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to ask you if I emotionally abused my daughter last night?

(106 Posts)
CloudiaPickle Wed 10-Dec-14 07:42:21

Dd is 8 and her father and I are separated and have been all her life. Shes always been different after contact because he has no rules, od derogatory about dh and I etc but I'd hoped I'd get better as she got older if I remained consistent with the boundaries at home.

However , this weekend has resulted in the worst behavior yet. In between contact shes usually polite, helpful, happy and a great big sister. She returned on Sunday afternoon and up until last might when things came to a head hardly spoke to dh and I other than to be argumentative/rude (I hated my packed lunch/advent calendar chocolate etc) Dh and I hadn't risen to the bait. She has been.ignoring everything and doing things she.knows she shouldn't so we have to.keep telling her off, she's been eye rolling, sighing dramatically, stomping and slamming around and shooting us filthy looks.

Within three space.of an hour last night she let go of her baby siblings pushchair when I.asked her to.hold it while.I.put the toddler in.the car and.it almost blew into the road. All she did was roll eyes at me when reprimanded. When home, she lifted her toddler sister into the top bunk where she knows she isn't allowed. I walked in to see toddler reaching over for a Christmas decoration and managed to catch her as she fell. Again, no regret or apology by dd just more rudeness.

Usually I read stories with all the dc but toddler dd was wary.of her sister because she.knew she had nearly been.badly hurt and because.of the moodiness and I thought dd needed an immediate consequence so I told her she was missing it and.going straight to bed. She was.screaming and wailing (extremely out of character) for at least 45 minutes. I explained that her behaviour had been disgusting and.I would not allow it to continue and affect her siblings too. I.told her I loved her and we would have a fresh start tomorrow. She stopped crying immediately when I.said that as she thought I was relenting about story time. When I said goodnight the wailing started again which tells me they were only tears of self pity and.to.get her way. There was still no apology or regret for her behaviour and.she still stomped.off to bed.

I spoke to my sister afterwards who said I effectively shut her out of the family last.night and was emotionally abusive :-/ what do you think?

(Sorry about the full.stops - phone is broken)

XmasTimeMammariesandWine Wed 10-Dec-14 07:44:26

No you just disciplined her.

ilikebaking Wed 10-Dec-14 07:46:43

You disciplined your child for disgusting, unacceptable behaviour.
Your sister is an idiot.
I work with children and more parents need to step up, stop being their child's friend, stop playing the "it's ahuse" card and start being god damn PARENTS!

honeysucklejasmine Wed 10-Dec-14 07:47:10

No, discipline. What a shame your ex doesn't seem to care enough about her to put boundaries in place. sad

cailindana Wed 10-Dec-14 07:47:40

Not emotionally abusive, no, just emotionally immature (you, not her). You know that she struggles with the transition between your house and her dad's. You know her dad is emotionally abusive (slagging off her family) and a lax parent. Instead of addressing that with her and trying to relieve her stress you are making it worse. Time for a better approach I think.

Aeroflotgirl Wed 10-Dec-14 07:47:49

Blooming hell no, she is 8, old enough to realise that naughty behaviour has a consequence. emotional abuse my left foot, ignore your sister she is speaking rubbish. I missed story time is not going to psychologically scar her for life. You explain to her that she is missing story time because she did xyz, therefore goes straight to bed. You have to be firm, she needs rules and boundaries tgat she is nit getting from her dad.

FannyFifer Wed 10-Dec-14 07:48:15

You showed her that her actions & bad behaviour have consequences, hopefully she is apologetic today.

flanjabelle Wed 10-Dec-14 07:48:23

No I think you were fair. Do you think something has happened to make her behaviour escalate?

Incapinka Wed 10-Dec-14 07:48:25

Not emotional abuse. I would have done the same. You disciplined her and have given her an opportunity to behave better with a fresh start and have confirmed to her that you love her. Does your sister have children?

ohweeeell Wed 10-Dec-14 07:48:27

No you did not, you showed your child that her actions have consequences and as such she missed out I an activity she enjoyed as a punishment.

CoolCat2014 Wed 10-Dec-14 07:49:28

Agree that's not abuse, that's diacipline

Sprink Wed 10-Dec-14 07:49:49

I genuinely loathe how everything must be labelled 'abuse' these days. It makes it more difficult to distinguish when real abuse occurs.

This was not emotional abuse, ffs, it was a consequence for bad behaviour and something all parents should be doing rather than worrying about poor twiddle's feewings.

Kerberos Wed 10-Dec-14 07:50:39

Doesn't sound like emotional abuse to me. From what you've said you set out the punishment and stuck to it. Relenting would have sent an entirely different message.

What I would say though is don't put too much store in it being about her time with her Dad. From anecdotal discussions it seems a vast majority of the yr 4 and 5 girls go through a bit of a behaviour blip. This is supported by my own DD(9) who can swing into the most terrible behaviour.

I'm guessing your sister follows a different parenting idiology? So maybe she's not the right sounding board for you on these issues?

Iloveweetos Wed 10-Dec-14 07:50:54

You did the right thing. Nothing abisive about this whatsoever! Hope it improves. We have the same here. Contact throws her behaviour off big time.

Timeforabiscuit Wed 10-Dec-14 07:51:32

Yes, bad behaviour has consequences - and she is certainly doing the bad behaviour!

On the other hand it sounds like she's put through the ringer at her dads, its the end of a long school term, its Christmas (so lots of excitement/school plays/anxiety), other siblings adding into the mix - it would be more surprising if she want acting up - although what she's doing is way beyond that.

When she came home did you hug her and say you missed her? Ask her what she got up to? Paid her a compliment?

I don't think you'd be posting if you were an emotionally abusive parent, but if what your doing isn't working, it would be worth talking with your partner and changing tack to see if that makes a difference?

Bluegill Wed 10-Dec-14 07:51:35

I wish I could help but I'll be watching this thread closely. I'm ridiculously bad at discipline and feel terrible if I shout (which I often end up doing to be heard). I don't think you sound like you were overly harsh on your daughter at all and that you managed it really well.

hesterton Wed 10-Dec-14 07:52:09

Not emotionally abusive - she needs ro know what's not acceptable- but you also nees to tackle whatever is making your child feel so bad after visits. Her dad is being incredibly unfair to her, effectively fucking her up. That does need to be sorted.

PotteringAlong Wed 10-Dec-14 07:52:14

Nope, actions and consequences is not abuse!

callamia Wed 10-Dec-14 07:52:22

I think it was a difficult situation that you needed to manage by demonstrating that her behaviour was not ok. I'm kind of with the other poster that said that your daughter might need a bit more support making he transition from her dad back to you - a discussion about how it makes her feel, and what you can do on the future might help today, when everyone is calm.

You weren't abusive though - nowhere near. You told her th thou loved her, and that today will be a fresh start - both of things are clear and appropriate.

Aeroflotgirl Wed 10-Dec-14 07:53:03

Calidana op was dealing the the naughty behaviour first, then will probably address tge other isdues. Give her a break, looks like she's going through a lot

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Wed 10-Dec-14 07:55:40

I'd say only she (your DD) can know that. I would say as well that you need to get to the bottom of why she behaves like that. It's possible that she feels unloved and used to look after her sibling. She might need to be told that she is loved and shown she is cared for and wanted in her own right far more than an average child. I speak from experience, and I look back at incidents like this with fresh eyes.

'The wailing started again which told me they were only tears of self pity to get her own way' sorry, but you do not know that. I know that feeling that you have just had enough at that point. Your sister's comment is interesting too, and probably says much more about her than your DD. I don't think the specifics are abusive, but your DD's behaviour is expressing that she feels neglected, so why? Perhaps she feels less important than the baby, or perhaps there is something else goi g on.

BlueGreenHazelGreen Wed 10-Dec-14 07:57:11

I agree that this was a punishment not EA.

However, it is probably worth sitting down with your DD at a quiet time, away from her siblings, and explaining both these incidents. Explaining why you were so angry. If she's rolling her eyes if would indicate that she doesn't understand the potential consequences of her actions. It might be worth quietly talking this through. Explain that just as you protected her when she was little you now have to protect the wee ones. It looks to me like she's setting up situations that put you and the 'new' children versus her (the old child).

It makes me wonder what her Dad has been saying to her. Can you do some things to reinforce how important she is too you, manufacture a way to take 'her' side occasionally?

PeruvianFoodLover Wed 10-Dec-14 07:58:40

You know that she struggles with the transition between your house and her dad's

There's been quite a lot of work in recent years on how DCs are affected by the move between homes; be that parents, weekend respite/foster or other reasons.

There's a good article here about how creating a ritual to help the DC shift gears can be used to ease the process.

I don't think you were abusive - but I think there are some simple things you can do to help your DD cope with her emotions.

Jennifersrabbit Wed 10-Dec-14 07:59:34

How often does she see her Dad?

No I don't think you were emotionally abusive to give a consequence for awful behaviour! However if she's generally a happy and well behaved child I think I would try and talk to her calmly after the dust has settled about how she feels about going to her Dads, and try and find ways of helping her with it.

I have an 8 year old who can be very challenging, partly due to very difficult early experiences (he's adopted), and when he is a sheer horror like this it can often be because he has raging emotions that he can't quite understand or control. Doesn't mean we don't discipline, but does mean that lots of conversations with him outside the immediate aftermath of the behaviour are very helpful!

atticusclaw Wed 10-Dec-14 08:02:16

I am shocked that anyone would consider that emotional abuse and agree with the pp who said that labelling something as abuse which is normal discipline is a problem.

Children need boundaries and discipline when necessary. Your actions were entirely appropriate.

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