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Advice? DH objects to counselling for 10 y/o(24 Posts)
So as not to drip feed.
My Mum has mental health issues
I had a breakdown approximately eight years ago and DH never once ask me how I was (!)
I am functioning well, use tools I was given etc but don’t drive a car as it makes me anxious to the point of brain freeze. But I generally don’t need to as I can take train, Bus or taxi if I need to.(this is just to illustrate that even some everyday skills are out of reach for me)
So, my DD (10) has been difficult for approx last six months. Things like shouting when things don’t go her way, being shouty too when late for school in the morning (even though she was asked 20 mins prior to ensure she had school bag packed, lunch and drink, Hair brushed etc). It essentially is her wanting things her own way or the rest of us feel her wrath. But actually, I think it’s because she has a deadline and feels out of control. I have tried to explain that preparing the night before etc. helps to ensure you have adequate time in the mornings but it’s like she is deaf to all advice.
I have tried the reward approach, praising effort and buying a nail polish or something else as a treat. That worked for all of one day and then didn’t work each time I’ve tried it.
I have tried consequences ( if you do x again, I will remove your iPad for x days). That created more shouting and she basically was like a sullen teenager until x days over and she got it back and then went back to shouting. Every, single, time I tried this tactic.
I’ve tried the “I can see you are annoyed about x can you let me know why it made you feel that way so we can fix it” type approach but she basically shouts and says horrible things like shut up and I don’t care about her etc.
Because none of my methods are working and because I don’t have any others in my arsenal, I suggested we take her to child psychologist or counsellor (privately) to give her the tools to work out how to manage her feelings without explosions of rage.
DH doesn’t want her to go as he doesn’t like “people messing with your head”. THIS explains a lot and means I don’t know him at all really (even though I am with him 21 years, married 13) and I feel the rug has been pulled from under me. He can’t deal with mental illness. I thought he just couldn’t deal with me, career woman who basically imploded one day and stepped off the fast track to CEO land and now has a senior but relatively anonymous role in big blue chip.
But the fact that it’s not me, it’s mental health in its entirety that he can’t deal with has floored me.
How can I get the help for my daughter if he won’t buy into this? We need to have a united front don’t we?
Do you think this behaviour warrants counselling? Does she behave like this at school, do they have any concerns about her?
Sounds like normal tween hormonal behaviour.
I think you're jumping the gun a bit on her needing counselling
She doesn’t need counselling. She is a child who is being a child. IME, your DD is just being herself. Stop punishing her - it isn’t working and she will resent you and kick off even more. Just ignore her behaviour.
You cannot change the way your DD feels or behaves but you can change the way you react to her.
Caselgarcia, no behaviour issues at school, Top three always in class. National team for one very niche sport too.
It seems just at home and with us parents. Which is why I think we are doing something wrong and can’t properly guide her.
I remember a few years ago watching a programme on TV where child psychologist said parents bring him a problem child, but it’s rarely the child, but the parents who just can’t guide the child’s emotions correctly,
Fatty, thanks. Perhaps you are right. I think my lack of success here is making me concerned. Her rage is phenomenal when it gets going. No violence but an immense level of shouting at a vey high volume. It scares me actually.
Toads, thanks. I’ve tried ignoring her. I may have to try harder if this is the general consensus.
I have two 10 year olds. They are lovely, very well behaved, bright, kind etc
But I completely recognise the behaviour you are talking about. It’s normal onset of puberty behaviour.
We talk it through and remind them of acceptable standards and that how we behave shouldn’t be dictated by how we feel.
You know your DD best of course but not withstanding your family history I don’t see any cause for particular concern.
Your DH’s attitude to mental health is a completely different subject and probably bears more discussion - have you had any marriage counselling?
I think if both you and your DD would like her to have counselling, then you should go for it. Your DH's abdication of responsibility on this should not slow you down.
And as for the rages being part of being a teenager - well, some teenagers, yes. But not them all. It's not an inevitable part of being a teenager, and if your DD is finding it distressing then by all means seek help.
To follow on from your last post. Shouting isn’t allowed. It’s ok to feel how you feel, and to express how you feel, but it’s not ok to scream/shout/throw things/ be mean.
If morning is the pressure point, get her bag packed and clothes laid out the night before. Get her up earlier so that she has plenty of time.
Reduce the stress for both of you.
PennyWhistle, thanks that behaviour should not be dictated by how we feel remark is very useful. I shall use that in our next discussion.
My DH and I haven’t had marriage counselling but I have had individual counselling where I was told to take care of myself and try not to compromise in key issues.
Archery Annie, thanks for your reply. As she is only 10, I didn’t think teenage rage. However, you might have something... maybe puberty is starting early for her.
Thanks PennyWhistle. I have prepared her and her belongings the night before. However, she often changes her mind about clothing choices (no school uniform required) and that just causes further delays as it can be a fashion show before school not to mention the absolute chaos that this leaves her bedroom.
Perhaps others are correct, it is the onset of early puberty but you are correct; shouting is not acceptable especially when we are all trying to get our on time for Work/school.
There's a few different things going on here, I think.
First, if you read up about puberty these days, then children especially girls go into it one to two years earlier than in the past So, the changes before periods can be from 8 upwards (hair, body changes, needing deodorant) without it being early. Menstruation is now average age about 12. So, it's more than likely this has a hormonal aspect.
Secondly, I wonder if you can work with your dd on this issue a bit- sounds like she doesn't like being late/not knowing what to wear either. I'd sit her down and say 'this can't go on, your shouting is not acceptable, I get you are stressed in the mornings, how can we work out a solution that means you and I don't end up shouting'. She may have some good ideas- perhaps choose two outfits and lays them out, then picks one by 8, with 20 minutes to spare for everything else.
You can still have consequences for the shouting- but rewarding and punishing smacks of little kids stuff to me- I say things like 'if you are shouting, you are making my life unpleasant and I don't think I will feel so kindly disposed to taking you out tonight to Guides'- in our house, being nice most of the time is linked to co-operative happy parents, and if you start being really unpleasant, I just won't be driving here there and everywhere for people who are rude to me the rest of the time. This seems to work- as would 'would you like to go into school and sit with your teacher and discuss how to help you so you aren't late' (!) Natural consequences which stem from the thing you are dealing with, so being tired/late, are better than random nail polish stuff.
If you want to get counselling yourself, or she seems keen to have another adult to talk with, I'd ask her, but I wouldn't push it. I have gone through phases of difficulties in the morning time with both my children, and they have come out of it- in one case, the child actually couldn't structure it all by themselves and needed me to teach them how to be organized, and now they have got it, but it took til second year secondary for this to be easy for them.
I'd also say, contrary to some, though, that I don't see the odd bit of shouting as a Very Bad Thing, rather a learning curve that they aren't getting it right at the moment. I won't tolerate being shouted at constantly in my own home, but the odd shouting session wouldn't alarm me, nor saying awful things to parents occasionally- what you don't want is it to become habitual or a default way of behaving, but everyone gets it wrong or has flares up of emotion sometimes, and part of parenting pre-teens/teens which is really hard is not over-reacting or under-reaction when this happens.
I completely understand the choosing clothes dilemma.
What works for us is DD choosing three different outfits (down to accessories) and putting them each on a hanger. In the morning she chooses one and the others go back in the cupboard.
Rigorously organising cupboard and drawer space also helps.
Also ruthlessly editing out anything that doesn’t fit or she won’t wear. (You have to do this with absolute honesty and no judgement, none of this “But Granny bought that dress”. Less in the wardrobe helps promote good decision making.
I should say that a bit like when they were toddlers, both my ten year olds (boy and girl) occasionally need a random hug when they are getting overly emotional.
Sometimes just randomly saying “would a hug help” or making them laugh with something silly makes a huge difference.
This isn’t a problem to “fix”, it’s a stage you have to pass through.
It’s laudable that you’re considering your DD’s mental health, especially given the family history and her high achieving (which can sometimes mean higher risk of MH issues).
I too have MH issues (anxiety) and a DD of similar age with some challenging behaviours! Before seeking professional help I might try tips from online and “self help” type parenting books and seek to agree handling with DH.
You talk a lot about your parenting, but how about DH? What are his ideas for improving the dynamics?
I agree that your DH’s attitudes about MH are a concern. Why haven’t you mentioned to him before that it’s unsupportive to say the least to never refer to your breakdown or discuss your - or his - MH?
SummerSwallow, I appreciate your advice and appreciate too you sharing you had issues which passed... this gives me hope!
PennyWhistle. I too have twin b/g 10 year olds :-)
I have been repeating (in my head) small people, big emotions a lot. She seems to just flare really fast and furious and you can’t suggest anything like s hug until the temper has passed. I’m not ashamed to say it scares me and oddly, leaves me feeling rather depleted of energy. I think I’m steeling myself so much when I see it start that I have little left when it’s over.
I do give lots of hugs and we are a very loving family 99% of the time.
I guess, I’ll try try try again with this. I’m scared I’m doing it all wrong and not guiding her correctly, I really want to get it right ( legacy issues of my own horrible childhood which I unpicked with a counsellors for years)
Dozer, thank you for your support. As I suffer from General Anxiety Disorder, which is mostly under control thankfully, I am very thankful for constructive comments.
I have spoken with my DH about his lack of help and general absence of obvious kindness in terms of jollying me along, but he put it down to his upbringing, schooling (very posh, very stiff upper lip sort) and the fact that he is not a talker. I knew this about him when I married him so it’s not a surprise but I honestly thought he would mellow as he got older ( I know leopards etc) but he has actually become firmer in his stance.
He is a good father in that he ensures kids have lots of extra curricular activities ( we both do) will ferry them about when I can’t etc. But there is an absence of warmth and generally little softness.
Perhaps I just feel at sea with this... I need to go away and think of all these lovely suggestions and form a plan. He is very strong in his stance that she won’t be having any sort of counselling and whilst I can see by comments here I may be jumping the gun a little, I would be alarmed if he ruled it out if things don’t improve after some positive chats with DD.
How about instead you see a parenting coach? We saw one a year ago to help us with our 17yo and it definitely helped.
TeenTimesTwo - yes, I am really considering that. Thank you for your guidance. Good to know you found it beneficial.
How is dd when shes calm and not having one of her rages? Have you spoken to her then about her feelings, if anythings going on thats upsetting her etc? Otherwise it does sound quite hormonal in which case allowing her to vent then lots of cuddles and love afterwards.
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