Please please help me with dd' (12) behaviour

(97 Posts)
Sonnet Wed 24-Apr-13 21:13:05

Please help, I don't know where to turn.

I have a stroppy spoilt bad tempered 12 year old. She continually demands and then has temper tantrums of huge proportions when she dosn't get her own way. The whole family walk on egg shells around her. Every weekend and most evenings descend in to caos with DH and I falling out over it all. She refuses to do homework, and when she does it is a scrappy affair.

I can't go on like this, I just want to run away.

Sonnet Wed 24-Apr-13 21:13:58

No sanctions work except her phone which she has not had fir 2 days now.

Sonnet Wed 24-Apr-13 21:17:48

I have never had these problems with dd1 who is 16. I am so tired I just want to sleep. Everything is a battle, honestly everything. She breaks every school uniform rule going, she looks a mess but gets away with it. Other parents judge me, they ask me why I let her go to school in make up, skirt rolled up, hair all piled on her head and messy etc.. It is a battle I am scared to have,

MzPixielated Wed 24-Apr-13 21:28:31

Hey not much help but sending unmumsnetty huge and thanks xxx hopefully someone with more experience will be along soon x

TobyLerone Wed 24-Apr-13 21:31:40

I feel your pain. Mine is sometimes the same. And sometimes she's a delight.

I'd tell the judgy parents to fuck off, though, for a start.

drjohnsonscat Wed 24-Apr-13 21:38:08

You all sound scared of her. That's your starting point isn't it.? Terrifying for a child to know the walls around them are even weaker than they are.

I would say virtually all girls roll their skirts up. Even the ones with judgey parents, they just wait until they are out of sight of home before they do it.

Relax about make-up. If its OTT the school will send her to the loo with a wet wipe, I'm sure.

All the nagging in the world will not get homework done. Or if it is, the homework will be done in bad grace. Do not nag, do stress, do not row over homework. If it is not done she will get a detention, let her.

Why are you letting other parents judge you? Give'em the old 'did you mean to be so rude' treatment wink

Whoops. That should be do not stress blush

TobyLerone Wed 24-Apr-13 21:45:20

Both of my childrens' secondary schools say that it is the pupil's responsibility to ensure that homework is done, and that they will punish accordingly if it's not.

Sonnet Wed 24-Apr-13 21:48:52

Drjohnsonscat, so true I am scared of her

baskingseals Wed 24-Apr-13 21:51:28

Sonnet - what are you scared of?

TobyLerone Wed 24-Apr-13 21:59:29

They're like dogs. They can sense fear.

Sonnet Wed 24-Apr-13 21:59:42

She has a few learning issues, poor working memory and slow processing, she is scared of homework.

I feel so judged as I have the child that the other parents roll there eyes at.

The situation is getting worse despite trying. I am reading calmer happier patenting.

My stomach churns at the end of the school day. Most days she demands. Today she demanded we go to top shop to get her some sunglasses. We didn't go. The fall out was horrific, she shouted and screamed all the way home, hitting me whilst I was driving. I took her phone off her. She calmed down a little and started helping herself to food whilst I was cooking a meal. She then did not eat much. After asking her 4 times she eventually settled to do her homework which was to finish a speech she us to give tomorrow in English. She dosn't know it or is bothered by it. Teachers think she is not very bright. She may or may not get told off she dosn't care. She kicked off again when I suggested I help her go over it. She shouts screams pushes and shoves. I sent her to bed. She said no. I have come to bed. I am so scared of her and I don't know what to do. Poor dd1 is trying to revise for her gcse's

TobyLerone Wed 24-Apr-13 22:01:13

Your husband needs to support you more, for a start. Is he her dad? You need to show a united front.

Sonnet Wed 24-Apr-13 22:02:05

I scared of her kicking off. She goes on and on. Even when I explained we couldn't go to top shop (shut by the time we got there ) she just dosn't accept it. I
She is so rude, she swears at me and calls me names.

drjohnsonscat Wed 24-Apr-13 22:05:02

Sonnet sounds like you need help. Situation sounds awful but you first need to reestablish emotional control. If you avoid her through fear you are all lost.

I don't know what the right steps are for DD. but I do know that you must get back in charge of your household even if you don't know what to do for the best. Forget other parents. You only care about you and your family.

Dd sounds v unhappy re school and learning problems. Her being able to wreck your home life will only make her more unhappy.

Sonnet Wed 24-Apr-13 22:05:39

He gets angry with her and then directs his anger to me. He told me tonight I was pathetic at dealing with her. He manhandled her to her room where she stayed but she is still shouting and screaming now. She will be bad tempered tomorrow morning and make us all late as she will insist on shower hair wash and make up yet refuse to get out of bed. She refuses to have breakfast or even a drink. She often goes 12 hours without drinking.

Sonnet Wed 24-Apr-13 22:07:04

How do I get back in charge?
Honestly I have tried so many times. I don't have the fight left. I am here for dd1

Sonnet Wed 24-Apr-13 22:09:44

When she kicks off I need to ignore and not get drawn in to justifying the situation.
Easier said than done as it goes on so so long

drjohnsonscat Wed 24-Apr-13 22:11:44

First of all you can't say you don't have the fight left. Unless you mean it and you think she should go to foster care. Otherwise this is for you and DH to manage by getting support etc. are you in touch with GPs , school, mental health services?

baskingseals Wed 24-Apr-13 22:13:53

You have to stay calm, even if your heart is racing and you feel awful inside.

When she is calm, can you talk to her about how her behaviour is affecting you?

It is NOT okay for her to shout and swear at you.

baskingseals Wed 24-Apr-13 22:17:53

You are right. You need to ignore her.
But it is so much easier said than done.

bigbuttons Wed 24-Apr-13 22:21:51

Try and think of each interaction initiated by her as a dance ( I read this in a great parenting book). She kicks off " shall we dance mum?" and you then dance. Don't dance.

Sonnet Wed 24-Apr-13 22:23:08

No, I am not in touch with anybody, can my gp help?
I think I need to make an appointment at school too.

I have had many conversations with her when calm. About her behaviour and what our expectations are. She is always in agreement until the next time. I admit I avoid situations where I know she will kick off.
I have bribed her, but that has resulted in one spoilt child.

If I don't respond it is because DH is annoyed I am on my phone sad

RubyDanglesBangle Wed 24-Apr-13 22:23:41

You do need to ignore the behaviour, and I know this is much easier to type than actually do in RL. But if you manage it, it does work.
Let her kick off, give her the punishment, insist on it, and walk away to do something else. It's your attention she's feeding off.

Oh, and look up MaryZ on the teenager boards. Shes got great advice.

Sonnet Wed 24-Apr-13 22:23:52

Love it big buttons smile

Sonnet Wed 24-Apr-13 22:24:32

Thank you ruby
Thank you all

baskingseals Wed 24-Apr-13 22:33:38

Sonnet you can do it.
It's like so many things - it takes practice. The other thing I have only recently realised, is that if you find yourself being drawn into the dance, you can still walk away from it, you don't have to stay and see it through iykwim.

I would also be very clear about your expectations of her behaviour.
Doe she get any kind of pocket money?

BriansBrain Wed 24-Apr-13 22:36:13

My DD can be a huge challenge at times although not to some of the scale you have mentioned here but what I generally do is ignore her and ask time after time for an indoor voice or quiet voice when talking to her.

I try not to engage, after all she isn't listening to me so why should I deal with her.

Why are you waiting for her I. The morning? I make my DD walk if she is making us late.

My sympathy is with you though x

Alonglongway Wed 24-Apr-13 22:46:44

I really like 2 books - how to talk so teenagers will listen, and also the one called something like "get out of my life but first drive me into town". I have DDs pretty much same age as yours but DD1 was the stroppy one. Big things I took from the books are not to get carried away in the teen/pre-teen hysteria. Explain the consequences to them calmly and ideally only once and let them get on with it.

I have also learned to let small things blow over. Have really seen with DD1 that if she is backed into a corner she'll flare up but with a bit of wiggle room she will apologise and sort herself out and be a lovely girl.

Best of luck!

Not drinking will effect her concentration and ability to learn as well sad. My DD2 has SEN and I nag her to drink. Nagging is something I hate doing but that is one of mine.

DD1 is my teen and like yours has gone off breakfast. She eats Kraves without milk. Its crap but at least its something to keep her going until lunch. Find something she will eat, just going with the something better than nothing notion.

Skirt and make-up, don't sweat those issues.

Your DH must be on your side and work with you.

In your place I would go back to basics. Have a sit down talk at the weekend when there are no time pressures and spell out what behaviour is expected and what is unacceptable. Agree a reward system and stick to it.

As for sanctions I warn before I carry out, eg 1) please stop that, 2) stop now or xyz will happen 3) you were warned - consequence xyz.

MrRected Wed 24-Apr-13 22:57:53

My DS was exactly like this 5 months ago. I was tearing my hair out.

In November last year I cracked. I grounded him for a month and banned all screens (including his phone). He was extremely angry for the first week, quiet and withdrawn the second, then he clicked back into the beautiful boy I know he really is. It was really hard to take such a hard line - but it really worked.

Since then we have a no screen policy for all 3 kids Mon-Thur and I have very tight controls on DS' phone use (no Kik, no FB).

We have addressed our own issues too - we were not present enough in his life. Now we spend real time with him. Life is much better now.

Sonnet Thu 25-Apr-13 06:47:05

Thank you everyone. I am reading this in a calmer frame of mind this morning.
briansbrain I wish I could leave her to walk in the morning, I would do it in. Heartbeat but we are 18 miles from school. I take them to school and go to work 5 mins away. Rural area so no buses.

I need to:
take back control
be calmer and not get drawn in.
Be aware of my flash points. I see red when she demands eg a McDonald's when I pick her up tonight, a new dress etc I think why the hell should you get anything when you are so rude. Not a day goes past without some demand for something new.

I think many of her issues stem from being hungry when I pick her up and not drinking much all day. She isn't interested in a healthy snack or a sandwich but demands chocolate, crisps etc. if I don't have a snack with me she kicks off until we stop at a shop Nd buy one. If the snack I bring is not what she wants then ditto. I need to be ready for this.

I have her phone and she is not having it back at the moment

Sonnet Thu 25-Apr-13 06:48:00

Need to wake her up now!!

YoniCollette Thu 25-Apr-13 06:56:42

Ask your gp to refer her to CAMHS.

Badvoc Thu 25-Apr-13 07:09:41

Ok. First off, violence is unacceptable.
Next time she kicks off and is pysically abusive you need to tell her - calmly - that if she is violent you will call the police.
And then you need to be prepared to do just that.
12 is old enough to know right from wrong.
Wrt school...let school deal with it.
If she doesn't do her homework then they will punish her.
Not your problem.
Wrt her other issues then perhaps a gp referral is in order? Cahms?
Do not give her the phone back.

baskingseals Thu 25-Apr-13 07:19:00

Good luck today - it takes time to turn things around, don't get angry with yourself if you don't react the way you would like to, this is long term stuff.

Agree with being crystal clear on consequences. Would also add that it would be helpful to spend some time with her on your own. You don't have to fix her - just listening can be enough.

Just want to add that you are certainly not pathetic, quite the reverse.

Sonnet Thu 25-Apr-13 07:24:02

Thank you all. Will phone GP today.
Thank you baskingseals for your support
No she is not getting her phone back!

Chandon Thu 25-Apr-13 07:38:56

It sounds to me as if your DH is a big part of the problem, that he does not do enough to back you up at all times (and you say he gets angry with you when she kicks off?!).

I do not know about age 12, as mine only 11, but there is a dfinite start of A mouthy attitude. I have very strixt rules about not helping yourself to food ( guess that gets harder when they get older?) and I WILL say:" you cannot talk to me like that! You cannot behave like that!", and withold pocket money if behaviour does not improve.

You may need to stop spoiling her, by occassionally giving in to her demands she knows it works being stroppy, best to simply never give in to snacks or McD, really, never at all. Just bring some snacks and a drink when you pick her up, if she does not like it tough.

But really, I would say, you first need to get your DH on board. How is your marriage atm? sorry, not my business, but you really need a united front here.

Sonnet Thu 25-Apr-13 08:44:35

I would say our marriage is fine. We do have one big issue - DD2.

He has a tendency to wade in when things are kicking off between us by saying 'you two are as bad as each other' 'you are both pathetic'. He puts us both in the wrong together. This is followed by him loosing his temper with Dd2. This is what happened last night.

This morning things have gone well... She has been quiet but polite, got ready on time, had a breakfast of half a weetabix, bannana and fruit juice.
Gone off to school looking slightly smarter than usual.

Now I have to pull myself together for a day at work!

Sonnet Thu 25-Apr-13 08:49:42

Getting DH on board will be hard as his response will be 'I 've heard it all before and it dosn't happen'
TBH I don't have the strength to fight with him. I need to show him that by disengaging with her she will improve. I know that disengaging works as I proved it during an incident in the Easter holidays

Sonnet Thu 25-Apr-13 08:50:53

chandon agree about never never giving in. Will focus on that totally

Sonnet Thu 25-Apr-13 10:37:19

At work but this is going round and round in my head.

She suffers from very low self esteem too. Whilst I know I have to be tougher on her and also just want to cuddle her close.

Chandon Thu 25-Apr-13 13:23:32

Important to cuddle her and spoil her when you feel like it, but the " spoiling" has to be n your terms, not hers.

I am disappointed with your DH, I really think he is a big part of the problem.

By saying things like " you two are as bad as eachother" he clearly sees the two of you as being of the same hierarchical level. That's surely not right? How can he talk to you like that?!

Clearly, his attitude is key here, imo.

My DH, who is not perfect, will say when we have soem kick off "listen to your mother", which is more helpful I think.

Sonnet Thu 25-Apr-13 13:41:45

I aso think DH is a big part of the problem. I totally agree about the hierarchical level. He does not always respond like this and can also tell her to "listen" to me. Always, when he does not respond well the kick off/fall out is far worse. He also carrys on a conversation with her and will not disengage which just fuels the fire further.

The issue is he will not listen at the moment if I try to talk to him which will just wind me up and upset me. I need ny strength and energy for DD2

During my lunch break I started reading "Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting". I need to find a way of engaging with her that doesn't prompt a stand off. I need her to co operate. I do everything for her; pick up her clothes, make her bed, clear up the bathroom after her - all to avoid any stand offs
I have made a rod for my own back - and i need to sort it before it esculates even worse

Thank you all for listening - it is really helping posting here

Sonnet Thu 25-Apr-13 16:14:56

Right, just about to pick up, have snack, will disengage if needed

Sonnet Thu 25-Apr-13 18:33:16

An update for tonight so far:
A good evening, was calm at pick up. Only one minor kick off when I asked her to put her seat belt on. She threw her school bag and snack across the car. I did not engage. She finally put her seat belt on. She has trampolined, made pudding for us all and been pleasant.

So far so good

Just about to start homework/revision. Had the usual moaning about why she has to do it. I have not engaged in conversation. She has now 'gone to the toilet' the usual excuse for putting it off.

I am ignoring...

TobyLerone Thu 25-Apr-13 19:38:34

Good for you. It might be worth discussing your strategy with your husband, and asking him to support you while you give it a shot to see if it makes a difference. Then he should realise that you're not just being ineffectual and 'pathetic'.

bigbuttons Thu 25-Apr-13 19:39:40

sonnet, you are not dancing remember?. Always remember that thevbnext time she tries to lure you in and metaphorically offers her hand for the temper tantrum tangowink

Googleit Thu 25-Apr-13 20:09:38

She really needs more of your time and attention. You need to get to the root of the problem and try to work it out.

my 9 year old behaved like this but his behaviour is changing through patience and talking it through. I could hardly drive through his tantrums. He had a number of obsessions one of them was a pet obsession and we had to go 24 hour super market to get a dog lead. It seemed to go on for ever. Sometimes give in...but let her know you love giving in is not the politically correct thing but we dont have these issues any more. talk to her and try and find out what's going on because obviously something is not right in her world. Maybe she needed a statement of special educational needs so she has the extra help at school. Maybe you should see if it's not too late to get one.

Takver Thu 25-Apr-13 20:25:02

Sorry to offer yet another book, but you might find The Explosive Child helpful. A lot of the children discussed in the book have more severe problems (diagnosed ADHD / ASDs), and it is rather American (including discussing medication). BUT, IMO it is fantastic for several reasons, the first being that it points out repeatedly that this kind of behaviour is horrible for the children concerned, not just for the adults suffering the acting out. Also that this isn't about your bad parenting (maybe easier if you have an older child who doesn't have these issues?)

I would definitely second the suggestion to seek help from the school / CAMHS or whoever. DD used to (I say 'used to' with extreme trepidation - but she hasn't this school year) have pretty full on melt downs at school. The Ed Psych was fantastic in helping - firstly by pointing out that the initial need was to deal with her anxiety and identifying the 'flashpoints', and then figuring out a way forward.

drjohnsonscat Thu 25-Apr-13 21:01:18

Sonnet sounds like you've had a better day and I love the dancing analogy. You are just not dancing.

It sounds like there's a blood sugar issue there too with this kicking off every day after school. Would she drink a chocolate milk in the car? I guess not but it does sound she needs some fuel before she can behave properly. Can you make a snack in the car a condition of setting off for home?

Hope the books help but also do talk to your GP. We all need all the help we can get and it sounds very much like DH needs to know how to be part of the solution. I agree that he is part of the problem if he's coming out with "you two are just as bad as each other" thereby undermining your position in the hierarchy and giving your daughter fuel for her hostility ("Even he says mum's awful so she must be...") That's got to stop.

AmiorEzzy Thu 25-Apr-13 21:18:18

You need to start taking more action and take her phone away if she is acting like this. I mean hen I was 12 everyone was out playing or being a child which she still is!

Flicktheswitch Thu 25-Apr-13 21:30:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IdreamofFairies Thu 25-Apr-13 22:21:55

what about talking to the school most schools around here have a counselor (sp ?) my son finds it very helpful to have someone to talk to he works through sheets that help him with his anger and ones that help him improve his self esteem. they should be able to sort something out almost immediately rather than have to wait for referral from gp which can take time.

i am glad you have had a better day today.

what about asking if there are any parenting programmes near you a teenage one i think would be great for you. this would be more about getting support helping you to keep to things that sort of thing, books are fab but nothing beats some rl moral support.

if you are going to decrease your negative attention (arguing back giving in etc) then you need to increase the amount of positive attention you give. lots of praise if you have enjoyed doing something with her say that you have. never say anything negative about her in her hearing (this will just lower her self esteem more)* never* compare her to her sibling (this will just lower her self esteem more).

the more you praise her and build her self esteem the better her behavior will be. i know its hard when they are challenging you at every turn but as said before pick your battles, if you have to with the praise start small and build on it as her behavior improves. bear in mind as well that if her self esteem is low she might find it difficult to hear praise so be honest about things i.e thanks its a great help to me getting to work on time when you get ready when i ask. that sort of thing

Googleit Thu 25-Apr-13 23:25:00

I wouldn't waste time reading parenting books...use your time being a parent. She is crying out for attention so give it to her.Find out what is the problem because there is obviously one. She cannot change her behaviour until you change yours.

Ignoring her is not the answer the more time and attention you give now will mean less behavioural problems later.

It is easier to ignor the problem then address it but it is the only way to change her behaviour and to help her. The more effort you put in now will reap benefits later. Saying one child is fine therefore Ijust have being doing something right puts you off addressing the problems with the child that needs help.

I have been there with the kicking off and extreme tantrums also the dread of what will kick off next. These are symptoms of lack of attention. when i changed so did my child.

Despite how you feel show how happy you are to see her and hug her even if she is into one. Talk andfind out whats happening in her life and above all go to the school and find out if she can get more help with her school work as I think this is the root of it.

bigbuttons Fri 26-Apr-13 07:12:55

googleit you ignore the bad behaviour, not the child. Thats very harsh to imply that the op has brought this one herself by not giving her dd enough attention.

Sonnet Fri 26-Apr-13 09:27:18

Thank you all for your responses, all have given me food for thought.

An update: last night went well. After the normal whinge about why she had to do homework, couldn't be bothered etc she settled down and worked hard at her maths prep. I then helped her revise for a history test and I was so pleased at how well she focused. I would also like to add that we were both laughing and interacting positively while this was going on. We had a cuddle at bedtime too. DH played rounders outside with her and they had a cuddle too. A very calm and pleasant dd last night. Unfortunately DH thinks it is only a reaction to the previous night and will revert back soon. I am trying to be more positive and just concentrate on moving forward. I will hold last night in my head of how I want life to be like smile This morning also went well, up, breakfast and out. I share the school run so don't do Friday but as she left the house she was laughing with us and I got a big smile and thumbs up from the car.

She has not had her phone back yet.

Sonnet Fri 26-Apr-13 09:53:35

tobylerone I have asked him to bear with me and whilst last night he was supportive he still remains negative for anything to change other than the short term.
bigbuttons I held that in my mind at the start of homework and again when I went in to wake her this morning grin
googleit it is interesting about saying she needs more of my time. She has always had a lot if one on one as that is when she responds best. Maybe I have given her the impression that family life revolves around her. I am not ignoring her, I am ignoring her behaviour. You are right when you say I have to get to the bottom of her unhappiness. Her learning issues have just been uncovered. She has gone from being a bright little girl, always in top groups to being unhappy, withdrawn and in bottom sets. Every school year she dropped down the ability scale. With this came a massive drop in self confidence and self esteem. I am possibly to blame for not tackling this sooner with the school. A year ago she was diagnosed with tracking issues with her eyes. She now has a pair of glasses with tinted lenses which make the world of difference to her reading speed. In February this year she was diagnosed as slightly dyslexic, a slow processing speed and a very poor working memory. I am in no doubt at all that this is the root cause if her behaviour.

TobyLerone Fri 26-Apr-13 09:56:21

God, he's so negative! That must be hard.

Sonnet Fri 26-Apr-13 10:00:49

It also came to light a few weeks ago via a chat dd had with one of her teachers that she avoids ever having to fail. Her science teacher phoned me as she was concerned about Dd's performance in her end of unit tests. Dd never revised for her tests as then when she did badly she could say 'oh but it is okay as I never revised'. Her science teacher, with my support, made her resit her 3 worse ones. I will never forget the look on that little girls face when she told me she got 94%, 92% And 94% respectively. So that is why I will support and help her with revision. She is scared, worried and dosn't understand why school work use to be so easy and is now so hard

Sonnet Fri 26-Apr-13 10:02:02

It is tobyLerone. He is also a very negative person in general iyswim. Me, I'm the optimistic sort smile

Sonnet Fri 26-Apr-13 10:07:56

drjohnsonscat good idea re snack. Her blood sugars are low. She has a very healthy appetite. The snack I have bought can also be a flash point though so it is rather like walking on eggshells.. In an ideal world I would take her a sandwich but as I am at work all day a sandwich that has hung around in the car until 4pm is not very appealing. Last night she had a small bag of salted popcorn in the car and then a cheese sandwich when she got home. I think that really did help!

Her lack of drinking dosn't help either but as it has been warmer she has also been drinking the 2 bottles of water she takes in with her.

musickeepsmesane Fri 26-Apr-13 10:14:27

I am a foster carer and am looking after a child with learning difficulties. FC came to me because child was very angry, abusive, swearing, challenging etc. Not dancing is the way to go. In a very short time FC has changed behaviours. We never see anything of previous behaviours. Once you get the hang of ignoring and being positive it is amazing how any child responds. Also, having boundaries/consequences make children feel safe and calm. You have done very well so far, you should show your hubby this thread, he needs to be fully engaged and positive too. Good luck flowers

Sonnet Fri 26-Apr-13 10:14:33

Amiorezzy - she has not had her phone back. She has no laptop or tablet either.
Flicktheswitch- thank you, something to think about. She goes at 9pm and I wake her just before 7pm. I think her social life is too busy and she is tired. Believe it or not she is a very popular girl with her peers and is always being invited somewhere or other which often includes sleepovers. I am cutting back on that, particularly the sleepovers, until half term to see if it makes a difference.

Sonnet Fri 26-Apr-13 10:24:39

idreamoffairies thank you for such a helpful post. I have spoken to the head of learning support this morning who is going to have a chat with dd today. Dd really opens up to her. She reminded me today of a conversation we had had in December. In her opinion Dd's core self esteem is still there. She thinks that because dd asked to go on a ski-ing trip when she had never skied before and none of her friends were going. She went, joined in and had a fab timesmile

The school does provide a councillor, thanks for the reminder...
I am trying to positively praise as in 'calmer, easier. Happier parenting. I am trying to notice and comment appropriately for everything she does well or okay. The frustrating thing is I know she responds to praise I just forget to do it.

Sonnet Fri 26-Apr-13 10:32:27

What a positive story musickeepsmesane oh how I needed to hear that smile
Honestly, thank you, all of you. Your comments, feedback and support is really helping me face this problem. Thanks takver for the explosive child book recommendation. I am finding the current book a real support too and to whoever said I should ditch the book and spend the reading time with DD I only read in bed at night and during my lunch break while working smile
I will keep posting my journey on here if no one minds

drjohnsonscat Fri 26-Apr-13 10:44:49

Sonnet your posts about how her face lit up with the test results and the cuddles you had tell you that your lovely girl is in there somewhere which is great.

It sounds as though you are getting the right people on board to help you (need to work on DH though!). And then you can work on building those firm foundations around DD so she doesn't feel out of control when she has those bouts of temper, low sugar, tiredness, fear, depression. If she starts to go off on one you know that you have strong supports around all of you and the worst that can happen is that she gives herself a sore throat through shouting. She cannot actually overturn your foundations because they (you) are too strong for that. So you are free to withdraw (not dance) because you know she doesn't have sufficient power to overcome you all. She's just louder.

musickeepsmesane Fri 26-Apr-13 10:46:51

Keeping posting on here will give you the extra strength you need. I hope she keeps responding so well. Probably be a few bumps along the way tho'! Also, when it comes to being stuck for snacks I use popcorn a lot. I have a machine and FC is very proud of making her own. I have been toying with the idea of getting her to make her own drinks too. My own kids used to make ginger beer TBH the idea of being ruled by the ginger beer plant again fills me with dread but kids love it.

Sonnet Fri 26-Apr-13 10:59:47

I like your post drjohnsonscat - building firm foundations smile

Sonnet Fri 26-Apr-13 11:49:10

Lots going through my head, doing a brain dump: Dd went off the rails at school December/January this year which corresponds directly with my Aunt, who I was very close to, been diagnosed and dying from cancer. I was up and down the motorway visiting whilst still holding a job and family life down. It is fair to say my eye was off the ball and she had very little of my attention

musickeepsmesane Fri 26-Apr-13 15:14:09

hoping this afternoon goes well for you. You are probably bang on the button with the reason she has changed, should help get things back on track. She may also have become aware of your mortality sad

Sonnet Fri 26-Apr-13 17:29:40

Thanks musickeepsmestrong, just waiting for them now. We also lost an uncle last August very suddenly too.

MrsFletch Fri 26-Apr-13 19:09:36

I sympathise. I have 12 year old boy, not dissimilar on occasions. Tonight he screamed and shouted at his dad when his xbox game was interrupted, telling him to get lost and calling him a retard. I pulled the plug out. I can only guess it's hormones. I told him in no uncertain terms how cross I was, disappointed etc and no more xbox tonight. He does calm down and is genuinely sorry and knows he has done wrong. I don't find that punishments work very well (loss of phone etc). My son is better dealt with by lack of attention and affection. If I ignore him and look sad (not too difficult after an outburst) he eventually feels really bad and apologetic. I think it is a self control issue that they can't quite get to grips with yet - and let's face it quite a few adults can't! Definately got to grit your teeth and stay calm. If you fight fire with fire it just explodes! I would pick up on the point that she doesn't drink enough - dehydration can do awful things to your mood and behaviour. I still plant drinks in front of mine at regular intervals and insist it is drank (drunk?!).

MrsFletch Fri 26-Apr-13 19:15:15

I am new to this and only just realised I had only just read up until Wednesday before posting so most people had beaten me to it with more helpful stuff!!

Sonnet Fri 26-Apr-13 19:52:01

Thank you mrsfletch it helps to know I am not alone. You are right about dehydration. I insist she drinks but it when she is away from me the damage occurs. Hope you have a better evening too 😄

Sonnet Fri 26-Apr-13 19:52:28

Sorry about random numbers at the end?!

bigbuttons Fri 26-Apr-13 21:16:47

Seems like you are getting a handle on things sonnet. She needs boundaries in order to feel safe and of course it's also her job to push against them!

spaceangel1382 Fri 26-Apr-13 23:13:18

More than once you mention her wearing make up, doing her hair up etc. taking her phone is a little punishment...take the make up!!!! Take her hair straighteners. She could be hiding behind her looks because she thinks she is no good at school. These stupid celebs brag about bring thick but pretty and making their lives a ' success'. She might think its a option for her.
Don't argue with her. Don't explain yourself like you need to justify your answer to her. Just say NO!!! Your DH needs to man up and back you up. This is a fight you need to be banded together in. Don't let her see her actions are causing grief between you and DH. United parenting front.
I hope things get better for you. X

Googleit Sat 27-Apr-13 22:44:27

Just caught up from Friday and I am really pleased at how things have improved for you
She is obviously a bright and popular girl and couldn't cope with the drop in her grades when she had higher expectations of herself and which gave her self esteem This shows she is a girl who is just not only interested in make up and superficial things.

You took control and changed your behaviour and you have seen the benefits. You have also got to the root of the problem. Ignoring bad behaviour also ignors the child or so it does in their minds whether you like it or not. You addressed the behaviour.

It was me who said ditch the parenting books and I still think they do more harm than good but if it helps you be happier then that also helps your child.
Well done and no matter that your DH is not supportive ..accept that there are some things we cant change...your reward is in having a happier child

Sonnet Sun 28-Apr-13 12:43:20

Thank you everyone! We had a family day out yesterday with another family that went well - well it would as she was doing something she liked. She did have a kick off yesterday morning because she wanted to charge her iPod. She didn't explain that just refused to get ready so things did get a bit shouty blush. Later on we had a chat and I explained that if she had explained the situation it would have avoided the arguments. I hope it sunk in!
This morning we have been involved in the village litter pick so the acid test is this afternoon and the two pieces of homework to be done.
DH, dd and I have had a conversation about doing 'our jobs' without rowing and then followed by a walk in the forest. Dd also keen to make cakes with me so we will see what this afternoon brings!

Ineedmorepatience Sun 28-Apr-13 13:03:29

Hi sonnet I have just been reading your thread, I have 3 Dd's and they have all gone through stages of being really challenging. The youngest has Asd in the mix as well but she is only 9 so not officially a teen yet [someone tell her that].

You have been given some great advise so far and I just wanted to agree that no engaging in arguments with her is absolutely the way to go.
Stand firm but dont enter into discussions if she is shouting, swearing or being aggressive.

I have the snack issue with Dd3 she has a massive low when she comes out of school so i always take her a snack. If she doesnt like [on that day] the snack I have chosen she can wait till we get home. I also always have a bottle of water for her.

I make the offer of the snack, if she choses to eat it, fine. If not she waits. Sometimes she wails and moans about going to the shop but I just say No once and then that is it. Sometimes she paddy's in the street but I just keep walking. 9 times out of 10 she ends up eating what I have given her.

We praise all the time for tiny things like getting up on time, packing her bag, being helpful. We are very specific about what we are praising but that is because of the Asd.

You have done really well this week to begin to change your Dd's behaviour but dont forget if you need more support there are people out there who can help you. The school can refer to CAHMS and some areas except self referrals.

Good luck and stay strongsmile

Sonnet Sun 28-Apr-13 14:18:55

The resistance to homework is incredible! But no kick off...
Keeping calm and not getting drawn in to her 'discussions'.

Sonnet Sun 28-Apr-13 14:22:12

Very helpful post ineedmorepatience I totally identify with your school pick up time. I have not been as good as you and have given in and gone to the shop sad I have made a rod for my own back giving in to avoid meltdowns...

Lawlaw84 Sun 28-Apr-13 14:39:09

My heart goes out to you! I know how hard it is to cope with a child with behavioral issue. My son has awful outbursts which were witnessed at school and home. The school advised me to contact my GP and get a referral through them to CAMHS. The school have been great and I now have a support worker who helps me and advises me what is best to do in certain situations. My son is 10x better now, though he had an anger outburst last week at school and hit a girl. He has been severely punished for this. It will get better with outside support. I would speak to get school to see what they think too. Good luck x

Ineedmorepatience Sun 28-Apr-13 16:26:08

I was just wondering what do the school do if she doesn't do the homework. I have an agreement with school that if Dd3 cant/doesnt do her homework at home then I am fine about them asking her to attend homework club at lunchtime at school. It is not detention but it is like a last chance for the children to get their homework done.

She now does some at home and some at school, usually written stuff at school and computer stuff at home.

At the secondary that she will go to they also run lunchtime and after school homework sessions for children who find it difficult to work at home.

I am all for reducing my stress levels as Dd3 kicks off less if I am calm.

With going to the shop could you maybe try buying a multi pack of her choice on a monday and not going to the shop again till friday maybe or even only once a week. I dont know it depends on how much you want to change the behaviour. You have to chose your battles and decide on what is most important to you. If you take on too much you will be exhausted and wont be able to find time for the positive stuff.

Good lucksmile

bigbuttons Sun 28-Apr-13 17:15:52

yes the after school need for food.....Ii think of them as baby birds, all mouths open and needing to be fed!. As soon as they come out I put food in their mouths, with the younger ones that can be literal! No time for moaning as they have a mouth full of food!

Sonnet Mon 29-Apr-13 21:59:22

I thought an update was due.
Well Sunday did not go according to plan.. Dd dawdled doing her work although no meltdowns. She did give DH attitude which earned her a lecture. But all in all no big kick offs or melt downs. This morning went okay too with even a bit of breakfast eaten. She came out of school late tonight after rounders and tennis and was on good form and are the snack I bought. Interestingly she said she loved her school lunch today and was not that hungry at 5.
The rest of the evening was not great, not bad but could be a lot better. Spent ages mucking about before setting down to homework and both pieces are shoddy considering the amount of time she spent on them. At least they are done and no melt downs. She genuinely seems happier and we are calmer - chicken and egg? I really don't know.
Ineedmorepaitence love the idea re choosing a multipack of snacks for the week- I can see that really working smile
School quite disappoint me with their attitude re undone homework. I think eventually they will give detention but only probably a term of loosing house points and phoning me! There is a homework club before school and lunchtime but getting dd to give up her social life will never work. She loves schools apart from the lessons smile

Sonnet Mon 29-Apr-13 22:00:50

bigbuttons yes food is key after school and at other times as well I coming to realise. I think she needs food every couple of hours

Sonnet Mon 29-Apr-13 22:02:46

I have just re read your posts ineedmorepaitence and I cannot get over how your dd3 sounds like my dd2!!

bigbuttons Tue 30-Apr-13 18:49:45

sonnet, they key at the moment is to choose your goals. One at a time. I work as a support for a year 6 boy atm. He has behavioural issues and cannot concentrate well etc etc. Sometimes the goal simply is that he has been calm for the day, not shouted out, not drawn all over someone and crawled under the table.
Stuff the work.
They cannot do it all at once if they have 'issues'.
You make the goals small and manageable, that way you are able to praise and point out progress being made. This of course makes the child feel good , feel that they are succeeding, that they have pleased you. If you get them onside then they are far more likely to toe the line when more challenging stuff needs ti be addressed.
Instead of looing for the negatives ( like the standard of her work) just concentrate on how well she is doing, especially compared with last week when you first posted.
They will be bad days too, just when you thought it was better, but we all have crap dayssmile

Ineedmorepatience Wed 01-May-13 15:09:03

Hi sonnet I hope your week is progressing ok.

It sounds as though you did well staying calm, I think you are right about it being the key to a generally calmer atmosphere.

It is disappointing that the school seem to think they dont have to take responsibility for homework. They set it at the end of the day so they should be consistent in their approach to getting it back.

I agree with bigbuttons about looking for positive things. When she does her homework [with or without a fuss] praise her for completing it and try to comment as little as possible on the quality of it.

Many children find homework really hard, it is the home is home, school is school thing.

If you are concerned about her standards of work I would make an appointment to see her head of year or form teacher.

At the end of the day if she is working well at school then she will be showing them what she is capable of at school and so long as you provide her the opportunity to do her homework then you are showing the school that you are supporting them now they need to show that they are supporting you.

There has been some research in to the actual benefits of homework and I am pretty sure they found that there was very little value to it.

We hate, hate, hate homework in my housesad

Keep up with the calm approach and good lucksmile

Sonnet Sun 19-May-13 07:53:51

I thought an update was in order. I think something has clicked ....

Things have been so so much better until last night. Dd kicked off although I refused to dance she kept on and on. Today her period started.
When I originally posted her period started 2 days later. She started her periods over a year ago. So whilst the original problems still stand I think they are enhanced by PMT. anyone any advice please? X

RosemaryandThyme Tue 21-May-13 11:08:52

Hi - yes extreme emotional outburst can be linked to fluctuating hormones.

GP blood tests can identify, keeping a daily chart could give an indication of patterns, with such a young girl things may well be rocky as her body adjusts to a regular cycle.

Do try GP for advice.

Lavenderlane Tue 21-May-13 13:24:01

I agree with the others on ignoring the behaviour, she seems to have learnt what buttons to press. I also feel for you because there is no quick and easy answer. You and your DH need to get the control back and put on a united front. Hearing you row will only distract from her behaviour and cause a lot more stress for you. Could you sit down with your DH to discuss strategies you both agree on, accepting that implementing them wont happen over night. At crisis times we can tend to revert to instinctive responses, but if you both accept this and agree to discuss them when your DD is not around, bit by bit, you may be able to respond in a more controlled united way (rather than an emotional).

As for strategies to help with your daughters behaviour, firstly you need a no tolerance for dangerous behaviours e.g. hitting in a car. If she does this she may injure herself, you or an innocent bystander. Be clear she will be asked to get out of the car, if she wont do that, park the car up and walk yourself. Sounds extreme but she needs to know you mean business. Hopefully it will only mean you will have to do this once or twice.

What things (not just possessions) does she value? Confiscating these or preventing access to them e.g. money or friends could be a way forward. Although, you need to think carefully about the impact of what you choose to do - if you take her phone does she just contact her friends through facebook etc? Who puts credit on her phone? Could you have a staged approach to her behaviour "if you do this then x will happen, if you continue then x will". Give her the choice, allow her five minutes to turn her behaviour around (ignoring whatever she does), if after the five minutes she hasn't calmed down implement the second sanction. In my experience of teenagers (I know your DD is only 12) money, phones, make up and friends mean a lot to them, but you may know of other things that are dear to your DD.

Please don't take this post as a criticism, I am just trying to provide you with practical advice.

Kleinzeit Tue 21-May-13 14:23:43

Glad to hear things are going better. You've had lots of good advice so not much to add.

One thing that might (possibly!) help with the going to the shop is to tell her in the morning before she goes to school. So that she knows in advance that she will not be going to the shop that afternoon. Or discuss it at the weekend - how many times you will take her in a week, which days, etc. That way she has time to be mentally prepare herself, and it might stop her from spending the day thinking “Mum will take me to the shop” and getting disappointed and angry when you say no.

Perhaps even agree to use a trip to the shop on Friday as a reward for good behaviour through the week? If you do then be specific about what sort of good behaviour – it could be no tantrums, or it could be homework done, or whatever, but just pick one thing that you know she can do and stick to it. And don’t take the reward away if she’s earned it, even if she's not been perfect in other ways.

Sonnet Thu 30-May-13 15:08:04

Thank you all. Things have definitely been better. I believe it is all linked to her leaning issues and lack of self esteem wrt school work.

I have removed all additives from her diet, not that there were many, and if I feed her 3 good meals a day she is much calmer. She is back from a cinema trip and sleepover, no proper evening meal and a junky breakfast. That combined with lack of sleep is making her very on edge.

I have removed things of value in the past (and still do as I have nothing else to barter with) but tbh I do not think it helps much.

Thank you again, great advice here that I read and read again

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