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e mum here!
Hi, I am desperate and at the end of my tether and was hoping someone could offer some insight / advice. I have three children, two girls 14 and 12 and a son, 11. Over the past few months things have been getting progressively worse at home with my daughter's, bad language, abusive language (towards me and each other) , blatantly disregarding everything I say. It's escalated to the 12 year old getting physical with me.
I'm separated for two years from their dad, who sees them regularly. They don't play him up as he does not lay down any boundaries for them. I know this is confusing for them, but I'm struggling so much at the moment I feel like I'm losing my mind. I've got the school involved, the advice from them has been to avoid flash points (!) i.e., if my daughter refuses to go to school, don't push her in it, but bring her in in her own time. They've also advised that I get the GP involved as she has threatened suicide and self harm (I have seen no evidence of this but am worried sick). She has point blank refused to talk to anyone or go to the Drs. I've tried tough love, no shouting at all, talking, offering journals, reward charts, sharing her interests, taking to her father for support (to no avail) and I'm at a loss. The barrage of abuse and nastiness is wearing me down and I'm ashamed to admit that while I love my girls more than life, I dread them coming home.
Any help, ideas, suggestions anything would be so appreciated. I just feel like I'm fighting this awful battle on my own.
I'm sorry I don't have any life-changing advice but I read your post and can completely empathise.
I only have one child, DS13, but he behaves in much the same manner you describe. It can be really soul destroying. We are in the process of getting a CAHM's referral as he has possible ADHD and struggles with his emotions.
The last year or so since he started secondary school have been a rollercoaster!
The are flooded with hormones right now, and a lot of what they do and how they react is owing to that...trying to keep that in mind helps me sometimes. Also flooding him with love and praise, even when it feels difficult to do so can sometimes help soften tense times.
I am also a single parent, with no help from his father at all. In fact, his father often makes things more difficult for me but that's a whole different story!
The schools advice about avoiding flash points is actually useful. Someone suggested similar to me recently, and although it seemed counter-productive to achieving the behaviour I desire in my son, the point is that it eliminates stress and endless battles in the short term and in the long term they see the consequences of their actions themselves by getting in trouble at school for non-attendance for example.
It's a difficult period of life, for us and for them! Find something each day to be proud of about yourself...maybe just the fact you got through another day! And find something to be proud of with your daughter, and tell her each night before bed along with telling her you love her.
Sorry nothing very useful, but right there with you.
Thank you so much, it just helps to hear from someone who can relate. All of my friends / families 'seem' to have trouble free lives and I'm getting sick of venting to them when I know they can't really understand.......despite their best intentions.
I think it's just the daily slog that is the hardest, the lack of respite. But thank you so much for replying.....it means a lot. And good luck with your son xxxx
You're welcome xx
I know what you mean about assuming everyone else has stress-free lives! Many of my friends don't have teenagers yet so it's difficult for them to relate, but the friends of mine who do have them often relay similar stories...so it's not just us, I promise!
The daily slog is the worst, like you I dread 4pm after school sometimes and then I feel even worse because I feel guilty for dreading it!!
The bad language is the worst for me, it's so disrespectful and I would never have spoken to my own mother that way...it's sad but it seems really normalised among teens now.
Keep going, one day they will hopefully look back and really appreciate what you did and how you managed on your own! I've only got one and I struggle, so you're doing great bringing up three by yourself. Be proud xxx