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To find dd suffocating

(51 Posts)
Montyrage Thu 22-Feb-18 10:30:55

Dd is almost 15, she's a good kid mostly with the usual teenage attitude although we did have some issues for a while with her being aggressive this has now stopped.

My problem is that she won't leave me alone, she has always been a bit clingy but if I leave the same room as her she shouts me, she asks me to stay with her, if I go into another room to hoover she is at the back of me, if I leave the room still she says I've abandoned her, she hates sleeping in her room on her own and makes a huge drama of it. There is only me and her and has been for the last decade.

She has a couple of minor learning difficulties but nothing that explains this. She constantly wants attention of acknowledgement from me and if I don't answer immediately or stop what I am doing immediately to fully acknowledge what she is showing or saying she moans how I don't care.

Help, I'm exhausted.

Aprilshowerswontbelong Thu 22-Feb-18 10:32:51

Buy her a new mobile phone.
Promise you that will be the last you see of her...

Rockmeamaryllis Thu 22-Feb-18 10:38:22

She has separation anxiety. How is she leaving you to go to school and other activities? Is she showing anxiety in any other areas?

Montyrage Thu 22-Feb-18 10:41:59

April she has a mobile phone and a tablet and gadgets!

I don't mind spending time with her but she is constantly trying to be physically close and I have just walked into the living room to wash up and she has instantly shouted and asked where I have gone and why.

She goes to school fine obviously but if I nip out for an hour she texts me constantly, texts me every break time and lunch from school even though she definitely has friends and text me more than a thousand times when away with school on a trip abroad.

Montyrage Thu 22-Feb-18 10:44:24

Cross post Rock sorry.
She goes to school fine and has never been one of those kids who cried at drop off. We did have some school refusal but that was due to bullying elsewhere.

She won't go to activities unless forced as she isn't keen on new people.

TheArtOfNoise Thu 22-Feb-18 10:50:27

It sounds like she has separation anxiety or an attachment disorder, likey due to her learning difficulties. I have a DD with ASD and she is similar (although younger).

Montyrage Thu 22-Feb-18 11:01:16

Thank you. How do you deal with it?
As an example in the 25 minutes since I wrote this post she has been in the kitchen four times.

'what did you say Mum? (wasn't speaking) come and look at this Mum, where are you Mum? Did you go up stairs?' She is now doing something which involves lots of banging so I will go and see what is happening. (neighbour is on nights and she is really banging which she knows will get attention)

I've also noticed she puts things in compartments which is why I think she manages at school, I. E when it's time to leave my parents she just goes and gets everything and sits in the car ready to go without saying goodbye, when younger my parents who she loves met us at the library for a craft activity and came early and she ignored them until it was done, if friends parents took her out she would just run in the house not saying bye and had to be made to go back and say bye and thanks.

rocketgirl22 Thu 22-Feb-18 11:12:00

Does she have friends? I am surprised she isn't spending more time on SM with friends and usually this is where you will most teens.

Does she have close friends?

Have you been ill? Does she have reason to worry about you?

I agree she has separation anxiety, I was like this after my dm had a nervous breakdown. I felt the same when I was going through problems at school.

There is a deeper reason for this behaviour beyond her mild learning difficulties.

Chugalug Thu 22-Feb-18 11:16:09

My ds is starting to get like this,but it's stopping him going to school..he's got ASD..very clingy with me,not dad ,I always thought he prefers dad to me.now this..sorry op I've no advice,but will watch your thread for ldeas if that's ok x

AjasLipstick Thu 22-Feb-18 11:20:04

Has she had any recent traumatic experiences or injuries? My friend got this way after she broke her leg in a car accident aged 12 and spent a long time in hospital.

TimeIhadaNameChange Thu 22-Feb-18 11:22:13

I feel for you, she reminds me of my mother. As a teen I was never "allowed" to spend time in my room if it wasn't for a reason, she'd shout on me to check I was ok, ask what I was doing etc so I'd end up going back downstairs to keep her company, even though this meant sitting watching tv or reading, and not talking.

Have you tried telling her where you're going, what you'll be doing, how long you'll be, and give her a suggestion of something to do, every time before you leave the room? Along the lines of "I'm just going to the kitchen to do the washing up. I'll be back in ten minutes. In the meantime why don't you read a chapter of your book then you can tell me about it when I get back?". It probably seems OTT, but maybe giving her strong reassurance before you leave her may help.

HarrietSmith Thu 22-Feb-18 11:25:08

This is a really tedious suggestion on my part. I hate the way people on the internet do instant diagnosis. But has she ever been assessed to see if she might be on the autistic spectrum? (In the past, autism was underdiagnosed in young women who tend to be better at imitating the expected responses in social situations.)

Booboobooboo84 Thu 22-Feb-18 11:25:23

Maybe if she compartmentalises you can start filling her time for her. So she breaks away. I would also check the school policy. If she isn’t allowed a mobile at school I would suggest you reinforce that to stop the constant messages. It’s harsh but I would gradually stop answering as rapidly. If she always has to wait ten mins for an answer she will get bored of it. I’d also mute her while she is at school. Nothing is going to happen that a teacher won’t be able to rapidly inform you of.

I would also look at getting professional advice on top of what I’ve said because you need advice from someone who knows your daughter

Bananasinpyjamas11 Thu 22-Feb-18 11:25:42

Wean her off it. Even if it’s very slow progress, it’s progress. It may have become an obsessive habit, which could transfer to someone else.

So see it as your chance to teach her. Whatever the cause this isn’t goood coping, give her better coping skills. Suggestions:
Find an activity she likes.
Give her some realky good quality time, as a reward for longer times not leaning on you. E.g, only text at lunch = one hour of your undivided attention doing whatever she likes later.
Limit questions - you could give her 5 tokens for questions a day and when she runs out then no more. Or just tell her, whatever is appropriate.
Explain, be open, say you want to help her, that you love her.
Don’t give her attention for banging. At all. Don’t give her attention for bad or clinging behaviour. Give her attention for good behaviour.

Appuskidu Thu 22-Feb-18 11:26:20

Definitely some anxiety or attachment issues here. I would tell her exactly where are you are going each time you leave the room so she knows and doesn’t turn round to find you gone. Then, if she follows and ask she where you are and what you’re doing, you can calmly repeat-I told you, I’m in the kitchen, washing up.

I might ring her form tutor/senco to explain your concerns and ask if there’s anything they’re worried about at school. Does she see her dad/any other extended family? Does she see friends at the weekends?

Bananasinpyjamas11 Thu 22-Feb-18 11:28:50

I’d also be wary of diagnosing and then ‘excusing’ Behaviour. Not to say it’s not worth investigating. However whether she is a ASD or anxious or not - the aim is the same. To promote good coping skills and independence. Crack on!

Appuskidu Thu 22-Feb-18 11:28:51

I’ve just read your update-those really do sound like ASD-like traits. Speak to the school senco and maybe talk to your GP.

Rockmeamaryllis Thu 22-Feb-18 11:30:23

My daughter has this. It is so frustrating constantly been checked on and having to reassure my daughter everything is ok. We were referred by our GP to CAMHS. Is this a route that you’d like to take? We were told to continue to reassure her, but gradually move away. She’s still has the anxiety but she has improved.

Montyrage Thu 22-Feb-18 11:37:42

Thanks all, I'm reading suggestions gratefully!

To answer questions.
I have previously asked on several occasions regarding ASD from her being three and was told she had some autistic tenancies but not enough to diagnose.
On other occasions I have been fobbed off. She manages fine at school (although in the past socially has been a nightmare) but if anything at school goes wrong she used to meltdown at home while appearing fine at school.
She's allowed her phone at school. If I don't immediately answer she will repeatedly text and ring until I do.

I have made her do activities before but she won't stick to it.

If I ignore her she pester the dog who is fed up of her and stays out of her way (I do tell her off for this!)

She will physically climb on me sometimes if I'm sat down.

She doesn't see her Dad but has strong male role models and is very close to my parents and a close male family friend of mine.

I do tell her where I'm going, she still comes in and asks.

No trauma. She doesn't remember her Dad being around and the only person she has lost is a very elderly great grandparents.

Montyrage Thu 22-Feb-18 11:38:36

I've been to the GP who referred to Camhs but they refused the referral!

Montyrage Thu 22-Feb-18 11:41:36

She does have friends now although only really the last couple of years.
She talks to them on snap chat but that's it. She shows no interest in meeting up with them (it's been suggested) and she hates being on the phone so like yesterday a friend rang and she told them within minutes that she was going because she wanted to watch the Brit Awards.

CaptainCardamom Thu 22-Feb-18 11:42:06

My DD is similar though several years younger. (I was imagining she'd get over it by 15... maybe not!)

I tell her clearly what's going to happen and make a deal with her that she won't yell for me as soon as I leave the room. I say I'm going to make tea and will be in the kitchen for 20 mins, etc. I reward and praise her for managing things on her own, and she does get a lot of hugs and TLC. I use a timer at bedtime so she knows I'm coming back to check on her when it goes off. I agree with the gradual "weaning" - work up from very easy short periods to longer ones.

She's always been a worrier and has some ASD like traits, but generally manages well with school and friends. For her, my separation from her dad, and the resulting upheaval and moving, have made her worse. Was you DD badly affected by that or by anything else that could have made her feel insecure or abandoned?

What happens if you talk to her about the whole thing and reassure her?

CaptainCardamom Thu 22-Feb-18 11:44:14

Sorry x-posted with you OP.

One thing I have learned at parenting classes is to talk about your own needs - not in a whiny / manipulative way of course but instead of talking about her behaviour, explain you need a bit of time alone, eg to haver a bath or read. She may need help to learn about give and take with others' needs.

Bananasinpyjamas11 Thu 22-Feb-18 11:55:23

The thing is OP - whether ASD or not - the main person who can help her is you.

I have a severe ASD child, and all my suggestions are ones that are often used with ASD. It’s the ABC of behaviour. What is the behaviour about gaining? In your daughters case, it is attention from you.

You do seem to be minimizing your own ability to react better. You really are the key. You can do it!

So.... no just ‘I’ll give her attention because she disturbs the ‘neighburs, hassles the dog’ etc. Every single time you reward her with attention you are reinforcing her behaviour. She’s just learning what works.

First thing - she needs attention. That’s fine, it’s not naughty.
Second thing - the amount and frequency is too much. Ok, very slowly, baby steps! Reward her with attention for being LESS clingy.

At the moment you are rewarding her for being MORE clingy. It’s a feedback loop!

Believe me when I say that no diagnosis is going to give you any more magic solutions than that.

Tobythecat Thu 22-Feb-18 11:57:11

She sounds just like me with my mum and I have Autism. She does sound very much like she's on the spectrum. I'd push for a diagnosis if I were you.

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