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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i wasn't sure where to put this so here it is.<br><br>
ok, i have been thinking about this all day and searching the internet and books for some magical solution to this problem. while i did come up with some helpful information and so forth, i finally realized that i would like to hear some of the opinions from this board. i value them and i think the people here usually have some good sound advice.<br><br>
here's the problem. my 11 yo dd is, well, 11. but here is a little background on why i think we may be having some troubles.<br><br>
we are not in the best financial or living situation, but we get by. everyone is clothed and nobody goes hungry. but, she blames this on dh, who became her step father when she was 6. she blames me for marrying him and she blames her 2 younger siblings, after all, this means her "slice of the pie" is a little smaller.<br><br>
plus, my mom spoiled her, poor kid, born to a young unwed mother which i guess translates to give her anything she wants. her dad spoiles her, he just throws money and gifts at his guilt because he isn't around. my dad spoils her because he is a doting loving grandpa and he has always been a big marshmallow.<br><br>
i'm sure some of it is my fault, i didn't even discover ap until about 4 or 5 years ago. too late? up to that point i was a very mainstream parent, what i did of it anyway. my mom did the bulk of raising her up until she died when dd was 6. but i really feel like i made some bad choices based on my lack of good parenting skills, knowledge, and the way i was raised. i have lived and learned but now i have a huge mess to clean up.<br><br>
here's the point of all of this; she is so mean to the younger kids. she calls names, smacks them around when she thinks i'm not looking, bullies them, grabs things from them, yells at them, is a total smart a$$ to me and is a real bear to be around. and the little ones are picking up on it which makes me all the more furious. i really cannot stand her.<br><br>
it is almost impossible to teach the younger kids to respond to gentle discipline and the ap lifestyle that i try to create for us when she is screaming like a banshee and totally out of control. it makes for a really horrible environment. i'm not the only one who thinks so either. my sister will not be around all 3 kids at the same time. it is either the younger ones or the older one. she has also made the observation that 11 yo is ok until she gets around the little ones and then she turns into a complete a$$hole.<br><br>
i try giving her the attention that she needs and doing things one on one with her but it seems that it is never good enough for her. the last time we went out for the day we left at noon and didn't come home until 8:00pm. she was mad about it, said that i hadn't spent enough time with her. um, it's a whole hell of a lot more than the other two get.<br><br>
we live in a small space and i feel like i'm constantly telling her to remove herself from our presence if she can't get along with us and feels the need to be hateful. so this means that she is to go to her room or outside-somewhere that we are NOT. i think this makes her feel rejected but i cannot tolerate how she is acting and what she is doing, especially in front of the little kids. she is someone who i would not allow them to be around but she is a part of this family and she is my daughter.<br><br>
i just don't know how to get through to her or what to do with her. i am to the point where if she said she wanted to go live with her dad i would just wave bye.<br><br>
ok, enough rambling, this has made me tired. anybody have any suggestions or should i run away from home and just take the cat?<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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So in her eyes, is the problem lack of money? Or is it more lack of place in the family (does she feel as secure as her step-siblings about her place in the family?; how well does she relate to her step-dad?). Or is her problem thinly concealed jelousy of the kind of parenting her sibilings get that she didn't? Can you ask her, maybe at night when she is in bed and has lowered her gaurd/mask?<br><br>
Have you engaged her in trying to solve the problem? Ask her what she and the family can do to make her feel less resentful.<br><br>
Some ideas -<br>
If it is money, she could make some money on her own. Though I guess she isn't old enough to babysit yet. Maybe she could make stuff to sell online. I was delivering papers at 12 or 13. We were pretty poor growing up (well-fed and housed, but no money for stuff I "needed" like desingner jeans and dances; I had to get jobs to pay for those things). If it is that she connects love with money, maybe ask her how you can break this connection. How youc an show her you love her.<br><br>
If it is her place in the family, do you or her have any ideas to help her feel more secure? One on two time with both you and your husband (not just you?)?<br><br>
If it is her jelousy at all that her younger siblings get in terms of parenting, maybe you need to tell her exactly, and with lots of loving detailed, how you'd do it over with her if you could. Maybe she could "relive" her childhoood in a wishful conversations with you?<br><br>
For all of the above, her keeping a journal may be a great way to undertand her own feelings. Perhaps you could do a mother-daughter journal writing thing with shared writing topics (describe in detail one happy day in the last month) that you then had teh opyion of sharing (or not).<br><br>
Remember that she is still a child. I would talk to her, not about her bad behavior (she gets talked to about this already), but about the reason may be feeling resentful and unhappy at home. Maybe try to involve her in not feeling resentfull so it is not all you trying to figure it out and so that she has a stake a better situation. I would also separate these discssions from discussions about her bad behavior (just keep calmly correcting her).<br><br>
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks mamawanabe, your thoughts on this are most welcome. i'll bet some other people read this and thought "where do you start with that one? glad i'm not her."<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
yesterday i was feeling so down about all of this and writing it out helped put it into perspective for me. it also made me realize that this is a web of problems and not just what i was focusing on when i posted that. i wish it were that easy.<br><br>
as far as the lack of money goes we have been arguing over her child support check. she thinks that she should get the whole thing to use as she pleases. hahahaha! that's funny.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shake.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shake"> so i have decided to open an account for her so that she can see exactly where it goes. i think she will be surprised and that way she can budget for what she wants too.<br><br>
we have talked and talked about it and basically what it comes down to every time is that she wishes that it was just the two of us again. dh and i have had problems that i think we have finally worked through but it has left her scarred.<br><br>
you're right, she is very jealous of the little ones. she will openly admit it. it makes her mad that they require more care than she does, as an older child, so she has resorted to infantile tactics to get my attention. this is a tough one but we're working on it. as an adolescent maybe she is just trying to find her "place." it will just take some time i guess.<br><br>
things, in general, are getting better for our family and we are becoming more the family that i would like for us to be. there is always a little back sliding but maybe if she sees the improvement and experiences it she will pick up on it.<br><br>
i think that the journal idea is wonderful. i'm going to talk to her about it and really encourage her to do it with me.<br><br>
i know this is going to take some time to work through. this encompasses some bad habits that must be broken, some trust issues, and a slew of other things that must be addressed in order for all of us to function as a happy family.<br><br>
we have a long road ahead of us but there is no reason we can't do this. this will be my mantra.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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nak<br><br>
Hi, I don't have any advice as I am just a new mama-but I want to say that despite your understandable frustration you sound very caring and in tune with your daughter's feelings. I think that journaling sounds like an excellent idea, and your post has prompted me to begin journalling again.
 

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Is it possible that your dd is getting ready to go through puberty? You know, all the hormones and stuff?<br><br>
From your post it sounds like two major things happened when she was 6. Her grandmother died and you married your dh. How did she seem to handle this? She lost a major source of support and acquired major competition for your time/energy.<br><br>
How old are your 2 younger dc? Has her relationship with them always been bad? Did something happen around the time that she started acting out toward them?<br><br>
Just throwing stuff out there. Some of it you might have already thought about. Anyway, HTH.
 

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I feel sad for both of you. It sounds like a difficult situation. My relationship with my mom was hard for years during my adolescence, so I can relate to your dd somewhat.<br><br>
I think the journaling suggestion is excellent. Maybe you can also try to think about being an AP parent to her as well as your younger two. Better late than never! It sounds like her behavior is nearly unloveable at times, but love is what she needs from you so desperately right now. As much as possible, try to keep your cool and correct her gently. Praise her like crazy when she does interact positively with her sibs ("that was such a pleasant trip to the grocery store! I usually dread taking two little ones there but you really helped make it fun. Thanks so much!") - if indeed such scenarios do occur. If they don't, maybe you can just praise neutral behavior.<br><br>
I'm just brainstorming, but in the parenting reading I do (my oldest is 4), the authors often stress that we want to encourage the feelings, but channel the behavior appropriately. So can you make clear to her (maybe in one of those "pillow talk" moments) that it's OK to feel jealous, left out, etc, but that it's not OK to be hurtful to her sibs? I'm sure she knows that, but if you brainstorm ways that she can deal with those difficult emotions (make sure you give her a chance to suggest things herself, don't just lecture) that might bear some fruit. Also, I'd recommend that you are conscious of being physically affectionate with her.<br><br>
How are things for her at school? Is her desire for money just tied in to the typical "want what everyone else has" adolescent trappings? I second the idea of a small job for her. I delivered newspapers for spending money as well. And even though she's a big young for babysitting she could be a mother's helper. That would also give her the experience of interacting positively with little ones.<br><br>
Is there any way for you to have a few sessions of family counseling? I'm sure it's expensive, but you might be able to find an organization with a sliding scale, or perhaps your health insurance company would offer a discount.<br><br>
A quick vignette from my own childhood: when I was in high school I auditioned for and got a spot in a youth orchestra that paid moderate sums for rehearsals and performances. Each time I got a check, I would feel personally affronted that my parents wanted the money to go towards my violin lessons. "But this is MY money that I earned!" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">: It really makes me cringe now. Sometimes it's just really hard to get a kid (and I was 16-17 years old here) to see the big financial picture.<br><br>
Hope that helps a little bit. I'll be thinking about you and your dd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
katelyn, ooooooh yeah, her hormones are out of control and we are both painfully aware of it.<br><br>
as far as the big changes in her life i did try to make them go as smoothly as i knew how at the time but, in retrospect, i would definitely change some things. but we have talked about it and even involved her school counselors so that she would have someone else to bounce stuff off of besides me.<br><br>
the younger two are 2 and almost 4. they are sometimes a real pain in the hiney. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">: especially to someone who wasn't too keen on their addition anyway. it has been my observation that she is just mad that they exist and horn in on "her" mom.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">: i have no idea where she learned to be that selfish. unless it is genetic-her dad is very much that way, one of the many reasons we aren't together anymore.<br><br>
beccaboo, i do try to parent all of them the same way consistent with their ages, of course. for some reason she hasn't responded to this lifestyle that we have evolved to like i had hoped. just more time and consistency i guess. she does respond well to praise and i am quick to give it, i wish she would give me more reason to express it more often.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> and i do try to hug her lots despite our troubles.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
channeling her feelings is something we should do better with. this year in school she is involved in more physical activities so maybe some of the agression will be spent that way. she is also volunteering at our local pet store on weekends an/or after school. i'm hoping that this renewed interest in doing something other than following me around the house griping about everything she can think of will help.<br><br>
i have thought of counselling and am still considering it. it would have to be a group effort and getting dh to participate... well, that's another battle all together.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shake.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shake"><br><br>
sometimes i just wish i had more energy. but don't we all?
 

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Personality to some extent is genetic.. Some is environmental... IF her father is this way she may be predispositioned to it.. She is "spoiled " by her father who shares this quality magnifying it to some extent i would imagine..<br><br>
Hang in there.. She may outgrow it.. 11 is soo hard... Your not a "Child" anymore, but not a teen, or an adult.. You don't really fit anywhere.. One hr you are plaing with barbies, the next you are trying out make up.. Literally hr to hr..<br><br>
Councelling is a good idea if for no other reason than to have another person who has a new perspective, and ideas to work with..<br><br>
Warm Squishy Feelings...<br><br>
Dyan<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
sorry i was nak on the last post and forgot to respond to zipworth as i had meant to. glad you're starting to journal again. it got me to thinking how healthy it is to get it all out there on paper so that it is easier to figure things out. i personally think that my head is a little more organized after i have written out what is bothering me, makes the solution obvious. i see a lot of writing in my future.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
pynki, i have seen this with her. she wants to play dolls with her little sister one minute and then screams at her to get out of her room because she wants some time away from little kids. i remember going through this with my little sister to some extent. she would get really mad at me because i didn't want to play anymore. i would rather sit around, write, listen to music and be a crab to anyone who came near me.<br><br>
this too shall pass, this too shall pass, this too shall pass...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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mamathistle, big hugs to you. I think you sound like you are really trying to get through this in a very caring, loving way. If you can convince DH, counseling would be an excellent thing to do.<br><br>
I think that I can really relate to your DD and of course, being a mom, I can relate to you. I just wanted to tell you that a lot of what you describe could just be typical pre-teen/little kids annoy me/hormones raging stuff. And it could also be a product of the fact that she is not part of ONE intact family. As one who went through it, it is hard to imagine how painful it is when mom meets someone else, marries and changes her name (you didn't say that you did but if so, that was something that really impacted me deeply as I felt quite like an outsider after that) and then creates a new family. She is sometimes with you and sometimes with her Dad which is a whole new set of rules. Then coupled with the thought that she is sent from the room when she misbehaves (and believe me, I understand EXACTLY why you do that), it just serves to reinforce it in her mind. I wouldn't be surprised if she was doing it purposefully, just reinforcing so that she can feel more sorry for herself.<br><br>
I would have a date with her every week, just the two of you. I frankly wouldn't involve DH because I think she really needs to be connected to you without the distraction of her step-dad. I would make that time for the two of you sacred, not to be missed or rescheduled if at all possible. Yes, that is something that you will not be giving your other two children but your other two children have both of their parents with them, they have different circumstances and different needs. One great thing that a friend of mine did was she had a mother/daughter bookclub for friends of hers with similar-aged children. It also provided some thought-provoking conversational opportunities for the moms and kids.<br><br>
She has really had some tough circumstances and I am not even referring to not being APed - I think that's the least of it actually.<br><br>
You really sound connected to her, I hope it works out for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
lovebeads, you're so right on about some things here. she does do some of these things so she can go have a big ol' pity party. i have seen it and argh! it makes me so mad! and i did change my name, something that i regret doing. we have talked about that before too and i think she understands why i did it at the time but that if i had it to do over i wouldn't.<br><br>
dh and i had a long discussion about all of this yesterday which dribbled over into today and i think we have come to some pretty solid conclusions. we are going to have monday nights together as a family and dd and i will go out once a week by ourselves. that, in conjunction with this volunteer thing at the pet store (which she and i are really excited about) will maybe give her a little more autonomy which i think she needs at this age. but she will still be close to and doing things with me which she needs too. the counselling thing is still up in the air. maybe if we do this right we won't have to.<br><br>
thanks so much to everyone who replied to this. i knew i could count on some really thoughtful, caring advice from the folks here. i think if i didn't have this support network this issue would have made me go flat bonkers.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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mamathistle, I was so relieved when I read your reply. I worried that maybe you would see it as me just "sticking up" for her and not supporting you, which of course I was. I really, really relate to your daughter and of course, the "pity party" thing. I did it as well.<br><br>
My brother married a woman who has a son by another marriage and it upsets me to no end that he is repeating the exact same mistakes with his step-son that our parents did with us and he KNOWS that they are mistakes. But he does them anyway. And one of them was about his wife changing her name which I was shocked that he would even sanction knowing how hurtful it was to us when our mother did it. Of course, at the time my mom did it I was not great at expressing my feelings, I don't even know if I understood how hurtful it was so I couldn't really tell her. Anyway, he was "thrilled" when his wife decided to take his name and they are having soooooo many issues with the step-son feeling pushed out. They are expecting their first child sometime this week and I can just see that it is going to get harder and harder for them. I'm sorry! I'm venting in your post!!!<br><br>
Anyway, I was so happy to hear about the family outings and the date night with DD. I really think that will make a world of difference, especially since you can do really special "grownup" things with her that you can't do with the younger ones. I'm getting all gushy thinking about the things I'll do with my DD one day - go to tea, get our nails done, take in "girl" movies....it's actually kind of funny because I've never even had a manicure! I'm such a tomboy but I want to do all of those fun things with DD. I hope you will keep us updated -- your daughter is really lucky to have you! My mother NEVER saw these things, she really just thought I was a brat for the most part and couldn't understand me at all. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
lovebeads, oh no no no, i didn't see your post as anything but supportive. sometimes a mama needs some objective opinions from others, some borrowed from experience. i feel that you have brought up some really important things for me to consider. and as far as "sticking up for her", hey, someone needs to when i get this angry at her. you have taken the time to share your experience, which is very much appreciated, and i can tell that you have nothing but our best interests at heart.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
i'm just sorry to hear that your brother is repeating some obvious mistakes.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> social "norms" (what the hell is that anyway?!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">: ) make it so difficult to integrate families. someone, it seems, always gets the shaft. how old is his stepson? man oh man, i do not envy the battle that your brother is setting himself up for. i can see how it happens though. adults get caught up in the new relationship and forget about the obligations that they had to begin with. i wish them the best, maybe they'll get it before it is too late. i'll keep my fingers crossed.<br><br>
i never thought i would forget what it was like to be 11 but i never had to experience what she has so i think perhaps i need to just step back, collect my thoughts and make this new game plan work for us. i don't deny that it is a frustrating, minute by minute battle with her but i am certainly in a better place than i was the other day.<br><br>
speaking of going to tea, there is a new tea room that just opened up that i think we'll have to try out. and we are going to a traditional irish folk music concert friday nite. i'm really excited about this too. getting away from poopy diapers and spilled juice sounds like just the ticket to pull me out some of this funk too.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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