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Help with abusive 12yr old daughter.

(24 Posts)
PhilBo Mon 10-Jan-11 21:22:33

Hello folks, new member here. Not sure if I am in the right board or even the right forum. Really need some help, advice and an ear to share a trouble or 2 with..

I am a 38 yr old dad on my second marriage. I have a 12 year old daughter living with us from previous marriage and 2 children aged 5 and 6 with my current partner.

We are at our wits end here. I apologise for the following lengthy post but I cannot find an easier way to describe the situation to you other than in full detail.

Nearly 3 years ago during a usual weekend contact session my daughter informed me that her mothers new partner had been hitting and abusing her. Of course I took her at face value and instantly reported the matter to the police and my daughter moved never returned home to her mothers from that point. She was placed at an "at risk whilst in her mothers care" order and we thought we had sorted matters out. This is where it gets a bit complicated..

My daughters behaviour and attitude grew worse, constantly back answering, screeching when asked a question, trouble at school, lying and so on. She is nasty and verbally abusive and rude to my current partner and bullying and nasty to her younger siblings, her younger sister in particular. She argues with you at the drop of a hat over nothing... grrr..!

During one heated discussion with her I suggested she had lied about the story she told us about being hit by her mums present partner and she admitted to it. She apparently resented her mums new boyfriend and sadly made up a story for us about him hitting her so she could move out..

We have tried time and time again to get her to have contact with her mum and each time it has failed. She now has a disposition of "I hate her and hope she dies" which is saddening to say the least.

We have lost count of the times we have addressed her about her attitude, lying and other things but her behaviour improves for a very short while then returns to previous.

We also feel that she needs to resolve issues with her mother and put the past behind them before it's too late but it's like talking to a brick wall.

Any advice at all please folks? Sorry if I am not supposed to have joined up here but I am out of ideas.. confused sad

winnybella Mon 10-Jan-11 21:29:48

bumping for you
Sorry, haven't got experience with this, it seems to me your daughter could benefit from counselling?

donnie Mon 10-Jan-11 21:31:55

Hi PhilBo. Your post really made sense; I think your daughter is really suffering from a multitude of problems here; her parents have split up and both gone on to settle with new partners and also have more new kids with the new partners. And where does that leave her? she most likely feels she has been left behind and forgotten about.

When I was 12 there was a very cataclysmic family event in my household - not the same as the one you describe and i won't go into detail if you don't mind - but it really sent me off the rails. I was nearly expelled from school and all kinds. I dabbled in alcohol and drugs, was get the picture. My point is that she is hurting and her head is all over the place. and these things take time. I don't know the solution except to give her a ide berth as well as the assurance that you are there for her.


donnie Mon 10-Jan-11 21:33:03

'wide berth', of course

CarGirl Mon 10-Jan-11 21:36:22

Sounds like you need referral to CAHMS for her to get therapy and perhaps family therapy as well.

Roonieroo Mon 10-Jan-11 21:44:29

Sorry to hear about your troubles PhilBo. I'm 30 now but I can still remember what it was like to be 12yrs and it is incredibly dificult. Sounds to me like she is crying out for attention. Can I ask how old she was when you and her mother seperated? This would be a difficult time for any child, having your parents seperate. Have you tried just ignoring her behaviour? I know it sounds like a hard thing to do but maybe if you stop giving her the satisfaction of conflict she might eventual chill abit. Shes at what I call the inbetween age aswell, not a child but not a women. At that age I would have said anything to get some kind of reaction out of my parents, and I can kind of understand why she said what she did. Her parents had seperated and they are both moveing on with other people so to her the seperation is now final. There is no way back!
As for her attitude with her siblings, could this be due to jelousy? The other 2 children have mum and dad.
It really sounds like she needs space, no pressurizing and allow her to make her own choices be them right or wrong!
She will come round eventualy. All young teenagers are moody!

PhilBo Mon 10-Jan-11 21:46:43

Hi, I don't think it is a "left behind" thing donnie. She has had all she wants, we have supported her and tried to give her what she needs both mentally and through education. We have encouraged development through activities such as karate, guitar lessons and the latest activity of Army cadets.. You know, things that could give her some direction and purpose. It seems the harder we try the less communicative she becomes.

I do not appreciate or understand the way she treats and speaks to my wife, it's very confusing..

We have stressed to her on numerous occasions that she needs to bury the hatchet with her mum and move on or it will eat her up inside.

We arranged counseling but when the sessions started she seemed to bluff the counselor that all was well and that ended. We have asked the advice of social services who tried to arrange contact with her mum but again failure..

Do we simply ignore her attitude or come down on her like a tonne of bricks?

Magicmayhem Mon 10-Jan-11 21:46:50

my first thought was that she could do with some counseling... what is her behaviour like at school? Have you mentioned the problems you are having at home to them? Most schools have a cat team and they can access the right support for her and you. they may may even suggest a parenting course.

PhilBo Mon 10-Jan-11 21:47:44

She was 3 when we split.

minxofmancunia Mon 10-Jan-11 21:50:26

Hi Philbo what Donnie says makes lots of sense, she's the spare part (in her eyes) caught between two "normal" families and developmentally and cognitively lacks the skill to deal with the emotions she's experiencing so she's externalising them.

I would suggest a CAMHS referral (I work in CAMHS) for someone for her to talk to for herself and also a family intervention. just counselling her on her own won't do any good.

it sounds like you've been having a really tough time, best of luck.

PhilBo Mon 10-Jan-11 21:51:19

School seems to be a cloudy area at the moment.

She has varying troubles with her piers ie friendships. Friends one minute and enemies the next.

I think I can safely say she now has more enemies than friends at school and in her own social circle.

There has been one or issues at school where she has punched/hit other girls and now has a list of "big sisters" waiting to exact some revenge...

Monitoring of her facebook page was an eye opener and we have witnessed an increasing tendancy towards this Emo thing of late.

Her music tastes have switched to what I can only describe as unsuitable for a 12 year old girl...

donnie Mon 10-Jan-11 21:56:50

Emo says a lot, PhilBo! I was very drawn to the whole punk/goth/depressed music thing. I still think she is crying out for attention and also vulnerable, hence the very brittle and aggressive exterior.

i agree with others re:CAMHS.

Roonieroo Mon 10-Jan-11 22:00:38

Just think how you would feel at 3yrs old for your parents to seperate!
If you have offered her everything but been pushed away then I strongly suggest you leave her to her own devices and wait until she comes to you. The more you push her the harder it will be and, believe me, she wont thank you for it!

LoveMyGirls Mon 10-Jan-11 22:04:03

I recently read a book called how to talk so teenagers will listen and it's really helped me to communicate better with my dd1 who is 11 and has been acting in some of the ways you described for the past few years but more recently it was really getting me down, the way she spoke to me especially sad

In the past week or so she has become a totally different child - we are amazed by the difference! it could be the fact I learnt things from the book which have helped, it could be that I've recently explained how upset she was making me and how hard it was to enjoy spending time with her, despite giving her everything we could without spoiling her it was never good enough but now she is so lovely and I have loved spending time with her, today we went swimming on our own and she really appreciated it, we talked and I've said I will get a film she will enjoy and we will watch it on friday night as a family and I have promised if her behaviour continues as it has recently then I will arrange to go toboganing in a few weeks and also allow her to watch tv in her room and stay up later, she really wants this so I hope it will be an incentive to behave.

I think once you can communicate better with your daughter then you can tackle the issue about her regaining contact with her mum. All children go through a phase of telling lies as far as I know, I have caught my daughter out a few times, none of the lies my dd1 has told have been as bad as the one your daughter told but maybe she did it and then it got blew up? Did she really realise the implications of what she was saying at the time? Does she regret her behaviour?

PhilBo Mon 10-Jan-11 22:09:48

Guys thank you very much for your advice.

How do we go about the CAMHS thing? Do we need to get the school involved in anyway and would her mum be forced to attend this as she has not bothered to make any contact since my daughter left her home, not even so much as a christmas or birthday card.

I can only deduce that my daughter fears the reaction she would receive from her mum following the lies she told about the abuse which led to the arrest and questioning and thankfully release without charge of her mums partner..... Likewise her mum must feel badly hurt knowing her daughter could lie...

What concerns me most though is why would she lie like that?

Roonieroo Mon 10-Jan-11 22:16:32

maybe she felt scared that she had lost you in some part and that her mum was going to move on aswell so she would lose her too!
Fear of loseing someone or something can often make us do stupid things that eventualy pushes people even further away!

minxofmancunia Mon 10-Jan-11 22:20:17

Hi philbo you can go to your GP and ask for a CAMHS referral and they will write a letter explaining the difficulties you're having. i expect the situation with her mum is a big part of the formulation, not having made contact with her for such a long time will be extremely distressing for your daughter.

Re school, it's customary to involve them when we can and the school nurse/SENCo/pastoral care person might be able to help as well.

Re her Mum, in our service we would copy the initial letter which is like a summary and recommendations of the first appointment into both parents even if one didn't come. It would be an expectation that she would be involved although clearly you can't force anyone to do anything.

It's hard but really important not to locate the problem solely in your daughter. this is a wider issue and requires a wider intervention.

controlfreakyhohohohohohoho Mon 10-Jan-11 22:21:33

because she was v unhappy / confused / wanted attention / was immature... we all make mistakes. she probably had little foresight of the consequences. doesn't alter the fact she needs help now.

PhilBo Mon 10-Jan-11 23:04:21

Well we can only keep trying.. fight the good fight hmm

controlfreakyhohohohohohoho Mon 10-Jan-11 23:27:38

why the hmm?
hope you can get dd some help. she sounds very unhappy (as do you).

pippop1 Mon 10-Jan-11 23:51:04

An unwise mistake had devastating consequences for her and changed the whole course of her life. She must feel terrible. Counselling is the way to go.

mathanxiety Tue 11-Jan-11 17:38:46

Some of it is just 12 yo stuff generally - they can be really nasty, sarcastic, hostile and angry people. And wrt the friends blowing hot and cold in school - read 'Queen Bees and Wannabees' by Rosalind Wiseman. The world of 12 yo girls is not all bunnies and rosebuds. If she's gravitating into the emo world though, I would be careful about issues such as pot, alcohol, cutting and self-destructive isolation from more healthy behaviour, and efforts to fit in with the emo crowd going too far.

I suggest family counselling though as a result of her immature decision and the possible repercussions she is feeling now. Art therapy might be a better way for her to do this than pain sitting face to face sessions, which can be very intimidating for many young teens - she would have something to occupy her and focus on while 'chatting' with the therapist.

Plus time with just you and her together separate from the rest of the family - maybe go out to have a burger or something once every two weeks or so. She should definitely be helping out at home with some chore like setting the table at dinner time, making a family meal or dessert once a week (promotes integration into the family and acknowledges she is no longer completely a child and makes her proud of her contribution) and all of you should co-operate on chores like gardening or ironing or a weekly major house-clean where you work as a team.

maryz Tue 11-Jan-11 17:56:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

masuki Wed 12-Jan-11 14:01:16

dear philbo, just to offfer support and say please please don't give up on her... she needs strict boundaries, she needs to know you care about what she does, who she hangs out with, where she goes.... my parents just gave up on me at this time in my life, and i got into all sorts of trouble and mess and totally lost my academic momentum and hung out with older folk who were no good at all... somehow only by the grace of god here i am...

she will love you later in life if you stay strong now - forgive her for she knows not what she does.

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