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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 Thu 30-May-13 15:08:04

Thank you all. Things have definitely been better. I believe it is all linked to her leaning issues and lack of self esteem wrt school work.

I have removed all additives from her diet, not that there were many, and if I feed her 3 good meals a day she is much calmer. She is back from a cinema trip and sleepover, no proper evening meal and a junky breakfast. That combined with lack of sleep is making her very on edge.

I have removed things of value in the past (and still do as I have nothing else to barter with) but tbh I do not think it helps much.

Thank you again, great advice here that I read and read again

Kleinzeit Tue 21-May-13 14:23:43

Glad to hear things are going better. You've had lots of good advice so not much to add.

One thing that might (possibly!) help with the going to the shop is to tell her in the morning before she goes to school. So that she knows in advance that she will not be going to the shop that afternoon. Or discuss it at the weekend - how many times you will take her in a week, which days, etc. That way she has time to be mentally prepare herself, and it might stop her from spending the day thinking “Mum will take me to the shop” and getting disappointed and angry when you say no.

Perhaps even agree to use a trip to the shop on Friday as a reward for good behaviour through the week? If you do then be specific about what sort of good behaviour – it could be no tantrums, or it could be homework done, or whatever, but just pick one thing that you know she can do and stick to it. And don’t take the reward away if she’s earned it, even if she's not been perfect in other ways.

Lavenderlane Tue 21-May-13 13:24:01

I agree with the others on ignoring the behaviour, she seems to have learnt what buttons to press. I also feel for you because there is no quick and easy answer. You and your DH need to get the control back and put on a united front. Hearing you row will only distract from her behaviour and cause a lot more stress for you. Could you sit down with your DH to discuss strategies you both agree on, accepting that implementing them wont happen over night. At crisis times we can tend to revert to instinctive responses, but if you both accept this and agree to discuss them when your DD is not around, bit by bit, you may be able to respond in a more controlled united way (rather than an emotional).

As for strategies to help with your daughters behaviour, firstly you need a no tolerance for dangerous behaviours e.g. hitting in a car. If she does this she may injure herself, you or an innocent bystander. Be clear she will be asked to get out of the car, if she wont do that, park the car up and walk yourself. Sounds extreme but she needs to know you mean business. Hopefully it will only mean you will have to do this once or twice.

What things (not just possessions) does she value? Confiscating these or preventing access to them e.g. money or friends could be a way forward. Although, you need to think carefully about the impact of what you choose to do - if you take her phone does she just contact her friends through facebook etc? Who puts credit on her phone? Could you have a staged approach to her behaviour "if you do this then x will happen, if you continue then x will". Give her the choice, allow her five minutes to turn her behaviour around (ignoring whatever she does), if after the five minutes she hasn't calmed down implement the second sanction. In my experience of teenagers (I know your DD is only 12) money, phones, make up and friends mean a lot to them, but you may know of other things that are dear to your DD.

Please don't take this post as a criticism, I am just trying to provide you with practical advice.

RosemaryandThyme Tue 21-May-13 11:08:52

Hi - yes extreme emotional outburst can be linked to fluctuating hormones.

GP blood tests can identify, keeping a daily chart could give an indication of patterns, with such a young girl things may well be rocky as her body adjusts to a regular cycle.

Do try GP for advice.

Sonnet Sun 19-May-13 07:53:51

I thought an update was in order. I think something has clicked ....

Things have been so so much better until last night. Dd kicked off although I refused to dance she kept on and on. Today her period started.
When I originally posted her period started 2 days later. She started her periods over a year ago. So whilst the original problems still stand I think they are enhanced by PMT. anyone any advice please? X

Ineedmorepatience Wed 01-May-13 15:09:03

Hi sonnet I hope your week is progressing ok.

It sounds as though you did well staying calm, I think you are right about it being the key to a generally calmer atmosphere.

It is disappointing that the school seem to think they dont have to take responsibility for homework. They set it at the end of the day so they should be consistent in their approach to getting it back.

I agree with bigbuttons about looking for positive things. When she does her homework [with or without a fuss] praise her for completing it and try to comment as little as possible on the quality of it.

Many children find homework really hard, it is the home is home, school is school thing.

If you are concerned about her standards of work I would make an appointment to see her head of year or form teacher.

At the end of the day if she is working well at school then she will be showing them what she is capable of at school and so long as you provide her the opportunity to do her homework then you are showing the school that you are supporting them now they need to show that they are supporting you.

There has been some research in to the actual benefits of homework and I am pretty sure they found that there was very little value to it.

We hate, hate, hate homework in my housesad

Keep up with the calm approach and good lucksmile

bigbuttons Tue 30-Apr-13 18:49:45

sonnet, they key at the moment is to choose your goals. One at a time. I work as a support for a year 6 boy atm. He has behavioural issues and cannot concentrate well etc etc. Sometimes the goal simply is that he has been calm for the day, not shouted out, not drawn all over someone and crawled under the table.
Stuff the work.
They cannot do it all at once if they have 'issues'.
You make the goals small and manageable, that way you are able to praise and point out progress being made. This of course makes the child feel good , feel that they are succeeding, that they have pleased you. If you get them onside then they are far more likely to toe the line when more challenging stuff needs ti be addressed.
Instead of looing for the negatives ( like the standard of her work) just concentrate on how well she is doing, especially compared with last week when you first posted.
They will be bad days too, just when you thought it was better, but we all have crap dayssmile

Sonnet Mon 29-Apr-13 22:02:46

I have just re read your posts ineedmorepaitence and I cannot get over how your dd3 sounds like my dd2!!

Sonnet Mon 29-Apr-13 22:00:50

bigbuttons yes food is key after school and at other times as well I coming to realise. I think she needs food every couple of hours

Sonnet Mon 29-Apr-13 21:59:22

I thought an update was due.
Well Sunday did not go according to plan.. Dd dawdled doing her work although no meltdowns. She did give DH attitude which earned her a lecture. But all in all no big kick offs or melt downs. This morning went okay too with even a bit of breakfast eaten. She came out of school late tonight after rounders and tennis and was on good form and are the snack I bought. Interestingly she said she loved her school lunch today and was not that hungry at 5.
The rest of the evening was not great, not bad but could be a lot better. Spent ages mucking about before setting down to homework and both pieces are shoddy considering the amount of time she spent on them. At least they are done and no melt downs. She genuinely seems happier and we are calmer - chicken and egg? I really don't know.
Ineedmorepaitence love the idea re choosing a multipack of snacks for the week- I can see that really working smile
School quite disappoint me with their attitude re undone homework. I think eventually they will give detention but only probably a term of loosing house points and phoning me! There is a homework club before school and lunchtime but getting dd to give up her social life will never work. She loves schools apart from the lessons smile

bigbuttons Sun 28-Apr-13 17:15:52

yes the after school need for food.....Ii think of them as baby birds, all mouths open and needing to be fed!. As soon as they come out I put food in their mouths, with the younger ones that can be literal! No time for moaning as they have a mouth full of food!

Ineedmorepatience Sun 28-Apr-13 16:26:08

I was just wondering what do the school do if she doesn't do the homework. I have an agreement with school that if Dd3 cant/doesnt do her homework at home then I am fine about them asking her to attend homework club at lunchtime at school. It is not detention but it is like a last chance for the children to get their homework done.

She now does some at home and some at school, usually written stuff at school and computer stuff at home.

At the secondary that she will go to they also run lunchtime and after school homework sessions for children who find it difficult to work at home.

I am all for reducing my stress levels as Dd3 kicks off less if I am calm.

With going to the shop could you maybe try buying a multi pack of her choice on a monday and not going to the shop again till friday maybe or even only once a week. I dont know it depends on how much you want to change the behaviour. You have to chose your battles and decide on what is most important to you. If you take on too much you will be exhausted and wont be able to find time for the positive stuff.

Good lucksmile

Lawlaw84 Sun 28-Apr-13 14:39:09

My heart goes out to you! I know how hard it is to cope with a child with behavioral issue. My son has awful outbursts which were witnessed at school and home. The school advised me to contact my GP and get a referral through them to CAMHS. The school have been great and I now have a support worker who helps me and advises me what is best to do in certain situations. My son is 10x better now, though he had an anger outburst last week at school and hit a girl. He has been severely punished for this. It will get better with outside support. I would speak to get school to see what they think too. Good luck x

Sonnet Sun 28-Apr-13 14:22:12

Very helpful post ineedmorepatience I totally identify with your school pick up time. I have not been as good as you and have given in and gone to the shop sad I have made a rod for my own back giving in to avoid meltdowns...

Sonnet Sun 28-Apr-13 14:18:55

The resistance to homework is incredible! But no kick off...
Keeping calm and not getting drawn in to her 'discussions'.

Ineedmorepatience Sun 28-Apr-13 13:03:29

Hi sonnet I have just been reading your thread, I have 3 Dd's and they have all gone through stages of being really challenging. The youngest has Asd in the mix as well but she is only 9 so not officially a teen yet [someone tell her that].

You have been given some great advise so far and I just wanted to agree that no engaging in arguments with her is absolutely the way to go.
Stand firm but dont enter into discussions if she is shouting, swearing or being aggressive.

I have the snack issue with Dd3 she has a massive low when she comes out of school so i always take her a snack. If she doesnt like [on that day] the snack I have chosen she can wait till we get home. I also always have a bottle of water for her.

I make the offer of the snack, if she choses to eat it, fine. If not she waits. Sometimes she wails and moans about going to the shop but I just say No once and then that is it. Sometimes she paddy's in the street but I just keep walking. 9 times out of 10 she ends up eating what I have given her.

We praise all the time for tiny things like getting up on time, packing her bag, being helpful. We are very specific about what we are praising but that is because of the Asd.

You have done really well this week to begin to change your Dd's behaviour but dont forget if you need more support there are people out there who can help you. The school can refer to CAHMS and some areas except self referrals.

Good luck and stay strongsmile

Sonnet Sun 28-Apr-13 12:43:20

Thank you everyone! We had a family day out yesterday with another family that went well - well it would as she was doing something she liked. She did have a kick off yesterday morning because she wanted to charge her iPod. She didn't explain that just refused to get ready so things did get a bit shouty blush. Later on we had a chat and I explained that if she had explained the situation it would have avoided the arguments. I hope it sunk in!
This morning we have been involved in the village litter pick so the acid test is this afternoon and the two pieces of homework to be done.
DH, dd and I have had a conversation about doing 'our jobs' without rowing and then followed by a walk in the forest. Dd also keen to make cakes with me so we will see what this afternoon brings!

Googleit Sat 27-Apr-13 22:44:27

Just caught up from Friday and I am really pleased at how things have improved for you
She is obviously a bright and popular girl and couldn't cope with the drop in her grades when she had higher expectations of herself and which gave her self esteem This shows she is a girl who is just not only interested in make up and superficial things.

You took control and changed your behaviour and you have seen the benefits. You have also got to the root of the problem. Ignoring bad behaviour also ignors the child or so it does in their minds whether you like it or not. You addressed the behaviour.

It was me who said ditch the parenting books and I still think they do more harm than good but if it helps you be happier then that also helps your child.
Well done and no matter that your DH is not supportive ..accept that there are some things we cant change...your reward is in having a happier child

spaceangel1382 Fri 26-Apr-13 23:13:18

More than once you mention her wearing make up, doing her hair up etc. taking her phone is a little punishment...take the make up!!!! Take her hair straighteners. She could be hiding behind her looks because she thinks she is no good at school. These stupid celebs brag about bring thick but pretty and making their lives a ' success'. She might think its a option for her.
Don't argue with her. Don't explain yourself like you need to justify your answer to her. Just say NO!!! Your DH needs to man up and back you up. This is a fight you need to be banded together in. Don't let her see her actions are causing grief between you and DH. United parenting front.
I hope things get better for you. X

bigbuttons Fri 26-Apr-13 21:16:47

Seems like you are getting a handle on things sonnet. She needs boundaries in order to feel safe and of course it's also her job to push against them!

Sonnet Fri 26-Apr-13 19:52:28

Sorry about random numbers at the end?!

Sonnet Fri 26-Apr-13 19:52:01

Thank you mrsfletch it helps to know I am not alone. You are right about dehydration. I insist she drinks but it when she is away from me the damage occurs. Hope you have a better evening too 😄

MrsFletch Fri 26-Apr-13 19:15:15

I am new to this and only just realised I had only just read up until Wednesday before posting so most people had beaten me to it with more helpful stuff!!

MrsFletch Fri 26-Apr-13 19:09:36

I sympathise. I have 12 year old boy, not dissimilar on occasions. Tonight he screamed and shouted at his dad when his xbox game was interrupted, telling him to get lost and calling him a retard. I pulled the plug out. I can only guess it's hormones. I told him in no uncertain terms how cross I was, disappointed etc and no more xbox tonight. He does calm down and is genuinely sorry and knows he has done wrong. I don't find that punishments work very well (loss of phone etc). My son is better dealt with by lack of attention and affection. If I ignore him and look sad (not too difficult after an outburst) he eventually feels really bad and apologetic. I think it is a self control issue that they can't quite get to grips with yet - and let's face it quite a few adults can't! Definately got to grit your teeth and stay calm. If you fight fire with fire it just explodes! I would pick up on the point that she doesn't drink enough - dehydration can do awful things to your mood and behaviour. I still plant drinks in front of mine at regular intervals and insist it is drank (drunk?!).

Sonnet Fri 26-Apr-13 17:29:40

Thanks musickeepsmestrong, just waiting for them now. We also lost an uncle last August very suddenly too.

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