I think the school has to do one in a certain amount of time if you put your request in writing. Then, find her a kick-ass school and teachers. Not all teachers are going to be great, but until she has transitioned smoothly into school and is thriving, she needs good ones who will work with her.

3. Does she get an allowance? Make money in some way? If she doesn't - make it happen. Let her enjoy her buying power for about a month - get a feel for it. Then tell her that she is going to get one pair of sneakers until June, and if she loses them, she is replacing them. Yes, you may have to supplement if she loses beyond her allowance (and then she is in debt to you - no allowance until it is paid off, you might let her work off some of the debt). I can almost gaurentee she will not like losing her money because she lost shoes.

4. Why is she hiding chocolate? Does she not feel safe eating in front of you (like you might judge it or take it away?). Hiding food concerns me. Bring very little junk food into your house, but let her eat it (even all at once) when it is there. Let her buy candy with her own money (as long as she is not in debt to you for shoes!) and eat it in front of you. No one should ever be put in the position of hiding food.

I am not sure what to do about the flashlight. You can't really make someone sleep, yk? Maybe let her read until she is sleepy - I tend to think her eyes will eventually droop (mine do!) and she will sleep. Determin if you think she has sleeping issues: What time does she fall asleep and when does she make up? Does she seem tired to you during the day? If she does not appear to have sleeping issue, stay out of her room, and ignore the flashlight. If she does seem ot have sleep issues, well, hopefully someone else will advise. I have not really dealt with sleep issues.

Good luck, mama!

Kathy
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#10 of 16 Old 07-14-2010, 01:54 AM
 
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Did you ever find anything that worked? My 10 yo dd is doing the same things and it's driving me insane!
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#11 of 16 Old 07-16-2010, 12:12 AM
 
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Mine too, she is already in counseling for other issues but she lies, when asked to do something just stands and stares at you because she doesn't want to do it (which I make her anyways) yet she still does it. Cries all.the.time. Angry all the time, if you discipline her at all she gives you the I hate you eyes. Mine is good in school (except math) but I think has low self esteem which I try to help her with but it isn't working. I didn't know 10yos were so hard, I am terrified for a teen!

We spend time alone together, she seems to be open with me and tells me things that I am shocked she is sharing with me but she wants me and the house to herself all.the.time and that isn't going to work as we have other children. I am frusterated and at a loss.

~Katie~ married to J, mom to DD- A 13 yrs ,DS- L 7yrs , and my little nursling DD2- R 5yrs.

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#12 of 16 Old 07-21-2010, 04:45 PM
 
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How are you all doing now?

My first thoughts:

Is she getting regular exercise?
Could you go for walks outside together, somewhere quiet and pretty?

Would her dad agree to her staying in one house (YOURS) for a month or so, to see if some stability and constancy will help her feel secure -and accountable- in her life?

Does a ten year old need an mp3 player at all? (My daughter consistently loses things, so she doesn't even have stuff like that in the first place. We don't make a big deal about pointing this out, but since she often can't keep track of her winter coat, she doesn't expect an iPod to appear in her life...)

Is there a thrift store where you could pick up some adequate shoes that fit her for cheap? If she loses shoes she likes repeatedly, maybe having to wear some shoes that aren't her first choice will help add an incentive to keep track of future pairs. Not as a punishment or humiliation of course, but to drive home the point: we can't keep buying the same items over and over at retail prices.

Have you read How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk?
http://www.amazon.com/How-Talk-Kids-...9740045&sr=8-1
They have some good ideas about how to frame situations for better communication- and end results. The idea about checking the laundry and directly addressing what needs to be done is a good example of the authors' way of thinking.
Similarly, rather than, "Is this your chocolate/Why is this here/etc," don't put her on the spot directly. Just state the rule or norm: "Chocolate can really stain sheets, so I'm taking this back to the kitchen. You can eat it anytime you want tomorrow." or "It's better for your teeth to eat sweets during the day so your teeth are nice and clean when you go to bed for the night, so I'll put this away for you..." She's not expected to speak or respond, just listen and act differently next time.

How about The Mood Cure?
http://www.amazon.com/Mood-Cure-4-St...9740432&sr=1-1
This has been a great resource for me personally in dealing with anxiety, depression, and trouble sleeping. The focus is on using nutrition to feed one's brain so it can perform at its best. Girls this age are already going through hormonal fluctuations, starting well before menstruation begins. One amino acid, GABA, helps me immensely during my grouchy PMS days and when I'm feeling generally overwhelmed or overstimulated.

Here's a sample of the questionnaires the author offers to help us figure out what is going on chemically so we can nurture ourselves nutritionally.
http://www.moodcure.com/Questionnaire.html

Best wishes!
We're all in this together

DIYer mama to DD 11/00 and DS 6/05- both intact, naturally!
...missing Mothering Magazine...
 
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#13 of 16 Old 08-13-2010, 11:03 PM
 
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In some ways I agree with needing a counsellor - not because I think she needs counselling per se (her issues do not really soound extreme) but so you can get a fresh perspective. Have you thought of going to counselling solo on this? (as you ex won't agree to her going?) My friend has an 11 yr old in counselling - and, honestly, for the most part the counsellor counsels the parent who them implements changes with the child.

My own 11 year DD is causing me some challenges - so big hug to you! I commiserate!

I would like to address your above points - not to attack, but to give you a different perspective.

1. Do not give her the opportunity to lie. Do not ask her if she put away her clothes - go check and if she didn't, say "put away your clothes". Be very specific in instructions: "put all your clothes away". That way she cannot pull the "miscommunication card" in discussions. This is not always practical, I know. If you catch someone else lying (even a character on TV ) make a comment: "no one is going to trust him for a long time after the lying he did". I would make it about a secondary character as I bet she is unwilling to admit she lied - so talking about it directly might not get you very far . Secondary character are easier and safer to talk about.

2. Well, she didn't really choose it. She was torn between parents who wanted different things. She has a teacher who is acting like she can't be bothered with her. I am not suprised she is underperforming - she is probably messed up on the whole issue. Acknowledge that it is no suprise she is behaving as she is (take any blame you have on her off) and figure out a plan to go from "messed up" to thriving. I would start with an evaluation for LD to rule out that possibility. I think the school has to do one in a certain amount of time if you put your request in writing. Then, find her a kick-ass school and teachers. Not all teachers are going to be great, but until she has transitioned smoothly into school and is thriving, she needs good ones who will work with her.

3. Does she get an allowance? Make money in some way? If she doesn't - make it happen. Let her enjoy her buying power for about a month - get a feel for it. Then tell her that she is going to get one pair of sneakers until June, and if she loses them, she is replacing them. Yes, you may have to supplement if she loses beyond her allowance (and then she is in debt to you - no allowance until it is paid off, you might let her work off some of the debt). I can almost gaurentee she will not like losing her money because she lost shoes.

4. Why is she hiding chocolate? Does she not feel safe eating in front of you (like you might judge it or take it away?). Hiding food concerns me. Bring very little junk food into your house, but let her eat it (even all at once) when it is there. Let her buy candy with her own money (as long as she is not in debt to you for shoes!) and eat it in front of you. No one should ever be put in the position of hiding food.

I am not sure what to do about the flashlight. You can't really make someone sleep, yk? Maybe let her read until she is sleepy - I tend to think her eyes will eventually droop (mine do!) and she will sleep. Determin if you think she has sleeping issues: What time does she fall asleep and when does she make up? Does she seem tired to you during the day? If she does not appear to have sleeping issue, stay out of her room, and ignore the flashlight. If she does seem ot have sleep issues, well, hopefully someone else will advise. I have not really dealt with sleep issues.

Good luck, mama!

Kathy
I agree with Kathy.

Most preteens lie, I don't know why but I must have done it because I remember drill the concept that trust is a gold gift that is very hard to get back when you lose it. Now, I am drilling the same thing to my own daughter.

About school, my daughter use to be careless too, I kept telling her why it was important to do well in school and it wasn't to make me happy (well, that too but I never told her that, lol) this year she made it to 2nd honors!
I don't know what happen, but I think it was because when she was in her other school she already was know to be the fun girl, but when she move to a new school she knew things that other kids new so she got good grades, so she became one of the smart kids and she like it.

The chocolate, while I agree what Kathy said about not body should have to hide food, however I think it also could be that she is hiding it just because she knows that she shouldn't be eating it at night, which maybe why she can sleep (calories, sugar and caffeine!). In this one I will think you should stop buying candy and just buy a bar during the day when she DOES something good, use candy as a reward not as a everyday thing.

Loosing things, well, that is kind of normal, I loose things a lot too and I am not young and I don't have ADHD, at least not that I know
However you can start teaching your kid about concecuense, in the real world (I mean outside home when she grow up) is she lose something she will have buy it again or deal with the lost. Even if it is very hard because well, you pay for it and we know better the value of money, at the end it was HERS, so don't get mad because you pay for it and it cost money, feel bad for her because she lost it and well, you can afford or is not realistic to just keep buying more, she can save to buy a new one or wait for her birthday.

I also wonder something else, I don't know much about ADHD but I do know about 50/50 families. If you don't have much communication with your ex, you may don't know how is the dynamic at their house, not that you can change it but maybe that is also the reason why she is acting like this.Maybe she is allow to sleep until late, or eat candy at night etc.
My only advice for this is to explain to her that each house has a set up of rules, and while in your house she has to follow yours.
Be prepare to get lots of rolling eyes, lots of my dad understand me better, etc. Remember you are not in a contest for popularity with your husband, if he is not putting effort that is his problem and hopefully he or his wife catch up soon, but at least you know you are doing the right thing.

Hold on there, on my experience they are a couple of bumps in a kid life, the terrible 2's, then around 8 like yours, then they hit a nice time when you enjoy things with them and they can of get some how settle and then buckle up because the teen agers come and .... ok I will not worry you this soon, lol

SAHM, married to my geeky husband and mom of 12 year old girl and 2year old
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#14 of 16 Old 08-14-2010, 07:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by morgainesmama View Post
We set clear boundaries; there are consequences when she doesn't meet them. She doesn't really care much about whatever consequences I've set down, though, and I can see the "f-you" set in her eyes and the anger when they get set. Given the choice between a well-behaved, angry child, and a happy, disorganized child who fails at school, I'll take the happy one. I don't want her to be angry all the time. She's sincerely hurt that I don't trust her; what I'm doing is not changing the behavior -- so continuing to do the same things seems like a bad option.

Two things struck me about your above comment. First, you say you'd rather have a happy child than an angry one. The problem with that is that what makes her "happy" is destructive. Getting her way may make her happy in the short term, but it won't help her learn how to get along with other people. I promise you that she won't be a happy adult if she can't find her place in society.

The second thing that popped out at me is that she is manipulating you by accusing you of not trusting her. You obviously feel like you SHOULD be able to trust her. You WANT to trust her. Every parent wants to trust their children. But she has demonstrated over and over that she can not be trusted. If the fact that you don't trust her hurts her, then she needs to learn to assign blame for that where it belongs. I would have more of an issue with your daughter's lack of taking responsibility for her actions than the actual lying.

My nephew does this to my bil and sil. He makes them feel so guilty when they don't believe him! He's the type of kid that would say, 'how dare you believe your lying eyes over your own son!' And it works, because they give him MORE opportunity to prove himself, and he always fails. He currently sees a therapist and is on medication.
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#15 of 16 Old 08-15-2010, 04:41 PM
 
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She sounds a lot like my daughter before puberty escalated the situation.

The lying...I don't ask questions I decide if there is evidence she is lying and I go with it. I'll go on a recon mission before laying out the situation for her so that I'm not making accusations when she might not have done the deed. She's not going to admit it unless she's caught redhanded and even so she won't admit it till later and then it's not admiting it like she cares that she did it. If she's upset that her word is not trusted when she's lying you can try empathizing with her- "yeah, it must suck that people don't trust you. Maybe sometime you'll change your behavior and words and after a while people will trust you again."- basically laying the responsibility at her doorstep.

The taking and stashing...my daughter does this and it's not like she's not being provided with her share, she is but she also wants everyone else's share and there is no limit. If there's something she wants she will just take it. I have put a lock on my door and started locking up the things she takes. So the flashlight could get locked up where she can't get it, as well as problem foods, etc. I hate having that stuff in my room and I have to lock up a lot of other stuff now so when we move (soon) I'm going to have one locked cabinet in the kitchen where I can keep stuff I have to prevent my dd from getting.

Losing stuff...my dd destroys her stuff more than loses it but now if it's not something she MUST have it doesn't get replaced (her mp3 has been replaced but it waited until the next major holiday and that's what she got for a second year in a row). If it MUST get replaced it's not replaced with her choice. If it's sneakers for school I go to Salvation Army and grab her a pair for $2 and that's what she gets.

I know there are some books about organizing for people with ADD so you might want to check one out for ideas. Since her father won't allow counseling (might start a paper trail and plan on going back to court and representing yourself to get help for her) you can try some alternative therapies. Caffeine in the morning can help people with ADD, so can some suppliments but none are a substitute for therapy and medication.

My dd escalated in the few years since puberty (she's 13) and is inpatient right now getting her bipolar meds worked out. I hope you can find a solution for your family.
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#16 of 16 Old 08-16-2010, 04:15 PM
 
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It sounds like some of the recent stuff might be due to school stress. So what if she's in 5th grade; if she needs help to be organized, and her teacher refuses to help her, then she's being set up to fail.

Talk to the principal. Maybe your DD can be evaluated for special education (which would mean in-school services to help her stay organized). Or you can see if they can switch her to another class; she may do better with a different teacher.

There also comes a point where you need to step back and let school problems be school problems, not home problems. Reminding her to do homework is appropriate; helping her organize herself so she can get homework done is appropriate; berating her for forgetting to write down assignments is NOT. You didn't write down the assignment? OK, then you can call a classmate for the homework, or simply not do it, and YOU face the teacher in the morning. You left your flute at school? OK then, you can't practice, and YOU face your music teacher.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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