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What’s going on with my dd?

(30 Posts)
Stepawayfromthecakes Thu 06-Dec-18 14:33:43

Hello, I haven’t posted before but I’m at the end of my tether.

My dd is 10. She’s always been quite feisty but I’ve been able to handle her. Recently though, things have taken a bit of a nose dive and I can’t see what’s different.

Shes having explosions of anger, usually directed at me, generally over little things maybe because I tell her it’s bed time or to turn her tv down. This morning it was because she couldn’t plait her dolls hair. She called me ugly, tells me I look like a pig. This is really out of character as she’s quite a kind girl. I try to be supportive, I’ll do ‘girls shopping trips’ with her, she just taken another karate exam, I’ll be at her school concert next week. I am firm with her as well though. Out of me and dh, I’m the one whose the disciplinarian . I’ve got a DS with ASD aged 14. He is high functioning and is a gentle soul. I had her assessed when ds was dx, she is nt. she’s also developed an obsession about hand washing. I’ve got no idea why and neither does she. Her hands a raw with too much washing. I’ve been into school to see her teacher, they can’t understand it either as she’s as good as hold in school. My dh has been working abroad for much of this year and dd found it very hard. He’s back in the uk now but away in the week and home at weekends.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t live near my family and I have no support with my dcs, never have. I don’t know where I’ve gone wrong. It’s feels like she trying to bully me, trying to take control. Tbh I’m a bit scared of her. Help.

cjt110 Thu 06-Dec-18 14:47:16

Has she started puberty yet? Could be all those hormones starting up and she doesn't know how to deal with it?

Is she being bullied or unhappy at school?

Has there been any changes to the family structure recently?

Stepawayfromthecakes Thu 06-Dec-18 14:50:58

I am hoping it’s puberty. She looks like she might be developing slightly but my friend said it’s too soon, is it? Nothing else has changed. She has been bullied in the past and she became very withdrawn so I do t think it’s that. She says she happy at school and school say the same. She takes herself very seriously though.

cjt110 Thu 06-Dec-18 14:52:36

I went through puberty aged 9 so no, it's not too early.

Have a chat - ask if anything is bothering her. Hopefully she will tell you and if not, at least it's an open for if she does want to.

Tink2007 Thu 06-Dec-18 14:52:57

Puberty can start as young as 7, she definitely isn’t too young so would ignore that advice from your friend! At 10 my DD had started developing breasts and pubic hair.

Tink2007 Thu 06-Dec-18 14:53:20

And mood swings from hell!

AmbeRiddle Thu 06-Dec-18 14:55:16

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Stepawayfromthecakes Thu 06-Dec-18 14:55:57

That’s reassuring, thanks, hoping it’s pubery!!

Theoryofmould Thu 06-Dec-18 14:56:02

Definitely not too soon. My friend's daughters started their periods at 8, all girls are different. I was horrendous when puberty kicked in, my parents said I was a truly awful human being.

And girls with ASD present very differently to boys, they mask it much better. She's at an age now where combined with hormones, she's finding it harder to mask? I'd probably have a chat with the Gp and request another assessment.

Stepawayfromthecakes Thu 06-Dec-18 15:01:04

I had her assessed because she was there when ds was dx so I asked them to see her too tbh, so we could rule it out. She has never had any signs of asd. Out of my dcs and even with ds’s asd, dd is more of a challenge for me. Always has been. I’m very tactile with both of them, tell them I love them etc but dd has more of my time.

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Thu 06-Dec-18 15:02:34

The hand washing sounds like OCD. So she has anxiety which may be triggering her outbursts.

My dd was similar at 9. Very awkward and explosive. Now I look back it was all about trying to control.

She’s 12 now, and can articulate her anxiety much better. She’s just a rigid person who loses it when her routines change.

She’s not ASD, just has high levels of anxiety.

PermanentlyFrizzyHairBall Thu 06-Dec-18 15:04:41

You could have her reassessed. Not necessarily ASD or ADHD but it does sound like she has anxiety (this comes with and without ASD). The hand washing and anger can definitely be symptoms of anxiety. ADHD can presents later in girls (sometimes near the onset of puberty). Obviously it could be hormones and puberty or something bothering her at school too.

Namestheyareachangin Thu 06-Dec-18 15:05:47

The temper and rudeness sound like the confusion and frustration of puberty spilling over. I'd just continue to reiterate the importance of kindness, don't show her you're upset/intimidated but don't blow up at her either - whatever your usual consequences for bad behaviour are, keep on applying them firmly, calmly and consistently would be your best bet I think.

The hand washing thing, and also the fact she 'takes herself seriously' and sounds like she has a lot of irons in the fire (high achieving at school, grading in karate, musical instrument(?)) suggests to me a more concerning anxiety that is probably being exacerbated by the on again-off again presence of her father in her life. She could well be masking at school where she is invested in being seen as 'good as gold' and then falling apart at home with you.

Might be worth exploring with a GP/school counsellor/private counsellor, just to see if she might find it easier to open up to someone other than you as she seems to have chosen you as her punching bag for her anger and upset. Possibly she feels safer putting this on you than on her father whose absences may be causing the anxiety - what is their relationship like? Also wonder if your ASD child may through no fault of anyone absorb a lot of the energy/attention in the family and her stresses and worries have been overlooked a little?

Sounds like you're going through it though OP - stay strong! She sounds a lovely girl at bottom going through a tough patch. Maybe try and get things right back to basics as much as possible over Christmas holidays - lots of calm quiet time at home focused on each other, no performing or assessing or stressful/hyper-stimulating stuff. Just be there for her with a lot of love and minimum pressure.

Good luck xx

WhoKnewBeefStew Thu 06-Dec-18 15:07:28

Hormones I think. My dd is 10 and she’s started all this too and she’s always been such a gentle soul. Think screaming fits on the floor under the dining room table over homework shock. I’m hoping she’ll grow out of it confused

SlightlyCoddled Thu 06-Dec-18 15:07:56

The obsessive hand washing points to anxiety so the behaviour you are describing could be the "fight" part of fight or flight. The key might be to finding out what is making her anxious and switching to "attack" mode. If your dh is away a lot and she finds it hard, could she be subconsciously taking her frustrations out on you? You being the "safe" person she can "test"?

If any of the above fits then I'd be trying to tackle this in a love-bombing way (hate that phrase but just using it to mean "not punitive") rather than meeting fight with more discipline iyswm.

AdamNichol Thu 06-Dec-18 15:10:14

Sounds like anxiety issues. School is routinised, so 'safe'.
Home life with dad suddenly absent causes anxiety, control is attempted to be reasserted thru repetitive behaviour (hand wash) and lashing out when insecure/anxious

SlightlyCoddled Thu 06-Dec-18 15:10:20

Snap and x post with Namestheyareachangin! smile

SlightlyCoddled Thu 06-Dec-18 15:11:21

And Adam!

brizzledrizzle Thu 06-Dec-18 15:11:29

Could she, in the nicest possible way, be attention seeking?

I don't mean this to be horrible but you have a lot on your plate and she has to deal with all the year 6 stuff (SATs, girls who are going through puberty, possibly puberty herself) at an age when her body is probably gearing up for the hell that can be puberty and wanting the sort of attention from you which, even if inaccurately, she feels like she isn't getting so is acting up to get any attention because she can't say what she needs; that's hard to do at any age, especially her age.

I'd say she's taking it out on you because she can, she's comfortable with you and you are a safe person to scream at. My teenage DS once told me that he is horrible to me when he is struggling with being happy one minute and tearful the next but he's not like that with anybody else because he knows I won't throw him out, he feels safe.


christmaschristmaschristmas Thu 06-Dec-18 15:11:47

The hand wash and aggression sound like a reaction to some sort of stress in her life.

Is she happy at school? Fallen out with friends? Worried about moving to senior school? I'd explore this.

christmaschristmaschristmas Thu 06-Dec-18 15:12:11

PS - hope she's okay flowers

SlightlyCoddled Thu 06-Dec-18 15:13:00

Sorry my post was poorly written. Meant "find out why she is switching to attack mode" .

EdisonLightBulb Thu 06-Dec-18 15:13:43

Not too early for puberty. DS changed overnight at 11, went from a sweet little boy to an angry, wall punching, aggressive horror.

On a plus side it was all done and dusted by 14-15!

Stepawayfromthecakes Thu 06-Dec-18 15:19:55

Thank you for your advice. I’m in tears now because I just want her to be ok. Dd is very demanding and always has been. She was a difficult toddler, temper tantrums etc and it feels like that again. She very funny and very articulate. There’s no pressure from me or dh re school or karate or whatever, we always tell her to just try her best and we are proud of her. I’m conscious that ds has taken up a lot of my time in the past, he has, can’t seem to spread myself anymore thinly - my mum died some years ago and I also help look after my disabled dad and I’m a student as well. I have no help or support network. Thankfully ds is on an even keel now. Dd gets on ok with dh, he’s quite soft with her though. Maybe she is rebelling, I’m certain she has anxiety. Would it be worth seeing the gp? I took my ds when he was self harming a couple of years ago, CAHMS wouldn’t see him as ‘it wasn’t bad enough’ so I got him through it on my own.

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