Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
DD abusing me - distressed(320 Posts)
Have posted about dd on parenting teenagers board under a different user name. If you recognise me, please don't out me, as dd sometimes searches mn to see what I've said about her. I don't think she has ever looked at this board though. I lurk on this board a bit. I thought I'd post after realising that what I'm feeling at the moment is not a million miles away from what what I read here from women in abusive partnerships with adults. I really need to off-load.
There's a special kind of sadness and shame attached to being abused by your young teenage child because underneath you are constantly asking yourself the question - are they like this because of the way I've parented them? And fear for them - for their future and their well-being. I strongly believe that behaving in a violent and abusive way doesn't just harm the person who's being abused, but in a spiritual and emotional sense also the person who's behaving abusively. That's really hard when you are a parent on the receiving end of abuse from your child.
A bit of background: dd is going to be 14 in August. Up until the end of primary she was a very easy and happy little girl. Unusually happy, confident and high spirited I'd say. She had a massive sense of fun and loads of energy, to the point that she'd always be the last child standing at any party or sleep-over. She breezed through primary in top sets for everything, despite being one of the youngest in her year. Her teachers LOVED her. She was very, very pretty too, to the point that people would stop me in the street and say what an adorable little girl she was.
Fast forward to year 9 and she's unrecognisable as the happy, lovely little girl we knew before. She's still sociable and has a lot of friends, including a couple she's known since nursery. But that's all that's left of what she was before. On the days she's not actively refusing to go to school (about 2 or 3 out of every 5 days at the moment - she just won't get out of bed), she deliberately makes herself very, very late. She regularly argues with teachers - just point blank refuses to do things she doesn't feel like doing at school, whether it's an assessment for PE, moving desks because she's been talking, whatever. She walks out of detentions if she thinks they've kept her long enough, refuses to do any homework, is MASSIVELY disrespectful to the teachers she doesn't like.
Obviously I've tried to do something about her behaviour. I've moved her school (she asked me to and I was unhappy with her old school), I have kept in regular touch with her tutor and her head of year. We have tried to put sanctions in place for bad behaviour (ie grounding and losing her phone) and made our expectations clear but we aren't the most organised people and her behaviour has been so universally bloody awful that it has got to a point where sanctions become a bit meaningless. And in the meantime she has become so angry, and so resentful of me in particular, and it's got worse and worse to the point where I can't see how we can go on, despite the support we've had from the school and from other agencies (CAMHS) to get to the bottom of her behaviour.
If you've read on to this point you might be thinking - So far, so typical of some teenagers, but I'm posting specifically because of her behaviour towards me and how it's made me feel.
Over the last few months she has become more and more aggressive towards me. She
- daily tells me I'm pathetic and a failure as a parent because I have an autistic child (her youngest brother who is 7) and a daughter (her) who has been referred to CAMHS and who I can't control
- tells me I'm old and stupid. Tells me constantly to 'shut up' and if I don't do what she says, says 'Are you stupid? Did you hear me? SHUT UP'
- tells me I'm a failure because the house is messy and because I buy my clothes in charity shops
- says that DH should leave me and could do much better than me
- walks into the bathroom when I'm in the bath, even when I have the door locked and have said not to come in - she sticks a card through the gap in the door and unlatches it, pushes her way in and shoots disgusted looks at my body. Says she needs to wash her hands and won't go downstairs to do it because she can't be bothered
- walks into my bedroom and pulls things off my shelves when she wants something of mine, without asking me if she can have it. She walks past me into the room, ignores me when I say 'what do you want?', literally physically barges me out of the way and laughs at me, just takes what she wants and walks out.
- she has locked me out of the house when I've stepped outside to put something in the bin
- she has trashed my room
- she body-blocks me in the hallway of the house, sticks her face in mine and shouts at me that I'm pathetic and scared to make eye contact with her.
- she gas lights me
- she tells me I should just leave and why don't I give up and move out
- she constantly points out that DH earns more than me and that therefore he is 'in charge'. I have pointed to her that this is not how finances work in a marriage (at least not in ours thank god). She ignores me.
..... and then yesterday she snatched my mobile after I refused to allow her something she wanted. When I tried to get it back off her she hit me around the face, knocking my glasses to the floor, laughed at me when I cried, and shoved me out the front door of the house.
She weighs 10 and a half stone and is stronger than me. I'm frightened of her.
I found myself sitting crying in the car and too frightened to go back into my own home. I ended up going around to my SIL's house. She came back home with me and persuaded dd to be driven round to my mums, where she stayed last night.
I don't want her to come home. I feel completely traumatised by the last few months - I have this constant feeling of exhaustion and a weird sense of vigilance - like I am living under siege. I suspect a year or two more of this and I'd have a heart attack or something. The atmosphere in the house is often awful and it's affecting my ability to parent my other two children.
And although I'm the one who is the target of most of her spite and anger, DH is also very stressed by it. He's a 45 year old manager and someone who I would have said had 'cast iron' good mental health. Yet she managed to make him cry last week. First time I have seen him cry in the 20 years we've been together. He's a brilliant dad, very patient and caring. He's made loads of time for dd the past year, knowing that she's struggling with growing up, taken her shopping, to the theatre and out to lunch.
I keep asking myself what I've done to make her like this. DH and I have been together for 20 years, and we have always been loving and respectful to each other, in front of the children and at every other time. We NEVER speak to each other in a disrespectful way.
I have not been a perfect parent to dd - I have nagged her too much about her lack of effort at school (and when I say lack of effort I mean lack of ANY effort, not a failure to reach some impossible standard of perfection), I have lost the plot at times and shouted and pleaded with her about her truanting and lateness. On a couple of occasions I attempted to push her into her bedroom when she attacked me. I should have walked away and shut myself in my bedroom instead of engaging with her physically. DH has admitted he's made mistakes with her as well, and has apologised for telling her she was a 'waste of space' (in fairness, this was a comment on her absolute refusal to ever lift a finger to help at home, including refusing to do even such basic things such as remove her plate from the table after eating, put rubbish in a bin instead of just dropping it on the floor wherever in the house she happens to be standing, or flush the toilet after she's done a crap in it). Can her abusiveness be our fault? Is it always learned behaviour?
How do I survive the next few years being abused and disrespected in my own home until she grows up and either leaves or stops doing it? How do I keep myself intact and strong as a mother?
If you've got this far - thanks! I'm going out to walk the dog (stress relief). Will come back and respond later if anyone answers this.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
What do the pair of you do together that's fun or relaxing? It all sounds highly stressed with lots of people telling her what to do and trying to control her behaviour. Quite often young people will turn to aggression when they want attention or love. Do you ever have (have you ever had) time you set aside when you're not caring for her brother or issuing sanctions but you just do something together, one on one, no stress.... ?
BTW... what's happened at school to make her not want to be there? Bullying?
As per the advice you have had many times on the other thread: call the police on her. You really absolutely should have called the police after last night's attack. And no, it isn't you or your dh's fault.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I don't have any advice to offer but just wanted to say poor you. It sounds awful and must be exhausting. I'm sure someone will be along soon with help.
A couple of things, did her behaviour deteriorate with your son's diagnosis? Is she the oldest? Is she the only girl?
That sounds utterly miserable and awful for you and yes, people with more experience will be along. I was never this girl when I was your daughter's age, but my sister came close.
I suppose you've been through all the possibilities such as bullying etc <pathetic attempt at helping>
I've been reading this almost crying for you. How awful for you, especially as she was so lovely as a child. My daughter changed rapidly, too - when she started her period at the age of 11 she sat on my knee for comfort and I chatted to her while she was in the bath. By the time her next period was due she was a different girl.
Is there a pattern to her behaviour? I'm thinking, obviously, of hormonal changes. Is she ever OK? Does she ever admit she's in the wrong?
My brother was a nightmare to live with and I was very, very scared of him. It affected me for decades and I haven't spoken to him since I was eight years old. My parents have brushed aside the difficult years and think I'm being stubborn not speaking to him. I suppose I'm looking at this from both a parent's point of view and also a child's.
Your other children deserve to live in a non-violent household, as, obviously, do you and your husband. They have as much right to help as she does.
I think you should call the police every time she does something to hurt you. I know you won't want to do that, but she needs to be forced to admit what she's doing. I'd also go to the GP and say that she seriously needs help and that if she doesn't, she or you could end up in prison.
I still think the only way our (large) family could have been helped was if my brother was removed from the house and given specialist help. I can understand my parents not wanting to do that, but the impact on everyone else was tremendous and while he stayed at home he didn't get help.
Have you seen the residential boarding schools for children who are like this? The results can be amazing. I can only imagine how hard it is for a parent to do that, but you have to look at the family as a whole.
Keep posting here. You'll get amazing support. You might want to change your heading to something that will bore the arse off her so she doesn't look at it, like "Recipes for good health in your retirement"!!
This sounds out of control and no, it is not your fault. If you are the sort of parents you seem to come across as. You sound caring and fair. Time to get social services involved. It is not ok for anyone to hit you. Do you think there was a trigger for her change in personality? Though I think you are questioning her mental health. There is a foster care system out there that could help. I have just reread your post. It is awful - she has no respect. She unlocks the bathroom door?? I know the idea of social services is something that will be shocking and scary for you. She is abusive physically and mentally. I am sorry to sound hard OP but she is out of control
Hello minifingers, I'm so sorry to hear of all the difficulties you've been experiencing. Two things stood out from your post - she is under CAHMS and she has a younger autistic brother.
Is she undergoing assessment at CAHMS? I'm not saying she is, but have you considered whether she too may be on the autistic spectrum? Girls present very differently, and can be outwardly social but really struggling inside, causing immense stress which may be released as aggression.
I am feeling your pain op and have been in this situation. Am so sorry. You may not like the idea, but tell her if she is violent to you that you will call the police. Then DO IT. You should not be in fear in your own home. It is abuse. The police will help and can sometimes speed up processes you may already have in place like help from CAMHS.
When you get to this point, I found there weren't many options left. May seem extreme I know. Here to hold your hand x
Is there any possibility she is being sexually abused? The anger, anger directed at you - the sudden switch in personality. It's odd.
Or drugs? Don't discount it. Think about it honestly. Could she be using?
And you know what? IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!
Have a look at this link and see if it rings any bells
I have resorted to telling my DS to "Shut up. Just shut up" because he can be so bloody disrespectful to me. We don't have the physical stuff anymore because he's bigger than me. But if it did come down to it, I'd be calling the police.
I've threatened him with Social Services as well. Two can play that game. I'd go through with it as well if push came to shove.
You need to put a better lock on the bathroom door. She's deliberately ignoring boundaries, personal space, personal possessions etc.
I wonder if asking her school for her to be put into internal exclusion for a few days would bring to the fore any bullying issues. Just a thought.
I think all the calls of "blame the parents" are sometimes so wide of the mark it's not funny. There's the nature/nurture argument. Sometimes, it doesn't matter how much good nurturing you give, nature just takes over.
She needs calling on her behaviour in the strongest possible terms though. You cannot be put in physical danger....
Can you and your DH sit down with her together and tell her that this has now pushed you both to the point where you will need to report her to the police? Whatever's behind the behaviour, hers towards you seems designed to put a wedge between you and her dad so you need to show a united front.
How did she react with your mother? I know you said she is bad at school but what about with other family members? Does she have friends?
Sorry this is happening to you. It sounds awful.
Hi - your situation is so sad - its bloody hard being a parent isn't it?
I would agree with the others and say can you do something nice together but in fairness it doesnt sound as though you could even get close enough to say that to her.
I would want to try and find out what happened to make her this way - she sounds very angry - especially with you (not a blame honest!).Has there been any type of bullying/abuse that may have occured anywhere ? It sounds like she wahts your attention albeit in a bad way.
If she gets violent again ring the police - theres no excuse just cos you her mum doesnt mean she can abuse you. good luck xx
This sounds truly exhausting.
I agree with the advice to talk to the police. If she's threatening and frightening you, call them. It sounds extreme, but you need to do this for help to be forthcoming from outside agencies.
And this is not normal teenage behaviour. Talk to your GP - as for a double appointment if necessary. Apart from the fact that you need to take care of yourself and your own mental health, I think she needs to be referred on to CAMHS.
I've seen now that you have had some contact with CAHMS. What have they been recommending so far?
And sorry - I missed that she has been referred to CAMHs.
That is nothing to feel ashamed about, btw. If she had joint problems, she'd be seen by a rheumatologist. It's just a different medical discipline.
You poor thing, your post has made me so sad - i went through a really tough time with my DD1. When she was about 14-17 she was particularly difficult - I had DD2 when she was 15 and she was so jealous. Anyway, she was vile, drink, drugs (thankfully only weed) and in trouble at school. Eventually i made her go and live with my mum - it was only meant to be for a week but it turned out to be long term - my mum was just around the corner anyway etc, it was easier bla bla - anyway, shes 22 now - shes a lovely girl and im very proud of her. But i promise you, she was the devils spawn - I had to involve the police at one point.
I would probably have done many things differently but i think the one thing that i would have done more than anything is tell her that i loved her more often. Its hard to do that when someone is being so vile to you - but your DD does love you, very much - she clearly has a lot of pent up anger and you are the person closest to her, you are the person who she feels safe enough to do this to because she knows that a) you wont hurt her and b) she knows that you will never push her away.
I wish i had some more advice for you - would social services be able to help? arrange for some family therapy? So you all get an opportunity to talk in a safe environment?
I think you have a tough few years in front of you - but you will come out the other side and your relationship will be strong. Remember, she loves you.
I smiled about the charity shop comments, my DD used to be mortified about my charity shop bargains (i buy all my clothes in charity shops) now at 22 she is heavily into "vintage" and buys all of her clothes from charity shops now
Where does she go when she truants from school? Is she in the house or out? Do you still know her friends?
Tell CAMHS that you NEED more support. Urgently. Have they discussed an assessment via the common assessment framework? That would engage all relevant parties to work in a multi agency way - including the school, school nurse and police if necessary.
Can the school do anything more via pastoral support? Do they offer in house counselling services?
You could also ask CAMHS or school if there is a family group conferencing service in your area - this is a service who listens to each individual in your family, offering empowerment techniques and gradually brings you all together to work in partnership.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I don't know what to suggest, but two things which are do-able are: change lock on bathroom door so she can't get in, and put a lock on your bedroom so she can't get into that.
Also what happens if you just ignore her.?
So sorry op
It really sounds like a hormonal imbalance as she changed so quickly. Is she on the pill or anything like that? Maybe it would help to balance her hormones? Gps could take a blood test to see what's going on.
Don't blame yourself for anything, you sound like a loving caring mother at the end of her tether and rightly so. X
OP what a nightmare. Just a few thoughts that might help- you need to get locks on your bedroom door, and use it all the time and a better lock on the bathroom door. Make sure she can't lock you out of the house (by having a spare key outside or with a neighbour).
Be as devious as she is- she will realise in time that you can outfox her.
Don't engage with her when she winds you up. Walk away. Without an audience you won't get a performance.
As others have said, call the police if she threatens or assaults you or any member of the family. You will probably only have to do it once.
These are all the sticks, once you have a few of these in place look for carrots. As Cogito says, what do you do together that is fun? Don't be too ambitious. A shopping trip to buy a new top, a trip for frozen yoghurt would be enough to just have a nice time together.
Also do praise the good things. A calmer day, a tidy bedroom, cups taken to kitchen- notice and say something- she might give a sarcastic response but she will know you've noticed.
Oh my, I just read all this and it made me feel slightly dizzy what you must be going through. My instant thought is that maybe she does not feel loved or liked as there has been so much negative stuff going on recently. My gut instinct would be to suggest spending one on one time with her, maybe even get a budget hotel and take her away for the night so nothing can interrupt you both. Let her choose what you do for the day and just concentrate on having positive time with her. I know is is easier said then done with what you've gone through.
Could you check if your library stocks the book called 'Hold on to your Kids' ? I think there could be answers in that book for you. Also if you could look at 'Playful Parenting' it has amazing ideas for physical and emotional connection.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
What does her father do about this? I didn't get on that well with my mother at her age, and once I spoke to her VERY disrespectfully, in front of him. He slapped me. (Once of three times in his life. And he was right to).
Does your husband not stand up for you?
I really think gradually lots of time spent, eye contact, finding something special for the two of you is what is needed. As she has been so awful to you, you probably don't want to do this but I think it could help you so very much. There's lots of talk about this in those two books I've mentioned.
i think its a bit much to be suggesting some sort of sexual abuse from one post.
I do aree however that you do need more support OP.
Thinking about the bathroom thing - i would actually leave the door open, I think she is attention seeking when she barges in and by leaving the door open and maybe getting her to sit on the loo and have a chat (if she will) she might be more relaxed? Also if she doesn't have to barge in and turn it into a performance then she can no longer make an issue of it.
Is there a relative who she trusts who could talk to her? take her under their wing a bit? I was pretty wayward but i had a cousin who was much older who i used to confide in.
Time together would be nice too -and lots of people suggesting it are right, but it can actually be quite difficult to get a disgruntled teen to agree to that. Even if its on offer, but its worth a try - offer to take her out to the shops? Something cheap? Just the two of you?
It's a suggestion not a statement. It needs considering.
It is not your fault!!! What an awful, awful situation to be in.
It sounds to me as if she has very, very low self esteem. Secondary school is a big change and lots of children get bullied or learn to behave a certain way in order to conform and not get bullied. I have seen children have an almost complete personality transplant just to be accepted. Peer pressure is massive.
Read this, hits the nail on the head.
You definitely need outside help, call on family who can have her at their house for a while if you can, it will allow you time to regroup and form a plan of action. Does she show any respect for other older members of your family? Is their anyone who could take her under their wing (even older cousins she looks up to)? You need a unified front from all adults involved and your DH needs to be sticking up for you, what has been said to her about her latest actions?
The care system can be very chaotic (changes of placement and being placed with other children with complex issues can be difficult) and may push her further away from you, if you have other support call on that first before considering temporary care placement as last resort. A specialist boarding school would be better as it provides consistency.
You should report her to Police if she assaults you, she is old enough to understand the consequences of her actions. Might help give her a wake up call.
Lem 'Playful Parenting'and 'Hold on to Your Kids' discusses in a lot of detail how to get teens to spend time with you as I agree with a lot of what you have said. I absolutely agree with leaving door open too so she has less to fight against. She needs to be bought closer, not pushed away. Her making horrible remarks about you is probably her way of screaming for attention, a bit like a toddler, negative attention is better than none at all (I don't hunk you're not giving her attention by the way, just using a figure of speech)
You don't want her in the house, that speaks volumes to me.
You sound like you're living a terrible life with her. This is abuse, emotional and physical.
Wow, what a nightmare.
It sounds like she has absolutely no respect for you, for any of her teachers/school administrators, or for anyone at all (including herself).
Yes, she is abusing you, physically and emotionally, and the barging into the bath is a form of sexual abuse as well. How does she behave at mil' s house?
Imho, counselling is needed, urgently. That would provide her with someone who would listen to her without judgement, confidentially so she could say anything on her mind. And maybe that could reveal why she has chosen to behave this way and provide her with guidance in transforming into a civilized member of the community. Have your Dh make the offer in a very serious conference like conversation with the alternative being the police involvement.
What CES said is important to consider even though my feeling is that the youngster is already entrenched with such disdain for you, that she would not be cooperative, or use the caring outings as opportunities for more abuse...nothing you do will be right or appreciated by her. But, imho, it is worth trying, unless she is physically abusive during those efforts.
I just wondered whether there is a weight and body confidence issue? I didn't understand how a 13 year old girl could be so physically intimidating until you said she is 101/2 stone. That age is the absolute worst for girls bitching and I wonder if that might be a big issue which is affecting her?
I know this will sounds like a ridiculous idea but could you start running and invite her to go with you. You'd have to be strong and simply block out any criticism etc (maybe headphones) but if she wanted to engage with you in a different way one on one it might give her the opportunity as well as helping her get fit and help you feel better (endorphins) and connect away from the house.
I know it sounds too simple for the level you are at but sometimes just breaking a bad communication cycle and starting out on a completely different tack can help.
Look, I don't have a teenager, just a 3 year old. So sleep deprivation is frequently on my mind....
My mate at work used to sit in my office every morning sobbing her eyes out cos her 14 yr son went from a delight to a nightmare in the space of weeks. All the way up to drugs and suicide threats.
She had access to his mobile account and could see he was online at 3am most nights so after a big blow up she took the phone off him as punishment...
Two weeks later she gave it back and he turned into an arsehole again.
I suggested sleep deprivation might be key, so she instigated an 8pm curfew on phone and Internet. Had several incidents of having to cut it off at wall and retrieve handsets etc, but stuck eventually.
4 months later, her lovely boy is doing well at school and lying on her bed chatting to her in the evenings.
Not a cure for everyone obvs, but might do the trick for some people.
But as LEM said another option is to let her stay with a trusted aunt/friend for a while.
I work with children in residential care, ie they have been removed on the basis of child protection concerns or because their parents have given over parental rights because they can no longer care for their children (behavioral issues).
Basically being consistent / sticking to what you say is key. If you ask your dd to do x, and she doesn't, she gets nothing until she has done as you have asked, no engagement at all. Don't take her to school, don't do anything. I'm sure you don't want her to miss school but what's more important at this point - a day's lessons or her future?
Strip her room bare if you have to - all she needs is a mattress on the floor, her school uniform and pajamas. This all sounds like a lot of
work but it sounds like there are no
more alternatives. If you can't provide that type of environment for her then it might be best she is placed somewhere else until her behavior can return to a reasonable level.
snuffle You might only have a 3 year old, but you've picked up on a point which might be very pertinent. Lack of sleep can be a BIG issue.
Sorry another thing I wanted to add is to concentrate on: intended message v received message. So you dd barges into your bathroom and you ignore her instead of ensuring she leaves. Intended message: I don't want you in here. Received message; I accept that you're in here and I won't enforce your boundaries.
Once you give a direction, you cannot give up until it has been followed, it doesn't matter if it takes days. You can do it!!! Feel free to pm me if you want to talk further x
I watched a programme once where a mother and father had an out of control teenage such as yours. They called the police (non emergency) and asked them if they could come and have a word with her, as she wasnt listening to them.
They obliged and came round to the family's house and scared the shit out of her. Told her if she were to carry on abusing everyone she would be taken into care or even prison (she was thieving too).
Worked a bloody treat.
snuff great thinking about sleep.
smup don't agree with your example in your last message, simply because I don't think she should be pushed away, she needs to be bought closer.
I do understand that you mean stick with what you say and act on it though.
smupcakes speaks a lot of sense. This part of your op also Lept out at me:
'We have tried to put sanctions in place for bad behaviour (ie grounding and losing her phone) and made our expectations clear but we aren't the most organised people and her behaviour has been so universally bloody awful that it has got to a point where sanctions become a bit meaningless'
I think that you need to get organised, impost those sanctions and then stick to them. Ground her, take her phone, strip her room and explain that ANYTHNG more than that has to be earned, and then stick to it. If she gets violent tell her you'll call the police and then do it. She's seeing how far she can go, you need to push back hard. But you also need to leave her a way to come back to you...how about arranging some just you and her time? Maybe a trip away she'd enjoy in return for a fixed period of good behaviour?
too, this must be heartbreaking for you.
I third that about sleep. Some of the most disruptive students I had were known to be up half the night playing computer games. Smoking dope was also a factor for a few.
I am a clinical psychologist, mainly children and adolescents.
I would warn her today, this evening, that the next time she assaults you and/or makes you fear for your physical safety that you will ring the police. Make sure you have the telephone number ready. Then do it!
(I am being soft. I would already have rung the police after her assault yesterday.)
Oh gosh - so many replies! Thank you everyone for taking the time.
Police - have called the police around twice, on the advice of CAMHS and Parentline. First time because she was body-blocking and verbally intimidating me with threats of violence in the hallway, second time because she rained down blows on my head with her fists after DH refused to give her mobile phone back. She was in our bedroom at the time, refused to leave until we gave her her phone. She didn't hit DH who had the phone. She just kept trying to grab it out of his pocket. When I told her to stop she turned around and bashed me over the head.
She didn't show any sign of being intimidated by the police, answered them back, and then told me 'I've told my friends you called the feds on me'. I think she was actually quite proud.
Police have said that next time I call they'll take her to the police station. I know that there may be a point where this has to happen but I'm very worried about it. She has made noises about being a social worker or working with children in the future and I don't know how much will stay on her record into adulthood, and how this works if she needs an enhanced CRB at any point.
Bullying - I have been on the lookout for this, but the feedback I get from the school is that she gets on with everyone and is well liked by the other girls. She has several close friends who are the sort of girls who are themselves quite popular - pretty, tough, much older looking than their years. They seem to pursue her company more than she pursues them. This is consistent with how she has always been. As a young child you could take her anywhere - a beach, a play park, a museum, you'd turn your back for 5 minutes and she'd have made a friend by the time you turned back.
Adults who have not been on the receiving end of her nastiness generally find her absolutely charming. When she goes around to other people's houses she is lovely to younger siblings, helpful, polite. She engages with adults in a spontaneous and confident way. At home she either ignores her younger siblings, or is manipulating them to get money off them or get them to do things for her. She talks to my autistic 7 year old as though he is a NT child of the same age. She deliberately engages him in arguments, uses inappropriate language with him that she knows he'll repeat, makes nasty comments about the fact that he has special needs.
I don't believe she is being sexually abused or ever has been. I know it's not infallible but my mother's instinct tells me that this is not the case. And she is emotionally a bit 'incontinent' in the sense she can't seem to keep her feelings about anything under wraps. We are not a family who treats the issue of sex or sexuality in an judgemental way. The one strength of our relationship has been that she has been able to talk frankly to me about sexuality, her periods and her body changes, and I don't worry about this aspect of our communication.
I know the key is to carry on being loving, but it's so, so hard. I feel paralysed by it all and have retreated into myself.
I am struggling with my own feelings of anger and resentment that a child with so much - brains, good health, friends, social skills, a loving family, is deliberately making life so unpleasant and grim for the people who love her. I can't seem to get past that at the moment. And she's not ignored or unloved, and not short of attention (although admittedly I have withdrawn from her a lot over the last year in particular because I have been overwhelmed by how difficult it all is).
She has been seen twice by a consultant psychiatrist from CAMHS. Also by another psychiatrist. And by a child psychologist. They have not come up with any diagnosis - she is 'normal'. She has self-harmed at times over the last few years in a fairly minor way (which is what triggered the first referral to CAMHS) but they don't feel this is anything particularly out of the ordinary. Except of course her behaviour is anything but 'ordinary'. They have referred us for family therapy, which starts in 10 days.
My take on what's happening with her is that something has gone badly wrong with the process of her maturing. Most teenagers have a 'toddler brain' - ie, strong and sometimes overwhelming impulses, and a powerful need for autonomy, and 'growing up' is learning to manage these things, to accept that you can't always do what you want to do exactly when you want to do it. In other words, learning to accept delayed gratification and to manage strong emotions. DD just can't seem to even begin to do this. She never, ever, does anything she doesn't want to do voluntarily. If I make 10 requests of her in a day: please can you not bring your dinner upstairs/please can you put your washing in the basket/can you phone me to say where you are after school etc, she will flout every single one systematically. She will never accept 'no' for an answer at home. If she phones me to ask if she can stay longer at a friend's house, and I say 'no', she will send - literally 20 texts challenging my decision, followed by a dozens of calls saying 'why not? why can't I stay?', and no matter how calm I am or how consistent I am with my answers she just keeps calling and calling and calling until I turn my phone off. And then she just stays as long as she likes anyway. That's if she calls. Often she doesn't, so I don't know where she is after school. At school she is fine in subjects she finds easy, but in any lessons where she actually has to work (namely maths) she's rude and confrontational.
It's absolutely fecking exhausting.
I also thought sexual abuse. It seems like she is desperately trying to reach out to you, but is so angry, and is going about it the wrong way. Sorry I'm no expert though.
I'm so sorry Minifingers - this all sounds so tough to live with.
Agree with others who think there must be something at the root of these troubles such as a diagnosis for DD too ? Or something in her life you don't know about ?
From what you've said, not your fault at all.
Can only think for other possibility that she or you could have had some issues with her growing up and entering teenage years/puberty ? Any body confidence issues ?
Hope CAHMS can help you all get back/ move forward to more settled times.
What's her sleep like, does she have her phone at night? Smartphone?
OP , in all honesty , getting arrested might not be a bad thing for your DD . Not every arrest ends in a criminal record , many many more don't , and if she starts pinging up on police records often , Social Services HAVE to do something about it . I deal with plenty of these types of calls , and few of them ever involve a criminal record , unless things have gone so far that charging is the only option available , and your DD sounds a long way from that yet . I find a few hours in a cell , in a horrible custody suite does tend to focus their minds somewhat .
FWIW , I currently have a 15 yr old DS who is being a horrible horrible person to live with at the moment . At this rate , he'll be getting a suitcase , ready packed for his 16th birthday .
I can imagine you have but have you sat down with her and asked her why she is acting like this?? It sounds absolutely awful for you and I couldn't imagine it. Maybe it would also help you to speak to a councillor perhaps so you can build up your strength which is waning by how you are being treated in order to be able to deal with her and to also talk about your feelings about all this. I would if you can have a distance from her right now if she winds you up don't answer, and if she starts going into one just walk away and say we will discuss this later when you are calmer I do this to my 12 year old she knows I won't entertain what she has to say if she's rude to me. I confiscate things she loves too and not for a day, it's been a week a few weeks back!
All the very best hope things get better there x
We've made her hand her phone over at bedtime (10pm) every night in the week for a while (at huge cost in terms of her arguing about it, night after night after fecking night. Standing on the landing outside her sleeping sibling's bedroom shouting at the top of her voice about how unfair it is).
Plomino I'm sorry to hear that, but at the same time, thank God I'm not the only one who feels that way about their DS.
Maybe you and your daughter have some you two time too, I know this works really well with my dd. mines pretty good but when them hormones rage my god it's like she's a different child! And she tried the stand up tall thing in front of me and ok she is tall but I still was taller and tip toed a bit too to show her!! Lol
"I can imagine you have but have you sat down with her and asked her why she is acting like this??"
The family liaison teacher at her school asked her why she was refusing to come to school.
She said it was because she hates me.
The teacher said 'well if you hate her, why do you want to be in the house with her all day then?'
She had no answer to that apparently....
I think you've got to forget why she's like this for the moment.
You do sound exhausted and, forgive me, a bit intense, about her to say the least. It does come across that you might love her but you don't like her. And please don't feel guilty about that because who would like a strapping 13 year old girl who is violent and obnoxious?
I think you need to just focus on you at the moment. BUT before that I second that you warn her that if she ever hits you again you will call the police. And do it. And let them take her to the station. And charge her if necessary. Because if you don't do it now she will be seriously assaulting you and her other family by the end of the year. You have to act responsibly here and take action. Ignoring violence is not an option.
That said, I think you need to step back, detach entirely and concentrate on doing good stuff for you as much as possible. Also see a counsellor. When you have recharged your batteries, and only once you have, then think about taking her out or talking, or reading those books, or any of the other things suggested.
PS Might you move this to the other place?
What she needs is military school. We don't have those in this country.
That's if there is definitely no abuse and I know I'm harping on about it but ... The lack of personal boundaries/emotional incontinence etc is s rurally the reason I raised it. As for mothers instinct - I know several women who would assert that equally confidently. They'd be wrong.
Just a thought......my ds was like this from about 14 in some respects. She was violent and aggressive. My mum refused to act on it.
It later turned out after 20 or so years that she had Huntingdons disease.
It does indeed sound exhausting. You have my sympathy.
I'm going to pick something to run with to get more of a sense of this. The saying no to everything - you mention asking her to put her washing in the basket. What happens when she doesn't? Do you still go and get it and do it? Are there consequences to her refusing to do what she's asked with things like this?
I can see how the staying out after school is different. How does this usually pan out? Where does she eat; does she get her own food when she gets back, or do you keep her dinner for her or what?
Don't let your concerns about her future career keep you from calling the police if you really need to (this was what got me really thinking about consequences...) That is her issue to sort out, and tbh she is hardly on a straightforward path to work with children at the moment.
This sounds absolutely horrendous, op. Does your dd have times in between these episodes where she behaves and talks normally and decently with you? Just thinking that if she does, then perhaps you could have a conversation with her where you ask her to think of some solutions and you both agree on some boundaries etc. You've probably tried all this and sound at your wits end. I'm sorry I don't know what you should do, and I don't know how you live like this.
"Does your dd have times in between these episodes where she behaves and talks normally and decently with you?"
Oh yes. She'll come up, say sorry. I'll kiss her and hug her.
20 minutes later I'll have to say 'no' to her for something - no you can't eat your dinner in your bedroom, no you can't go out again on a school night, no you can't shunt your brother off the computer when he's doing homework, and within five minutes she's telling me to 'shut up and go away' because she has to have her own way and will not accept 'no' for an answer.
"you mention asking her to put her washing in the basket. What happens when she doesn't?"
She has got a 2 foot pile of washing all over the floor in the hallway outside her bedroom (where she threw it) which has been there for 2 weeks. It will be there in a year's time if she doesn't put it in the washing basket. Or my mother will come around, put it all in a bag and take it round to hers to wash.
"It later turned out after 20 or so years that she had Huntingdons disease".
That is a thought I could do without.
My thoughts too Snazzy. Would you really consider that she is on course to work with children OP? I don't think she sounds cut out for it at all atm OP and I don't think you can let that be a barrier to you stopping her violence.
You simply cannot and should not accept her violence. Ring the police and let them charge her if necessary. She should be thoroughly ashamed for treating her own mother in that way. Disgusting.
She sounds like my dd who is 6!
Dd has high functioning autism and is extremely oppositional. I believe she has PDA actually and we are seeking diagnosis. Perfect at school etc. a lot of how you describe her as a younger child resonates with me.
Is there any where else she can stay temporarily to take some pressure off you?
It would be highly unlikely that your DD has huntington's disease if you have no family history of it.
Have to go to school run now - sending supportive hugs, your DD is lucky to have such a caring and patient mum, you'll get through this xx
Your mother takes her clothes and washes them when you are making a point?! That is undermining you, not helping.
What is her relationship like with your mother? What is your relationship like with your mother? Could your mother be undermining you in other ways, or is she generally supportive (noted that your dd went there yesterday after what happened).
gosh this sounds like my dd and how she used to be. (age 16 now and much easier)
I had her arrested and she spent nights in cells on 3 separate occasions....she got good input from police,and probation got involved. they were,imo,the best agency
she does look back on that time now with horror and humour tho.
what did give my teens a lightbulb moment was filming them or recording them at their worst.....then in a calmer moment,playing it back to them...(and I suggested they may feel embarrassed if their mates saw it lol)
you have my sympathies....
OP - would it be such a bad thing if she DID see this thread? The way you have described your situation might just trigger her to feel guilty and want to change?
I think she'd pick what she wanted from the thread and use it to fuel the tantrums. She'd say her mother had betrayed her bywriting it.
Stitch - my mum can be a bit undermining though not in a strategic or malicious way. She is very sympathetic towards dd - her 'teenage turmoil'. Until dd has been at her place for 3 days and is starting to act up, at which point she starts to readjust her perspective.
That said, she did send dd around to her elderly neighbour for a 'chat' last night. The neighbour is a retired head teacher of a special school, who has reached that age where she thinks she can say anything she likes to anyone. And does. She told my dd she'd end up in a 'sin bin' (as she calls it) if she wasn't careful, and to go home and write a list of all the things she shouldn't have said to me! DD was very polite to her but definitely had no intention of doing it....
"I think she'd pick what she wanted from the thread and use it to fuel the tantrums. She'd say her mother had betrayed her by writing it."
That is exactly what she has done in the past when I have posted on the teenagers board.
Bizarrely, on the odd occasion she has done this she overlooks the main thrust of my posts and the responses, and focuses only on any minor inaccuracies, blowing them up completely out of proportion, eg: "You said I stayed out until 8pm after school without telling you where I was, and I didn't! Actually I got home at 7.30!"
I'm also a parent of a child with autism and I'd agree with the suggestions from other parents with dc on the spectrum on this thread, that it's worth looking again at a similar diagnosis. I don't have a dd but I work with other families with girls and their behaviour is very different from my son's, and all of them have needed persistence to get a diagnosis, it's often been ruled out by CAMHS psychs and needs a tertiary level referral to get a suitable specialist.
Mini Yes, selective hearing/deafness/amnesia/tantrums etc. The usual teenage stuff, but in your DD's case, amplified. It's a bloody minefield, I tells ya.....
My DS's bedroom floor cannot be seen under all the clean, freshly ironed laundry/dirty washing/revision/crap/dirty plates/food wrappers etc. God knows why the cats want like snoozing in his room....
He's been to school this week in shirts that are crumpled and have very, very dirty collars. He has access to freshly ironed clean shirts. He chooses not to.
I agree with some of the other posters who are suggesting she may be on the spectrum.
It really does sound like PDA to me.
Can you contact CAHMS,and ask that they look in to this?
Mini You have my deepest sympathies, it sounds like a truly dreadful situation. I don't really have any advice as my 3 are still small. The only suggestion (and massive apologies if this has already been covered, I've had to read this thread quickly while feeding the baby) I have is has she been fully checked over medically in case there are any physiological causes for her behaviour? I can't think of anything off hand but Huntingdons is not one I'd be thinking of as it doesn't really fit the picture and is highly unlikely without a strong family history. Best of luck, Mini
Is there any point suggesting reframing answers to her requests? For instance instead of saying 'no', saying 'yes, but with conditions' so the first thing she hears is yes rather than no. Sorry on phone so can't post at length, but just in case it's one you haven't tried.
Another, rather extreme idea - could you film her on your phone or record her, then in a quieter time ask her if she'd watch it. Perhaps seeing herself would shame her into some thought about the situation.
Is there any way you could get some time off from everything else and take her away somewhere just the two of you, perhaps on an activity weekend or something. It would give you a chance to be together but in a different environment, and could maybe be a chance to break this cycle. If it went well and you were getting on, then perhaps you could sort a strategy together to resolve this. Because it can't go on. Desperate times call for desperate measures and all that.
Sorry if none of these is any good. Cannot imagine how awful this must be
But would PDA/spectrum disorders be a consideration in a child whose development and behaviour had been entirely normal and unproblematic up to puberty?
My ds is on the spectrum (aspergers) but it was obvious to me from early on that he was different from other boys. Dd's behaviour in childhood wasn't a problem, developmentally she appeared completely normal. I can't believe developmental disorders suddenly manifest in an obvious way in adolescence when they've been unsuspected by anyone in close contact with the child prior to this.
I think in the book 'Hold on to your Kids' there was a father who had to take his teen daughter away on a weekend camping trip in the middle of nowhere, something out to the norm for her, so they could start to reconnect and break the negativity and actually 'need' each other.
Instead of just allowing her washing to pile up outside the door, I'd be bagging it and locking it away and just allowing her a few sets of school uniform and pjs and underwear. A week of putting dirties in the laundry basket without argument/complaint would allow her to negotiate the return of one item. She could get back an item a week as long as she had complied with the rules. Leaving dirty stuff about would immediately result in confiscation of a non-essential item ( and another week before she could get it back!)
I think if it was PDA, she would not have been so sunny and happy and easy to manage at primary school - it does sound more to me as if something happened (at her first secondary school?) that has caused her to be so upset.
OK -Op - so you are in a bit of a crisis situation - whatever the longer term causes, you need a "now" plan.
So how about the following:
See if your mum will have DD over the weekend. This will give you and DH a bit of calm/headspace.
See if another friend/relative will take your other DCs for a few hours on either Saturday or Sunday ( you don't say how many Dc's or what ages but see if they can be suitable occupied with others for 3 hours)
Then you and DH use that 3 hours to sit down together and discuss what you want to do/ how you will handle this.
You say you have family therapy starting in 10 days so that is something to "hang on in there" for, but I think you need a plan in the meantime.
Some suggestions for things you and DH could consider:
- getting some counselling/therapy for you. (No need to tell DD about this) just so you have somewhere/someone to offload and deal with your feelings outside the situation- I wonder if maybe a good person centred counsellor would be appropriate? Having some good professional support just for you might really help
-deciding what the minimum requirements are for DD's behaviour right now. Just like with a toddler, I don't think you can deal with everything all at once.
-then decide exactly where your boundaries are and what the consequences are for her crossing them.
So for example, you might decide that all physical violence and threatening behaviour is totally unacceptable. Also that she needs to show appropriate respect to others in the family. Then decide how you will enforce consequences for this. Your advantage is that you have financial control over all the things she wants
needs as a teenager. In these extreme circumstances, I'd start out by taking everything electronic (phone, ipad etc) away. Plus perhaps make up and hair straighteners andall clothes that are currently lying unwashed)? A week of keeping within the boundaries will result in return of 1 item under certain rules (eg she can have her phone back but must hand it over without complaint at 9.30pm each evening - fuss and complaints will result in it's withdrawal again - if she won't hand it back - just cancel the contract - yes really I know it will be costly but not as costly as what you are currently putting up with!) If she crosses the boundary - her week of earning something back starts again from that point.
Write all of this down and be resolute you will stick to it.
Implement removal of items that are still in your home - if need be, go to B and Q and buy and fit a lock for your bedroom or wherever you and going to store her stuff before she comes home.
When DD comes back home ( try and arrange for siblings to be out then too?), sit her down calmly- if she is refusing to talk/listen then say you'll talk to her when she is ready to listen calmly (when she discovers things are confiscated she will rage but just keep a calm insistence that you will talk about it when she is calm - if she gets violent to you or property - you will need to call police!)
Explain that with er recent violence she has taken things too far this time and that you have decided on radical changes. Acknowledge that she is experiencing some really difficult feelings and you'd like to help her with them and that you still love her and want her to be part of the family but things have got to such an extreme place that radical changes are to be made. Emphasise you are doing this because you love her and her siblings and each other and things have got to change
Explain that if you are sharing a home with others (as part of a family or not) there are a mixture of privileges and responsibilities.
show her the written boundaries ( calling them boundaries rather than rules might help?)
No violence to people or things
Treat everyone in the family with respect (no yelling or swearing or saying horrible things to anyone or disregarding people's personal space (eg bathroom incidents, invading siblings rooms).
No taking of anything that belongs to another family member (eg your phone)
Then explain consequences - loss of privileges that you pay for - she needs to respect you and DH and the fact that you are providing for her and she is not doing this so these privileges are withdrawn - all of x,y and z are confiscated, she can earn them back one at a time by a week of respecting boundaries. Further non-respect will result in a confiscation of an item again.
Expect shouting screaming etc again you may need to go as far a calling the police if she is violent to you or property. Expect her to rip up the boundaries list and call you every name under the sun. Keep calm and stick together with DH. If she isn't making so much noise to hear, emphasise that you want to help her with her feelings and talk about upsets but this is still the way things will be!
You also need to get your mum on board with this strategy so that she doesn't undermine things by giving things you have withdrawn!
This is a high energy and high risk strategy but you are already expending extreme amounts of emotional energy!
I agree that taking her away for some one-to-one time might be appropriate too - you do need to build something positive with her, but I think you may have to implement some fairly drastic consequences too.
You say she was assessed by CAHMS (?) after an episode of self-harming but has she been referred since then as this behaviour is very different?
Hopefully family therapy will help you as this should be able to look at the whole picture.
Good luck. It sounds awful and you all must be hurting very much just now.
I'm so sorry you're going through this. It sounds like every mother's nightmare and you sound very loving, reflective and patient.
You've had so much good advice already. This would be my personal action plan:
* Referral to a child psychologist
* Locks on bathroom and bedroom doors.
* GP's appointment to be referred for counselling sessions for yourself and assertiveness classes, just to get your confidence back. For both you and DH. Also think it's incredibly important that DH has parenting classes because DD needs to know that he won't tolerate her abuse of you. Also medication for you both if appropriate.
* Social services involvement. Without guilt on your part.
* Police involvement where appropriate, so DD knows there will be repercussions if she's physically violent or bars you entry from your property.
* A weekend/week away with DH to centre yourselves. Let DD see you and DH are tight together.
* Go and look around a residential school. Your younger children need their mum back.
* Mentoring scheme for DD? Call parenting charities and see what's available.
* Don't be afraid to keep telling DD you love her, even though you cannot tolerate her behaviour in the home. Tell her that her opinion of you does not affect your life or the way you see yourself.
I hope you don't mind if I pray for you. What an absolute nightmare to be in. Good luck.
One other thing, is her behaviour consistently like this? A friend of mine at school had a DSis with absolutely horrendous PMT as a teenager. She was almost Jekyll and Hyde. She did get some treatment and it did get better as age got older. Sorry, I know that's very woolly
I was at school a loooong time ago but thought it might be worth mentioning
Lots of good advice here especially about boundaries and consequences.
However, my advice is that if you want to change someone's behaviour towards you, you have to change your own behaviour. She's incredibly stressful and my guess is her extreme behaviour is de-skilling both you and your husband! I do think the advice about doing something different, having some 1-1 positive time doing something she likes, is spot on.
She's becoming 'wired' to sabotage herself and others around her - but underneath that horrid, aggressive, selfish behaviour is the child who feels misunderstood, unloved and unwanted!
Can you and your DH carve out some time for one of you (maybe taking it in turns) to give her some 1-1 time, maybe outside the home, doing something different and trying to find a little bit of relaxed fun time on which you can start to re-build your relationship? I suspect you won't feel like 'rewarding her' with this but I suspect that she's an unhappy child inside???
Re yr post at 19:09:59. Girls present very differently to boys, and many think this is why so many more boys are diagnosed than girls. For example, girls may obsess over ponies or cuddly toys, but these are considered normal interests. The may also be obsessed with collecting every title by an author, which also doesn't attract much attention.
With PDA, it's even more complex, as these children can be very social and charismatic, attracting many friends but failing to keep most of them.
I have a dd who was under the radar until she moved up to senior school and puberty hit. She now has diagnoses of AS and PDA. I also have a son with AS, and it was quite obvious from an early age he was on the spectrum.
Strategies for coping with PDA are very different to those for AS. It's definitely worth researching if any bells ring at all once you've read the link given earlier.
YOu have my total sympathy. I am in a very similar position. It is nigh impossible to get any help or support because society hasn't yet caught up with the idea that children can be abusers - people assume there must be something in it from the parents' side, that somehow something must have gone wrong with the parenting. There is an inate belief that children are innocent.
I beg to differ. imo they do it because they can - just like any abuser. yy a lot of abusers have some trauma or disquiet in the past - but, frankly, don't we all. Well, maybe not 'all' but certainly a high percentage who don't go on to become abusers.
From what you say, she has had the world at her feet her entire life - and, possibly, she's got rather too full of herself. Power is attractive, bullies enjoy bullying. She hasn't grown up enough/life hasn't smacked her one in the face/she thinks she is the queen of all she surveys.
imo your average parenting techniques, even parenting techniques for teenagers, don't touch the sides. If you leave the bathroom door open she'll find some way to terrorise you some other way - and will, anyway, spot the strategy of leaving the door open to rob her of her power; and use that to deride you and humiliate you some other way. She sounds like a monster. As are my kids (at the moment - I live in hope!)
re the mobile phone incident where she beat you over the head - where was her father in that scenario? I'm assuming he is bigger than her and stronger than her (though may be wrong) - did he stop her doing that to you, restrain her in some way? (or was she too quick....). We are so afraid of becoming physical that we stand by and allow ourselves to be terrorised.
I would strongly counsel against having family therapy with her: she is an abuser and you won't be safe. She will use any and everything you say and do to find yet more inroads to terrorise you.
I am using the term 'abuser' purposefully - maybe you need to accept that. She was once your darling girl but, let's be honest, she is no longer. Don't wring your hands and agonise about the choices she is making - she needs to face the consequences of those choices. It is hard to stand by and allow the consequences to play out - and, indeed, to enforce those consequences very specifically - but you must. She has to learn a very basic rule of life: that she is not the author of it. Life, that is.
Cowering will be touch paper to her, so you must stop cowering, whether physically or metaphorically. At one time my brute of a boy was physically hitting me, and I noticed that prior to his violence, I cowered very slightly, though cowered nonetheless. The next time he bristled with violence I stood TALL and looked him straight in the eye. It took looking up about a foot, but I did it. It disarmed him and he never hit me again.
Stop expecting her to plumb her or any humanity - she doesn't have it and she doesn't want it at present. Consequences are the only thing she will respond to. She despises you and all you stand for because she is taking the cowardly way out of accepting that life can be difficult and doesn't go our own way; she insists it should go her way and truly believes it should (because it always has??). Perhaps she is drunk on power, but you have the means to allow reality to become a factor in her life. If you continue to protect her you are enabling her behaviour and putting off the day when she faces that life is not under her command. Regardless of whether she has been upset (or whatever), this is not an appropriate or productive was to express it - for anyone!
I am ranting - apologies. Do not engage with her, hoping that
oh please she has magically turned back into her old self. Speak to her in statements - do not engage, wring your hands, plead, cry, shout, threaten etc - don't let her see your underbelly. This is war and you must 'win' - for her sake . Don't let her see how much she is hurting you, it will make her drunk with power, it's what she wants. Don't be afraid to call the police at any and every opportunity. Send her to boot camp if you can.
If it's any consolation, I have a number of friends whose daughters - all of them very bright and accomplished - behaved like this at your daughter's age, and are now, in their 20s, a pure delight. My children had a rather later 'rebellion' , which is still playing out. The later they have it, the longer it goes on for imo.
Another vote here for PDA. Like you, my DD seems to save all her worst behaviour for me. Family tend to be quite shocked when they see her angelic all day and then turning on me like a banshee when I walk through the door.
There is a fab book out now about PDA available from amazon.
When I say 'win' I don't mean lock horns. When I was taught to sing, I was told not to reach UP to a high note but to pick the note up from ABOVE the note. Excuse caps but do you see the difference? You are not reaching UP to be an authority in her life, you ARE an authority: pick it up from above, reach down to it, stand tall.
She sounds like a child in distress to me. I had some very out of control from one of my DCs - almost wild at times. It turned out that his sensory issues were making school hellish for him and he couldn't explain it and had to let it out somehow. Once we'd addressed the issues, the lovely gentle child returned. People mentioned whether he was on the spectrum at the time, in spite of having no sign of it before - he isn't, but the depth of his distress was causing an extreme response. I think op that you need to get to the bottom of why her behaviour is like this. The self-harm fits in with that - people don't do it for fun!
The other thing that strikes me is that she seems to feel unloved by you or rejected in some way. That's not to say she is, but it doesn't mean she doesn't feel that way. It sounds as though she's pushing you away as a reaction to feeling hurt. Can't know why she would feel like that and not saying it's your fault, but you're going to have to find a way to break the cycle.
Good luck op, I feel your despair.
I'm really sorry... I haven't read all the posts, but I have read the ones from OP.
I think others raise a really good point about the autistic spectrum. I believe it is harder to spot in girls and does usually get noticed later - like their teenage years. However, I'm not going to pretend to be as informed as others about the condition.
I really sympathise with your situation - it seems soul-destroying. If this was anybody but your own child you would have cut them out of your life a long time ago, you seem to be living in fear. I have no advice really... I hope the family therapy works, I really do...
I really sorry to hear your having such a difficult time,
In regard to things like washing, tell her you will give her 12 hours to put it in the washing machine/ basket and if not it will be bagged up and put outside. You shouldn't face to look at it every day.
She is being abusive towards you. You need to call the police if she violent. Sit her down before and tell her this is the action you will take if she does x y and z. And then stick to it, as hard as it is.
Can she stay at your mums for a bit, to give you a break and help her to see what is happening
I'm so sorry that you are dealing with this, OP. It sounds both exhausting and intensely worrying for you as a parent.
My suggestion is somewhat different to the majority of posts here. I would recommend that you look into an approach called Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control. This model was developed to help children with severe behavioural problems, many of whom have been diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder and a host of other disorders. The name may make it sound like a namby-pamby approach to serious problems, but it really isn't. It is an approach that really changes the paradigm and allows a strong relationship to develop.
I know a remarkable family that adopted several children at older ages, all of whom had experienced significant trauma and received some rather daunting psychiatric diagnoses. The parents use the BCLC model, and the children have all responded in truly amazing ways. I think in some ways, your situation is much more hopeful, since your DD had a childhood in which she was loved and securely attached (unlike the children in the family I mentioned, who did not experience that until they were adopted).
There are books and DVDs detailing the BCLC approach (the author is Heather Forbes, her work should be available on Amazon). You might think about looking into this.
Your DD sounds so unhappy. And so do you. I hope that you and she both find healing and strength.
My dd with ASD and/or PDA is PERFECT at school, she saves it all for family.
I don't agree about PDA.
Like the OP, I think children who are affected by PDA will sow signs much much before when they are children.
I would also question autism in a child that had clearly good communication skills in primary school.
Even if they don't show signs at school (such as refusing to do X or Y), these children will show signs at home where they won't accept to do X or Y.
No signs of autism or PDA at school and at home is a bit much.
No advise, just sending hugs and support.
I have to say I would say, if your dd is threatening again, I would call the police.
For your safety, yur DH safety and your other children safety. It can't be nice for him (them?) to live in that environment.
And if you are scared of her coming back home, then she has clearly overstepped the limits of what a parent could accept from their dc.
Do you think she is actually so angry that she is out of control? Would anger management help?
I think it would be worth ruling it out. Fwiw no one except me saw signs in dd, not one professional, I only did because I have another child who has ASD. The fact that OP has another child with it makes it worth investigating IMO.
That's a lot on your plate, no wonder you're feeling overwhelmed.
You've had so much good advice already, the only thing I wanted to add was re calling in police and future social work career.
Others may be better informed - and I'm sure you can google it - but I think that, within reason, youthful petty criminal activity wouldn't be an automatic bar to working in that kind of field so long as it was clear that she had learned something from it and with hindsight understood that her behaviour was unacceptable. That kind of personal experience gives people an insight and connection with vulnerable young people.
educatingarti up thread has given excellent advice and i would follow it to the letter.
op I would also explore a diagnosis or Oppositional Defiance Disorder.
I feel for you. You need to fully accept you are in crisis and go into DEFCON1 mode and really really stick to your plan. Really Really enforce your rules and call the police when you need to.
You are in control of what happens here, not your DD. Really internalise that and build on it.
Well - I'm having a bit of a re-think.
Not sure now that my previous advice would be the right way to go!
It isn't something I've experienced and I should have thought more before jumping in.
I hope your family therapy is useful and you find a way of dealing with things.
So mini, to be blunt, are you saying she is definitely getting enough sleep, or just that its too hard to remove the phone?
Cos if its the latter, just focus on that one thing to the exclusion of all else for two weeks (effects will only just start to be noticed after a week - as it will take that long for normal sleep to be restored) and see how you could manage it. Maybe other kids to mums for the duration and total ban on gadgets for all of you?
Please look up sleep deprivation and hostility. Sleep deprivation also manifests as all kinds of mental health issues. (Pnd anyone, or in my case, post natal aggression - so personal experience here of rage on tap)
OP I'm so sorry you're going through this
call the police and lock her out, next time she hits you do this, I wouldn't worry about people saying sexual abuse unless you had any real concerns in that department, teenagers are self cantered if she thinks she can behave like that she will
my two penneth.....
i have an autistic DS, we thought DD had got off scot free, but at 15 she was dx with dyslexia. they are all coding difficulties and all in some way related.
My thoughts are that she could have some underlying condition, but girls are way way way cleverer at concealing it. Something as subtle as PDA is very hard to diagnose unless the clinician has a specialism in ASDs and related colding disorders.
Also - something i noticed - do you got to battle on the small stuff? My dd is 15, she likes to eat in her room - i used to battle but whats the point? she is eating it - she just likes to carry on with her stuff while eating - so i dont sweat it. As long as she is eating im happy.
my dd also piles her washing on the landing - ive asked dozens of times for her to put it in the basket - she never does. I end up taking it to the basket as i pass it - its irritating but not worth a major fight over. likewise cups/dishes in her room - when i run out i insist she brings hers down and washes them up.
things like that are irritating but really not worth WW3 over. The big stuff is - the verbal and physical abuse, the truanting. i would tackle the big stuff.
you could try having her arrested though i think it has mixed results - worth a try though.
my dd was being an absolute bitch a few months ago - then one day when she wanted something i said no.
i kept saying no.
she knew i meant no.
she then broke down completely, sobbed on my shoulder and all sorts of teen angst came out. Afterwards she was a different person. Teen years are so so hard. My dd is very private and tells me nothing much, but when she starts to stress or bottle things up she becomes quite horrible to live with.
i would get her assessed properly by a person with specialism in ASDs.
ignore the small stuff
little consequences for the big stuff. i find taking away phones/laptops completely useless as a form of consequence - does she get an allowance or poccket money? could you impose fines as a form of sanction?
treat her like an adult. if you argue with someone, no one snatches your mobile phone away do they?
but you would get fined if you did something very wrong.
try to take a huge step back. good luck.
Do you think it could be about feeling unloved/ lack of attention compared to your youngest with SEN?
I might be completely wrong but did her hard time at the old school coincide with his diagnosis? Did she feel she wasn't able to tell you something important in her life as you were coping with his needs?
Family therapy might be really helpful if it is this kind of dynamics issue.
My dd is very similar but our issues with school are worse.
She has an assessment for asd very shortly but is only seeing the speech and language person. Will this be enough?
Could I just add that it is vital that you really look into tha ASD stuff before dismissing it? The reason I say this is because some of the posts about being firmer and/or involving the police could have really terrible consequences if there is PDA or similar behind the behaviour because it can be the completely wrong thing to do with someone struggling with HFA.
The reason the behaviour is always so much worse with mothers is because they know their mothers love them unconditionally and therefore it is safe for them to let it all out. Remove that and you remove the safety valve.
It is so hard to act against all the logic of boundaries and all the methods that work with other kids (including siblings). And many people will think you are mad, but please take a look round the special needs boards and pick up some of the recommended books. It might to be ASD related of course, but you won't have lost anything checking it out carefully first.
I do think that the idea that to be kind will bring the best out in her is flawed (re some pp's). I am not suggesting sergeant-major, cold, heartless but I am suggesting rock-solid boundaries - zero tolerance, if you like. I think you may need professional support yourself to get the hang of strategies that are effective - at least to contain her behaviour within your home. She may be acting out because it successfully masks what is going on with her but if you block her methods the truth will be forced to come out.
I suggested upthread to involve the police 'at any and every opportunity' as I believe more and more forces are trained in appropriate handling of teen behaviour like your daughter's - though not all forces, it has to be said (sadly). I do think you need to step aside and perhaps stop trying to cover your daughter's inappropriate behaviour in a misguided hope that 'it will pass' and fear that if you make waves now there could be negative consequences further down the line. It wouldn't, anyway, be you making waves but stepping back to allow the consequences to manifest.
She may well be distressed, but seduced by her own power and the powerful feelings it gives her. This is fake, and alowing her the power she is exerting over you enables her to keep using it. You have to deal with misplaced guilt - you and she can't afford that now.
As someone said upthread, she does it to you because she knows you are safe and will always love her. It is perhaps appropriate, during times of distress, to allow that particular piece of elastic to stretch considerably - but imo it is now stretched beyond what is appropriate or helpful ie it is now abuse.
Really feel for you, your dd sounds very unhappy, even though on paper everything looks like it should be ok sometimes there is an unhappiness which causes a certain behaviour which has been reinforced by your reactions to her. While you were not the cause of her behaviour you must seek help for yourself and your dh to find strategies to cope with it and stop it. A lot of focus, time, attention etc on your dd maybe giving her a power she cannot actually cope with and most definitely does not deserve. I agree with those who said you must stick to what you say but pick your battles, Don't sweat the small stuff as the big stuff is huge and you'll need all your energy to sort that. Just remember to tell her that you'll always love her nothing she can do we will change that but you will not tolerate her behaviour end of.
Sorry fir a bit of a rushed response haven't much time. Xxxx
Just read springykitsch's post she says it much better!!!
Again, thanks for all the responses.
I'm pretty convinced it's not PDA/a spectrum disorder as the only feature of her behaviour that fits is the obstructiveness, and this is something that's only emerged in adolescence. Her friendships are strong and long lasting. Her best friend now is a child she knew in nursery. Her friendships are the least of her problems - unusual for a teenage girl. She is very good at managing them. She had no language delay, didn't engage in elaborate imaginary play as a child, and she wasn't obstructive until adolescence, and even then she is only obstructive in situations where she feels completely secure.
springykitsch Your post rang a very loud bell for me. It would for DH too. She despises you and all you stand for this resonated for me. Something else I didn't mention - dd has done EVERYTHING she can to be different from me. I am white and from a middle-class family. Privately educated. DD is mixed race, and we live in fairly down at heel part of London. She strongly identifies with black culture and often makes comments like 'that's so white', or 'that's so black'. She attends the sort of comprehensive you would typically find in a not very wealthy part of London and if you met dd on a bus you'd assume she came from one of the grimmer estates - her speech and her way of presenting herself. I sometimes wonder if she is rejecting me because she doesn't want to accept that the way I am is part of her identity, a part she doesn't like.
From what you say, she has had the world at her feet her entire life - and, possibly, she's got rather too full of herself. Power is attractive, bullies enjoy bullying. She was adored by DH and I as a child, and by my parents, my sister and my brother. She was the first grandchild, and as an only child for 4 years had a massive amount of attention. Up until secondary school she never had to try at anything. She breezed through primary. I remember taking her in to school when she was in reception and it was like walking in with a pop star - you could hear children saying 'look, there's littlemini!' She was very popular. Still is. But now she has to try in life generally and things don't come easily to her in the same way. Of course they don't - that is what happens in education. She's expected to do things for herself and she doesn't want to.
springykitsch - yes to this: She may well be distressed, but seduced by her own power and the powerful feelings it gives her, and this she does it to you because she knows you are safe and will always love her. It is perhaps appropriate, during times of distress, to allow that particular piece of elastic to stretch considerably - but imo it is now stretched beyond what is appropriate or helpful ie it is now abuse
Something else I should add - she hates her physical appearance. While I had control over her diet as a child she ate well, wasn't fussy, and was a normal weight. Part of her adolescent rebellion has involved her refusing to eat most things that I cook. She won't share the family meal, tells me my cooking is 'disgusting', and generally fills up on any unhealthy food she can lay her hands on. She spends every spare penny she ever has buying junk food, energy drinks, fizzy drinks, crisps and sweets. The result of this (and her refusal to exercise) is that her weight has rocketed. Having been a slim child, she is now an obese teenager. Her skin is also very, very bad and she has to wear a thick layer of foundation to cover her spots. The spots she's had in the past have left dark marks on her skin (which is quite light, so they really show). I have taken her to the GP who has prescribed antibiotics and creams, but she won't take the tablets or use the cream properly, so her skin continues to be bad. Her teeth are very bad, and she's waiting to be fitted with braces. However, because she is very, very lazy about brushing her teeth I'm worried about how this will work out once she gets them. I have told her I will help her lose weight if she wants to do this, taken out gym membership for her (she asked me to but then refused to go), offered to cook her healthy food, offered to help her find an exercise or dance class. She says she doesn't care about her weight but I'm not sure I believe her, although I'm aware that culturally many the overweight black girls she mixes with at school are proud of their bodies and have good self-esteem. She has at times made it clear to me that she HATES being so overweight. I am worried about her health in the future. On DH's side there is diabetes (type 1 and 2), and severe hypertension. His mother, father and sister are severely obese and between them have more health problems than you'd generally find in a room full of people.
Any hows, she is still at my mum's and I am determined that she will not come home any time soon. My sister (single, 50 and a teacher) lives there too, and she is involved in supervising dd. I am going to email the CAMHS psychiatrist who is coordinating our care on Tuesday and tell him about the abusive behaviour. I will also contact social services and say I am not willing to have her home at present and to ask what will happen if my mum and sister can't cope with having her there. I have taken her keys away from her so she can't get in. I need to regroup and regain my strength and I can't do it with her here.
Regarding 'sweating the small stuff' - there is little of this. 'No meals upstairs' is the rule because we have had mice. Upstairs. Boak. I don't nag her about her disgusting room. If she wants to go out in dirty clothes and leave her stuff all over the floor, she can and I don't make an issue of it.
Minifingers - good luck.
While she is out of the way - would there be any mileage in you talking to the parents of her best friend - the one who's known her for a long time? Any parent of the girls at whose houses she is overstaying will probably have picked up a bit of what's going on. They may have some perspective on what the motivating factors are that might get through to her.
She needs to develop a sense of self that is not built on hating you, her younger brother, etc. She needs to somehow find pride in hanging onto good behaviour, pride in developing and expressing the values the feels good about holding (resilience, integrity, kindness, empathy, hard work etc). At the moment she seems to be able to do a little bit of that with friends at school, but seems to lose it with teachers (as you've said - now she has to work, she can't use charm and wit to get through - she needs a sense of self that includes a bit that works hard and effectively to achieve things), and obviously she has no sense of self at home other than one rebelling against everything. But the rebellion gets in the way of her behaving in a way that she could possibly be proud of.
Something for the therapists to work on might be "what sort of person do you actually want to be and what's holding you back from being that person?" She may need to be sent to bootcamp to develop sufficient headspace to start processing that question though.
OP no advice in your situation, but are you aware of an org called SIBS? They run support groups for children who have a sibling with a diagnosis (the group I have worked with is specifically for children with autistic siblings) as it is quite common for these kids to really struggle with their feelings. Maybe they are an organisation who would be able to offer you or your dd support?
The self-hatred over her appearance, and the poor self-care would be part of what needs addressing in finding a sense of self that she can be proud to express. Again - this is bootcamp territory though.
Had a thought. You mentioned that her behaviour changed completely the month after she had her first period. Could all this aggressivity be compounded by hormones issues? You know like a very very bad PMT in the middle of the teenage angst/anger?
Maybe it's worth checking that.
Also, I have a very close friend whose son (14yo too) has been a real problem. He was getting sooo angry that he broke a few doors and even, one day, threaten his db with a knife . She took him to see an acupuncturist for other issues (IBS type) but found that he became much much calmer after starting the acupuncture. She completely swears by it now. Perhaps another angle to tackle the problem?
I just felt I needed to add a reply.
When I was younger I had simlar troubles as your daughter, not to the same extent but I argued a lot with my mom, refused to do things, we had a few bad arguments that I remember, which ended in physical fights my dad had to break up. I refused to go to school, had arguments with teachers etc etc..
I was reading your thread and feeling very sad that my mom ever felt like this, we now have an extreamly good relationship even more so now I don't like at home, however I got to your last few posts and they rang more true for me, to many people I may have seemed a pleasent young lady but really I was struggling with living, I now know that I have suffered from depression for many years and it started when I was around 13/ 14 mine was from being badly bullied at school, but obv you say your daughter isn't being.
I remember flung my mom and dad how depressed I was and them saying I was too young to be depressed and then I just started keeping it inside, I self harmed, was horrible to my mom and dad, teachers etc. Mainly.because I thought if I was horrible enough then maybe someone would notice how bad I felt. Nobody did, I started drinking when I was around 15 which didn't help matters at all. I must also add that the bullying took the form of name calling, calling me fat, ugly, commenting on my skin, what my parents were like etc. Many of the teachers wouldn't even have known it was happening as it was done when they wernt there and I didn't tell them, these other kids were nice as pie when the teachers were around.
However when I was 16 I took things into my own hands I went to the doctors and she started me on anti-depressants for depression and anxiety, my mom didn't know that I was taking them but noticed I had changed, since then I hadd been on AMD off anti-depressants for the 6 years until I met my not husband and something changed, but that's another story.
Anyways the point of my story is to tell you that your daugher will more than likely feel terrible and guilty for this in a few years time and that even through all of the troubles I had I now have a son of my own and I get on my my parents very well.
Your daughter may be depressed, there are many forms of depression that can come out in many waus, ws
Sorry my son clicked the button lol
Depression can present itself in many ways and she may be very good at hiding.the depression itself but not so good at hiding the feelings of anger that nobody has noticed or helping her (not your fault though obv. My mom didn't know I was depressed all she saw was an angry teenager)
Sorry for the epic post just thought I would share that as hopefully in the future you will have a wonderful relationship with your daughter as I would be very sorry to have missed out on what I have with my mom now!
(just read back the many spelling errors sorry typing on phone with a 5 month old is a recipe for disaster
You sound stronger already Minifingers, which I assume is because you've had a 24 hour break. I think you are wise to keep her at arms length until you feel stronger.
Perhaps you could use this time apart to formulate say a handful of basic rules + consequences that she has to sign up to in order to return home. The first one should be No hitting or violence to anyone especially my mum. Consequence= removed by police.
I hope your mother and sister are firmly on side with you and not tolerating any violence in their home.
Have a relaxing weekend OP.
Ok the identity element is key here (I am white, DH black, kids mixed race also in London).
I think you have it spot on that she is rejecting the white part of herself. Mixed race children often identify themselves as black, because wider society does. They are often more accepted by the black community (though not always), if a lot of her friends are black too then this will add to those feelings.
Very low self esteem linked with her identity and secondly her appearance are at the root of this IMO. Putting on weight is known for people with low self esteem, emotional eating. I think you need to find a counsellor that has experience supporting black and mixed race individuals and families.
Not sure where you are in London, but have found these organisations that may offer some support:
South London Family Centre
City and Hackney Mind Offer Black, Minority, Ethnic counselling services.
BME counselling services, look under London
Where is your husband's heritage from?
Is there any chance she could have PCOS? I think there's a few things going on with her, her identity, depression and hormones. I feel sorry for you and her tbh.
It's so good you have people who can take her. Is there any way you could go away just with her, perhaps wild camping? Leave dh with the other dcs? You can go for long walks and maybe bond?
Also try to get her to take some oils. I take starflower and it's helping my pmt. Plus a multivitamin.
It must be so stressful for all of you. I hope you can find a solution?
If you read this it seems PCOS is very closely linked to diabetes too.
With your more recent posts, she sounds incredibly depressed. It may be 'just' depression, or a feature of something else. I certainly used to tell my parents to leave me alone / that I didn't want to be anywhere near them - and it was because of my own pain, I was firstly pushing everyone away, and secondly 'testing' them, to see if they loved me enough. None of this was a conscious decision, by the way, it's only something I've realised recently.
Hi, I've just come across this. I'm sorry she is still being a shit, and I'm glad you are sounding a bit stronger.
But I still think you need (just for a bit) to stop concentrating on her and concentrate on you. You need to rebuild your strength and self-confidence as it has been shot to bits over the last couple of years.
If you didn't believe deep down that some of the shitty things she says are true (bad mother, shit at your job etc), then the comments wouldn't hurt so much.
You need someone in real life to talk to, preferably a counsellor experienced in family counselling, so that you and your dh can come up with a positive plan for how your family can co-exist with a 13 year old who is behaving like this. At the moment she is pulling all the stings. She is deciding the mood of the house, she is dictating the behaviour of everyone in it. And that isn't fair on you, your dh or your son.
You have tried to change her, it hasn't worked. So put her to one side, and concentrate on changing you. You won't believe me that it helps, but it really does. And as you change your reaction to her and her behaviour it is more than likely that without the reaction she craves, some of the behaviour may just fade away.
I spent years trying to fix ds1. It's only when I completely stopped, stepped away in my head and fixed myself that he started to change. I stopped reacting, and he stopped looking for a reaction.
Something else I didn't mention - dd has done EVERYTHING she can to be different from me. I am white and from a middle-class family. Privately educated. DD is mixed race, and we live in fairly down at heel part of London. She strongly identifies with black culture and often makes comments like 'that's so white', or 'that's so black'. She attends the sort of comprehensive you would typically find in a not very wealthy part of London and if you met dd on a bus you'd assume she came from one of the grimmer estates - her speech and her way of presenting herself
I don't think you can say she has chosen to be different from you. You have chosen these things for her, to marry someone from a different cultural background, where you live, not to educate her privately. She has had no choice over these things. Sounds like she is trying to fit in. It does sound desperately sad, as she sounds like she was a wonderful child.
homebird8 what?! I am not saying there is anything wrong with being mixed race, working class or state educated! The op wrote and I quoted a long list of how her dd has chosen to be different, not me. And I have just pointed out she couldn't have chosen any of those things. I do actually empathise with op. her dd's behaviour sounds horrendous. But she also sounds desperately unhappy, and trying to fit in. ( and working class, state educated here from a rough area, so no prejudice here! I'm told my comp now sometimes has police at the gates checking for knives)
Is there anyone else CAMHS can refer her to? You might have to fight for it but I did this with my daughter and received a completely unexpected diagnosis which is now treated by medication and has changed our lives. Things had descended badly with much of the behaviour you describe but now there is hope for the future of my family.
Also the other teenage girl I know with such behaviour also has a younger sibling with autism and there is a lot of anger and resentment surrounding the way he is treated compared to her.
Aside from everything else, eating shit will have a profound effect on her mood. No wonder she is a screeching banshee if she's filled to the brim with junk. If she could be persuaded to eat a healthy diet (h-o-l-l-o-w laugh) she would be transformed. And this is aside from the cultural identity problems that she is, apparently, struggling to assimilate.
...though I suspect she believes herself to be above the usual (potential) grind of being human. She was treated like a pop star from the off - nobody's fault, just how it went. Just to throw something into the mix (on top of the huge pile of difficulties): how have teachers been with her? Has she had an inappropriate relationship with a teacher? re special treatment, favouritism. Just wondering...
I had an appalling experience at CAMHS so couldn't recommend you try there - though I suspect it's a postcard lottery. If you can afford private therapy then I would recommend that's the way to go; though of course it's anyone's guess whether she'll turn up, highly likely she won't.
yy she's unhappy but, although she's only 14, she has to come to the realisation that her choices are making her unhappy. YOu're not doing her a favour to shield her from that essential reality, aside from any cultural, identity or body image difficulties she is struggling with, or anything else she may be struggling with. She may be 14 but she is probably an advanced 14. Kids
these days are also sold the heinous idea that being famous is the only thing to aim for, the only thing of worth. She's already had the fame and sees no reason why she should lose it.
Another thing to consider is the evil weed. It's supposed to be innocuous but these days very strong. It accounts for at least one of my children's complete change of personality on every possible front. Almost all kids are on it now, particularly in big cities. I loathe the stuff, personally, because it has stolen at least one of my kids. (plus there's the longterm potential MH problems associated with it <sob>)
btw just to remind you that summer's coming and open windows would negate the need for a key..
Your last post make fill's in the gaps OP.
There a few cause's of your daughters behaviour that all together are pretty corrosive.
Trying to fit in as a black/white mixed race child with her black friends.
Identifying more with her black side because of her environment.
Resentment that you had a private education where she's at an inner city comp.
Awful diet leading to nutrient deficiencies (particularly B vitamins and Vitamin D) these deficiencies along account for an increase in mental health problems.
"There are many symptoms and signs of a vitamin B complex deficiency including:
emotional disturbances such as:
mild to severe depression;
vague fears, morbid thoughts, feeling that something dreadful is going to happen, uneasiness to panic, apprehension;
mood swings, rage, hostility, suspicion, anxiety, nervousness, inability to handle stress, insomnia or sleep disturbances;
mental disturbances, including:
loss of ability to concentrate,
loss of memory, and
digestive disturbances including:
hypochlorhydria (insufficient stomach acid production),
constipation or diarrhea,
stomach pains with decreased or increased appetite,
craving for sweets,
soreness of the mouth,
muscular and nervous disturbances including:
light headedness or dizziness;
neuralgia to neuritis;
pain, tingling or ache;
cold hands and feet; and
heightened sensitivity to touch and/or pain;
skin disturbances including:
burning or itching eyes."
Vitamin D deficiency is related to Obesity particularly in people with darker skin
Possible PCOS given her obesity and skin problems.
PCOS is exacerbated by poor diet high in sugar.
I think if you can change her diet or at least get her to take a high strength Vitamin B complex, Vitamin D and a multivitamin you could improve those mental health related deficiencies. Maybe then you would have a chance of working on the other problems.
CAHMS were a waste of time for my ds2 too. He was suspected of having Aspergers but they say not. They just seem to chuck you from one person to another and nothing helps? I'm sure others have had positive experiences of them though? He improved when he went to comp.
ER's right. Get good quality multi vit though. The cheap ones have shitty fillers in them.
<has visions of holding her down and forcing vits into her mouth, like forcing meds into the mouth of a dog>
<black humour alert>
Yes springykitsch it may be difficult to make her take them you're right?
Does your dd like to read OP? Maybe a book on teenage years may help? And some literature on vitamins and hormones?
Poor OP, all these suggestions of why her DD could be behaving how she is must be absolutely confounding
I'm with MaryZ here though: But I still think you need (just for a bit) to stop concentrating on her and concentrate on you.
OP is the victim of abuse and needs a rest and recharge before tackling any of this other stuff. You are no use to your DC if you cannot function effectively. Recharge first, then battle can recommence.
See, if she doesn't want her moods regulated by the pill, or her diet improved by vitamins, or her job prospects improved by going to school, at the age she is it isn't actually possible to make her.
Parents of children like this need a massive internal attitude change. They need to stop blaming themselves, feeling guilty and thinking that if only they try hard enough/have enough input/punish enough/reward enough/enforce enough they can "cure" the child.
Sometimes it is necessary with a child whose purpose in life is to push boundaries to step back a little, and think outside the box.
It's hard to accept. It took me years. Because it feels like you are giving up. But you aren't giving up, it's just a different method. And if the current method isn't working, what have you got to lose?
Where does she get the money to buy junk/possibly drugs?could u withdraw any pocket money till the situation improve?as well would you try stripping her room as someone else suggestested?would be easy now that she's away.
This is a nightmare for you and although we had alot of what you are describing it was not as concentrated. I believe that dd is sad, unhappy and lonely and really wants you to have said/done something that you haven't. Obviously the key to this is to find out what. Ideally you would tell her how much you love her seek out ways to show her your love, tell her you want to spend time with her and do things together etc. However I would say that you must take some time out for a bit to get youself to a place where you have the strentgh to do this,
I would think something would be causing her anger at you and although you have a mothers instinct it hasn't been abuse don't dismiss it. She has been bright and happy and now she isn't.She clearly doesn't like herself or you for some reason, hormones and diet do have amazing effect and would def recommend the supplements,whether you should have protected her from something that has happened to her or even shouldn't have made her mixed race it is something she is struggling with. I am not suggesting your failure just what he perceives!!!
At the moment though I think it would be best for you to try to build yourself up and restore your own strength. You are no good to any one in the state you are at the moment. I hope you get the support you all need.xx
Yes the detachment can feel like neglect or ignoring your DC.
But as long as you are taking the responsibility for your DC's aggression and bad behaviour (which you have no control over) then they are off the hook for taking responsibility for it. That is the transition to adulthood and if OP's DD is a precocious 13yrs (which she sounds like she is) then she may be going through this transition earlier than most teens.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is just let them take the consequences of their own behaviour. So she gets charged for violence and has a record that will be an obstacle for a career ambition? Well, that will really hurt (hopefully) and might be the point at which she sees why she can't carry on the way she has. A Hard Lesson. But, ultimately, the best for her and her family if she reevaluates the way she behaves.
See, if the op's partner was abusing her like this, no-one would be saying "maybe he is depressed/unhappy/stressed or bullied at work/ill/undernourished/whatever".
They would be saying "this is not acceptable. Don't put up with it".
The thread is making me very uncomfortable
Why have I started putting "See" at the start of every sentence? [braindead emoticon]
springkitsch I know, I know
What the girl needs and what she wants are sure to be opposites.
As a teenager in the late '80's I first went to the doctors feeling depressed. The doctor (who I now know was wise) offered me vitamins. Bollocks I thought, convinced he didn't care. Bloody vitamins.
I hadn't linked my depression with the fact I'd become a vegetarian months before. I was eating pizza and chips mostly, a junk food veggie I was. But hey that was OK as I had the sanctimonious seal of a new vegetarian. Any veggie diet was infinitely healthier and more ethical than the alternative right?
It took 20 years of anxiety disorder and depression to make the link that I was deficient in vital nutrients. I now eat healthily and am a life member of Holland and Barrett
So yes I know it will be difficult to persuade especially given her hostility
Totally agree with Maryz that this is abuse and should be approached accordingly. It's the 'oh poor kids, they're so innocent/don't feel loved/unhappy' that gives these monsters carte blanche to abuse the hell out of you. Forcing the bathroom door and sneering at your naked body is ABUSE. If a man/your husband/partner did that to you, what would it be?
'See' all you like Mary, I'm not complaining
maryz. because she isn't fully grown man but child who OP would like to raise so she doesn't become an abusive adult> just because a young persons body may be adult size their emotions and mental growth may not be at the same rate.
It took 20 years of anxiety disorder and depression to make the link that I was deficient in vital nutrients
oh Elenor, what a hard way to find that out ((hug))
I suppose it's because she is 13 MaryZ. Posters assume she must be suffering some sort of problem.
But as you rightly say, even at 13yrs you can't really force her to do something she doesn't want to do. (Although you can go out of your way to ensure it's not easy eg no money, electrics, talk to friend's parents, school etc).
If she feels topdog and her life experience so far has taught her that she is topdog/popstarish/popular/golden girl etc then she will have a hard time accepting that she is in fact just like the rest of us! Good grief she even has the popstar type trait of thinking she can be violent to her own mother and get away with it.
But she can abuse like an adult cjel, regardless where she is developmentally. It's the 'oh the poor things they can't help it' that imo nurtures adult, lifelong abusers.
Maryz yes you are right too.
Understanding why is one thing.
First has to come some stick to shock her in to sorting herself out.
A few hours cooling her heels in cell might just do that.
Thanks Springy I got there in the end <slow emotion-con>
I know that cjel.
But I think that there needs to be a double approach to this. Firstly and most important to show that this is never acceptable behaviour, irrelevant of the age/SN/special circumstances of the abuser. And that the op should be supported to recognise this and to not feel responsible for the abuse and to not feel that she should in some way be able to stop it
Secondly, to get help for the child. But I have come to the conclusion, having put up with years of this myself, that sometimes some children are just like this. They are so caught up in fighting the system that they don't see or care who they hurt in the process. And rewards/punishments don't alway work. Sometimes rewards are resented as being bribes. Keeping them short of money can lead to stealing or dealing .
Sometimes the only cure is them growing out of it. And luckily, most of them do.
In my opinion the parents' main aim should be to survive it with their own mental health entire, with their wider families happy, even if that seems to be marginalising the child for a bit in order to put the rest of the family first. There is no point in suddenly realising that the child at 18 has rejoined the human race, but the mother is has had a complete mental breakdown or turned to alcohol herself, or that the rest of the family has suffered so much their relationships are irretrievable.
The exact opposite is true, I am saying get to the route of this childs behaviour is the only way to fix it. punishing doesn't work if the behaviour is from a place of sadnesses it will just lead to depression as it is turned inward. It statrted to show itself inwardly by self harm at least now it is exteranl she is showing she is stressed. or you will def.
Poor me is sad not evil there is a difference and if any person does not get to the route of why they feel 'poor me' there will be abuse or depression as they try and find a way of coping with their sense of badness.
I am not saying that the behaviour is acceptable but that alongside telling her that you have to help discover the cause.
If you accept that a toddler gets frustrated and throws tantrums because they can't comunicate how they feel then it is the same for a 13 yr old just different ways of tantruming. You don't have to accept the behaviour but it is age relevent.
I bet when the op's dd says "you are a shit mum" the op believes it and feels shit.
But she isn't a shit mum.
She needs to be able to separate what her dd says (and even what her dd believes) from what she knows to be the truth. So she needs real life support to be able to do this.
It's a bit like living with an addict. If you hear this type of thing often enough you start to believe it.
It took me an awful long time to believe I wasn't a shit mum. I used to honestly think I was going mad, because what ds said and did was so far from what I knew to be the truth that my brain simply couldn't reconcile the two lives I was living - the one where we seemed a normal family, and the one where I was afraid to tell people what was happening in my house.
It's an exhausting way to live.
There may not be a cause. Or it may be an incurable cause. Or just the fact that she is 13 and is trying to fight the system.
Sometimes you have to just accept it and live with it until they grow out of it.
There is no point in suddenly realising that the child at 18 has rejoined the human race, but the mother is has had a complete mental breakdown or turned to alcohol herself, or that the rest of the family has suffered so much their relationships are irretrievable.
Standing ovAtion! Totally agree with this. Couldn't agree more. <gushes>
Breakdown - tick
ADs - tick
Now getting sane - tick
Good mother - tick!
I never came across anything like this when I worked in SA. Why? Are SA teens just better parented? No, it's because they know that their parents are sometimes the only thing between them and a very harsh regime. If they are picked up by the police they could be in for a beating/rape/ incarceration without charge. The consequences of bad behaviour are potentially too high.
OP has tolerated DD's physical abuse more than once now. Not just forcing the bathroom door to be sneered at whilst naked by her DD, but being beaten round the head with a phone. Her DD thinks she can get away with it because she has.
She has to be dealt with like any other abuser at this stage. Other avenues can be explored once OP and her family feels safe in her own home.
hope nothing i've said suggested op was shit mum. Far from it, and I want to say hear and now I think she is coping fantastically with all dd throws at her (literally) I've heard it from my ds in the past and it really knocks you and you worry for ages over every little thing you may have done that they may be right!!!( i was even spat at by him once) (and my dd reported me to her youth club for hitting her, ran away from home and skipped school regularly at certain time of the month but swore it was me!!)
Apart from taking care of herslef now and having a break from dd and forcing dd to get proffessional help, whether couselling, medical, supplements or a mixture of different things. I think she is fantastic and has put up with so much more than others would have.
OP sorry if I gave the impression that i was blaming youxx
Oh, no cjel, in theory you are right, and finding the problem (and a cure) would help. But sometimes there isn't a reason. Or it's an incurable one.
For me, ds1 has Asperger's, suffered from anxiety and depression and started self-medicating. But as he refused to see a psych or the gp or accept any legal medication, it wasn't possible to "cure" him. His behaviour started with little things, became a habit, and then got to the stage that he didn't know how else to behave.
I couldn't stop it, I had to learn to live with it. And he is (hopefully) growing out of it.
This seems to be the way it goes for lots of these kids. They do tend to grow up (and move out, which is also a blessing ). Leaving traumatised parents and younger siblings in their wake.
Maryz yes thats another problem is the mess that they leave in their wake isn't it. growing up and moving out is good!!!
I agree with posters who say try to spend more time with her etc.
BUT, having had problems in the past with one IOC my own children, a girl, I would also have to day please focus a lot of effort on what boundaries there are in place and how consistently you manage them. And eliminate and take on anyone undermining from others.
Finally and critically, have CONSEQUENCES for poor behaviour, as far as possible related to the offence.
It worked for us..
Cjel is so right!
It is usually the most significant person in a teen's life that sees the worst behaviour. Your DD want's you to feel as hurt as she does so you can understand what she feels and help her.
Or maybe they just enjoy bullying and get a kick out of it.
That's the problem, isn't it.
Are they hitting out, or are they just hitting? To be honest, does it really matter to the person being hit?
In that case the parents should be asking themselves why.
They have until 16 to maximise their parental input to help this child equip themselves for an independent life.
By the way, I've seen (sadly) a lot of threads like this.
I find it quite interesting that if the teenager is a girl, the consensus is of then that there is something bothering them, that it is hormones, or depression or bullying or something.
If the teenager is a boy, the advice has in the past been "chuck him out - he's bigger and stronger than you, he is bullying you, don't put up with it".
A bit like, we have more understanding of DV when the man is the perpetrator and the woman the victim - I think we find it hard to get our heads around the fact that 13 year old girls can be bullies, they can be violent, they can be frightening.
And I'm certainly not saying she is a bad or evil person; she probably is troubled and sad and stressed, but so is the rest of her family. And at some point they need to put some positive effort into making life bearable for them - they have obviously put massive amounts of time and emotional energy into trying (and failing) to help her.
Parents and parenting is not the only influence on an individual's life. Do we all think we are a direct product of our parenting? Partly, yes - a large part, probably - but not all. We are individuals and have influences as well as choices. It's not all down to our parents or parenting.
It is precisely the idea that children are a blank slate and how they turn out is directly down to the parenting that causes so much confusion, and judgement, around this issue. And pressure, and competition, and crowing around parenting. If you've had a wayward/abusive child you can be an exemplary parent until you're blue in the face: they choose what they choose, and there's not much you can do about it. When they're younger you can put sanctions in place (though not many of us are prepared for the high level of terrorism and siege we have to negotiate) but, even then, they choose what they choose. We can't force, though we can certainly coerce and set rigid boundaries. I'm sure there are plenty of us who know how useless an awful lot of boundaries can be - eg someone suggested OP put her daughter's uncleared-up clothes in a bin bag outside the house; the daughter would just get the clothes back in and probably trash her parent's clothes as a retaliation. Or some such terrorist act. They mean to terrorise imo and are not the innocent doves people like to think. Which is not necessarily down to their parenting at all, or that they're necessarily miserable. I'm sure they are miserable but where's the chicken and where's the egg? Perhaps not getting their own way is what makes them miserable.
I am interested to hear a pp's accounts of life in SA ie the consequences of being arrested are so dire that it makes wayward children think twice. Our kids can quite adequately avoid consequences, which makes the whole thing long and drawn out. Consequences will come but they invariably take a long time; which is a blessing as much as it is a curse.
A parents influence at this age is on the decline in favour of all other influences, which is why the parents of teens need to work very hard to maximise the family values.
Hi Maryz! (waves)
Just wanted to give a quick update and say thank you again for all the advice and support everyone has offered before letting go of the thread.
Went out for a lovely day with other dc's. Had a call from my sister - dd had asked to be allowed to go to her friends for the day. I said no, that she was grounded for missing school 3 times this week, and I apologised to my sister for her having to enforce the grounding. But enforce it she did.
Got a text from dsis later saying that dd had taken our elderly mum to do the weekly food shop. Dsis was in ecstasy as she has had to to it every week for 3 years and it drives her potty. Can't think of anything more therapeutic for dd than being expected to trail around with my mum and her octogenarian friends for a few days.
Typically dd phoned and told me that she had her friends Oyster card (we told her to give it back last week) and as she wasn't allowed to go over, not only was I responsible for ruining her (Dd's) day, but that I was also responsible for ruining her friends day as she now had way of going out. DD just doesn't get it. She still doesn't realise how serious this is. She thinks its just me having a strop.
letting go of the thread? ok then
You can , of course, do what you like but you're still in the thick of all this, just wondering why you are choosing now to take off? But, as I said, your choice.
YNK - I don't know how old your kids are but I would have to say 'all the best' with your kids. Some things simply don't go to plan.
If you needed any confirmation that your DD's behaviour is all about power and control over you, you have it there OP. She can behave, indeed be nice with octogenarian dgm and friends which I'm sure takes lots of patience, but can't cooperate with you.
Is it possible that she can stay there, say until term finishes in July? If your Dsis and dm are willing it might give DD a chance to reflect and reset her habits.
Great that you all had a good day.
I think she is name-changing back, Springy.
And her dd would recognise her, so she is moving around.
Kick me in the arse if I'm speaking out of turn, Mini.
This seems far beyond anything that could be remotely acceptable and be written off as 'going through a difficult phase'. Do you feel she can help this bad behaviour. Because I think that's important. Would a change of school help in any way. I think it's time to seek advice from a third party. Or call in social services and say you can't cope with her at home any longer.
Your daughter needs mental health help there's no question about it. You need to get her that help urgently otherwise she is going to ruin her life before its even begun. It sounds like you and your DH have worked hard to be supportive loving parents but you cant fix this. I am so sorry for for what you are going through.
I'm glad you had a better day. DD helping out her gran with the shopping is good yes ? Don't stress too much about the grounding/Oyster card bit hey - just try (again, yes, I know !) to get DD to accept some responsibility for the fact her friend ended up effectively grounded today as well, because a) she didn't give back card earlier & b) she was grounded for missing school on 3 occasions in one week.
But having said that also try to focus more on being pleased she offered to help gran with shopping, and did so in a helpful way.
Good grief, it must be exhausting - all the best to you all x
Boundaries boundaries boundaries - as exhausting as it is.
Call the police - to bad if she wants to be a social worker - she is bullying you. -and this is simply not acceptable.
I like the stripping of the room - remove her door, she has school uniform and pajamas and everything else she has to earn......
She has found she has power over you, and is using it, you need to take it back, or kick her out.
I have got really good at the sympathetic version of "it's your own fucking fault".
So I can say (with a straight face) "oh it's terrible you missed the bus, your alarm clock is really shite isn't it" And "oh dear, didn't you do your homework, it's a pity it was for a teacher who takes it up and will punish you" and "oh dear, you do realise that if you don't pay your Wonga loan the amount owed goes up, they should really have explained this properly"
In fact many of my sentences these days begin with "oh dear"
when really I want to say "ffs what do you expect you fuckwit"
The Oyster card being in the right place is hers and her friend's responsibility, which at the age of 13 they should be able to take on. So Yes, she really doesn't get it and/or is determined to make every little thing your fault to guilt-trip you. You do need to work hard to resist that guilt.
Maryz I love your versions of 'it's your own fault'! <stores up for later use>
I have nothing helpful to add but I didn't want to read & run without posting. I have worked with children & teenagers with severe behavioural problems. I have seen the devastating affect it can have on families. I am so sorry that you are going through this. It is very hard to love someone who is being utterly vile & deliberately hurtful, offensive & intimidating. There's lots of good advice on here & you sound like you are being strong & have a good plan in place.
Please, whatever you do, don't blame yourself. And look after yourself... do something nice for you... be it a relaxing bath while DD is away, a trip to the cinema or a walk in the park, whatever. Make sure you have time to build yourself back up & feel confident. Much love to you.
MaryZ... that's fab! I will use 'Oh dear...' with my DS(7), because everything that goes wrong is my fault & never, ever his!
I have also developed a fine line in saying yes when I actually mean no if that is any use to you.
So, "yes of course you can have a tattoo darling, as soon as you are 18 and can pay for it yourself".
In fact, I've just found my favourite post (I wrote it when I was a tad cross with ds1 . Here are some suggestions for communicating with teenagers and responses to common questions:
"Why do I have to?": Of course you don't have to darling, but let's think about what will happen if you don't (you'll run out of clothes, you will get a detention, your friends will be pissed off if you aren't allowed to go to the party).
"Why can't I stay up?"; you can of course stay up, when you are an adult and own your own house, but for now I want to go to bed/have some childfree time (depends on child age)
"I don't care": that's a pity, I used not to care about lots of things, but now I've discovered that some of them matter
"You are not the boss of my life": I know [sympathetic], it's terrible having someone tell you what to do, of course you don't have to do it but if you don't x will happen/not happen.
"You are so stupid" - I know, it's terrible, I think my mum's stupid sometimes, but usually I'm wrong.
All accompanied with a smile while seething inwardly
I could go on like this all night.
Just remember - use yes of course a lot. Just add when ......
Thank you Grockle, your post is very encouraging. This whole thread has been 'encouraging' in its way - thank you for starting it Mini. I now have a whole host of friends who have appalling children (or endure appalling behaviour in their children) and I would recommend Mini that you find some support groups/parenting courses so you can meet others in the same boat. As with a lot of situations like this, it is the isolation that can be so painful - especially when surrounded by friends whose kids are doing marvellously and making seamless transitions into adulthood. I am delighted for said kids and cheer everyone on in my heart - i certainly wouldn't want anyone to endure what we have - but it can be painful to have it seemingly rubbed in your face, when your heart is broken but it's not a public grief, you have to keep it quiet out of shame and fear of judgement etc; and also because it's too unbearably painful. So there's nothing like meeting others in the same boat. It does it for me, anyway.
I pray (my head off) for my kids. As well as storm and rant etc lol - though these days I'm even too tired for that. I suppose I am more accepting as time has gone on. One thought occurred to me recently: God knows what it's like to have appalling kids. Horses for courses and all that but it has helped me to not feel quite so alone.
maryz you use that level of passive aggression with your children and still think there's no correlation between the way you parent and their behaviour?! when other people speak to me like that I find it hard to keep a lid on it
but do because I'm an adult not a teenager and behaviour control is something you learn with maturity imagine if your own mother treats you with that level of disdain, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy...
Doesn't seem the most prudent way to calm an irate teen...
I must admit that was my thought too HN. Being spoken to like that would drive me mad. Kids have great bullshitometers and mine would instantly know that was a wind-up and react with all the respect such phoniness deserved.
I don't see that at all in maryz's posts.
Far better than screaming and shouting.
How would YOU deal with the behaviours she describes?
I don't see it as passive aggressive either. Surely it's just logical consequences?
Oh dear, it's terrible to have to go to school every day when you don't want to but if you don't, your friends would miss you & you wouldn't learn X, Y & Z...
I have a friend who does precisely this - and you have to hear her do it to see how well it works and how genuine she is. I don't think Maryz is being passive-aggressive, she is being clever, using speech to make some observations and without saying a direct 'no'.
If you worked with your general Joe public, certain things wouldn't be acceptable or pass muster. If you worked with offenders, ex-offenders, drug addicts, alcoholics etc (as I do), you have to learn ways to say things from a reasonable and compassionate place, but without being too brutal. They just can't take it. Same with kids like this: you can't use the normal rules, this stuff is in a whole different league.
Hi there, I'm so sorry this has been happening and reading through the replies you are getting some really good advice.
I may get slated for this, but I'm going to throw it in anyway. Have you thought about going on a self defence course? At the moment your daughter thinks she can push you around and that is adding to her belief that she has power over you.
I'm not suggesting in any way that you try to hurt her obviously! Or that engaging in a fight is remotely ok! But you should not have to just take her attacking you!!
It really doesn't matter how big and tough she is, if you have some training you can learn to immobilise her. If she attacks you and it ends with you sitting on her that will change her view of you.
I have dealt with problem teens in the past and I know they have given me less trouble than some others because they knew they couldn't physically push me around.
I think that becoming a teen is very empowering, the trouble is we all know the saying about power.
I have had to deal with the behaviours she described, as mentioned up thread. I dealt with it in part by looking for a root cause and seeking help which improved the behaviour. On a practical level, I stopped shouting and started listening. It's amazing what you hear when you listen. It's an ongoing process but I try to listen to what I say too - if I wouldn't like to be spoken to that way, then I shouldn't be saying it to my kids. I have basic house rules eg we all eat together at the table, and only one meal is prepared and you eat it or don't get fed. No TVs/ computer games in bedrooms. Teens do their own washing and help out with household chores. And bottom line that you do these things and keep a civil tongue in your head if you want to live in the house - it applies to all of us. Easy to say, hard in practice, working for now.
Of course it's said I a passive aggressive tone - the "oh dear" isn't it terrib you have to go to school - well it it's not terrible at all. Making observations of consequences could be an excellent technique if done in a fashion that actually involved listening to the child but given Maryz also reports thinking in her head at the same time "ffs what do you expect you fuckwit", rather suggests that isn't the technique being employed...
I don't see why thinking 'ffs' while saying something implies that you won't listen to the reply you get.
I think kickarsequeen's suggestion is an interesting one - it would have the benefits of getting the OP out of the house doing something that is an outlet for her frustration, and also that would encourage pride in her body and what it can do - something her daughter's behaviour has undermined recently (bursting into bathroom as well as physical aggression)
Op, just in case no one else has mentioned this possibility, has your DD's thyroid been checked? If not then please get it checked ASAP!
Kids like this are exasperating. One of my ds's genuinely said, with a completely straight face, that he was disappointed he didn't do well in his mock A level "when I revised for a whole day". You're tearing your hair out with this type of fuckwit comment and you have to use every ounce of strength to not shout at them; or at least say 'don't be a moron!'
yy I have noticed that my boy did his A levels. some things function with my kids, though goodness knows why. That's the point: you never know what is and isn't going to work.
I also can't help noticing how some parents expect to be in total control of their kids. Perhaps expecting to be in total control is what their kids have learned.
[arf] at passive-aggression.
No it isn't. Really it isn't. It's walking away from a teenager who is absolutely determined to have a row and not resorting to the type of argument that might be better suited to a toddler group.
Honestly, when faced with a never-ending series of "why can't I" questions, eventually you have to come up with something other than "because I said so".
To be honest, these aren't answers I use often with dd, because she is a so-called normal reasonable person. You only come up with desperate measures when your children can't be reasoned with in "normal" ways.
And Horatia, if you have basic rules as you describe there is no way you are dealing with the same level of behaviour.
Really you aren't. I can't remember the last time ds ate at a table with us. And keep a civil tongue - how do you make them do that? If I could have your rules, then of course I wouldn't have to resort to the walking away and trying to disengage that I have had to.
ds's main aim in life for about two years was to wind me up so he could justify his behaviour. I had to learn to not react.
When your children are threatening to beat you up, smashing up your house, stealing, dealing, taking drugs and running away for days on end, then you can come back and accuse me of being passive aggressive .
Horatia, how old are your dc's? Have your dc's engaged in criminal, abusive and self-harming behaviours over a long and sustained period of time?
I listen to Maryz because she understands. As do other parents on mn struggling with exceptionally difficult teens.
Very interested in idea of doing self-defence.
Thanks for that suggestion!
I thought the same Horatio ie that you can't be dealing with the same behaviour if you have achieved those basic rules.
Even an oblique 'no' had me nearly strangled by my daughter. You have to find a way to deflect conflict. You have to get more and more skilled, more and more clever.
(and yes I had her arrested for the strangling incident. Haven't heard the end of it if truth be told.)
Actually self-defence might really improve your confidence, even if you never (which you probably wouldn't) use it on anyone.
It would get you out of the house too, which is always good
So sorry you and your family are all going through this.
A few things: when was your DS diagnosed with autism, did it impact her a lot, or was she seemingly ok?
Is she bullied at shcool?
Was she abused?
Is she on the pill? This can make someone behave very aggressively - especially the progesterone only.
Has she been assessed for depression, or other mental illness.
Whatever happens with her, you need to be safe.
I'd call the police if ahe assaults you again, as that will start a cascade of interventions from those who can help you all.
Good luck! I hope it's a phase she's going through, and everything works out perfectly for you all.
That same daughter has learnt self-defence and, in a flash (arf), got a thief in a headlock when he stole her camera when we were on holiday. He meekly handed it back to her, terrified for his life.
so yes, it does work...[sigh]
Laughing at the idea that my teen could be made to do her own washing up.
I've run out of sanctions from dealing with her violence, school refusal and spiteful behaviour to siblings. Getting her to do chores is so far down the list of 'things we need to sort out with dd' that it's slipped off the bottom of the page.
For the record, DH and I are generally EXTREMELY courteous with our requests. Can't deny that when we are asking her to get up for school for the 38th time of a morning and being met with a 'piss off and leave me alone' the mask of polite cheeriness can slip a but, but hey ho, we try!
DS's diagnosis seemed to pas dd by. She isn't really interested in him and refuses to learn anything about autism.
Not on the pill.
Has been seen by a consultant psychiatrist through CAMHS. No diagnosis of any specific developmental or psychiatric disorder.
She needs a role model then, one who is black if that's what she's identifying as.
It's not going to be you, at this point. It sounds like she's having an identity crisis.
You need to recruit someone suitable to help her. It could be a teacher, or a business owner or a doctor. Maybe she needs a job with a black woman as the boss. Someone she can look up to and model herself from.
Hi minifingers, has your DD had a bloodtest for thyroid? It is often missed in teens especially girls and causes weight gain and aggressive behaviour. While it may not be a total answer it does makes teendom much worse ad can be life threatening if to treated. Good luck
Just read this thread with massive interest I had a perfectly cute daughter until her 10th birthday she is now coming up for 12 and all CAHMS have told me is she will always be a challenging child ??? if she refuses to go to her room, you leave and goto yours WTF yeah like that works
Today she woke me up at 11am when i am on nightshift then i had 3 hours of her smacking toys off walls, lying across the floor infront of me of standing in my way, screaming at me that she wasnt lyiong and that all I do is lie to her and all this because I asked her why she had used something of MINE without asking and had finished it (expensive bubble bath) when she has loads of her own
I didnt get angry, shout etc and did use ok don't but this will happen rather alot but over this last year the stress she causes has now made my IBS that bad my tablets arent working and the doctor things it is now more serious and I was left physically shaking today(OH was at work) when her dad came in she denied it all and tried to make me out to be mad as a hatter (what she didnt know was i had been phoning OH to stay sane and he had heard her screaming at me)
What we have started was multi vits and B6 tablets and when she is on her period it does help, well takes the edge off
when I'm dayshift or off she is okay but seems to kick off when im nights and have less sleep/ patience I am dreading Monday when OH is back at work and she is off school
How do you "make them" goto school? without physical intervention I havent came across this from her yet but I can see her at 14 being like OP daughter
I wonder if what my parents did with me is now classed as abuse? I can remember once refusing to get out of bed for school and getting a jug of water over me
OP some more organisations that might offer support:
Your local Youth Offending Team would also be a good contact, your local council website or the local Police will have information, you can contact them directly. They often do triage assessments at Police stations, as part of their offender early intervention prevention.
This all sounds dreadful for you OP. I have a DSD one year older than your DD. she has her moments but nothing remotely like you're describing. Huge sympathy to you.
I have recently bought a very interesting book called Love Bombing by Oliver James. It might be worth a look. Testimonials in the book point to some very severe emotional problems being turned around by his approach. I haven't tried it yet but was going to use it with DS1.
Good luck with it all. I hope things turn around for you very soon.
Mad - have CAMHS said why they think she will 'always be challenging'? . are they offering any ongoing support?
RE: ethnically similar role models - she has her aunts and cousins on her dads side, who she sees regularly. FGS - her best friend (Algerian) is the sort of girl who gets her 3 younger siblings up and dressed for school, puts them to bed, cleans the house. DD's cousin is 2 years older and they hang out a lot; I suppose you could say she's another of dd's best friends. This cousin played football at county level, is involved in loads of musical activities outside school, is learning guitar, is pretty, popular, clever and hard working. We went on holiday last year with SIL and cousins. This particular cousin got so angry and sick of the way DD spoke to me that she refused to talk to her for the rest of the holiday!
Article on Love Bombing
I'm so sorry to hear of everything you're going through op. Natmu, I was going to mention love bombing too. See article above. But perhaps your dd has gone too far for this?
However I agree with MaryZ and others that you need to concentrate on restoring energy and kindness to yourself and your other children.
Have some more op.
I think the suggestion about martial arts is good too. My DC's do taekwondo with their Dad and I think it's good for their confidence, so even without thinking about actually using it I think it can give the person a "don't mess with me" attitude.
Also I think there can often be issues with teenagers (and adult children) feeling pressure to achieve from parents. You mention her cousin "played football at county level" and is "pretty, clever, and hard-working" - leaving aside the troubled behaviour for a moment do you think your DD knows you love her un-conditionally ? If DD took the small steps that might be possible for her, going to school everyday, & not treating you disrespectfully for example, would that be enough ?
I guess I agree with PP that you'll need to focus on the big stuff first.
Don't think there's any point in me trying to engage on this one further - to contentious I suppose. Wish you all the best, hoping for some light at the end of the tunnel for you xx
I have not experienced the same degree of difficulty that you have, but DD was very challenging indeed in Years 7, 8 and 9. Year 9 was the worst, the absolute worst. She is now in Year 10 and she is much improved. So hang on in there, it will get better.
My first thought was sexual abuse. But again, my only reason for this is the training I had to become a foster carer.
Bipolar disorder often first appears in the teen years, but actual diagnosis can take a decade or more, i.e. it is only apparent in retrospect.
If you can afford it, go private.
I was similar to this in my teens tho maybe a fraction less bad than your DD. I was bullied at school and felt I had to be tough to fit in. I was angry at my parents for insisting I continued to attend school, for being eccentric and for not allowing me the full autonomy I felt I deserved (I was 15 at the time rather than 13). I couldn't stand the fact that parents and teachers had authority over me. I left school to go to FE College at 16 and thrived in the much more grown up environment. I also left home at 17 (still funded by my folks as in full time education) and distance helped me get on really well with my mum and dad. It took me until many years later though (age 27), to really understand what had gone on, how horrible and unjust I had been to them, and to apologise. Sorry, I appreciate this may not help you through the next 3-4 years, but I wanted to let you know it may not be forever, and it may not be anything terrible like sexual abuse, just exceptionally painful growing pains
Oh Mini I didn't want to read and run as reading your posts I feel for you.
Whilst there may well be issues going on around depression, identity, growing up etc it is no excuse for this degree of abusive behaviour. She's swanning around like she's the parent. I think you are 100% right for removing her out of your home. If you or when you allow her back I hope you feel able keep several boundaries in place like no physical abuse and follow through with sanctions.
Oliver James would be a very, very good source of help on this.
Excellent suggestion by Natmu and others. Your dd really needs the help of qualified psychologists.
Sorry to be a pain, but have you had her tested for thyroid problems already or not?
You're polite to her? Why? YOu don't need to be polite to her. No wonder she thinks she's running the show if you are sweetness and light, terrified to say something out of line
Dear Lord, you have to stop being a mouse. Act like you're the boss, not the other way around. Make statements. Not nice, not nasty, but straight to the point, no frills. eg 'Get up now' (no emphasis on any words) ie a flat statement. (yy I know she'll tell you to fuck off but I can't bear to think of you simpering away at her when she is a cow.)
She sounds like a nightmare. And yes, she needs to see a doctor. Get drug tested and so on.
I would get help for yourself - from yr GP, and crucially, from the rest of the family, esp your DH. You need a plan to deal with her - both of you.
Oh, and next time she attacks you call the police. Yep, you have to, for all sorts of reasons.
Dd has seen 2 psychologists and a consultant psychiatrist. We are under the care of CAMHS.
I model the behaviour I want her to copy so I try to be courteous. That doesn't preclude me from being firm or issuing orders. Makes no difference how you communicate with her in my experience. If she wants to do something she will do it no matter what my opinion or how I express it.
Cory - police have already been out to us twice. Will call them again if I need to.
No not tested for thyroid yet.
Mini, please get her tested ASAP! Xx
My daughter previous "mother" emotionally and physically abused her before being taken away by SS so she has this to work through aswell as the abandoment issues of her other mum and trust issues with me although not her dad so much as she never had that role model from the information given by SS although we love her more than air as she is my daughter in every sense for us its very hard and CAHMs reckon she will never get fully over it all, its hard as CAHMS have said she may never get over the feeling that she is unlovable and its heartbreaking that she can't see how much we all adore her
Mini, I know that you have mothers instict that there has definately not been any abuse, I was abused from a baby till about 9 and had endless MH treatment but was 40 before I plucked up courage to get help for it.
Hope you are having alovely weekend.x
she knows perfectly well what cvilised speech is, you don't have to endlessly model it to her, it is inappropriate in the circs imo. a policeman approaching your flagged down car doesn't fall over himself being polite: he makes statements, reflecting his power and authority.
ime sexual abuse is silent and leaves absolutely no trace. my mother's instinct didn't pick it up at all, not the slightest hint. iwish i could say otherwise
Emotional abuse can be similarly obscured and similarly hard for a child to define.
springy - she gets told 'Get up, it's time for school'. She gets told, 'You need to get out of bed, NOW!'. She gets told, 'Go to school'; 'Pick your sweet wrappers off the floor and put them in the bin'; 'Don't swear'; 'Be respectful'. We don't cringe or put things ambiguously, but most of the time I try to keep my tone neutral and be polite, because I have learned to my cost that her defiance and rudeness feeds off my aggravation like a weed. The more angry and/or forceful I am, the more defiant and rude she is.
As for sexual abuse - really there has to be some evidence that this might be happening before you'd want to start thinking along these lines, surely?
As for emotional abuse - well sometimes I wonder how I'd feel about the way I've responded to her behaviour over the last few years. I know the 'right' way to respond to a child refusing to engage at school, refusing to do school work, refusing to go to bed/get up/go to school/, a child being aggressive, defiant and rude, isn't to nag, get angry, exasperated, to criticise, become depressed, to withdraw, but I've done all of these things at times, along with offering cuddles, trying to be consistent, offering a listening ear, supporting, trying to have time alone together, working with teachers,giving praise, consulting my GP. I've tried it all - some positive, and some strategies (shouting, pleading, nagging) in desperation that are probably the wrong way to deal with a situation like this. Maybe dd does see some of my actions and responses to her behaviour as abusive. I can acknowledge this.
Hi minifingers, so sorry to hear you are going through this. I agree with kotinka and chubfuddler - sexual abuse or something similarly very wrong may have happened, completely separate to your parenting of her. I say this because I was very similar to your daughter at 14, truanting, getting involved with a much older crowd/drugs/sex, and my negative relationship with my mother culminated in violent behaviour. Fortunately I had observant/supportive teachers, a local priest and other professionals who addressed the situation and I ended up becoming a fairly well-balanced, law abiding human being. I would suggest that your daughter starts intensive psychotherapy NOW - although this needs to be suggested by someone other than yourself, she is probably not going to listen to you as she may feel you didn't protect her, which is why she is so angry at you. Her rage is all she has to protect herself, and it will consume her if she doesn't find someone to listen, but it can also work out OK.
because I have learned to my cost that her defiance and rudeness feeds off my aggravation like a weed
yes, absolutely. I agree with you entirely - hence statements. Maryz described how her ds spend 2 years trying to catch her out, to draw her into conflict - you learn to be neutral when constantly bated like this.
I wonder if one just plugs away at the same old same old, when there is no discernible change. She knows precisely what is expected of her, you don't have to labour it. I don't know if you watched the Big C (canadian series about a women who discovers she has terminal cancer - fictional). When she gets her dx she tells no-one, but she changes, gets a glint in her eye. There is a fantastic scene where she squares up to her appallingly-behaved teenage son. [though the majority on MN would throw their hands up in horror at it, no doubt..]
re sexual abuse - no, I had absolutely no idea, not a hint, on any level. It was a tremendous shock when the truth came out. Unbearable.
I still think that consistent consequences are the way to go. They get used to the nagging, and the "get out of bed now" talk. I was there, did that.
They change pretty sharpish when you say " clearly you can't get up in the moving as you bbm on your phone in bed". Up tomorrow or its going. Then do it, for a week at a time.
No child or adult is like that for no reason. I would suspect something awful at that first secondary school. Your DD is so angry, and she blames you for whatever happened. She wants to hurt you the way she was hurt. She is angry that you didn't notice her behaviour change, how unhappy she was becoming. She is angry that probably, when she tried to tell you, you were too busy with her brother. As time has gone by and she has struggled to cope every day with the effects of whatever happened, the strain of hiding this all day has come out as a worse and worse temper at home. If she was truly happy at the new school she would go.
YOU cannot fix this. Someone neutral needs to - perhaps her grandmother. They need to get her to talk, to trust again. Once you know exactly what happened and how she truly feels now, work can begin to help her, and to repair your relationship.
I agree with alikat724: "I would suggest that your daughter starts intensive psychotherapy NOW - although this needs to be suggested by someone other than yourself, she is probably not going to listen to you as she may feel you didn't protect her, which is why she is so angry at you." I don't think her grandmother can do the job a psychotherapist is trained to do. Keeping it in the family is not the way to go.
It is clear and obvious she is troubled. But it is more likely to be feeling that her autistic sibling gets more attention, combined with school related issues. There is nothing I have heard from the OP herself to suggest sexual abuse.
The issues she has will no doubt be got to the bottom of through CAMHS, where a referral is already in place.
But, at the same time, she will be feeling out of control and she will in part be frightening herself. So firm boundary management and consequences is a bloody good idea. And it will teach her to develop her own, if she has an issue there.
I think the OP deserves support and understanding for a very difficult situation, but suggesting abuse as more than one of many possibilities is not helpful, in my view.
Miniwhat about asking your dd if she fancies a weekend away just you two? Ask her to think about it. If you can't say it to her face (fear of rejection) then send her a message/text/email perhaps? Maybe give her some options as to where to go. Say it'd be nice to have time alone to chill out. It doesn't have to be expensive.
Mini, the book 'in Sheep's Clothing' by Dr George Simon may be worth a look: with the caveat that you might not agree entirely with the author's approach, and it might not apply to your situation at all.
But the author has worked with what he terms 'character disordered' people, including young people. It's another angle to explore at least.
Take care of yourself too - you have to consider your own health in all this (easier said than done, but you matter too, Mini.)
The thing is, it's all very well to suggest psychotherapy, but the child has to want to engage.
ds never did - he didn't want to recognise what was wrong, he just wanted to hit out at the whole world (and I bore the brunt of it). Hence his refusal to go to the gp, go to see a psych, attend CAHMS, go to the school counsellor. And once they are teenagers, it isn't actually possible to make them.
And consequences only work on children who care about the consequences. ds didn't care. If I grounded him, he went out anyway (and disappeared sometimes for days). He didn't really care about his phone, but if I took it he would take something of mine (so I had to lock up valuables, and wore my car keys on a string around my neck for a year ). Suspension from school meant a week's holidays. So I had no stick, and no carrot either.
Once children realise that you care much more about the punishment than they do, and once they realise that you can't physically enforce them, then what have they got to lose? I can honestly say that in five years of desperately trying to get ds to behave, to be polite, to go to school, to tell me where he was going etc, I never found a single reward or punishment that he cared about gaining or losing.
And as to the being polite - as a parent you have to remain civil for the sake of the whole family. Otherwise everyone has to live in a permanent war zone.
One thing I wanted to add was that I think you are feeling guilt in some areas you really don't need to. No, she's not privately educated - yes she is at an excellent school. She has a lot of black/ black mixed-race options and role models around her. She could even get herself a bit of exercise if she wanted to. Please don't let her trigger guilt about those things!
WordyBird, the child is only 13, she can't be said to have a personality disorder.
Now you see I DON'T suspect 'something awful' at secondary.
I just don't.
And I have had boundaries and consequences - for the important stuff like going to school . DD doesn't care about any of them when push comes to shove.
ces, the book isn't about personality disorders as such. The term quoted is the author's own, and the book is just one avenue to explore, among others.
Mini, we have all been focusing on your dd and her needs (which are important).
Thing is you are a victim of abuse and in any other circumstances a lot of support on here and otherwise would be focused on you, not on your abuser.
How are you feeling today? What do you need? Are you getting any support for you (counselling or otherwise)?
Mini, I have no real advice, to be honest. I'm just really sorry that this is happening to you and to your family.
How tall is she, to be obese? I am 5'3 and weigh about 10 and a half stone and my BMI is overweight but very marginally so, about 26, I think? x
I have been wondering whether your daughter's behaviour is exacerbated by this negative self-image she has.
You've done all you can in terms of gym membership etc, but gym membership isn't the answer for teens, and most gyms won't allow them full membership anyway. What about some form of exercise that is cool, and black? A street dance class maybe? All black people can dance (Before anyone takes umbrage, I say this to my own children because I can, because I am not white, and it is true. I don't know why it is true, but it is)
Also talk to her very seriously about her skin. Mixed race (black/white) skin looks gorgeous but scars extremely extremely easily. Get her to take care of her spots big time - really big time. She must never ever squeeze them, the scars don't go away like they do on white skin. Make-up makes things worse not better, she needs to look after this. Re-emphasise the message on food.
Get her the braces. She wants them. Get her them. But show her the consequences of not brushing and braces (ie permanently marked teeth).
I haven't got on to hair yet. Does she go to a hairdresser who understands Afro hair?
Finally, and this is my most important point. You seem to be fighting this battle all alone, or with support from agencies whom I suspect will be useless. You need family engagement with this. When my own DD had troubles, the extended family were a godsend. Get the aunts and uncles and cousins onside. Most of all, get your DH onside. Get him to tell her she is beautiful but she needs to look after herself. Ensure that all of you are eating properly and model that for her.
Oh, I don't know if any of this is of any use whatsoever (and tell me to shut up if it isn't) show her that what works is positivity. Try to explain to her that her future is her own, in her own hands. You've never said whether or not your DD was academic, and if she isn't particularly academic then this is going to be harder. But still she needs to carve out her own future. Try to engage with her as to what that might be and how she might get there. You honestly cannot do this alone.
I do not think that any form of therapy for your DD will help because she will refuse to engage with it (as did mine). But therapy for you will help. Help you to find serenity and peace and a way of coping with this awful battle when you are fighting for her and she is fighting against you.
Even if she agrees to a w/e away - unlikely - she would very probably scream at OP in the street, throw tantrums in public, endlessly manipulate every possible scenario. The chances are it would be hell. The idea that she would suddenly come to her senses, that some humanity would be plumbed somehow, it just too far-fetched ime. She's in full-flight at present, I can't see a w/e away with her loathed mother could possible be some kind of magic solution.
btw re polite: I am not suggesting to be impolite, just not to scrape the floor in a kind of pleading technique. I'm not suggesting you are doing that MIni (though perhaps I feared you were - apologies) but the margins are so hairs-breadth that imo flat and emotionless is an effective way to negotiate communication of any kind. Hence statements. Though I hear what you're saying Maryz re the 'oh dear' approach.
On the back of my kitchen cabinet, I taped up a piece I found about how to effectively communicate with narcissists (or as effectively as possible, in the circs). I had a narcissist ex and it was a great help to have some tips on how to negotiate the minefield that was any communication with him. I am not suggesting our wayward children are narcissists but imo the profile is remarkably similar - we just hope they'll grow out of it
please God. The narcissist ex died, and I tore that piece down and threw it in the bin with a flourish. I so wish I hadn't, I could do with it now...
Iirc, it went something like: 'Speak in statements. Never show surprise, or any emotion, at the things they say and do. Instead say things like 'that's an interesting perspective, perhaps you could talk me through that'. Don't let them know they have hurt you, they will endlessly use it in future' [NB which is why therapy with an abuser/narcissist is signing your death warrant].
As I said, I dearly wish I hadn't thrown it away.
My kids wouldn't go to a hairdresser who understood afro hair. Nor would they use any of the hair products I spent a small fortune buying.
My extended family have been desperately 'unhelpful' [understatement] . Some of us come from toxic families, some of us have done the parenting alone with very little outside support (or, as in my case, specific toxic meddling eg siding with my kids), despite our extensive efforts to cobble together some kind of outside support/influence. I'm not reaching for the violins, just that the family support we'd all like and know to be so vital is not necessarily on hand, through no fault of our own, or the children's.
Plus you have to keep all that shit away from your kids, somehow cover for it.
Mini - you say surley there would be some signs of sexual abuse - what signs do you need. an unhappy selfharming dd who is angry 'for no reason' who can't concentrate on school, whos mind is so full of crap she is constantly a mess ?? Who cares so little about herself she will happily attack people who love her, doesn't care if she gets in trouble even with school and police. HOw many red flags do you need??xx
Wuldric I have done everything I can to help - suggested street dance (no); bought her skin care 'systems' (won't use them); made her fruit and veg smoothies (drinks them then sneaks out and buys chips and chocolate). Her hair is European in texture and is long and curly. I have spent more on hairdressers for her than for me this past year.
Honestly - whatever I say, she ignores or does the opposite.
She is bright and quick witted and could do anything she wanted. But at this rate will be leaving school with a handful of GCSE's at grade C. If that. I have given up trying to talk about her future. She WILL NOT LISTEN.
I do have supportive family, thank fuck. Dd is at my mums right now and will be there for at least another week, if not longer. My darling sister is taking her in hand - she's so kind, so sensible. :-)
So ATM - I'm ok :-)
Cjel - I was an angry, self harming teen. Gave my parents a hard time (though nothing like as bad as dd is giving me!). I flirted with eating disorders (I was 6 stone 10lbs and 5ft 6inches) and drug use, did barely any school work and was asked to leave
kicked out of my private school. I had not been sexually abused. I think you may be projecting.
Oh, and she CAN focus and achieve in the subjects she likes. And far from being mired in depression she's usually very high spirited. Happy. As long as she's doing EXACTLY what she feels like doing. She has a massive problem with compliance and not being able to cope with deferring gratification. This has generated so many other problems between us and in relation to her school life.
I am not projecting. I am trying to offer you a potential reason for dds behaviour. You say your instinct would know - it wouldn't, if only it was that easy we wouldn't need to train for years!!you also asked if there would be some signs and I just pointed out that you had shed loads of them!!
I geddit partly, I do, honestly.
Can I ask you a question? Where is your DH in all this? You've talked about support from your side of the family - your mum and your sister. Where is your DH and his side of the family. Why are we not all united here doing the best for Mini? Is there any conflict in terms of aspirations or values that she is trying to process?
ok, no experience here, but I do work in education.
You say your d is bright but only tries in some subjects? could you focus her by saying that she could 'drop' maths at school, if she hates it so much IF she can get a 'C' grade at GCSE within a year. Then, you could get a tutor to help with this if possible, and it might help her self-esteem. she could do an a/s level type course, or work experience placement in the 'gained' time, and thus working towards the career in childcare you mentioned.
if she IS bright, she can always come back to school at a later date and sit GCSEs - I would ask the school to be a bit more flexible and lower her timetable to the subjects that will avoid conflict - at least in the short-term so she is more likely to go to school and give you a break at home.
OR could you get a job volunteering with children, at local library sessions, city farm, RSPCA centre etc? I know she is too young for an actual job. The worst behaved teens at school are at their best around smaller kids and animals surprisingly, and you did mention she liked the idea of this type of career.
Could you take her on open days to local colleges / universities to try and inspire her - I admit this sounds trite but might work in tandem with one of the above scenarios.
sorry if this sounds shite advice, but I think the more she is cooped up at home with you, the harder life will be for everyone. You are doing a great job OP, keep strong.
Stitch - you are absolutely right.
If mini was being abused by her parents, her partner, or even her son, there would be a lot more emphasis on her and how she should protect herself (and other children in the family).
Because the perpetrator of the abuse is a 13 year old girl, many are assuming there must be an excuse. There may well be a reason (she is probably very unhappy), but that is not an excuse.
Mini, I really do think that for, say, a month you should put all your efforts into you. Not neglect her, but stop trying so desperately for a month. Be pleasant, but detached. Spend some time (and money if you have it) doing fun things for you. Go for a meal with dh and ds - leave it open if she wants to come but don't try to persuade her.
Let her see that you have a life and a personality. Have friends round and don't be afraid of what she will do.
If you can't manage the detachment and the lack of fear act it, pretend it - it works just as well.
For a month, live your life, improve your self-confidence, have some fun. If you stop pushing her and step back it is entirely possible that she will take a step towards you.
Of course her first action will be to try to wind you up, to try to ruin what you are doing, to exert control. That's where your detachment has to come in.
But try it - what have you got to lose?
ds didn't start improving until I stopped trying to make him. It was like reverse psychology with a toddler. Now I'm not saying it's a cure, but it is sure as hell better than continual fighting.
Cjel - I don't think she is being or has been sexually abused. Her behaviour didn't suddenly change. She became more and more defiant over a period of 3 years. The defiance resulted in us putting sanctions in place and to confrontations. Her response to this was anger and increased defiance.
Wudric - DH and I are together in this. He is very, very patient and loving with dd. or he tries to be. He backs me up all the way. He's strong when I'm at my wits end, and I am strong when he has had enough. His mum is great too, and his sister - well I couldn't ask for a better or more understanding SIL. She has been very supportive of us.
Risk - great advice! I may ask the school if she can drop some subjects.
And you know, she is bloody marvellous with small children. I so wish she could get a job in a nursery RIGHT NOW!
Nothing I can say will get you to consider it will it? behaviour doesn't have to suddenly change, they don't always know why they are behaving the way they are. If they suffered abuse and woke up angry the next day that would be great but it doesn't happen, It sometimes takes decades for any behaviour changes to be noticed.I wonder why you are so adamant that its not a possibility?(Don't answer me it is retorical!!)
Enjoy your time with your lovely peaceful house, you deserve this time to catch your breath and see what your life should be like.xxxxxxx
But ciel, what if it isn't?
The op must know when her child is with other people. Unless her dh is abusing her, which seems a tad far-fetched, who is the person who is allegedly abusing her and causing her to behave like this?
You are accusing mini of rejecting your theory - but can you accept that maybe your theory is wrong?
ds behaved like this. I am 100% absolutely sure he wasn't suffering any sort of sexual abuse.
Maryz, iirc your ds had a diagnosis of Aspergers, which explains much of his behaviour, eg his extreme vulnerability to peer pressure. This young girl hasn't got a diagnosis of Aspergers. So what is causing her to behave like this?
She hasn't got a diagnosis. But she suffers from some of the same issues - lack of confidence, self-esteem issues, black and white thinking, etc. She has a brother with autism, so it is entirely possible she is on the spectrum.
At least that would be my reading of the situation.
I think there are a lot of kids with autistic traits, which aren't a problem when they are young, but come to the fore as teenagers. That coupled with teenage hormones (and teenage stroppiness) is a recipe for disaster.
Surely, then, she urgently needs a diagnosis so that both school and parents (and extended family) can immediately adopt the right strategies to help her manage her behaviour, before she gets any kind of police record and a fucked-up academic career?
Callthemidwife made a really good post way upthread: "Could I just add that it is vital that you really look into tha ASD stuff before dismissing it? The reason I say this is because some of the posts about being firmer and/or involving the police could have really terrible consequences if there is PDA or similar behind the behaviour because it can be the completely wrong thing to do with someone struggling with HFA." so it really is vital to know exactly what's going on.
Not accusing any one of anything and not the only one to suggest it. mini dismissed the idea because of instinct. Trust me it can be anyone anywhere -even in the most unlikely places and people. Very niave to think we know everything that happens to our children. I know of a case when a family friend used to pop to the loo or get a drink and aassulted the dcs in bed with loads of other people in the house. Even in the JS case the girls in the home said he abused them with staff in the room and who weren't aware he did it.I can easily accept the fact that it isn't abuse but if I had a dd so troubled I would want to explore every avenue and don't think mini is even open tothe idea. I repeat I am not the only poster to have thought the same thoughts. I think the statistic for abuse is about 1 in 3 and the way people react once they become old enough to know what happened to them was wrong may be as minis dd is behaving. Do you believe that all abusers are dirty, smelly and creepy? I'm gald you know your dc hasn't been abused but I still don't know why OP has rejected straight away several people who are saying that her dds behaviour is very typical of an abused person.
I also want to say that I really want to say that I think op has done everything possible for her dd and I am not critical of what she has done so far. She has got to the end of her tether so why reject a possibility of something she hasn't worked with?
Yes, I do agree with that, but you are back to the fact that many teenagers refuse to go for help/medication/therapy/diagnoses.
Sometimes you have to just manage the behaviour as best you can.
ds had a diagnosis. But no therapy, no medication, no gp visits, no psych follow-up because as soon as he was old enough (at the age of 12) he refused to admit he needed help and rejected it all.
I have been incredibly lucky with ds2 in that when he was finally diagnosed at 14 (with ADHD) he was enthusiastic about getting help. He does sometimes resent it, but he has seen what happened to ds1 so knows that refusing help isn't the answer.
I reckon this child would welcome some help.
I'm certainly not saying mini's dd doesn't need help, by the way. Don't get me wrong - she is at least very unhappy, and probably has many issues.
But, at the moment, any help offered to her by mini is counter-productive. Anything mini suggests will be slammed down and dismissed. If mini can sort herself out, improve her mood and ability to cope with life, steady the whole family dynamic, her dd might stop putting so much effort into fighting her and it might be easier to find ways to help.
If that makes sense. It isn't easy to do, but sometimes it's the only way.
Oh yes, certainly the help needs to come from someone else.
So what are we to do if a child is so damaged by abuse that they are self distructing and yet have been so horrified by what happened to them that they take decdes to pluck up courage to speak out? say hypothetically that a teenager appars violent and angry but are really scared and hurting at what point to we add to their feelings of self hate by punishing ? or alterantively keep trying to show them love and acceptance to try and build their confidence enough so they get ot a point where they can confide in someone? I don't have the answers but am full of questions!!!
I don't know cjel
But I do know that once they are teenagers you can't force them to ask for or accept help. And when they are angry they hit out at the person nearest them.
So as a parent you have a choice - either accept being hit out at (physically and emotionally), or detach a bit. Sometimes you have to step back and look at it from outside the box. I know (now, five years later ) that me trying to help ds is counter-productive. It makes him much angrier. If I can become more pragmatic, he stops putting so much effort into fighting me, leaving him more space to consider other options.
Look, I don't have all the answers. I just know from mini's posts that she can't make her dd happy, and trying to is killing her and destroying the family. So it's worth trying something else.
Dd has a lot of love. And friends.
She has seen 2 psychiatrists and a child psychologist. She has counselling through school. She has never said anything to hint to me or anyone else that she has been abused. Nothing. Ever.
Many, many children will be difficult as adolescents. I was. My sister was, my niece is, my friends son is. For MOST adolescents who are depressed and self-harming or suffering from mental health problems, sexual abuse is NOT an issue.
I agree with Maryz about backing off.
I did. In year 11, and accepted the inevitable GSCE failure. However, it is interstitial g what sinks in from earlier tones. When she actuat got the results and passed only two she was very upset, and tool resits and passed more in the November, as well as attending an alternative level 2 programme for a year.
So all is not lost! There is hope.
But that was a consequence, wasn't it. Some consequences I used:
Allow the attendance officer to pay a visit, after discussing the refusal issues with the head.
Remove the phone anyway: it took a while but she cracked on the end
Refuse lifts and favours u less she complied with my few basic rules.
Allow her to let her hair get onto a terrible state through back combing , and then pay for the hairdresser to cut it, after she finally panicked.
A lot of consequences are not about removing things, but about refusing to enforce things which are their concern, them not bailing them out.
A good rule of thumb is " is this a my issue or a her issue problem?"
Shocking spell checking my end- on phone- but you get the drift!
Also, however crap her behaviour, praise any good thing at all.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder fits her behaviour pattern quite well.
Aggressive behaviour has been linked with nutritional deficiencies, (see here. If she is eating a lot of junk food she could be deficient in several key vitamins and minerals. Worth a look, I found this company in London that offer testing.
I remember reading a book about a BBC documentary from the 80's (will try to find, it is on my shelf somewhere). One of the studies mentioned was of behaviour in several borstals and how it improved once they changed to a balanced diet menu.
Have the Police mentioned YOT (Youth Offending Team) to you at all in your contact with them? I think they would be a good source of support too. They have early intervention prevention schemes.
Enjoy your week of respite Mini, very glad to hear your mum and sister are supporting you, just wish the professionals were more helpful.
I agree with cjel that the perpetrator of sexual abuse can be totally unexpected - in my dd's case it was her cousin. I had absolutely no idea. At all. It went on for years - in my house - and I had absolutely no idea. It was serious sexual abuse.
I'm NOT pushing the idea that your daughter may have been sexually abused Mini, I am just saying that the signs are not necessarily obvious at all. I found out purely by chance.
DS's diagnosis seemed to pas dd by. She isn't really interested in him and refuses to learn anything about autism.
This could be a tell-tale sign of why she feels she has a right to behave despicably. When you say she refuses to learn anything about autism what do you mean? Have you tried teaching her or given her books? Being the sibling of a child with disabilities can be tricky. Could she have been left out in the past or felt she was excluded?
But whatever the cause of this, the result is that you have a child who is trying to push you away. The only way I can see that this can happen is to build up your bond again. The method I know is with younger children. Try to spend neutral time with her, where you sit near her or stand near her and let her take the lead. Don't ask her to do anything or say anything, or ask her questions. You have to build it up slowly and it will feel strange, small increasing amounts of time. She needs to know that she is important to you, as a person in her own right and not as someone who is guided or directed by you.
this is the last I will say on this mini because I want you to try and enjoy this dd free time, but as springy just said its a nightmare, Also many many victims go throught the system and take decades before they open up to any professiona, so that is not a guarantee that she is abuse free. Right thats it end of!!
I wish you every happiness in this safe time for you and your family and hope you can make the most of it - you definarely deserve it.xxx
If there is potential abuse involved this method of simply being around physically but passively will help her to put her faith in you to speak to you. You are her Mum, deep down she needs you desperately, even if it appears on the surface that she hates you.
Hi Mini I know I am coming on to this thread fairly late into the game but have you heard of Non Violent Resistance?
It was a programme developed by two Israelis originally and then adapted for use in prisons and with young offenders and then to young people who were violent in their own homes. I have helped a few families implement it with some pretty good success through my job.
Oh, you got there first, Springy.
On phone sorry so not sure if I am linking right. I have programme on work computer (not at work atm) with more details.
This is not my project btw. Just a link to one which explains it. Am in Ireland
Haven't read it all, but that looks amazing, FarelyKnuts. Thanks for the linky. It works fine.
I have been part of it working in some fairly serious situations (child ending up in foster care and excluded from school due to his violent behaviour, as well as in trouble with the JLO etc). He is now home full time, back in school and JLO involvement is finished. Violence in the home is nil etc.
Its hard work on everyones part but it does work
That sounds fantastic FarelyKnuts.
I would have given my right arm for such intervention. Interestingly, I have actually developed many of those strategies on my own, over years.
But it does buy into what I always say on these threads - there comes a time when a parent has to recognise that they cannot force compliance, they cannot stop their child from acting out, and that's the point at which they need to recognise that they themselves need to change their reaction to the child. And concentrate on themselves for a bit.
Unfortunately, it seems unlikely to me that any "normal" family will get such intervention. It is intensive and probably expensive. And as I couldn't even get social services to visit us, and couldn't get anyone at all to take us seriously (because we were obviously caring parents, therefore we were left to cope alone), I doubt a family like mine would ever access such a scheme .
It's obviously very intensive and very hard work - but the fact that it gives results so quickly must be a huge plus with the children, they don't get trapped into negative behaviour patterns/self image/public image for the rest of their lives.
Its such a pity Maryz. I know here (in the west) its only really taking off now as an intervention, and to be honest that is mostly down to one social worker and myself (Im a project worker working in Family Support) doing our research and deciding to try it out.
It will hopefully become more "mainstream" in our project anyway and then slowly get adopted out across more projects.
It is so frustrating though to depend on a system where as you say it depends on getting professionals to take you seriously, and often on where you live and what they offer.
You need to clone yourself, FarelyKnuts.
FarleyNuts how does it work? Is there something I could do without all the support that report talks about?
Just some tips on how to deal with aggression would be good
FarelyKnuts - that's very, very interesting and sounds completely appropriate for our situation. The information on the parent page rings a huge bell for me.
The comment about the child using violence and intimidation to control others - yes.
The issue of individual temperament - dd is and always has been very, umm, persuasive (not the right word I know) and self directed. I remember years ago joking that she'd have a bright future as a time share salesman because once she'd decided to get her own way she was unbelievably forceful and persistent.
The lowered parental presence - I suffered from a fairly significant bout of depression a few years ago when physical ill-health and severe health anxiety coincided with a period when my autistic child's behaviour became more difficult to manage. At the same time my father's health was failing. He died the following year. I think around this time I was a bit 'absent' emotionally, and didn't have the strength to respond in a solid and consistent way to dd pushing boundaries as she moved into adolescence.
I'm in London. I wonder what chance there is of being referred? Problem is, as Maryz says, we are a stable and solvent two parent family, with a good extended family network of support. I'm wondering how high on the list of priorities we'd be when it comes to 'investing' in us....
I think with all the commissioning going on in the NHS it is possible that they would consider this as a valuable 'cost-effective' way to manage your DD. You may be stable and solvent, but in a couple of years time she won't be and will be dependent on them for help.
You've got to sell it to them.
ooh mini it does sound interesting I hope you can get some support to try it.x
Good therapy is worth its weight and if it is at all possible to get the money from somewhere - anywhere! - then houses, cars, holidays, extension etc come second. It's rather like paying for a good lawyer - yes it stings but the alternative doesn't bear thinking about. It's an investment. Sometimes we have to shift our thinking about therapy being an unattainable added extra or luxury.
I hope I'm wording that well enough!
Ok, on the premise that I really would recommend that if at ALL possible you seek out someone who is trained in this type of therapeutic intervention, and that these are only some basic tips and not the whole programme in detail then....
Firstly you absolutely HAVE to have an outsider for this to work. It cannot be a family member or anyone who is invested in your family dynamics. It is pretty much why it needs a "professional" input, its the neutral outsider. But if you can find someone willing to be a part of it, a family friend perhaps, then that might work too.
The basic reason for this is that what you are doing is taking the "secret" of your child's violent behaviour outside of your family. You are not doing it to shame or blame your child, but you are doing it to make them accountable for it and be "seen"
and therefore showing them them that it will not be normalised nor accepted any longer.
Then you are going to sit down as a family and have a family meeting. Your "outsider" will be there to chair it. Have a talking stick or wand or pen or something that means that whoever holds it talks and the rest must listen, everyone gets a chance to talk.
Talk about what is working in the family, and what is not, include the violence. Get the child/children to come up with appropriate /reasonable sanctions for violence (remember that swearing is a violent act). Include sanctions for parents if they are guilty of any violent acts including shouting/swearing.
Come up with rewards for good behaviour.
Write them down. All must agree because all must sign off on them.
Print two signs for the house and put somewhere very visible. New house rules for everyone. The first should read: NO VIOLENCE. The second: RESPECT.
At your family meeting everyone should get a chance to talk about the impact that the current situation in the house is having on them. Basic family meeting rules are that no one becomes abusive, if they do they must leave the table/take a break. Try and use I statements. I feel sad when.. Not you make me angry when..
With teens it might take a few attempts to have the family meeting. Explain beforehand what it is for, not in a blaming way, try and be positive, again with the I statements. Ie: I feel so unhappy that I am fighting/shouting at you and would like to find a different way for us to interact etc
The next thing you need to do is identify a "check in" person. This needs to ne an adult who your teen respects and would be willing to be a positive influence in their life. This person is going to need to be willing to check in every single day for a whole so its a big commitment. Make sure they are on board.
This person is going to phone every day, check with you how your teenager did that day re: violence/goals etc. You are going to be 100% honest. They are going to then talk to your teenager, express their encouragement on a good day, disappointment and re-encouragement on a bad one.
If your teenager has a violent outburst you are going to tell them you refuse to tolerate it and walk away, you will not engage, you will not shout/argue/fight back. You will ignore until they are calm and then put in place the consequence agreed at the family meeting.
You may need to use your "outsider" and your check in person as well as yourself and other adults in the family for a sit in situation if your teenager continues to use violent behaviour.
It is a united front to show them that you are not being isolated by their bullying and intimidating behaviour and it will not be accepted.
You would all need to be very calm and controlled to use a method like this however
OP, I read this and wondered if your DD had been sexually abused even before I saw others had suggested it. I do think it's worth trying to figure out if this is the case. I know you say your mother's instinct would tell you, but I'm afraid this is pretty unlikely. It's actually more likely that you wouldn't realise, due to various natural defence mechanisms we tend to unconsciously employ. It's entirely possible this anger is being displaced from somewhere else.
I realise this is just a theory, but I find it interesting that you've dismissed the idea of sexual abuse without actually asking her. I think it's wrong to talk about an 'excuse' for her behaviour - if there's a cause, it's just that, a cause, and it's worth trying to understand it.
Join the discussion
Please login first.