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Really fed up with dd(10) negative attitude

(22 Posts)
Eggwhisk Sat 26-Apr-14 17:20:43

That's it really, dd is 10 and I am so fed up and frustrated with her, she whines constantly, doesn't put any effort into life, gives up at the slightest hurdle and I don't know what to do with her. sad

We've just been having a battle about finishing her Easter holidays homework and she has printed out two pieces of information and thinks that's enough. She seems to have no ambition and no passions, we have tried all sorts of hobbies from musical instruments, dance, brownies, tae kwon do, and swimming in recent years, she has given up nearly everything apart from brownies. We make her go to TKD at the moment but every week she makes an almighty fuss about going. She stuck with Brownies which she did enjoy but she has recently left and I'm hoping she will start guides after Easter.

She talks about hating school, and every little thing that challenges her we get shrieks of ' I hate this thing' or 'it's stupid' and this is rubbing off on her younger siblings. She's enjoys reading and all she wants to do is play minecraft on her tablet which she would do morning noon and night if we let her.

Please does anyone have any strategies to help deal with her, she seems so unhappy all the time

HolidayCriminal Sat 26-Apr-14 18:16:15

yeah, she sounds unhappy. I can only suggest that you open up the lines of communication (you mostly listen to her prattle, don't try to fix anything) & find out what's worrying her. If she opens up enough , eventually you might have some ideas to suggest to her how to improve anything she doesn't like. But it's always her choice. Good luck.

Finnbheara Sat 26-Apr-14 18:29:01

Ds who is now 14 was like this, it drove me up the wall. In the end he would make every family trip out a complete nightmare and was tempting to just leave him behind rather than let him poison everything for everyone else.

He is becoming much better, we worked out that he is just not a team player and then we eventually mm found what he is interested in and encouraged those activities. Actually he had been telling us this all along its just that his interests were so alien to ours it was hard to hear him iyswim blush

He now regularly volunteers at a hawking centre and is taking exams in it - he actually catches the train to get there! This is amazing trust me! He also loves to kayak and does that once a week too. These interests are very different to the rest of the family but each to their own and he almost seems happy these days too smile

TeenAndTween Sat 26-Apr-14 18:40:54

This may be too hard-line but you could:

- take away tablet

Say tablet time is earned
- by doing homework to good standard without messing about
- positive words and actions
- by taking part in 2 extra curricula activities per week (of her choosing if do-able)

This may sound even weirder, but you could say no reading at weekends in day time unless
a) homework has been done
b) exercise has been taken
I know that restricting reading sounds strange, but we had to do this with my DD1 as she used reading as a default activity because she couldn't be bothered to think of anything else to do. So for a while we had to force it.

Is it possible she has got into the 'habit' of being negative and needs a big push to get out of it?

claraschu Sat 26-Apr-14 18:43:15

Does she like playing with friends?

Eggwhisk Sat 26-Apr-14 19:55:21

Thanks for the replies, there are some good tips that I will try, we're thinking about doing reward charts for all thé children, she seems quite keen to earn stickers still.

finnb this is exactly what she is like, even if we are going somewhere fun she will moan and sulk and tease her siblings and I really feel like leaving her behind sometimes, I feel awful saying it sad

I think I will say to her she has to do 2 extra curricular activities but when we have spent a lot of money on something I really don't want her to do just drop out. The thing is she loves it at first and then after a few weeks/ months the novelty wears off and then she can't be bothered to do it any more.

teenandtween I think she does use reading as a way of getting out of doing things, it's like even thinking of something is too much effort. She has lots of different toys, craft, activity books etc and they are just sitting there unused. All she wants to do is look at a screen.

I think we need to use more positive encouragement towards her in a hope that it will stop her feeling so negative.

Eggwhisk Sat 26-Apr-14 19:59:21

clara she doesn't have any bff's at school, and she doesn't ask to have friends round or get invited round to others, she used to but that has tailed off recently. I thought it may be because she's getting older but if she's as miserable at school as she is at home I doubt people want to hang out with her sad she used to be really popular and confident but we moved areas when she was 7 and she has never really fit into her small village school as well as her old school. She starts middle school in September and I'm hoping that there be more chance for her to blossom there.

alita7 Sat 26-Apr-14 21:08:55

it might just be that she is the sort of person who goes off things quickly, I still struggle to stick with hobbies as I'll love them at first but start to find the idea of them too much effort even if when I go I enjoy it.
Maybe that's why brownies was a keeper, they do different things each week. Guides sounds like a good idea, but maybe see if you can find a sports or outdoor activity club that does different sports every week, I don't know if any exist but it's worth looking.
I agree tablet time should be earned. I actually have this exact problem with dsd except with watching films and getting massively stroppy (and sometimes have a meltdown as she is autistic) if told to do something else. I was advised on here to buy a timer, so I set it for an hour and she had to something else until it beeps. Maybe time her tablet use and when it beeps the tablet goes away. I've also got some documentaries for her to watch so she can learn something when she is watching.

I think it's common for kids to hate homework and school work, dsd ends up in tears (though I think that's to do with academic work being the wrong style for her and providing her statement review goes to plan will be at special school soon) does she understand the work properly? If not why not and are the school addressing any issues. otherwise she just needs to learn that in life you have to do some thing's you don't want to do unfortunately :/

10 year olds moan a lot, they are becoming hormonal and it doesn't help it they aren't interested In what your family chooses for days out, I was dragged round castle after castle as a child and got fed up, do you let her pick a family trip every so often? or let everyone take it in turns to choose within a budget and distance?
I think the only answer Is to try and ask her what the problem is and if you can help, but can she try and be more positive about things and reduce the moaning as It's making the whole family sad.

OddBoots Sat 26-Apr-14 21:24:22

I have a dd that age too.

Is she facing SATs at the moment? Some school really go hard on the pressure, could that be causing her stress?

Is she off to secondary school in September? If so then a lot will change for her, it might be what she needs.

Eggwhisk Sun 27-Apr-14 08:11:28

No, no sats this year, I think she is worried about starting middle school in September as it will be a big change for her, eg she will have to get a school bus. I'm really hoping that it will be good for her as at the moment she is one of only 5 girls in her year and there are a lot of big fish in a small pond.

I will try talking to her more but whenever I ask her what's wrong she just says she doesn't know. If I try to probe further she starts going into a type of panic attack. I actually have a drs appointment for her this week as I feel like there could be some MH issues going on. It's so distressing to see a child who should be carefree and enjoying life get so distressed at the thought of going somewhere that should be fun. sad

I should point out, it's only if it's something she doesn't want to do that she gets like this, if it's something she wants to do she gets excited and is lovely, unfortunately that is a vary rare occurrence at the moment.

DrankSangriaInThePark Sun 27-Apr-14 08:19:04

"All she wants to do is look at a screen"

And there's your answer.

Sorry to be over simplistic, but which child, aged 10 wouldn't want to immerse themselves in a fantasy world rather than doing their homework, or other extra curricular activities that they haven't actually chosen?

I think talking to the GP is a good idea, and also her class teacher. Is there something going on at school you might not be aware of? There isn't something nasty happening on the bastarding whatsapp is there? Dd is 10 (and also starting m/s in September) and there have been some nasty cases of bullying groups formed via mobile phone stuff, horrible videos sent etc etc. Worth checking out in your dd's case, because her reactions sound quite extreme.

As for the ex-cur activities, I'd sit her down, and ask her if there is anything she wants to do. If not, stop the lot of them. At the risk of sounding like the dinosaur I am, we never had all these things in my day (and my parents both worked full-time) We just played after school. We didn't need to spend £££s and have some leader telling us how to. wink

But the first thing I'd do, is remove the tablet.

FrontForward Sun 27-Apr-14 08:26:30

I agree totally about limiting time on the tablet. But don't do it in a passing moment of taking it away without replacing with something else. Not sure how many DC you have but is it practical to give her one to one time in an activity. Whether it be shopping, walking, swimming, bowling or any other activity e.g. Baking. Then spend that time really positively boosting her and ignore the whinging.

I think she's old enough to sit down and have a calm but serious conversation saying how much you love but feel she's unhappy. She'll insist she'd be happy if she could just read or play on the tablet.... acknowledge that but tell her she needs to balance that with other activities.

Finnbheara Sun 27-Apr-14 09:18:47

DS would start to come up with reasons not to go on outing or activities hours before we even left the house - the car will brake down, it will rain, the place we are going will be closed etc. As for Hobbies, if I ever managed to get him to consider one he either hated it from the very first attempt, or, if he liked it, convince me to buy him all the kit and them never go again. He did like cubs but hated scouts...
It is really hard to raise a child like this especially if you are a natural optemist, I would urge you to listen to your DD no matter how alien what she tells you seems to be. Its hard to drag your self out of their spiral of negativity but its either that or leave them behind sad

piginpoo Sun 27-Apr-14 13:51:08

I am going through this too & ironically posted on here today about DS.

Im concerned that there is something more to this than just teenage behaviour. DS would spend all his time in front of a screen too given the choice & im wondering if this is some sort of coping mechanism or escape for him. Apparently my DB was very similar as a child but it was then Dungeons & Dragons but even now in his 40s will use computer games as a stress relief. There is a history of mental health problems in our family and i suppose this is my main concern especially as you keep hearing in media how many children these days suffer from stress.
eggwhisk I am thinking of speaking to my GP and finn your Ds sounds exactly like mine. I dread the holidays because I know how hard they are going to be and doing anything leaves me completely exhausted.

My DD thankfully is nothing like this but in some ways this just highlights the difference and it is hard to know whether this is just the way he is or whether there is something troubling him

Babelange Sun 27-Apr-14 14:14:27

I think this is a very interesting thread, thanks for posting OP.

DS2 is also 10 and SO touchy. Proposing new things is so tricky, he never wants to go on the same day trips or ANYTHING! We have given up on swimming and scouts may only last this term. It's all very puzzling as DS1 (13) would happily bob along whatever we proposed, seems to enjoy our company and is so easy going.

I have certainly noticed that 'refusing' is a coping mechanism and relates to stress. He doesn't seem to be able to self-regulate his gaming habit and contradicts himself (promises to do homework and as the clock ticks, suddenly it's 10pm!) constantly. The reality is he doesn't have a lot of autonomy in his life and this emerges in other ways.

We try to flag new things ahead of time and do things he likes - theme parks which is why we will be the oldies holding the bags at Thorpe Park this summer! The look of horror on his face, when I booked a week in Paris this year was, um, something else hmm

Life with these egg-shell children is interesting.

Babelange Sun 27-Apr-14 14:19:45

Oh and I meant to comment that taking the tablet away would probably not be an option - everyone would then have to endure the black mood which would descend - it's almost like PMT as it can last days!

Eggwhisk Sun 27-Apr-14 15:54:48

Wow it seems there are a few of us in this situation. We have just had to give several warnings and finally have taken tablet time off her for bad behaviour. This morning she refused to get dressed as she didn't want to go where we were going, this then meant her siblings (4&2) were copying her and also didn't want to get dressed. I had to leave my dh to it as I just couldn't cope with it. Once we were there (camping shop) she was brilliant, excited, enthusiastic, can't wait to go away etc and it was lovely to have her around and then on the way home it was like a switch had been flicked and she was moody and spiteful to her sister and me sad

babelangeshe definitely can't self regulate at all, be it screen time, chocolate, sweets etc (eg she ate all her easter eggs way faster than anyone else) I had another thread about her and her obsessiveness, she goes from one thing to the next being totally absorbed to the detriment of everything else. I agree if we took the tablet away and we stopped all her activities all she would do would be to mope around antagonising everyone else or pestering for the tv on. There is no balance with her, it's either all or nothing :-/

piginpoo Sun 27-Apr-14 17:14:57

the self regulating part is interesting - my Ds is like this too - he will obsess about something be it a new computer game, an item of clothing, football boots etc and spend hours researching on the net - he always wants to have the best of everything and like finnbheara DS wants all the kit before he starts anything (often paying extra for the specific items he wants).

He is like this with food too - never really acknowledged this before but will eat everything in one go - like easter eggs, choc, boxes of cereal & will then look around to see who has anything left - often bargaining with his Dsis for hers.

piginpoo Sun 27-Apr-14 17:30:26

eggwhisk I've just read your other thread about obsessiveness and have remembered some of the things my DS did when he was much younger - collecting mini winnies (like moshi monsters) going on ebay to buy rare ones so he would have the most in school, match attack cards - same - we have 1000s, warhammer - same, obsessive lego building. I had forgotten about these and his behaviour was the same as it is currently with screen time - ie any waking moment devoted to whatever the obsession was.

The point Bonsoir made rings a bell with me too - DS has often said he wants to be 4 again - that was the best time of his life - I know he is an anxious person although I think its only those who know him well that see this

ThePowerOfMe Sun 27-Apr-14 17:37:54

How much screen time does she get?

I think one of the best things I did for my children is refuse access to screens all week (except educational stuff for homework and sites like Education City). They're allowed a movie on Friday and weekends is unlimited after 3pm if we're in. They're also allowed an hr if they have friends over.

Ds1 (9) now is less miserable and negative. I have done other stuff to work on it though and I've used screen time as bribes, even saying 'If I have to listen to you moaning anymore, there'll be no tablet/games this weekend'. It wasn't easy but I stuck to my guns and now, it doesn't even cross their minds to ask for the tablet or tv.

Its been good for me too as I've made more of an effort to spend time with the dcs. I also found site so helpful.
I've followed the 'reconnecting' tips and they really do have a positive affect.

It does sound like your dd could do with some extra understanding. It seems hard to 'get' her but keep trying.

piginpoo Sun 27-Apr-14 17:39:39

oh eggwhisk i missed the bit about you going to GP this week - my concerns are the same as yours as mentioned in my post - I am thinking of doing the same as have to see my GP anyway and was going to take in the thread i started about DS.

I feel the same as you DS has so many opportunities and is talented in many ways but he is limiting his participation in things for some reason that I am unable to fathom.

Eggwhisk Sun 27-Apr-14 18:12:59

piginpoo I've just read your thread about your Ds and I see a lot of similarities. Dd is always begging not to go on school trips etc even though she always has great fun when she's there. At the moment we have a school residential coming up in a weeks time so there is a lot of 'I don't want to go' etc she seems very fearful of life and like you I really can't understand why.

Another thing I've just noticed she always focuses on the negative of every situation. She is just talking on the phone at the moment and the thing she could remember doing last week was going to a NT property in the rain, she got pushed down a slide and she burst in to tears. No mention of the fun stuff, the Easter egg hunt, meeting up with friends. it is always negative.

thepower at the moment she has screen time in the morning til 10 am (holidays and weekends) and then after dinner until 7pm. The thing is she has been getting up really early and coming down way before anyone is up to play on her tablet! So I don't really know where to go now as when we set the rules we didn't realise that she would be making the most of her morning time. Obviously in school time, she may get 30 mins if she's ready for school. I like your idea of no screen time in the week but I have 2 pre schoolers too and don't know if I could cope with that! We do try and have a movie night with her every Friday once the little ones are in bed and I don't want to use that as a punishment as I feel it's important to have family time without the younger ones butting in. We have also introduced a games night on a Saturday but that can be stressful as she doesn't like to lose.

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