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DD destroying things in fits of rage

(20 Posts)
gandalf456 Sat 08-Apr-17 22:02:49

We had it today over homework stress. DD is in year 8 and struggles a lot at school, as she has always. This morning, I decided to sit with her and help her through it and generally keep her calm. This seemed to be working really well. It was Art homework and I was showing her some techniques for drawing outlines then, out of nowhere, when I went to put empty the washing machine and put the rubbish out, she flipped, throwing all her stuff everywhere.

The upshot is I ended up really cross and took books, computer and her glasses off her to avoid breakages and left her where she had an almighty strop and trashed my room as well. Throughout the day, I was finding breakages - my hairbrush, which I made her replace and her light switch, which is likely going to be expensive and inconvenient to fix.

I found I could not come down from my black mood since I'd tried so hard to pre-empt this this morning but got it anyway. I feel what's the point of even trying.

I feel like talking to the school and telling them she isn't doing any more homework. I can't see how she's getting anything out of it, she can never seem to do any of it anyway, it takes up a lot of my time and causes a lot of stress for the family. I have a younger DS, who I have no time to spend with at all because I am always dealing with this behaviour and feel guilty for having him as I simply cannot divide my time equally. I did end up taking DS out for an hour or so and, instead of burying himself in his ipad, which he's got into the habit of doing, he opened up and chatted about school, his day and even helped me choose some nice flowers.

We are on the waiting list for counselling for anxiety. Normally DD & I talk about anything and everything so it's not as if she's bottling things up. I spend oodles of time with her and expend lots of time and energy trying different approaches, I've done hours of research on the Internet, posted on forums, have been in dialogue with the school, who are as useful as a wet lettuce, tbh, and feel it would be exactly the same if I just did absolutely nothing to try to help. CAMHS even suggested at the initial appointment that I had a good relationship, was doing a good job but I need to divert my attention to ds, who will be affected.


Crumbs1 Sat 08-Apr-17 22:51:10

To be honest it sounds like you're indulging her because your scared of her and allowing her to rule the roost at a time when she really needs the security of boundaries. A firm talk about acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, known sanctions and a bit less fussing around her tantrums. A tantrum is no reason to allow her not to engage with school work. Build in nice, rewarding times but clear expectations and a strict timetable might help. It might be worth meeting with school so she gets the message you are working in partnership too.

gandalf456 Sat 08-Apr-17 23:17:58

You may be right about bit. I do spend too much time trying to smooth things over but she has cost a lot of money for breaking things this past couple of years. I do make her pay but that doesn't seem to bother or stop her. She knows it's unacceptable but gets caught in the heat of the moment. And it happens so often I just run out of ideas for consequences which are ineffective anyway

I do support her education and the school. My father was in teaching and very
high up in his profession so I do see the importance even though I'm not a teacher myself. I never thought I'd say I didn't want her to complete her homework but the impact on the family is huge and I find I have to reteach her anyway after having researched the myself, which isn't the best way. She is getting nothing out of the homework and I wonder what she's actually taking in in class. I don't blame the teachers for that. She has problems recalling things and gets very distracted

Ledkr Sun 09-Apr-17 07:44:12

Op, I teach a parenting technique calked NVR which is aimed at reducing child violence. Some of the principles may well work for your family. Have a google.

Ktown Sun 09-Apr-17 07:50:09

Firstly she is a teenager and you need to keep an eye on her cycle. I got the rages as a teen and being put on the pill helped. She may not need this but keep an eye out it isn't PMT, or whatever it is they call it these days.
Secondly I would pick your battles with regards to homework. If she isn't good at art, then drop it. Stick to the important core subjects so at least she is able to keep up.

CheckpointCharlie2 Sun 09-Apr-17 07:59:46

Could she do the homework in school, maybe at lunchtime? I don't think she should be allowed to opt out especially as it would reinforce the tantrummy behaviour and create more issues for you.

Does she have any SEND? If not then you definitely need better boundaries as she is choosing to behave like this. I'm not hugely experienced in anxiety in children but would suggest that it doesn't cause massive tantrums like you are describing. Apologies if I m wrong on this though.

Does she have a phone? Earlier bedtime? No telly? You need to find something and then consistently carry out your threats. Your ds is losing out here despite you trying to do your best with your dd.

A book called The Exploisve Child might help you.

I can understand how stressful this is though and really hope you find a way forwards for your own sanity.

lottachocca Sun 09-Apr-17 08:15:06

I think you should try backing off from the homework. My dcs get frustrated when I help them, and I don't think that's uncommon, it puts a extra strain on our relationship, so despite me being very maths literate I have a tutor come in to help them.

mathanxiety Sun 09-Apr-17 08:28:51

Any SN ever disgnosed?

Any mood disorder?

Where does she get the money to pay for damage?

Have you ever considered a martial art club for her?
A martial art can be a good way to learn respect for yourself and for others, and how to control aggression. Also resilience, how to lose gracefully, how to win fairly and gracefully.

Prokupatuscrakedatus Sun 09-Apr-17 11:57:04

Having two DC with SEN myself, I wonder - based on personal experince with DD -:

If she's trying very hard and to no avail - this must by so very frustrating for her, she must feel stupid and helpless. My DD reacted by withdrawing and giving up, perhaps your DD gets rages.
What reasons do you and school think causes her inability?

My DD was diagnosed with ADHS and dyskalkulia (sp.?), we all got help, it wasn't easy but she's found her way now.

gandalf456 Sun 09-Apr-17 20:02:06

Thanks all. I will read up more on NVR.

It could be hormonal but she is very behind in her development and hasn't started her periods yet. She is not just like this with art - it's many subjects, chiefly those that are a bit waffly and time consuming. Shame, she used to love Art and was good at it but doesn't have the patience for it.

She does do some homework at school during her breaks but it's not enough time and when she gets to GCSEs, it's going to be more. Right now, it's the holidays, hence the problem.

She is not diagnosed with SEND, though has had problems in the past with speech and language and delayed development re toilet training.

She has been assessed within the schools a couple of times but nothing significant has been raised apart from the fact that she's behind and finds schoolwork hard. No shit Sherlock.

CAMHS did say anxiety manifests as anger and it's quite common. She does know right from wrong and does get consequences but it doesn't seem to help. She knows its wrong but can't control herself in the heat of the moment.

The damage is paid from her dwindling bank account, a savings account I started for her as a baby.

Not a bad idea re martial arts. I have read Explosive Child. It is quite good.

I am not trying to get her out of homework. I just don't want it done like this.

mathanxiety Sun 09-Apr-17 20:14:40

I would ask very persistently to have her referred to a paediatrician for assessment, Gandalf, as she seems to have several issues going on.

Wolfiefan Sun 09-Apr-17 20:18:31

I too would pester for an assessment. My DS had a few explosions at exactly the same age. Sport has been his saviour. She needs a list of things she can do when she's angry. Alternatives to destruction when she really can't hold it in.

gandalf456 Mon 10-Apr-17 11:10:07

She has had assessments, though, the most recent being from CAMHS. They diagnosed her with anxiety and depression with traits of OCD (but not fully blown). They didn't think that anything such as autism is present. She sat through the meeting and chatted very maturely and was very open with them. The problem lies with how she is with us (sometimes) when she gets stressed and controlling her anger. I'm hoping the counselling is going to help with that.

We are in dialogue with our GP, too, because she doesn't eat anything and they are going to do some blood tests to rule out anything physical. Possibly this would explain why she's so small for her age, too.

She is better when she is active so I take the point about having a sport of something. The problem with her is she gets bored easily when she has to make a commitment to anything or put in a sustained effort.

Juicyfrooty Mon 10-Apr-17 22:36:58

Hi Gandalf,

My DS is the same age and sounds very similar to your DD.

He has big rages and throws and breaks stuff, he is very easily frustrated and homework can definitely be a trigger for him.

I do often think that there is something underlying, he also had speech issues as a toddler, but I haven't pursued any formal diagnosis because I have found the more input he gets from outside sources the more stressed it makes him.

I have found the best approach with ds is to not put too many demands on him, particularly when he's stressed. I gradually introduce more responsibilities and expectations bit by bit and that's what works best for us.

I try not to compare him to other kids his age, he'll get there when he gets there and I try not too give too much of a shit what the perfect parents of the world think, I have a younger child who in comparison is an absolute doddle to raise and is beautifully behaved.

mathanxiety Tue 11-Apr-17 06:24:53

It's worth bearing in mind that girls are underdiagnosed when it comes to autism and the autistic spectrum.

The cluster of issues you mention really should be investigated.

gandalf456 Tue 11-Apr-17 10:06:41

Interesting reading. She does talk about lot and has no focus but every single person I've spoken to, asking if there is an issue, sayso no (teachers camhs educational psychologists, paediatrician) so I guess I have to go with it

lottachocca Tue 11-Apr-17 11:23:03

Gandal There was a girl with autism at my dc's primary school. Her Mum said she behaved really well at school, teachers were shocked when her Mum described her behaviour at home - violent, angry, she really battled with getting her diagnosis.

gandalf456 Thu 13-Apr-17 07:42:45

I don't think she has autime. If anything she fits the adhd category more

CountessYgritte Mon 01-May-17 18:09:53

Late to this but I was watching it as have the same issues here.

It sounds very like ADHD to me. In which case I would push and push for an assessment. Many HCP still don't look at it for girls but actually it is seen in females as often as males but it often missed. OCD is a very common co-morbidity. Does she tic by any chance?

TBH stimulant medication has been the only thing which helped significantly but the side effects are hard. I'll be looking at NVR too.

You aren't the only one out there, it is lonely because people don't tend to understand and just see a bratty kid. I've been hit and bitten too which is heartbreaking.

LionelMessy Sun 07-May-17 16:35:30

No advice - but i got a 13yo here taking big rages today and throws and breaks stuff
, he also seems very easily frustrated and homework can definitely be a trigger for him.
Today it over not getting Xbox as 2 hour delay penalty after 8 x 15min bad behaviours at Granny. He won't take a telling and has to be an immedia5e consequence for his appalling behaviour- seems every time at grannies. My toes curlnfrom embarrassment.
So I watching this thread for any general advice please.

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