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Please please help me with dd' (12) behaviour

(97 Posts)
Sonnet Wed 24-Apr-13 21:13:05

Please help, I don't know where to turn.

I have a stroppy spoilt bad tempered 12 year old. She continually demands and then has temper tantrums of huge proportions when she dosn't get her own way. The whole family walk on egg shells around her. Every weekend and most evenings descend in to caos with DH and I falling out over it all. She refuses to do homework, and when she does it is a scrappy affair.

I can't go on like this, I just want to run away.

Sonnet Wed 24-Apr-13 22:23:52

Love it big buttons smile

Sonnet Wed 24-Apr-13 22:24:32

Thank you ruby
Thank you all

baskingseals Wed 24-Apr-13 22:33:38

Sonnet you can do it.
It's like so many things - it takes practice. The other thing I have only recently realised, is that if you find yourself being drawn into the dance, you can still walk away from it, you don't have to stay and see it through iykwim.

I would also be very clear about your expectations of her behaviour.
Doe she get any kind of pocket money?

BriansBrain Wed 24-Apr-13 22:36:13

My DD can be a huge challenge at times although not to some of the scale you have mentioned here but what I generally do is ignore her and ask time after time for an indoor voice or quiet voice when talking to her.

I try not to engage, after all she isn't listening to me so why should I deal with her.

Why are you waiting for her I. The morning? I make my DD walk if she is making us late.

My sympathy is with you though x

Alonglongway Wed 24-Apr-13 22:46:44

I really like 2 books - how to talk so teenagers will listen, and also the one called something like "get out of my life but first drive me into town". I have DDs pretty much same age as yours but DD1 was the stroppy one. Big things I took from the books are not to get carried away in the teen/pre-teen hysteria. Explain the consequences to them calmly and ideally only once and let them get on with it.

I have also learned to let small things blow over. Have really seen with DD1 that if she is backed into a corner she'll flare up but with a bit of wiggle room she will apologise and sort herself out and be a lovely girl.

Best of luck!

fortifiedwithtea Wed 24-Apr-13 22:50:33

Not drinking will effect her concentration and ability to learn as well sad. My DD2 has SEN and I nag her to drink. Nagging is something I hate doing but that is one of mine.

DD1 is my teen and like yours has gone off breakfast. She eats Kraves without milk. Its crap but at least its something to keep her going until lunch. Find something she will eat, just going with the something better than nothing notion.

Skirt and make-up, don't sweat those issues.

Your DH must be on your side and work with you.

In your place I would go back to basics. Have a sit down talk at the weekend when there are no time pressures and spell out what behaviour is expected and what is unacceptable. Agree a reward system and stick to it.

As for sanctions I warn before I carry out, eg 1) please stop that, 2) stop now or xyz will happen 3) you were warned - consequence xyz.

MrRected Wed 24-Apr-13 22:57:53

My DS was exactly like this 5 months ago. I was tearing my hair out.

In November last year I cracked. I grounded him for a month and banned all screens (including his phone). He was extremely angry for the first week, quiet and withdrawn the second, then he clicked back into the beautiful boy I know he really is. It was really hard to take such a hard line - but it really worked.

Since then we have a no screen policy for all 3 kids Mon-Thur and I have very tight controls on DS' phone use (no Kik, no FB).

We have addressed our own issues too - we were not present enough in his life. Now we spend real time with him. Life is much better now.

Sonnet Thu 25-Apr-13 06:47:05

Thank you everyone. I am reading this in a calmer frame of mind this morning.
briansbrain I wish I could leave her to walk in the morning, I would do it in. Heartbeat but we are 18 miles from school. I take them to school and go to work 5 mins away. Rural area so no buses.

I need to:
take back control
be calmer and not get drawn in.
Be aware of my flash points. I see red when she demands eg a McDonald's when I pick her up tonight, a new dress etc I think why the hell should you get anything when you are so rude. Not a day goes past without some demand for something new.

I think many of her issues stem from being hungry when I pick her up and not drinking much all day. She isn't interested in a healthy snack or a sandwich but demands chocolate, crisps etc. if I don't have a snack with me she kicks off until we stop at a shop Nd buy one. If the snack I bring is not what she wants then ditto. I need to be ready for this.

I have her phone and she is not having it back at the moment

Sonnet Thu 25-Apr-13 06:48:00

Need to wake her up now!!

YoniCollette Thu 25-Apr-13 06:56:42

Ask your gp to refer her to CAMHS.

Badvoc Thu 25-Apr-13 07:09:41

Ok. First off, violence is unacceptable.
Next time she kicks off and is pysically abusive you need to tell her - calmly - that if she is violent you will call the police.
And then you need to be prepared to do just that.
12 is old enough to know right from wrong.
Wrt school...let school deal with it.
If she doesn't do her homework then they will punish her.
Not your problem.
Wrt her other issues then perhaps a gp referral is in order? Cahms?
Do not give her the phone back.

baskingseals Thu 25-Apr-13 07:19:00

Good luck today - it takes time to turn things around, don't get angry with yourself if you don't react the way you would like to, this is long term stuff.

Agree with being crystal clear on consequences. Would also add that it would be helpful to spend some time with her on your own. You don't have to fix her - just listening can be enough.

Just want to add that you are certainly not pathetic, quite the reverse.

Sonnet Thu 25-Apr-13 07:24:02

Thank you all. Will phone GP today.
Thank you baskingseals for your support
No she is not getting her phone back!

Chandon Thu 25-Apr-13 07:38:56

It sounds to me as if your DH is a big part of the problem, that he does not do enough to back you up at all times (and you say he gets angry with you when she kicks off?!).

I do not know about age 12, as mine only 11, but there is a dfinite start of A mouthy attitude. I have very strixt rules about not helping yourself to food ( guess that gets harder when they get older?) and I WILL say:" you cannot talk to me like that! You cannot behave like that!", and withold pocket money if behaviour does not improve.

You may need to stop spoiling her, by occassionally giving in to her demands she knows it works being stroppy, best to simply never give in to snacks or McD, really, never at all. Just bring some snacks and a drink when you pick her up, if she does not like it tough.

But really, I would say, you first need to get your DH on board. How is your marriage atm? sorry, not my business, but you really need a united front here.

Sonnet Thu 25-Apr-13 08:44:35

I would say our marriage is fine. We do have one big issue - DD2.

He has a tendency to wade in when things are kicking off between us by saying 'you two are as bad as each other' 'you are both pathetic'. He puts us both in the wrong together. This is followed by him loosing his temper with Dd2. This is what happened last night.

This morning things have gone well... She has been quiet but polite, got ready on time, had a breakfast of half a weetabix, bannana and fruit juice.
Gone off to school looking slightly smarter than usual.

Now I have to pull myself together for a day at work!

Sonnet Thu 25-Apr-13 08:49:42

Getting DH on board will be hard as his response will be 'I 've heard it all before and it dosn't happen'
TBH I don't have the strength to fight with him. I need to show him that by disengaging with her she will improve. I know that disengaging works as I proved it during an incident in the Easter holidays

Sonnet Thu 25-Apr-13 08:50:53

chandon agree about never never giving in. Will focus on that totally

Sonnet Thu 25-Apr-13 10:37:19

At work but this is going round and round in my head.

She suffers from very low self esteem too. Whilst I know I have to be tougher on her and also just want to cuddle her close.

Chandon Thu 25-Apr-13 13:23:32

Important to cuddle her and spoil her when you feel like it, but the " spoiling" has to be n your terms, not hers.

I am disappointed with your DH, I really think he is a big part of the problem.

By saying things like " you two are as bad as eachother" he clearly sees the two of you as being of the same hierarchical level. That's surely not right? How can he talk to you like that?!

Clearly, his attitude is key here, imo.

My DH, who is not perfect, will say when we have soem kick off "listen to your mother", which is more helpful I think.

Sonnet Thu 25-Apr-13 13:41:45

I aso think DH is a big part of the problem. I totally agree about the hierarchical level. He does not always respond like this and can also tell her to "listen" to me. Always, when he does not respond well the kick off/fall out is far worse. He also carrys on a conversation with her and will not disengage which just fuels the fire further.

The issue is he will not listen at the moment if I try to talk to him which will just wind me up and upset me. I need ny strength and energy for DD2

During my lunch break I started reading "Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting". I need to find a way of engaging with her that doesn't prompt a stand off. I need her to co operate. I do everything for her; pick up her clothes, make her bed, clear up the bathroom after her - all to avoid any stand offs
I have made a rod for my own back - and i need to sort it before it esculates even worse

Thank you all for listening - it is really helping posting here

Sonnet Thu 25-Apr-13 16:14:56

Right, just about to pick up, have snack, will disengage if needed

Sonnet Thu 25-Apr-13 18:33:16

An update for tonight so far:
A good evening, was calm at pick up. Only one minor kick off when I asked her to put her seat belt on. She threw her school bag and snack across the car. I did not engage. She finally put her seat belt on. She has trampolined, made pudding for us all and been pleasant.

So far so good

Just about to start homework/revision. Had the usual moaning about why she has to do it. I have not engaged in conversation. She has now 'gone to the toilet' the usual excuse for putting it off.

I am ignoring...

TobyLerone Thu 25-Apr-13 19:38:34

Good for you. It might be worth discussing your strategy with your husband, and asking him to support you while you give it a shot to see if it makes a difference. Then he should realise that you're not just being ineffectual and 'pathetic'.

bigbuttons Thu 25-Apr-13 19:39:40

sonnet, you are not dancing remember?. Always remember that thevbnext time she tries to lure you in and metaphorically offers her hand for the temper tantrum tangowink

Googleit Thu 25-Apr-13 20:09:38

She really needs more of your time and attention. You need to get to the root of the problem and try to work it out.

my 9 year old behaved like this but his behaviour is changing through patience and talking it through. I could hardly drive through his tantrums. He had a number of obsessions one of them was a pet obsession and we had to go 24 hour super market to get a dog lead. It seemed to go on for ever. Sometimes give in...but let her know you love giving in is not the politically correct thing but we dont have these issues any more. talk to her and try and find out what's going on because obviously something is not right in her world. Maybe she needed a statement of special educational needs so she has the extra help at school. Maybe you should see if it's not too late to get one.

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