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I am SO angry with dd

(25 Posts)
ThisHasGotToStop Sat 22-Sep-12 20:03:07

Not a LP issue but an ongoing one with dd's total lack of respect for stuff, her own included.

She never stops messing, she destroys things. Not by throwing most of the time, with scissors.

I've found cds cut up in the past etc.

She managed to break the lcd screen on her laptop (accidentally I thought at the time), I had it repaired. Then the whole thing just wouldn't work one day. The repair shop said in their opinion, the keyboard had been bashed right over where the hard drive is, completely knackering it.

Recent examples include the new spongebob duvet set I bought her. When I stripped her bed I found she had coloured in the pillowcase with felt pens.

She has a lovely doll that her grandparents bought a couple of years back, a very expensive interactive thing. I was extremely annoyed when I found out the dog had chewed it, why had she let him in her room when she knew he was a chewer, it should have been put away anyway etc, but I accepted these things happen.

She's been playing with this doll today, asked me to look after it while she went to the loo and I don't know why because it's been damaged for months but it suddenly occurred to me that there are no chew marks on it, at all. I finally got her to admit that she did it herself. She cut off its nose and every single finger. She denies damaging its eyes and mouth but i'm thinking she probably did that too.

It has upset me really, I can't understand why she'd deliberately do that to something she likes so much and especially something that her grandparents bought her, I mean seriously, she throws a strop if I even hold her teddy the wrong way in case I "hurt" him. She said she was "angry" with her brother at the time (they fight a lot but no more than most kids do). She's eight by the way so old enough to know better. Not happy with this behaviour at all...why on earth is she doing it?

1moremummyof1 Sat 22-Sep-12 20:22:38

That would really upset me too, and I can understand why you would be worried.
I'm not sure but from what you are describing, it sounds like she might be fairly upset about something but perhaps doesn't know how to express herself?

TBH the combination of her showing anxiety and saying she's worried about you hurting her teddy, and her deliberately hurting her own doll would make me feel a bit anxious too. I really don't want to upset you, but is there any chance that she's doing these things because she is angry and frustrated but feels she can't tell you why? Could she be being bullied at school or somewhere else, or have been hurt by someone herself?

It must make you really cross (and it would make me cross too, if my DS was breaking toys and really expensive items such as a laptop on purpose) however I think it may be worth having a large glass of wine and rant to a friend then a calm, non-confrontational chat with her about how sometimes it can be hard to tell people when you feel really cross and upset. But that it's ok to tell mummy because that's what you're there for. I'm not really sure how you would get her to open up if that were the case, but I think kids often express things non-verbally when they are very emotional. Maybe do some art and get her to do a feelings painting? Sorry I've not got many good ideas on that front but I'm sure someone a bit more knowledgeable will be along soon who can give you some better advice.

ThisHasGotToStop Sat 22-Sep-12 20:40:23

She did have some trouble at school for almost two years and talking to her teachers never really solved it until by complete chance her grandad went to the pub one day and in walks his friend with his daughter (one of the bullies). He had a word and she has left her alone since. Do you think it could have been that?

I just don't know, even as a baby she was very different to ds. He was placid, she used to beat me black and blue when she was a toddler, the tantrums were amazing!

cestlavielife Sat 22-Sep-12 21:10:57

You need to get to the bottom of why she does this, not just get angry at her.

Though most of what you say isn't that outrageous many children cut dolls hair etc or draw on. Things.

All behaviour is communication.

Speak to her school teacher find out what she is like there.

And sit on floor with her and play with teddies and dolls see what scenarios she acts out . Let her lead the story. It might be telling. Eg when brother is asleep or napping get down at her level and play something let her open up to you.
Eg play school with her se if her dolls bully each other ?

chocoreturns Sat 22-Sep-12 21:19:06

Hi THGTS, what a stressful experience for you both. Was the school ever involved when she was being bullied? Do you know what started the bullying in the first place, or whether she has close friends now? It's hard to know sometimes whether something like that has really stopped or just gone underground. TBH thinking about it, it can take a while for me to work out my feelings (months sometimes) and I'm a grown up so maybe it's not so surprising she might still be upset, how long ago did it stop?

On the other hand if she's always been fiesty perhaps she's destructive because she's bored? Would something as simple as channelling it into a positive interest help? You could try signing her up for karate or something similar, which is physically very challenging but also teaches a code of etiquette. I've got a toddler who can really chuck some incredible tantrums right now and I've just signed him up for preschool rugby classes - it's a 'gentleman's sport' I'm told! I'm hoping he'll pick up some positive play stuff from the classes smile

ThisHasGotToStop Sat 22-Sep-12 21:32:44

Hope i'm answering everything here....her school reports have always been glowing, she's in the top groups and perfectly behaved. They say she is a little shy but does well. (Very different to how she is at home, bossy and brattish at times).

She does most of the activities the school provide after hours, choir, science, sport, kickboxing.

She is very popular in general and has lots of friends.

ThisHasGotToStop Sun 23-Sep-12 04:28:43

We had a chat tonight and while I don't think this is the cause of our problems, it has emerged that she wants to see her dad.
I was hoping she'd never ask me this again if i'm honest. He disappeared when I was about four months pregnant and didn't get in contact until she was nearly five. He then met her, messed us about, lied to us and nearly gave me a nervous breakdown while he was at it. He is extremely manipulative and mentally abusive. We'd never even got to the stage where i'd allow him contact without my presence because they had no bond at all, he was hanging around with questionable people and had started drinking a lot in the time we'd been apart. The last time he had contact he was violent towards me for the first time ever and dd saw that.

I said then he'd had his chance and blown it. We haven't seen him since, not a phonecall, Christmas card, Birthday card, nothing apart from his new wife phoning me up and demanding a dna test via csa which obviously came back "positive" for want of a better word. I really don't want to contact him, if I never saw him again it would be too soon. I doubt very much that he's changed. I'm not being selfish, I really don't think it would be a good idea to let him back in our lives. But dd doesn't understand that bless her, she cried and said she'd like to see him as long as he didn't hurt mummy again.

I have no plans to contact him, I wish he was a nicer person but he isn't. She's still my baby and I need to protect her but god do I feel awful. I just don't know how to explain anything to her?

RedHelenB Sun 23-Sep-12 07:03:53

Let HER write a letter to her dad & you help her post it. Can't do any harm if she is already destroying things due to this.

ThisHasGotToStop Sun 23-Sep-12 07:18:13

I don't have his address red, I have an old phone number somewhere for his wife and we have a few mutual friends but that's it. I REALLY dont want to contact him, he's a truly horrible person and I can't see any good coming from them having contact. He doesn't love or care about her at all, all he'll do is screw her head up (and mine).

fusspot66 Sun 23-Sep-12 07:45:39

I have no experience of this sort of thing but don't feel guilted into contact and do seek expert help with DD.

RedHelenB Sun 23-Sep-12 09:32:53

Maybe writing a letter will help her though? Even if it's not posted.Her dad is her dad, he may be the vilest person in the world but he is part of her. You had a child with him so there must have been some positives surely? In an amateurish phscycologist sort of a way it seems significant that she is destroying things that are precious to her, unless she is equally destructive with everything?

chocoreturns Sun 23-Sep-12 14:54:09

I would let her write a letter and put it into a daddy box. Show her photos if you have any, let her know where you met, where he is from, where she was born etc. Give her some ownership of where she came from and try to answer her questions about who he is, without inviting him to provide those answers?

I've spoken at length with my mum about these issues. She never knew her dad and now (at 63) is going to explore the region of Canada she now knows he was born in. Not knowing him doesn't upset her as much as not knowing who she feels she is, or anything about half her heritage. I have no idea whether she would have been happier knowing the actual man, but she often tells me that his absence wasn't the problem - the problem was growing up feeling that half of her heritage was 'bad'. IF you can do things like build a family tree with her, visit family places (where she was born, where you met her dad etc) then she may feel more 'whole' and the need to actually see HIM may fade.

I've read some parenting handbooks for separated/lone parents stuff about how children can grow up feeling they are partly 'bad' if they are only aware of 'bad' things about one parent. My kids are too young for me to have to deal with this yet, but I have kept some pictures of me and my ex pre-divorce (one or two wedding ones, some from when we dated etc when we looked happy, the first birthday card we wrote for our DS1 together and congratulations cards from both boys births) so that the boys will have a memory box to explore if they ask later on. He's written to them once so far and that letter is in there too along with baby pictures he is in holding them. At present he's not absent but contact is a very, very challenging issue for us. I take the attitude hope for the best - prepare for the worst!!

On the plus side, its really good that she's told you this, so if there's any way to build on that trust she's shown you by giving her something positive to think of her dad then it could help (while it may not entirely solve) this problem for now. I can only imagine it will crop up again when she is a teenager, and that might be a better time to let her talk about the facts about him hurting you etc if she's too young to understand that now.

<holds hand> this must be very hard and emotional for you too, keep posting so you have an outlet for your own feelings too. That's what the forum is here for x

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 23-Sep-12 21:51:05

It could be worth chatting to school. My DD has her issues related to ExHs behaviour since he left us, she was clearly very conflicted and confused. I spoke to school and she now sees a professional counsellor once a week at school. Yes stuff is pouring out and some of it is not nice to hear, but she is a much much happier little girl,

solidgoldbrass Sun 23-Sep-12 21:55:08

Seek professional help for your DD. THis is behaviour that demonstrates severe distress and she either doesn't feel able to explain it to you, or you are not listening or not understanding when she does so. So an outsider is needed to help.

ThisHasGotToStop Sun 23-Sep-12 22:56:37

She already knows everything about him choc, she met him don't forget. There really isn't anything more I can tell her sad

Solidgold, really? Do you think it's that bad? I listen to her, we talk lots, she knows that mummy is always there for her no matter what. I'm not one of those mums who never talk to their kids. smile

cestlavielife Sun 23-Sep-12 23:40:42

Do you get maintenance e from ex ie he could betrayed that way?
Agree with your views you don't want him in your life but as dd gets older you can't really stop her asking for his involvement in her life or wanting to know more. I agre it,au be useful to seek profressionak help and advice on handling this. Maybe she is at age where the sense of self is growing and that also includes where she comes frm mum and dad
. So she has a curiosity about him.

Contact centre etc could be used thnif he isn't interested then no pont pursuing but you Los need to be able to tell dd who he is and maybe who he was why you had a baby with I'm etc ?

cestlavielife Sun 23-Sep-12 23:42:25

Sorry typing. That you had a baby with him so there were positive things at one point in time but whatever happened and things changed but it is not her fault ?

BurlingtonBertieFromBow Sun 23-Sep-12 23:43:48

I think she sounds angry and sad

solidgoldbrass Sun 23-Sep-12 23:50:06

You say in your opening post that your reaction to a very clear indication of distress (destroying her own belongings) is to get angry with her. That doesn't mean you're a bad parent, it means you are not able to help her at the moment with whatever is distressing her. Getting angry is not going to work. So you need to seek additional help.

ThisHasGotToStop Mon 24-Sep-12 00:06:05

I take your points. Where my ex is concerned I do not want him involved with us, he had his chance, he used her, he is manipulative, cruel, a liar. He gets his kicks out of destroying people mentally and I wont allow him to do that to my daughter, she is far too precious and I won't have her hurt again. He disrupted her life once and I dont give second chances. I honestly think (know) that she is better off without him in her life. Who would I see about her anger solidgold, the gp?

NotaDisneyMum Mon 24-Sep-12 06:43:59

Rather than focus on your DDs dad not deserving a second chance, perhaps it would be more constructive to consider what your DD deserves?

She clearly has positive memories of her Dad, alongside the negative ones, and she deserves to have a relationship with him in a safe and secure way.

It sounds like you are refusing to even consider how you might be able to achieve that - instead seeking ways to suppress your DDs natural feelings and emotions.

Supervised contact, through a third party, would prevent her Dad from being able to manipulate, bully or assault you - and she would be in a safe environment to develop a relationship with him.

I'm not saying that this what you should do as it depends on individual circumstances - but I'm sure it would help your DD if she knew that you are prepared to explore the options - rather than refuse to acknowledge her needs in this regard.

bigTillyMint Mon 24-Sep-12 06:53:52

I agree with SGB - seek professional help. Go to your GP and talk to him about what is/has been going on and ask for a referral to CAMHS - deliberately destroying valued posessions is a clear cry for help.

Sometimes you need help from someone set apart from the close family to help unravel problemssmile

solidgoldbrass Mon 24-Sep-12 10:20:36

Sorry OP but I rather think the root of the trouble is your refusal to give your DD's dad a second chance. You may be right and he may be a dangerous horrible man but your DD is not seeing it that way and she is angry with you because she percieves you as unfair and unreasonable.

This is why you need someone else involved, someone detached from the situation: your DD will feel more listened to and it may be possible to arrange for her to see her father in a safe place without allowing him to antagonize you.

cestlavielife Mon 24-Sep-12 11:34:36

it isnt about you giving him a second chance but about allowing your dd the chance to find out if he is interested; and yes even set her up to be disappointed . but she has said she wants to see him so you have to find a way to work with that; and allow for safe supervised contact if he agrees to it; so she can find out for herself.

it isnt about you really; but about her. but try and get support of a family therapist, via GP .

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 24-Sep-12 14:46:23

Thishasgottostop I am a Mum who talks to DD a lot, but it became clear to me Ken snogged Barbie (having not been played with for ages this was the first thing they did when they were got out) that there were things that DD couldn't articulate to me either because she did have the right words or felt she couldn't say. The counsellor gives DD a safe place to fully articulate her feelings and through arts and crafts express what she is not old enough to have the words for. It seems the counsellor frees her inhibitions to tell me her true feelings.
It may not be that your DD needs this, but I think until you try you can't be certain. But in my case I felt it was better to give it a try than not.

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