I can't cope anymore.

(31 Posts)
cherhorowitz Mon 02-Sep-13 15:12:08

I haven't NC for this but I might after as I know this makes me a terrible person and mother. I have two DC's 5 and 2. I just physically pushed my 5 year old over on to her bum for being naughty. I'm in my room crying while DH parents downstairs. I can't parent.

DC is 5 and has been a nightmare. It started with her interrupting others, talking incessantly and narrating her life like she just couldn't be quiet. We explained to her that its not nice to interrupt others, to wait her turn and rewarded her when things got a little better but they never have for more than two hours at a time. This started a year and a half ago.

Since then she's been terrible and I've literally read and tried all the parenting tips in the book and I've asked social services to help who've sent family support from Barnados who have just said to keep trying. She is so destructive and will rip books up or draw on walls. When the books and pens are gone she'll physically take apart her bed. She opens all her drawers so every night her clothes are strewn around the room. She has pulled down the curtain rail and curtains leaving holes in the wall.

Last week she climbed on a chair and pillows and found my permanent markers which she drew all over herself and the PVC frame of our windows with (rented house). She would eat all the food in the fridge and crumble up what she didn't want all over the floor so we've had to put padlocks on all doors except her room and the bathroom that we have to lock at night or when not in use.

The worst part is she's now pooing on her carpet and covering it with clean clothes. This has happened eight or nine times and her bedroom is next to the bathroom. She keeps saying it came suddenly but doesn't know why she didn't tell us or why she hid it and that it's so hard to be good. We've explained, praised and treated for days that she's not done it and know its not a problem with her holding it in as many times this past week she's waited to get to a toilet.

I am at my wits end. Everything is destroyed from my make up to clothes to food...when we lock it away she destroys something else. We have a happy, stable home life and both DC's get treated the same. We have tried every trick in the book even up to bribing for over a month a time for continuity and nothing.

I'm so sorry this is long but I have no family support and the ones I have are no help. I don't want to be around her it's gotten so bad and I stay up at night crying wondering what the hell I've done so wrong and how to fix it. She's a beautiful, bright, intelligent child that Id die for but I don't know what to do.

MmeLindor Mon 02-Sep-13 15:15:48

I am just off on the school run, but wanted to give you a quick ((hug)) before I go.

Is she in school or nursery yet? What is she like when out of the house.

It doesn't sound like she is being naughty, tbh. It sounds more like she has other issues, and that you all need help dealing with her. Have you spoken to your GP about her?

cherhorowitz Mon 02-Sep-13 15:23:57

She is going into Year One tomorrow after completing nursery and reception. Her reception teacher says she's very enthusiastic and vocal but no real trouble.

She lied to the school and said that I'd stabbed her with a knife while chopping carrots and in reality she had fallen over out the garden. Social services investigated and she carried on the lie saying I did and I took her to the hospital which is where SS signed off as I never did. But she was adamant.

She goes back to school tomorrow. 2 year old DC is of no issue apart from now wetting in the day as 5 year old poos on the carpet and she wants to be like her (her words, she's 3 in November and recently fully toilet trained).

Nobody has suggested seeing a GP and SS just say she has behavioural issues and I need to shape up my parenting. I feel so lost. Everything I've tried doesn't make it better. I keep crying and not wanting to be around either of them because 5 year old DC is mean to 2 year old DC if she gets praise or attention.

JoinTheDots Mon 02-Sep-13 15:26:08

I didn't want to read and then leave without posting, although I am not sure I have any words of wisdom for you to help you solve the issues.

I wanted to say how hard it sounds, coping with those behaviours and so much destruction from someone so small and so loved in the family. It sounds like you have had to make a lot of adaptions for her to your house and change the way you are living, which has to have a big impact on you and your family. Sending you some very unmumsnetty hugs.

On first glance, it sounds like attention seeking behaviour - does she get much one to one time with you or your husband where the attention is 100% focused on her and what she wants to do? That, combined with making as little fuss as possible when she does something she knows is wrong (therefore not rewarding the bad) and praising the good (which it sounds like you have been doing) is all I can think of. Did reward charts have any impact at all? Is there something she would love to have/do that would be a big motivator in helping her control the impulse to do things she knows will upset you?

Are there any other professionals you can talk to? A health visitor, someone at the school or preschool? How is her behaviour in those settings? Maybe they have a different way of dealing with it that you can model so she is getting a constant message from everyone.

I really hope someone more wise comes along with more ideas for you.

Tee2072 Mon 02-Sep-13 15:26:25

You need some help and support. I would speak to a health care professional about her.

cherhorowitz Mon 02-Sep-13 15:26:28

Just to say that DH is very supportive but is also lost and willing to try anything. The naughty step, taking away treats and days out, time out in a bedroom, no TV time, no chocolate/sweets, ignoring it, explaining it, goal and star charts to achieve a day out at the park/cinema/swimming - nothing has worked.

FairyJen Mon 02-Sep-13 15:27:27

Op I could have written your post word for word. My dd started at age 5 with behaviour like this, she is now 6 and its still going on.

I am a social worker which just makes me feel worse about it tbh!

No real advice but Definate hand holding from me and just keep going

cherhorowitz Mon 02-Sep-13 15:33:08

She's a big interrupter at school but they just kee telling her to wait her turn and with repetition she stops enough for the class to carry on. It's what we do at home but to less avail.

She gets a lot of one on one time. The other day we were out together just the two of us doing some shopping and she was brilliant apart from incessant talking. As soon as we got in its like she was possessed and started doing everything as usual.

We talk to her, indulge her stories, play with her and allow her to play indecently, include her in things like cooking and gardening etc. I'm going back to work next Monday and DH is currently unemployed so will be taking her to and from school, looking after DC until she goes to nursery in January/he gets a new job all on his own. Even with two of us it's upsetting and has had a huge impact on our relationship this past year and we're less close.

cherhorowitz Mon 02-Sep-13 15:34:03

Play independently not indecently...although sometimes she's topless as she's destroyed a top!

MmeLindor Mon 02-Sep-13 15:44:40

Blaming it on the parents is unkind and unhelpful.

I think you need specialist support. It might be worth asking for advice on the Special Needs board, as her behaviour doesn't sound like normal 'naughtiness', if you see what I mean.

I'd also be making an appointment to speak to the school.

FairyJen Mon 02-Sep-13 15:46:07

What is she like with others?

Whilst my dd sounds like yours when she is with others a whole different person appears! Everyone who meets her, loves her! People always comment on her manners, good behaviour, how clever she is and how articulate and funny she can be.

At home tho... sad

cherhorowitz Mon 02-Sep-13 15:57:45

She's very good around others except the hyperactivity and incessant talking. People think she's unruly and badly parented but with good manners and is very friendly, if you see what I mean?

FairyJen Mon 02-Sep-13 16:05:52

Yes I see what you mean. sad

Like I said I have no real advice. With regards to the pooing ( which dd also used to do ) I made her tell me everytime she needed the toilet and supervised her we also made her watch when we cleaned up her floors etc so she could see how horrible it was for us to do. She has stopped this behaviour but I'm not sure if this was our ( mine and dp ) input or of she decided herself to stop it iyswim as I suspect based on what she is like around others that dd has contr over her actions - not sn if that makes sense.

What does your dd say when you ask her about her behaviour?

cherhorowitz Mon 02-Sep-13 16:15:03

We make her clean up her poo but at night is when she does it when everyone's asleep leading me to not sleep in fear of her doing it again.

She says she's trying to be good but can't. She says she doesn't know why she's doing these things and wants to be good to get treats. She cries and says she's sorry over and over, tells me she loves me etc but within two hours she's back doing the naughty things after the cuddles and me saying we'll keep trying.

It's so exhausting. I called my GP who said to call back tomorrow to make an appointment or go to the emergency drop in in the morning but I've been warned by my social worker not to be late for school especially on the first day even for an appointment and to wait to get one outside of school hours. I thought social services would provide support but it's been nothing but my social worker saying carry on parenting and a referral to family support who have said the same thing. Whatever carrying on is, it's not working.

duchesse Mon 02-Sep-13 16:20:11

I second all the people who said that you need some serious support with this. I just hope you manage to find a sympathetic HCP to guide you in the right direction. None of the things you describe sound to me as though they come from bad parenting to me- there is something else going on imo.

orangeandemons Mon 02-Sep-13 16:21:12

I know she is very young, but I'm wondering ADHD. Spoken as a teacher, not a mum. Good luck x

duchesse Mon 02-Sep-13 16:22:01

It occurred to me just after pressing post that you might be able to access certain services through school. Can you maybe make an appointment with her headteacher and explain everything that's going at home? Schools need a context for the child and apart from anything else it would be useful for the school to know that this is happening. Plus they might be better placed to access the right channels. Have you approached your HV about your DD's behaviour?

MmeLindor Mon 02-Sep-13 16:23:14

Why not try and get an appointment without your DD to speak to the GP alone? Put her into school tomorrow and go into speak the doctor about how you are not coping. Write a list of all the tactics you have tried, so that he can see that it is not for lack of effort on your part.

RachelHRD Mon 02-Sep-13 16:31:55

I sympathize I have an almost 6 year old DS who has big behavioural issues. I would strongly recommend you go and see your GO and explAin exactly how bad things are and ask to be referred to CAMHS so your DD can see a child psychologist.

Also see if you can enlist help from the Home Link workers at her school.

We are under CAMHS and whilst it's early days it helps to gave someone listen and give advice instead of blame.

You can also ask to 've referred to Home Start who can offer some practical help.

Hugs - you are not failing you are understandably at the end of your tether xx

RachelHRD Mon 02-Sep-13 16:32:19

GP not GO

Tambaboy Mon 02-Sep-13 16:36:14

OP, I would recommend to go to the GP without your DD, with a comprehensive list of your concerns and ,as another poster suggested , with another list of all the strategies you've tried to manage her behaviour.
Posting in MN special needs children board could be really useful.

smallchestofdrawers Mon 02-Sep-13 17:06:10

I really feel for you. I can't understand why social services hasn't suggested a medical assessment for your DD. This behaviour sounds outside the normal bounds of "challenging" or "spirited".

Like other posters I think you should see the GP with a list of concerns - maybe keep a diary too.

Getting physical is never good but you are human and you have recognised you need help so don't beat yourself up about it.

cherhorowitz Mon 02-Sep-13 17:19:38

I just asked my social worker to pop in. She said the random behaviour is sounding more and more like a bigger issue and that I should seek advice from my GP for a referral to CAHMS and that she'd put in a letter of support for it too. She said to keep going with Family Support as they'll help and also she would inform the school so there'll be a bit of weight behind it to help us out so something should happen soon.

DH suggested I find someone outside of the home and social services to talk through my feelings about this as its badly affecting me. Who do I turn to? Would a counsellor or a specific type of counselling help me?

LadyInDisguise Mon 02-Sep-13 17:33:31

I was ready to say that you need an urgent referral to CAMHS. TBH, that should have happened when she said you had stabbed her. Not a normal behaviour for a child so young.

There are clearly some bigger issues going on. The fact that she isn't an issue at school doesn't mean anything and certainly not that she is a child with no problem and that you, as the parent, is to blame for it all.

In the mean time, do a list over a week or so plus other 'big' instances that pop to your mind. Do that as you wait for your appointment with your GP (I assume it won't be tomorrow).
Keep a diary with what has happened everyday. Do a list as complete as you can as CAMHS will ask you for example of her behaviour and it can be hard to remember all the odd things she is doing (esp as after a while, they start to look 'normal' iyswim).
Depending on how supportive the school is, you might want to involve them as well.

I feel for you. It is extremely hard to deal with that sort of behaviour on a day to day basis and even harder when there is no explanation for it. It does feel like it's all your fault as a parent even though you probably haven't done anything wrong so to speak.

LadyInDisguise Mon 02-Sep-13 17:37:01

Sorry xpost.

Yes school can also be very helpful. They might spot other behaviour that are unusual and should be able to refer her to an Education psychologist.

you might want to find a psychotherapist for counselling. I found it good to talk through my feelings etc...
Also if you have an idea of what the problem is (maybe your GP might hint towards one possibility), the support group for that condition could be a lot of help. eg support group for parents of children with autism

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