12 yr old DD - turned into a lying, manipulative bully overnight - at a loss(6 Posts)
DD started secondary school in september, she goes to a school none of her primary school friends do. Initially she was fine, but since January her behaiour has got increasingly worse.
She has been pulled up at school 3 times in 3 months for putting her hands on another child, she lies both to us and her friends, even when the truth is staring her in the face, she is picking on other kids, including her brothers, and it just seems she is going out of way to make every day as challenging as possible.
It has left me at a loss - she has admitted she has a problem so we have made her a doctors appointment, but i just wonder what else we can do for her!
This must be really upsetting and worrying for you. Could it be that she hasn't settled in as well as you initially thought? Has she made new friends? Is it possible that she's made new friends on the back of her new tough girl persona, and now she feels she has to live up to it? Is there a cyclical nature to her bad behaviour? (I'm thinking hormone related.) Does she get upset by her own behaviour, or is she unrepentant? Could she be crying out for attention?
Sorry. So many questions. I'm not necessarily expecting you to answer them here - they're more things for you to think about. Regardless of the answer to any of them, I think what I would be doing is trying to spend as much time as possible with her. To try to find out what's making her tick or what her trigger points are. I know that that can be difficult to find time for in a busy family, especially now she's at the age where she probably wants to spend more time on her own, but it's worth trying to find time for some quality one to one time. I don't mean scheduling an appointment for a serious talk: I mean stuff like taking her out to a coffee shop, or asking for her help with some baking, or sorting through some old photos. Just activities where you can chat at the same time.
Best of luck, OP.
She refuses to talk to either me or her step-dad, no matter how much we ask.
when we ask her why shes doing it she says its to make other people like her, or she doesnt know,ts incredibly frustra iting for all of us.
it does just seem to be geting worse though. she does cry when we try and talk to her, but it doesnt seem to change the behaviour. Yes, i think some of it is hormones, but i think there is more to it
Then I think lavish as much attention on her as you can. Get her a diary too: she might be able to sort out some of her feelings if she starts writing them down. And, in time, she might feel better able to open up to you.
It sounds quite telling that she says it's to make people like her, as pip suggested she may have got in with a certain group and now feels she has to keep up her tough girl persona. It's easy for this to become habit outside school too or for her to have conflicted feelings that are making her act out.
Perhaps as suggested spend time with her but don't even mention the behaviour during those times - you don't want to get in a situation where she feels she is the behaviour or that it defines her.
Could I ask why she didn't go to the same school as the rest of her primary friends? Just curious.
Is it worth talking to school (apologies if you have already) as well as Dr?
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