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Terrified our dcs' behaviour is going to rip apart our marriage

(54 Posts)
warpandweft Fri 23-Feb-18 20:04:43

Please help. I'm so worried.

Our dc our 10 and 7 and cannot behave. Both girls. Dd1 had what can only be described as a temper tantrum this evening when I told her she was not wearing the filthy t shirt she's been wearing all day (we've been on holiday; got back this afternoon) to a party. Told her she wasn't going. She screamed. Really screamed. Begged to go. Then, because by this time we were 20 minutes late, decided she wasn't going. She's now been screaming and crying for over an hour.

This isn't unusual. Her attitude is appalling. Rude. Grumpy. Uncompromising.

Dd2 acts like a toddler. Fussy eater, but ridiculously so. Won't eat anything unless it looks exactly what she thinks it should look like and would sooner starve. We can't go out as a family because she hates museums, playgrounds, cinema, you name it. But she won't try to get on with it for Dd1's sake.

Dh thinks I'm the problem. Says I'm too impatient then will fly off the handle. We argue about how to deal with their behaviour. I really think this might break up our marriage.

MsGameandWatching Fri 23-Feb-18 20:05:55

What are they like at school? Any issues there?

OhWifey Fri 23-Feb-18 20:08:33

Perhaps look into whether your local children's centre has any behaviour courses coming up

mineofuselessinformation Fri 23-Feb-18 20:13:09

You need to have each other's backs here.
You might have different parenting styles, but you should be able to sit down and thrash out between you something that you both agree on - what behaviour warrants different levels consequences would be a good place to start.
Make sure you both never undermine each other in front of the dcs. Kids are very good at exploiting any loophole they find when it comes to parenting and discipline!

QueenOfMyDomain Fri 23-Feb-18 20:19:13

Why does Dd2 hate going out? Is it the noise, crowds or something else. That and the fussy eating ring alarm bells for Autism. What are they like socially?

steppemum Fri 23-Feb-18 20:19:31

I think I would look at a few things
firstly, what are they like in other contexts?
What are they like for your dh on his own?
What are their social skills like, do they have friends? How do they play with them?
Ask some friends/relatives, and see what they say.

Your dd1 seems like my friend's dd. She shows all the traits of aspergers, but her parents don't want to persue a diagnosis. She is very bright and does well at school, so school have no interest in getting her any help, even though her social skills are poor.
BUT she craves order and predictability, and her mum is a very laid back, anything goes type and her house at times can be quite chaotic, and that really makes her dd kick off.

So, you may find you have a mixture of need to change your behaviour, and need to change hers.

warpandweft Fri 23-Feb-18 20:20:38

No real issues at school as far as I know but Dd1 has a few friend issues. She's actually a high achiever but some of the girls are being horrendous about where she's going to high school (they're in y5).

One issue we do have with dd2 is that she's quite behind in reading because she is too nervous to tell the teacher she needs a new reading book. We're working on this though.

warpandweft Fri 23-Feb-18 20:22:00

Queen I think dd2 has ASD. Dh doesn't want to even consider seeking any sort of diagnosis.

QueenOfMyDomain Fri 23-Feb-18 20:26:00

From everything you say it sounds possible. DS 6 has Autism and won’t ask for help, ever. He is also very behind with his reading. The teacher should be changing her book regularly if she is too scared to ask.

Why is your DH against a diagnosis, it will get her the help she needs if she does have it. It does tend to run in families too so maybe DD1 may have issues too.

Fairylea Fri 23-Feb-18 20:26:32

I have a son with asd and to be honest I have my asd alarm bells ringing from what you’ve written. I would ask for a referral and go through the assessment process. If they don’t have asd they absolutely won’t be diagnosed with it, a diagnosis could take up to 2 years depending on the nhs in your area. The process may help you and your dh cope with the girls behaviour and learn different strategies to manage. The national autistic society website may be worth showing your dh in the hope of getting him on board.

BertieBotts Fri 23-Feb-18 20:29:08

Family therapy? I don't think it's necessarily the kids' behaviour splitting you up but you can't sort the behaviour when you're on two totally different pages. You need the space to work this out and find a united approach and then stick to it.

QueenOfMyDomain Fri 23-Feb-18 20:29:15

Yes as fairy says the waiting list is ridiculous. More than 2 years in my area at the moment.

Fairylea Fri 23-Feb-18 20:29:47

This particular link may be useful regarding sensory issues / clothes etc -

aproblemsharedandallthat Fri 23-Feb-18 20:35:40

I'm currently in a similar situation. I would contact the school and speak to them. They may have a programme that could help and also monitor your child to see if there are any wider issues. This is what we are currently doing. Try and meet with the school and both of you go. When we met with the pastoral person at school they had contacted DD's teachers to ask if there were any issues etc and there were loads regarding engagement, social skills etc so when we went in they already had an idea of the issues and it also helped because my DP didn't think anything was wrong (in denial for a while) it has helped us both deal with things at home because it's now not just me that is seeing these things because others are confirming the issues and my DP is joining the dots up rather than burying his head in the sand. This is helping our relationship too because we are working together on it rather than butting heads all the time. Good luck smile

Todayissunny Fri 23-Feb-18 20:42:35

her t-shirt was filthy and you thougt it needed changing. you threatened her to try to make her do something that she didn't understand the reason why she should do it. Put yourself in her place. If you are threatened how do you react? She is old enough to understand the reasonsituation why we dress in clean clothes and decently to go to a party.

warpandweft Fri 23-Feb-18 20:48:06

I told her the t shirt was dirty and she wasn't wearing it to a party. Plus, it was actually an oversized cycling top.

When she started screaming at me because she "had nothing to wear" after I'd pulled out all of her clothes, that's when I told her she wasn't going to the party.

CurlyhairedAssassin Fri 23-Feb-18 20:48:07

Hang on, did you actually give her the choice of changing her top and going to the party?

CurlyhairedAssassin Fri 23-Feb-18 20:48:30

Sorry cross post

CurlyhairedAssassin Fri 23-Feb-18 20:49:56

Too much choice to pull out all her clothes. Pull out two options and ask which one she wants to wear.

GrooovyLass Fri 23-Feb-18 20:53:41

Sounds like ASD in both of them to me. I'm an autistic mum to an autistic DD.

Fairylea Fri 23-Feb-18 20:54:16

For comparison / reference my son with asd couldn’t cope with a party after returning from a holiday. Returning from the holiday would be enough stimulation / sensory overload for that day. He would be at the limit of his stress levels. Going to a party after that would tip him over into meltdown - that’s what seems to me has happened with your dd and the top is a catalyst.

BlackeyedSusan Fri 23-Feb-18 20:57:04

read up on dealing with girls with autism/pda/any other sen that sounds similar on the basis that it may help.

If autism is on your radar, i would go on a parenting course as they always want to send you on one first. eitherit helps with behaviour or it is useful to say these are hte strategies we are using and they do not work.

autistic kid's behaviour can be infuriating for a parent but bieng calm is best, though difficult to achieve. very bloody difficult sometimes. especailly when they have their teeth sunk in your arse in the supermarket

good luck.

warpandweft Fri 23-Feb-18 20:59:56

Sorry, yes, after a few minutes of looking at tops (of which she has only a few) I told her unless she settled on one, she wasn't going.

She has very fixed ideas about clothing which is fine but I draw the line at dirty!

Believeitornot Fri 23-Feb-18 21:03:53

with your youngest’s reading, why are you not taking ownership and get to the library to get new books? Or go in with her after school? You are her parent and must not leave the onus on a 7 year old if her reading is slipping behind shock

Why are you threatening no party for not changing? Seems overkill to me.

Have you and your dh had regular discussions about behaviour management? Definitely worth doing to make sure you’re on the same page.

Allthewaves Fri 23-Feb-18 21:06:53

You don't needs dh permission to go to the go and discuss dd2 problems - I would if I thought it would help.

My kids have sen. Me and dh do disagree lots on behaviour management. What helped hugely was agreeing rules. We use the traffic light system in conjunction with method called 1 2 3 magic (it's a behaviour book). So we sat down as family and agreed what was bad behaviour - shouting, rude talking, hitting, whining etc and wrote them down ( we did pics as kids have asd).

We made big traffic light picture - so three circles, red, orange, green. Each of kids picked a symbol to represent them ds1 is an imoji poo grin and stuck bit blue tack in the back.

So they start off below green, first warning they move to green, second warning they move to orange third warning is red and a suitable time out length ( dh was prone to banishing the kids to their rooms for hours). After time out they go back to the start position.

The warnings can be about different things over a period of time. We reset the lights every lunch and teatime, starting fresh.

We also have a chore chart that they earn ipad time so that stops lots of arguments about teeth brushing and getting dressed, homework as after each task they tick it off their list.

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