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Aggressive dd (13) - it's not normal is it?

(24 Posts)
Willsee Thu 10-Mar-16 19:40:05

I am sick of being told, by health professionals and others that my dd's behaviour is " normal for her age".
So is being agressive, verbally mostly but also physically, grumpy, argumentative, bullying towards younger sister, stuck in bed, no real hobbies, chocolate wrappers hidden away....all just normal?
I' ve read enough on here and books to know a certain amount of this is normal, but....
But it makes me desperate when no solutions or ideas are given to help DH amd me out. "We just have to sit it out. And be glad that she is expressing her feelings. Even if fighting, it's interaction".
She gives a calm, composed impression at meetings so professionals don't get the other side, the ranting and raving. She can be lovely but we aren't seeing much of that at all. It's all about conflict.
Dd and Dh aren't talking We are thinking of summer holidays and dh can't cope with her ( he has chronic pain) and wants to send her off somewhere ( with her friends or to visit my family) so we can all relax. I see his point but it breaks my heart to go on holiday without her. I feel so trapped in the middle.

And I feel rather desperate and want to just sit in corner and cry.

Any ideas on how to sort this big mess out?

Duckdeamon Thu 10-Mar-16 19:42:37

Sounds very difficult, but I don't think much of your H's plan. Why aren't they speaking? When you say he "can't cope" what do you mean?

Willsee Thu 10-Mar-16 20:44:07

I am not sure I do either
they just argue. Another argument at dinner, dh sent dd to room. Now he is also arguing with me, annoyed that i didn't stick up for him. I did talk to dd about it after dinner.
He can't cope i mean he is stressed, in psin, no patience, shouts and sends her away. No talking it through later, commication lines shut
Fuck. I have done so much trying to gey help and i am not supporting him he saysangry

endofmytethertake100 Thu 10-Mar-16 22:05:12

I feel your pain honestly. It's no better if health professionals say it's not normal which is the case here. We have been under camhs for 3 years DD just refuses to cooperate in any of it the difference is she is just as rude to camhs, teachers and everyone as to me but I am now sick of it. This week something within me has just snapped , nothing I do seems to make the slightest bit of difference so I'm desperately trying to detach to save my sanity!

Guiltypleasures001 Thu 10-Mar-16 22:30:07

Dd is learning all,she needs about dealing with stressful,situations from her dad
She maybe worried about her dad and his condition
She may feel she isn't getting the attention she needs because of dads condition.
She maybe worried she's going to lose him
She's hormonal
Pick your battles
Get help for dh and dd
No ones listening when everyone's shouting
Dh has to address his tactics when dealing with dd
And she has to cut him some slack

There's loads of stuff here op all of the above can cause her to be acting out in this way
Is there a counsellor at school at all? If. If not either go private or try through the local YMCA
Or similar in your area

Guiltypleasures001 Thu 10-Mar-16 22:34:40

Judging from your post op my guess is she's scared frustrated and confused, her default position is to shout and slam about, it's the only way she feels,she's being heard. I deal/dealt with hundreds of teens like this.

It's normal because of the home circumstances, any attention even negative or angry from him or you is still attention at the end of the day. Maybe she could do with an outside unbiased person to talk to, where she won't feel she's being judged and can play devils advocate for want of a word.

Willsee Fri 11-Mar-16 01:20:42

Thanks. Really sorry to hear of yours endof. I also need to detach. Instead I am up, can't sleep and upset about both dd and dh.
She used to be alright to dh, but that has changed recently. Besides she has become nastier to younger sister.
I wish she would go see someone guilty but she doesn't want to.
Feel so stuck. sad

Quillered Fri 11-Mar-16 01:52:43

You should use the holidays to get a break from her, whether or not that means her missing your holiday away (how much would she care?). Would be good for her too. Maybe a week away with friends and a week on a residential, if that's affordable. Why not a week at Easter too? Would make life more bearable if you had some decent breaks from the behaviour. They say that there's usually light at the end of the tunnel (say age 17). How about a 2 week language exchange, so she is away for 2 weeks, and has a same age child to hang out with when they come to stay with you.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Fri 11-Mar-16 02:28:00

You and your DH need a strategy you both agree on -

Things to tackle - definitely Nos

Things to let slide

Things to ignore

Don't shout
Don't engage
Nod etc

Does a slight end up a full blown argument where the original issue isn't resolved? Is it rudeness or about stuff? Are you smoothing it over or making it worse?

Your DH needs to learn how to parent a teen

Atenco Fri 11-Mar-16 04:11:16

No advice, but I had an impossible 13-year-old dd. It is normal, though not the same for everyone. Fortunately we survived and she is a lovely woman of over 30 now.

Guiltypleasures001 Fri 11-Mar-16 08:46:43

Hi op

I would say that if you send her away, and this is how she might view this, then you may cause some real damage. Being singled out or separated is just going to compound her view of being excluded or not listened too.

I would go as far as you gong away with her on your own. One on one time possibly not talking about the issues at hand, but just trying to reconnect. It would help more if you feel comfortable saying, what the issue is with your husbands health, is it long term shirt term etc, and how does she view it.

Rightly or wrongly you dd thinks she's not being heard, her tactics to be heard aren't the best way to go about it, but she's just doing what she's learnt indoors. If there are some positive behaviours then try and tease them out and compliment her in them, the narky stuff ignore as much as possible.
She needs to know positive reinforcement gets the right type of attention, she's crying out for boundaries and for someone to take them and her seriously.

I know it's hard to see this, but she's 13 it's a bloody awful time for her. We want them to be grown ups but treat them like children, their are no winners. Your dh somehow has to reconnect with her otherwise there's going to be worse issues in the future.

Willsee Fri 11-Mar-16 09:29:27

Thanks guilty i think i remain cnnected to her at times. But dh isn't at all at moment. Dh is long term unexplained pain. Talked to dd about it and she says it doesn't worry her as not life threatening. That's good. But it just means his patience etc is low.
Dh and i talked about it this morning and trying the positive reinforcement.
I am aware, that if she goes elsewhere in summer, it should ne to something she enjoys and which will boost her self confidence and, as quillered saod give her a break. We have a couple of options which she would enjoy and are affordable.

Willsee Fri 11-Mar-16 09:35:01

* sally* think we both need to learn how to parent teens. I have read many books but forget the theory when in middle of heated argument blush. Dh hasn't read them. I let many issues go, dh doesn't. I don't know which is better approach but causing some fights between us.
atenco thanks, that made me smile in hope. How did you get through it all? I hope it goes that way here too, but i can't help worrying that this will spiral into a bad direction.

BeautifulMaudOHara Fri 11-Mar-16 09:43:31

Good posts from guilty pleasures here

Don't send her away, that would be the wrong thing to do IMO

She is normal, really!

Guiltypleasures001 Fri 11-Mar-16 10:36:44

Would your dh be willing to sit down and explain to her what it's like for him with his pain etc, teens often listen when not spoken to face to face. I find I have hugely deep convos with my teen when in the car, that way he's distracted and not having to have eye contact, if it's something personal he's telling me.

Then again we do have huge blow ups in doors sometimes, because even I need to pick my battles.
As hard as it might be your dh may have to,change the way he deals with a lot of stuff at the moment, he's frustrated not feeling connected or backed up, it seems you have the pair of them vying for your attention. Maybe for everyone's sake he takes a back seat with the parenting, allowing you to do and say what's needed, and for him to really sort out what's wrong with him health wise. thanks

Pandora987 Fri 11-Mar-16 12:42:33

Pick your battles! Read Get out of my life but first take me and Alex to town - brilliant book.
Its so easy to end up shouting - listening to me and DD 13 shouting sometimes its hard to tell sometimes who is the child...
I also have DH (DD's Stepdad) absolutely doesn't get involved at all - just moans to me about DD behaviour. I try not to have too many rules , so its easier to avoid conflict and just concentrate on a few. Bedtime, being respectful, bringing plates, cups etc. downstairs. Doing homework. That's about it really, I know its probably a bit free and easy but it makes for a nicer life. Friend of mine has a rule about everything - and has many more arguments/stress with her DD.
Wish we could fast forward about 6 years...

Quillered Fri 11-Mar-16 12:50:32

I have a 13 year old DD and there is no way that she will spend all the summer hols with me. She will definitely be going away for at least a week. At home in the hols she will want to spend most of her time sleeping or lying on the sofa watching TV. We will drive each other up the wall. A week or 2 away doing something fun and active with similar age children or having close time with relatives would be great for her and a much needed break for you and DH. It doesn't have to be seen as singling her out - having a holiday away from family is great for pre-teens and teens - will be the highlight of her holiday.

Pandora987 Fri 11-Mar-16 13:07:01

My DD 13 is in scouts, soon to join explorers. It is a brilliant thing- she goes on camps, overnight hikes, gets wet, muddy, cold, no phone or social media, life saver!
Best holiday she ever had was activity break in Cornwall - getting outside and doing things with other kids can be so helpful with behaviour .
My DD has also had some counselling for emotional problems which is helping so much, but had to go private due to GP saying no chance of Camhs in our area. But she is currently different girl from 3 months ago.

minifingerz Fri 11-Mar-16 13:19:58

A word of warning:

Some people may remember my posts about my dd, who was similar to yours at 12. Eating sweets and crisps secretly and hiding the wrappers. Aggressive - physically and verbally, bullying to her siblings, no hobbies, very confrontational and argumentative. Spending all her time at home in her room.

I posted at length on this board over several years and got a lot of support and advice not to engage, set firm boundaries, keep talking etc. I followed some of it some of the time, but found it very difficult to stay calm, not engage etc, mainly because of how long this went on for, and also that it escalated - we all got so worn down by it, and it has had very negative effects on one of my other children's emotional well-being.

FAst forward a few years, she is now 16 and has just been assessed by a specialist team at a top London hospital, where she was referred by CAMHS. She's been diagnosed with conduct disorder, PTSD, body dysmorphia, treatment resistant depression, a lack of empathy, and possibly a personality disorder (question mark over this - will reassess when she has had treatment for the PTSD, depression and body dysmorphia). sad. Things are not all desperate. She's no longer aggressive to us, is attending college regularly and doing well on her course, our relationship is good now, and things are incomparably better at home. But the whole family has been damaged by the experience of those dark years, and dd too. The discord at home resulted in her engaging in risky behaviours away from the family, damaged her relationship with her siblings, damaged my physical and emotional health, and nearly broke our family apart altogether (this time last year I was looking for flats to move into with my two other children, leaving dd with DH as he had the less fraught relationship with her - no problems with our marriage, but just felt that living together as a family wasn't feasible with dd being as difficult as she was).

Anyway, sorry to ramble on. I didn't mean to hijack your thread. I think what I wanted to say was that sometimes really awful, difficult behaviour isn't just at one end of the spectrum of normal teen behaviour, it's a sign of significant emotional and psychiatric disorder, and may have serious and long term sequalae for the child and for the family if it's not recognised and treated in a timely way. If you feel that something is not right with your dd (and repeated violent outbursts from a 13 year old are pretty extreme IMO) then I would pursue it and raise it with your GP. I'd also encourage your partner to consider whether this might be something more than simply inconsiderate and selfish behaviour by a stroppy teen, and adapt HIS behaviour accordingly (ie, not guilt-tripping, shouting back etc)....

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Fri 11-Mar-16 13:20:12

I picture your house like this

Mom can I go to Suzy?

You No teas ready

Her shouts slams door - your horrid parents

DH don't slam doors don't cheek your mother

You - she's just upset about Suzy ...

So you say no - mean no - but give options - Yes when teas finished I'll drop you

Then ignore door slams (so what?) ignore rants (you are at that moment "horrid parents) so what - I said it they all say it - for a reaction

DD can not then say you are being mean because you have her options and her tactics didn't work!!

Willsee Fri 11-Mar-16 15:10:53

How do you know sally?! Like that but about everything. wink

Thanks for your replies - they´ve really helped. I feel a bit better now. I am beginning to accept it is our "normal". and that we need to find good strategies to survive it, and come out as undamaged as possible. I just get annoyed at professionals who say " just have to put up with it" - what? and all of us go mad? no thanks.

mini that sounds so so tough. I am glad to hear that your dd is getting treatment. I really hope you can also get some to start to recover, it`s had a big impact on you all. My health is suffering, DH's pains are getting worse (guilty he had a year of testing, trying etc and there is no physiological cause to be found, he`s seeing a pain therapist, on medication but that is about as good as it gets. he can lead a pretty normal life but it takes its toll) . After reading your post, I am going to push further - if nothing comes of it, then fine. But at least I have tried my very best to support her and the rest of us too. First step, counselling for dd - how did you convince your dds to go to it? did they open up? Mine doesn´t really open up so could see she would be hard to work with.

Got some plan of sorts now - get dh and dd talking to each other; see if I can get her into something or out the house on runs with me, or something;

And take some time out myself - off to find a pilates class or something. it`s so much easier to deal with it when I am not stressed.

Thank you.

Clare1971 Fri 11-Mar-16 15:39:12

Your plans sound good. Can you also get your DH to read 'Get out of my life' or whichever book you've found most helpful and then between you agree how to handle things? Your DD is taking advantage (not necessarily consciously) of the fact that the two of you disagree. If the two of you can talk and agree some sort of compromise that you both feel comfortable with that might take away some of the stress. Being piggy-in-the-middle is not only exhausting, it doesn't work.

Willsee Sat 12-Mar-16 07:12:57

We had anther rough evening yesterday dd forgot to take towel into shower, we didn't hear her calling for one. She was shouting and crying over it, she said we were mean, we don't love her, care for her. Once again rude at dinner, after 3 warnings, we sent her to room.
I went to say good night and she was sobbing uncontrolably, at first she sent me away, but then I was able to hold her and tell her it will be ok, we love her and she is part of the family (dd2 had told her she wasn'tsad).I didn't sleep much last night.
This morning she has had breakfast on own, gone back to bed in tears. I have reassured her again. And suggested doing a couple of things together. She just wants to sleep now, so that's what she is doing.
She's been put on iron tablets which are giving her bad constipation and she has her period. Poor thing.
We went through something similar when she was about 8. I had sort of forgotten about it, but it really was same behaviour patterns.
It's a balance between letting her know we love her and but also making it clear that aggressive behaviour not acceptable.
It's going to be an interesting weekend. dh is at work most of it, this may be a good thing at the moment.
clare I will ask dh to read it, last time I asked him to read parenting book, he said why don't you give me a summary. Not quite the same thing. But I am alao reading it again and making detailed notes this time.

Peebles1 Sun 13-Mar-16 17:41:56

You poor thing Willsee and poor DD. I had years of battles between my DD and DH with me stuck in the middle. My DD sobbed after one and said 'everyone in the family hates me'. My DH is a strong character, works with younger kids and used to keeping them well disciplined. Couldn't cope at all with his own teenage DD who would not tow the line. Wouldn't pick his battles - wanted every little thing tackled. Also felt unsupported by me. It was very very difficult. It's only this past year or two (she's just turned 18) that he's learned to step back and that his methods don't work with her. She has anxiety and low level depression (we didn't know that then). They have a much better relationship now. I'm sure it'll get better for you.

I had lots of talks with her (often in the car as pp mentioned) and lots of talks with him. I once took them both for tea and said: this isn't working, what are we going to do? Which worked quite well actually. DH also read the Alex book, which helped him feel not so alone. We are far far from perfect but things did improve.

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