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DD behaviour very difficult as we approach adoption is this normal?

(11 Posts)
Italiangreyhound Mon 17-Mar-14 23:42:13

Our DD is 9 and is very, very keen for a sibling, so she is very excited we have been matched to a boy of almost school age.

However, in the last few days DD's behaviour has become very difficult. It's just gone through the roof as we approach adoption is this normal?

It's making me feel very unhappy and I just want to know how to cope with it.I am trying to be very reasuring. She has said stuff about being replaced! sad Which of course we have said is NOT the case.

I think she knows it but she is very emotional and is feeling quite angry generally. Any tips on how to help her, please?

Italiangreyhound Mon 17-Mar-14 23:48:31

Just to say too that DD has dyslexia and is quite young for her age, educationally she is actually very bright, older than her years but her reading and writing are behind where she should be and her behaviour is younger, more like 7.

We are reading a book about anger, have tried all kinds of techniques, I've done masses of parenting courses, I am running out of ideas!

Any tips on how to help her, please?

FamiliesShareGerms Tue 18-Mar-14 07:01:28

Hi, no tips I'm afraid, though sure some wise people will be along soon.

I'd say that strong reactions to a major upheaval are entirely normal,even if DD is basically supportive and excited about becoming a sister. Can she articulate how she is feeling? Maybe helping her express her worries - and validating those feelings - would avoid those feelings coming out as anger?

Having read another thread over there, I do wonder whether she is struggling to conceptualise having a new sibling. Maybe worth reconsidering sharing name or photo with her so that it becomes real rather than abstract?

LastingLight Tue 18-Mar-14 08:27:20

Can you explain to her that the love in mum and dad's hearts are not divided into two when a new sibling arrives, it actually doubles. She is probably feeling very unsure of what life is going to be like as one of two children. Can you talk about families you know who have two children and how the eldest and youngest both get attention from parents?

namechangesforthehardstuff Tue 18-Mar-14 08:30:40

Have you tried PACE stuff? I was thinking of that 'wondering' thingie (which someone will know how to do better than me.)

What does she say is going on?

Moomoomie Tue 18-Mar-14 09:36:22

As I said in my pm to you, she is most likely playing up her anxieties.
My older two girls where 9 and 7 when their baby sister came home, they were both very excited at having a baby but I must admit they were both jealous at the same time, fortunately they were able to articulate their feelings, so it was easier to chat to them about it.
Lots of reassurance that you will not love her any less, that more love grows.
It is a very stressful time for everybody at the moment, be kind to yourselves and maybe cut her a little slack.

Meita Tue 18-Mar-14 09:51:38

Good advice above.
Perhaps also help her be aware that you can feel happy and sad about the same thing, all at once? (Or replace with excited/nervous/afraid, looking forward to/dreading, feeling love/feeling jealousy, or whatever it is that may be worrying her). Just in essence, that you can have mixed up, complicated feelings, and that it is OK.

And just a thought on the side, could it be that it is about something completely different? Just because YOUR life is (understandably) totally focussed on the arrival of the new LO, doesn't mean hers is. So maybe something happened at school, and you are just assuming it's got to be adoption related. Essentially ALREADY making it all about new LO. Maybe she is just telling you, hey I'm here too and I have my own needs!
Could be totally off mark here, just musing, obviously I could NOT say if this is what is happening, only you can tell!

roadwalker Tue 18-Mar-14 11:01:57

I think it is normal for her to have anxieties and worry that you may love her less
Like said above lots of reassurance that even though you may have less time (I think this needs to be raised) you will not have less love

When LO comes home it is important that your DD gets some time alone with you, staying up later that LO is good and outings without LO

It is a delicate balancing act making sure the new one is getting attention without making big sister feel left out
If she likes the big sister thing you could play on this to give her feeling of responsibility

Just one more thing, my DS is a master at feeling sorry for himself. If I suggested something had been difficult he could muster up feelings of hard done to that were not there
I recognised his feelings of insecurity but in a fairly matter of fact way as he would really have gone for the hard done to child
After all he could have had several birth siblings with extra needs
We always gave him time alone with each of us though

oldnewmummy Tue 18-Mar-14 11:10:44

It does sound normal/understandable, but doesn't make it any easier to deal with.

Have you tried books for children on their parents having children generally ie not just adoption? At this point her issue is about sharing you with any sibling.

All the best.

cedar12 Tue 18-Mar-14 13:26:05

I have messaged you x

Italiangreyhound Wed 19-Mar-14 02:12:12

Thanks so much. Very helpful.

namechangesforthehardstuff can you say more about PACE stuff and 'wondering' thingie.

I know a bit but not a lot!

Thanks

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