Is this behavior common at this age? (long) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 07-23-2003, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a 10 yo DD. She can be a handful but not in the way one would expect.

First.... she was born to very young parents, I was 16 and her father was 22. We divorced when I was 17. I left (this is a long story and not simple) her with her father and moved to a different state. We have been close and seen each other often. She moved in with us recently and I have a new baby. I have remarried and her father is getting married this moth. I have another baby on the way and he has a new step daughter who is 4 and they will be trying to have a new baby this coming year. To sum this all up...... my dd is pretty together considering all that has happened to her. She is somewhat well behaved and understands things well. This is my problem.

She does not think!!!! I wonder about her common sense and her ability to problem solve. I worry about her lack of effort and laziness. She is very mean to her step sister and I have caught her being mean to her baby sis as well (16 mo). She lies about things all the time.... not big things but little stupid things. She makes up stories and tells people them to get sympathy, attention, ect..???? I am not sure.
Her father and I talk on a regular basis and are friendly. She has pit us against eachother and has told us horror stories about one another. "My daddy never gets up and I dont get to eat.. I am always hungry" My mommy and Joe left me home alone with the baby (then 3 months) to go see a movie" we have not seen a movie by ourselves in 2 years!!!! So, I am wondering.... is this behavior common? I have never raised a pre teen and my mothering ability I question. I am 26 yo and now have a baby and one on the way..... I am a very different mother now then I was then. I do not feel like I have bonded with my oldest like I have with my second. I dont feel like I give her what she needs and she needs so much all the time. She wants us to be friends (and we are) and she tells me allot of whats on her mind but I get so mad at her all the time that I am more of a monster then a friend or mother. She makes me so mad... our personalities clash.
I just want to hear from other moms of girls this age and see if my kid is the only one who is lazy, rude, lies, creates stories, ect.....
I feel she needs counsling but she has recently went to live with her father again (this decsion was made because we were moving so much and she needed to be stable for school) and he has not done this for her yet. She tells me he wont but when I talk to him that is not the case... anyway... any advice????

thanks for reading this choppy piece of writing
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#2 of 4 Old 07-24-2003, 10:49 AM
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Let me first say I am no expert on this subject. My ds is only 4. I have however been around children all of my life and I have 6 younger brothers the youngest of which is 12.

This behavior does not sound like normal 10yr. old stuff. I would say it is normal to do certain things to get attention, which is what she is doing. The way she is getting this attention is worrisome though. The lying about you and your ex to each other, the making up stories for sympathy...I think this is a dangerous pattern to set for getting attention. I would sit down and have a frank talk with her and let her know that you are aware that the behavior is going on and that it is not acceptable, especially the lying about you to your ex and vice versa. I would also reassure her that you are always there for her if she needs someone to talk to, that you are very interested in the real things that are going on in her life and that if she needs to spend some one on one time for you that you will make it happen.

It sounds like your life is very busy right now, I hope that things with your daughter get better soon.
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#3 of 4 Old 07-24-2003, 04:02 PM
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My dsxh's last ex wife was a very ill person. She used to lie and tell me that my dd was lying about stuff like that. Things were bad between dexh and I, so she had it set up that her and I would talk about dd issues and would refuse to allow me to talk to him. If I left messages at work for him, he would accuse me of being disruptive and of causing trouble. So I was forced to deal with the step monster.
She would call me and tell that dd was telling her that I was taking baths with men and asking her to bring us beer while we were in the tub. . and so on...So many awful lies you can't even believe it. I could not believe my dd would say such things!!! My dd told me she witnessed her dad trying to stuff food into his wife's mouth and pulling her by the hair to get her out of the bathroom because she was puking on purpose.
I was so so worried about my girl. Finally, Finally the truth came out. The step mother was lying!!!!
She was bulemic and very ill. My dexh did try to force feed her on more than one occation!!! He did try to keep her from throwing up, yes even to the point of trying to drag her from the bathroom by her hair.
She even told dd, when she was 8, that I had breast cancer and did not want to tell her, because I didn't want to worry dd. That she, stepmother, only thought it fair that someone tell dd. But not to mention it to me, as then they both would get into trouble. Poor dd thought I had cancer for a long time before she asked.

So, first I would make sure that it is you dd that is lying.
And no it does not sound ok. I mean I think kids who live in two homes all do a bit of this, but she does not sound like she is doing well. I would loving suggest help for all of you. If your dexh would agree to doing some family therapy, I think that is what saved my dd. She had counselling, I had counselling, her dad divorced, and we all have been to therapy together.
She has wanted the exstepmother to come to counselling with her two, but she will not. She admitted the truth, and that is the most she can do.
I will hold you all in my heart.

P.s. My dd is not the most motivated person in the world. I get frustrated by this frequently. She really would rather lay around and read all day.
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#4 of 4 Old 07-24-2003, 09:13 PM
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It does sound like something that needs addressing! I'm not sure exactly how, of course : .

A couple of thoughts, though: first, as you yourself know, your daughter has done an awful lot of moving around for a 10 year old girl, and seen lots of changes. Moves with the divorce, new siblings and parents' weddings, moving between school districts -- whew! She must really long for some stability and a solid commitment from the adults around her. I know that, in the context of our own busy lives, it can be hard to give that commitment, but think about how you can give her some grounding. I wonder if her idea of moving back to her dad's is a way of asking you (and her dad, too) to commit to her needs? She may well want to hear clearly from both of you how important she is in your lives and discuss with you how you can show it (and what she can do in return, e.g. quit with the lying).

Speaking of the lying, I wonder if it's a comment on how much flux she is feeling around her? Kind of a way of saying, "Hey, you guys are way too busy to notice me, what's it going to take?" or "I bet you two never bother to discuss me together anyway, so I wonder how long you'll buy this one." Does she know that you and her dad are on ok terms and discuss her regularly? She might like to know, for example, if you and her dad set aside time to talk about her long-distance on the phone twice a month.

I'm sure you're frazzled and busy to no end right now, but have you tried setting aside regular, predictable time with her? My kids are younger, so I don't know what a 10 year old would be into, but say if on Saturday mornings, the two of you always went out for a coffee/juice together, or went swimming. If she enjoys doing art, have an 'art wall' in your home where you put up her pictures. Just some ways that she can be sure she has a 'space'.

This may be all over the map, and of course I don't know your daughter, but it sounds to me like she's crying out for a sense of her own place in her family.

Good luck!
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