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DD (9) making my life hell - is it my fault or is there something wrong?

(27 Posts)
EnoughAlready999 Wed 13-Jan-16 11:54:55

My DD is not at school today partly because we woke up late which got things off to a bad start (she likes to get up at 7, watch TV for an hour while eating breakfast and then leave at 8.30) and partly because she had a school trip which involved quite a lot of walking and because her new shoes didn't arrive yesterday, she "had nothing else to wear". I suggested wearing trainers and I'd write a note for the teacher but no nothing would do and then she just got all upset. She was looking forward to the trip so was upset about that but still wouldn't go.

She is just very difficult - fussy (not with food but with clothes, activities etc) and strong-willed. She was annoyed the other day that because she missed school last week we hadn't given in the slip for after-school clubs. She usually never wants to do any kind of club/hobby/sport so I was surprised she was bothered about it. I came home after dropping her off, found the form and filled in what I thought she'd like to do and dropped it back into the school office. Surprise surprise, she got into a sporty club that she doesn't want to do - because there is one person there she doesn't like, along with others she does.

I just hear myself saying to myself "I give up, I can't do it anymore" and just looking forward to when she's grown up and gone. This obviously makes me very sad.

She is very rude and disrespectful and I am absolutely dreading the teenage years sad

EnoughAlready999 Wed 13-Jan-16 11:56:49

This thread resonated with me:

I think she's definitely anxious and quite possibly autistic.

PhilPhilConnors Wed 13-Jan-16 12:02:21

Fussy with clothes could indicate sensory difficulties. If you google sensory processing disorder you'll find more info.

I think if you suspect ASD, which can go hand in hand with anxiety, your instincts are probably right.
How is she at school?
Research ASD, find out as much as you can and try different strategies with her.
Don't give up on her, you can do it, it gets easier when you understand more thanks

TannhauserGate Wed 13-Jan-16 12:07:13

Or maybe she has learnt that if she kicks off she gets a day off school? shock
My DD has AS, and yes, sometimes has a meltdown on her way out of the door because of something that is unbelievably minor to you and me but the world to her. She is late for school- she doesn't get a day off!
She wouldn't have been in at all some weeks...

EnoughAlready999 Wed 13-Jan-16 12:12:02

Yes I've read about sensory processing disorder. She started being very fussy about the feel of clothes at 5 and dislikes loud noises therefore dislikes the classroom. One day last year she was crying because she had a headache during an afternoon of playing clarinets - not surprising really when its 30 clarinets being played in a small classroom.

She is very well behaved at school although I suspect she is quiet. She is doing very well in all areas.

She 'whinges' a lot about different things which is very draining. I am quite a negative person myself so do wonder if its my fault.

Another thing I find odd is that she can't stand me being on the phone for very long and will sometimes try and cut off the call. Our landline phone is not cordless so I have to be on the sofa which is usually where she is (telly addict). Its behaviour I'd expect from a needy 2 year old tbh.

EnoughAlready999 Wed 13-Jan-16 12:14:29

I was waiting for that comment Tann and don't find it very helpful.

As I said she wanted to go on the trip but the combination of waking up late and being unhappy about her school shoes caused her a lot of anxiety.

(The shoes should have arrived yesterday but unfortunately I bought them from an untrustworthy eBay seller)

Iwantakitchen Wed 13-Jan-16 12:21:16

Personally I think a child shouldn't miss school because they don't have the right shoes. I know it's not what you want to hear but if your dd is testing boundaries - which most 9 year old do, and gets to stay at home because she makes a fuss, then she will do it again.

I have two DSs and they will both have a go (in different ways) to miss a day at school about once a term.

EnoughAlready999 Wed 13-Jan-16 12:23:32

Well you're seeing it in a very black and white way Iwant.

You've disregarded all my other worries.

PhilPhilConnors Wed 13-Jan-16 12:24:08

Tann, my son has missed days of school because he was so anxious and I couldn't physically get him in, he runs off.
Nowadays, now he has a diagnosis and we have some scant backup from our GP, I can preempt these anxious phases and take him out of school for a couple of days to reboot.

NerrSnerr Wed 13-Jan-16 12:24:46

I know it's not what you want to hear, but she should have gone into school wearing the trainers. She will know that if she kicks off that she will not have to go to school.

Have you spoken to her teacher about her possibly having asd?

PhilPhilConnors Wed 13-Jan-16 12:32:42

Getting an anxious child into school can be easier said than done though.
School refusal amongst DC with ASD is quite common, it doesn't make the op a bad parent.
It means that the DC needs to be supported better and understood.

Op, talk to school, just because she's well behaved in school doesn't mean there isn't a problem, masking is common (and misunderstood).

You can ask your GP for a referral to a developmental paediatrician to start the ball rolling for possible assessment if you think this is what you need to do.
I would also post in the SN section, there are loads of very experienced posters who can advise you.

EnoughAlready999 Wed 13-Jan-16 12:33:25

No I haven't. He would be very surprised I think. I don't know if its that or just anxiety.

TannhauserGate Wed 13-Jan-16 12:42:18

My DD has Aspergers and anxiety, we have had this type of behaviour for years (she is 9 also).
What works is rock-solid routines, building a framework for our family's life so that things that induce anxiety are minimised, structuring things around her and her needs.
For example, with the shoe/trainer thing, in that situation, I would have been into school the day before, to arrange the permission with DD present, so the anxiety about wearing non-uniform was minimised.

TannhauserGate Wed 13-Jan-16 12:44:01

And, I have to be honest- we have to set almost a dozen alarms in the morning, so that things are done properly, and we're not late.

blobbityblob Wed 13-Jan-16 13:14:12

She sounds sort of similar to my dd (aged 9).

Mine only likes comfortable clothes, just leggings and tops, is fussy with food, can't tolerate loud noises and still interrupts me when I'm on the phone.

She'll be fussy about things but the reasoning won't come out until much later. For example I laid out her swimming things yesterday. The towel was wrong - too scratchy, not big enough, fair bit of shouting about it. What it came down to was that because it was brown her friend said it looked like poo. A lot of the time I think it's about a lack of confidence when dealing with the ever more challenging environment socially at school. I suspect she's not telling you the real reason she doesn't want to go on the trip and it's probably nothing to do with shoes.

I feel for her really. Her day at school involves people commenting on her hair, clothes, what she says, does. One in her group of friends is always trying to isolate someone. She always has to have it in for someone. It's come round to dd's turn and she's not wanting to go to breakfast club with her. Which I can understand.

I'm trying to teach her that it doesn't matter what other people think but it's hard to get that through. Also, it doesn't matter to me if she takes the red towel, wears that top to the disco, doesn't do netball club or whatever so I just let her choose really. Most days involve a fair bit of shouting though. I don't know what's normal really. I think it's about teaching them to negotiate the difficulties and be more confident in themselves.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Wed 13-Jan-16 13:22:33

I'll put this out there, because of the anxiety and because she's missing things she really wants to do - but I'll also say that it's difficult to get diagnosed as it failed to appear in the DSM5 and so many areas refuse to acknowledge it as a separate diagnosis. I'm talking about Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA).

Should it be this though, it needs completely different handling from other types of ASD, which is why it makes me cross that it isn't often diagnosed separately.

Of course, your DD may not fit the profile sufficiently, but if she does, it's worth following the suggested behaviour management techniques, because it can make a huge difference. I have a friend here whose DD2 is almost certainly PDA, but they won't diagnose it here either because of the DSM5 hmm - however, said friend has used the behaviour management techniques to great effect on her DD2 and it's made a huge improvement.

EnoughAlready999 Wed 13-Jan-16 15:58:57

Thank you all for the advice.

I've heard of PDA Thumb and will have a read about it.

uhoh2016 Wed 13-Jan-16 18:26:32

Sorry you're going through this kids are hard work at the best of times. I suspect that she didn't just kick off about wearing trainers but more hand a mental meltdown because she struggled to deal with the change of plans and her routine being disrupted by bring late. Some children can't process what would be simple changes for others. I've no real advice more of a hand to hold. Have you spoken to her teacher, school nurse,GP about your concerns. I'm sure if she's missing school sometimes they'd want to do whatever they can to help you both and help your dd feel safe and secure should anything change with her normal routine. Big hugs to you x

oobedobe Sat 16-Jan-16 01:08:43

I think at 9 she should have her own alarm If getting up to watch tv for an hour is a priority. Though I am not sure it is helping you or her that her routine is so repetitive.
I think the shoe issue should have been dealt with the night before, so it wasn't new information at the last minute. I find my dd1 still copes better at 7 yo with lots of forewarning for events/changes to plans.
I think if you really feel your dd has serious anxiety issues then you do need to persue some extra help.

SeoulSista Sat 16-Jan-16 09:17:33

I don't know whether she has an ASD, but it was not the first thing that came to mind from your posts. But regardless, a nine year old skipping school like that just isn't acceptable.

If you truly feel there may be an issue then you have to progress this either through your GP or the school.

Separate to that you have to enforce that you are the parent and get to make the decisions. So you either have to toughen up and enforce school or help her through the meltdown and then get her to school.

I would also be asking about the basics: enough sleep; healthy diet and I would expect to see a big improvement in behaviour if you cut screen time to zero. It's hard for a week but then sooo worth it.

I think a lot of girls that age have tricky friendship groups, which is another reason to ditch the tv and get her a hobby out of school where she can make other friends. But also talk a lot about kind/unkind and what a good friend does so that she can objectively see what her group is like.

Soooosie Sat 16-Jan-16 09:22:01

Yes could be PDA or ASD. Or you could just have an extremely sensitive daughter without any SEN.

What she like when she arrives at parties?

Soooosie Sat 16-Jan-16 09:23:19

The bitchyness levels at school do increase amongst girls age 7-10, so it might be that your DD is quietly struggling to deal with all that

EnoughAlready999 Fri 22-Jan-16 11:30:06

More trouble getting her to school today. Usual "I've got tummy ache / headache". She ended up going in 30 mins late and HT took her to class. I spoke to her teacher and mentioned autistic traits. We might get the learning mentor involved as this is becoming a barrier to learning.

Waiting for call back from GP.

fabrica Sun 24-Jan-16 15:22:21

You let her stay home because she didn't want to wear trainers and because you got up late? Yeah, really not hard to see where the problem is coming from. And why do you let her numb her mind with TV before school? Good grief.

Choughed Sun 24-Jan-16 15:30:48

I have an easy going DD who is 8 but her behaviour is atrocious after an hour of TV. We started a screen ban during the week last term and it really works, she's a different child. Much better at playing/amusing herself, more engaged with homework etc.

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