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Challenges with DD(12)

24 replies

LastingLight · 20/08/2014 17:26

I know this probably sounds as if I missed something really obvious but nobody ever told me that parenting an adopted child can be very different from parenting bc. (Our adoption didn't follow the normal route.) Obviously I knew that losing her BM at the age of 2 and never having met her bf would have an effect but I naively thought this would largely be cancelled out by having been with DH since she was 11 months. In addition to the ongoing issues at school and at home we have had two quite bad mornings. This morning I was accused of being a control freak who wants to control every aspect of her life, and that I am trying to live my life through her. I won't be surprised if that second point came straight out of evil bio granny's mouth, what 12 year old comes up with that by herself? Both mornings when I told her I love her as she got out of the car she shouted at me that no, I definitely don't love her and slammed the car door so hard I'm surprised it didn't fall off. I told my psychologist this and added that I suppose all children sometimes tell their parents that they don't love them. She feels that DD's actions are excessive and that she might be reprocessing the death of her BM at the moment and taking the strong emotions out on me.

We're all stressed at the moment for different reasons, not least of which is that our beloved young boycat has acute kidney failure and there is a chance that he might not make it. How do I help DD, who has lost several important people in her life, to process this possibility and if it comes down to it, losing our cat?

I'm so relieved to have found this board. Thanks for reading.

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LastingLight · 20/08/2014 19:39

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Digestive28 · 20/08/2014 19:46

If it helps I was like this at 12...I was not adopted and my parents are still alive. I used to storm off to the school bus having a huge row with my dad, telling him I didn't love him, he shouldn't live his life through me etc. I then calmed down as the day went on and was distracted and ha forgetten by the time I got home. My dad had spent all day worrying. Am functioning fine as an adult btw so think it was just a phase, I don't even remeber it but my dad does clearly and says he never understood how I could get over the arguments so quickly. Now, I still don't stew on things, hold grudges, I have an argument and move on so maybe that was what I was doing but in a teenage way.
So, I don't know if it is about all those other things going on or not but wanted to reassure it may just be a phase and setting her up for managing life's challenges as a lot easier when you can let things go. Good luck

prumarth · 20/08/2014 20:05

Evil granny definitely sounds like she has been shit stirring again! It does sound like she is experiencing strong emotions and exploding them in your direction - I think you are right to try and explore despite the current calm as there may well be other issues in play as you say.
So sorry I can't advise but thinking of you and so sorry also about your cat - losing a pet is a horrible loss, not least because others often minimise the emotions of grief when it is "just a cat"

Italiangreyhound · 20/08/2014 23:59

Lastinglight hang on in there. I think as much as you can just sympathise about the cat, allow her to share in the care of cat if she wants to, and have as much fun as you can at other times.

I have no idea whether being adopted or being a pre-teen or both is at the root of this and of course you will know much more about how your dd behaves generally.

Personally, I would not assume granny is at the root of this specifically, because kids do say cruel and nasty things, at times.

I think keep an open mind, look out for things that point towards any issues that might be associated with adoption, e.g. identify etc. But also be aware of the usual stuff, problems at school, with friends, possible 'boy friend' issues. I just think it is good to be aware of all areas, which I am sure you are.

Good luck, I think parenting is very tough at times. Try and find the joy and fun where you can.

PS Our cat is ill and dd wants to help so today I let her carry him in his carrier out of the vets and help to give his medicine through a 'syringe' and attempt to crush up his pills. She is actually quite brave about stuff like that and I realised at 9 that I should give her a bit more responsibility as she is a huge cat fan.

LastingLight · 21/08/2014 09:22

Thanks for your replies. It's so difficult to know how best to respond to DD. I just do the best I can which is sometimes not all that great but I keep trying. We had a better morning because I gave up on enforcing what I consider my right to decide what radio station we listen to in the car. Sometimes I can also be too stubborn about stuff that doesn't really matter.

Dcat is a bit more active this morning but not eating.

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QOD · 21/08/2014 09:35

I feel for you as I expected a lot of this as my daughter is an straight surrogate baby, as in mine since conception but not biologically mine
I wonder if actually she's processing the rejection of her birth father
Mum couldn't stick around, dad didn't want me . . Hormones, it's very hard

Italiangreyhound · 21/08/2014 10:58

LastingLight please (if you don;t mind me saying as you shared it) let your dd choose the station at least some of the time. The time will roll on and years will go by and in no time she will not be in the car with you and you can listen to whatever you like. I would also try and get some talk time before the radio goes on. Maybe one day she chooses, one day you choose and one day you just chat. She may even choose chat rather than listen to your choice of radio! (No offence!). Why do you feel you have the right to choose? Genuine question. We try and get consensus in the car. Radio or not, if one person does not want radio we have some time no radio and some time radio. I only get to listen to my programmes if it is one I really love -talk radio -

I just think the times in the car could be team building, team lasting light us against the world, and if you are laying down rules about the radio oir falling out over it that is a negative time.

Hope you don't mind me saying... Thanks

LastingLight · 21/08/2014 12:13

You are right Italian and it was a stupid thing to dig my heels in over. We do mental maths in the car in the morning and I deliberately have the radio on because I'm trying to train her brain to focus on something and ignore irrelevant input. Some of our best and most productive chats have happened in the car (and some of our worst fights too).

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Italiangreyhound · 21/08/2014 13:14

Great Grin

Kewcumber · 21/08/2014 16:58

I don;t think you can protect her from the potential loss of your cat. However shit that is. I think you can focus on it being an illness and the sometimes even with modern medicine not everything can be fixed and that the best we can do is to care for them as best we can and love them and enjoy all the time we have with them.

Kewcumber · 21/08/2014 16:59

Why don't you have rota on who gets to listen to what. Turn it into a joke about each of you having to suffer through the others music every other day. Maybe a third day where you can agree to have something you both dislike!

LastingLight · 26/08/2014 11:28

I had our cat pts this morning. Sad DD knew this was the most probable outcome of taking him to the vet but she went to school all cheerful. She told me the other day that she's not that bonded with him since he has only been with us for 5 months. I think it will be a different story this afternoon when the reality sinks in. DH and I have been in tears this morning.

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LastingLight · 26/08/2014 11:31

I don't know if I should let her see how upset I am or try to play it down. (If I can pull that off.)

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Lilka · 26/08/2014 13:45

I'm so sorry Sad

It's absolutely fine to let your DD know you're upset and I think it can often be a good thing IMHO. I think kids need to understand that this happening IS an upsetting thing, and that showing that you're upset by crying is normal. I find it tempting to downplay sadness around DD2 too, but I find it important to demonstrate to her what this particular emotion looks like (I know her needs are probably very different to your DD's)

Uncontrolled outbursts can be frightening, but just crying is different. Again entirely IMHO.

I was devastated when I had to have my cat pts. It was over 20 years ago now, but I still miss her a bit sometimes. Many to you x

Italiangreyhound · 26/08/2014 14:27

Thinking of you, Lastinglight.

LastingLight · 27/08/2014 12:26

Well DD seems fine, no sign of sadness at losing the cat. I'm not sure if I'm relieved or slightly disturbed by this. I guess I was his favourite human and DH is backup human so maybe she really didn't feel much of a connection.

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Italiangreyhound · 27/08/2014 22:46

So sorry to hear about your cat, they are so special. But children do not always react the way we think they will.

Maryz · 29/08/2014 09:56

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LastingLight · 29/08/2014 11:27

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Maryz · 29/08/2014 13:50

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Maryz · 29/08/2014 13:50

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LastingLight · 29/08/2014 13:53

Will do Maryz. She's on Concerta.

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LastingLight · 29/08/2014 13:56

We just got home from school, she took out her books and started on homework that is due for Tuesday. On a Friday afternoon! Never happened before.

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Maryz · 29/08/2014 14:33

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