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To not know what to do with DD12 please help

131 replies

Cocopogo · 16/05/2021 08:09

DD12 behaviour is getting worse. I’ve tried hard discipline and I’ve tried love bombing type approach but nothing seems to be helping.
Their doesn’t seem to be any sanctions that she cares about much and once it’s gone and she’s had a tantrum about it it seems to be forgotten and the behaviour continues.
The worst behaviour is the taking food. She will eat EVERYTHING in the house (she’s now overweight) I don’t just mean junk food, I don’t buy it because she’ll just eat it. I mean everything. She’ll go in bread bag and take 5 slices of dry bread, she’ll eat a full box of cereal, she’ll eat all the yogurts out the fridge, she’ll open random tins in the cupboard and eat it. She’ll stick frozen fish fingers in the microwave for 5 mins and then eat it. All these behaviours happen when I’m out the house or very early in the morning. I’ve even considered putting a lock on the kitchen door but that isn’t teaching her control is it. Yesterday she ate all her siblings birthday chocolate.
I don’t even know how to put boundaries in as she has no phone now, she no longer goes to dance lessons she used to love, singing lessons she used to love, a youth club, watch tv, most of her toys have gone and none of these sanctions seem to have helped.
Other behaviours are that she doesn’t look after herself. Matted hair, doesn’t wipe after the toilet, needs telling every single day to brush her teeth, her room is very untidy and I end up having to sort is as it becomes a health hazard.
Please help, I don’t know where to start.

OP posts:

modgepodge · 16/05/2021 08:12

I’m no expert but the food behaviour sounds more like a possible eating disorder than being naughty. I think I would take her to the GP about that. X


2anddone · 16/05/2021 08:14

I would take her to the gp it sounds like your daughter may have mental health problems and the start of an eating disorder.


Moondust001 · 16/05/2021 08:15

At 12 years old I would advise your first port of call needs to be the GP. These are not normal behaviours in a child of that age. At least some of this appears to be compulsive behaviour rather than bad behaviour.


TeenMinusTests · 16/05/2021 08:16

The complete lack of self care along with binge eating sounds like a mental health problem.


2anddone · 16/05/2021 08:17

Sorry pressed post too soon! Has she had any problems with the return to school? Could it be that she is depressed or has anxiety issues? My dd is 12 and needs constant reminding to use deodorant/shower as she hasn't realised that she has begun to 'smell' as she gets older. I hope you get the help you and your daughter needs Thanks


MarshmallowAra · 16/05/2021 08:18

She needs help us counselling , not "sanctions".

All your sanctions have done is make her life more boring, blank and with no interests/focus. ... That seems like it would make her worse.


Threeisme · 16/05/2021 08:18

Have you stopped the clubs or did she decide to give them up? How does she contact friends? Is she eating from boredom as there is nothing to distract her? I agree with pp, a trip to the GP and a meeting with the pastoral team at school would be good places to start.


SnarkyBag · 16/05/2021 08:18

I think this goes beyond bad behaviour and you need to see the GP I’m not sure what the options will be but this very much sounds like a mental health issue to me.

I’d reinstate the activities she enjoys


MsTSwift · 16/05/2021 08:19

Definitely gp sorry sounds more serious than normal 12 year old behaviour


Sunnyfreezesushi · 16/05/2021 08:19

Does she have close friends OP? Or is she lonely? At that age, mine really needed companionship and fed off their friends.
We went through most of this on a much smaller scale eg untidy room - I did daily inspections and a point system tied to pocket money. Clean her room and bathroom with her and reward it being done every weekend etc
But the key thing from your post I would be concerned about is dropping activities and you don’t mention any friends. Children that age need to stay somewhat busy to stay happy and motivated (in my opinion). One of my DD’s best friends went through an excessive eating phase and became very big but lots of sport and good friends sorted that in the long run.


DinosaurDiana · 16/05/2021 08:20

You need to see the GP and get a referral to CAMHS.
Then contact the School Nurse for help.
How is she at school ? Have they said anything ?
Is there anyone else in the family with MH problems ?


SpiderinaWingMirror · 16/05/2021 08:23

When did it start?
That sounds serious. Has she been assaulted? It sounds like compulsive behaviour.


MadeForThis · 16/05/2021 08:24

I agree she needs to see a GP and a counsellor. She seems very unhappy and food seems to be compulsion rather than hunger.


Cocopogo · 16/05/2021 08:27

I took the activities away as sanctions I.e you need to stay in your bedroom until I come and get you at 7am and you need to put your dirty laundry in the wash basket or you won’t be going to activity later. This just resulted in her not going and messing the instructors around etc.
I thought taking away all her clothes and toys and putting out a few items for her to wear play with on rotation would help take the pressure off her keeping room/self clean but she still managed to make a mess.
She doesn’t have close friends as she struggles to keep friends, she’s very chatty but there’s constant fall-outs, she’s seems quite immature. She’s in the bottom set which was a surprise and knocked her confidence when starting high school.

OP posts:

FrankButchersDickieBow · 16/05/2021 08:27

Your daughter needs help. This is not 'normal' behaviour.

Get to the GP first port of call. Rig school. See what's going on there.


FrankButchersDickieBow · 16/05/2021 08:27



Santastealer · 16/05/2021 08:27

I work with teenagers and that doesn’t sound like “normal” teen behaviour that could be modified with discipline.

I would get her to the GP. It could be a mental health issue with obsessive eating. Could be something like Autism if she has difficulties with social norms. Lots of options but it needs to be explored.

Why does she say she needs all this food? Is she hungry? Or addicted? Comfort eating?

When you talk about hygiene do you do it as a health important issue? Lots focus on brushing hair so she fits in with social norms etc, but if she has autism so won’t have any interest in social norms. Hair brushing is important so that it doesn’t get tangled and become uncomfortable for her. If she doesn’t want to brush it could cutting it into a shorter style help?


Crispychillibeef · 16/05/2021 08:28

This isn't behaviour, it's a mental health issue. Take her to the GP.


30littletoes · 16/05/2021 08:28

This sounds really hard OP.
From an outside perspective, obviously we don’t know the ins and outs- I agree with PP.
A) It sounds like she needs a GP appointment. Stealing fishfingers isn’t being naughty, it isn’t normal, something could be wrong and this needs to be investigated a bit further.
B) I think possibly she needs to be back to her activities and they shouldn’t necessarily be used as sanctions. Being active and social are key skills at 12 and stopping them could lead to further issues.
C) How much meaningful contact is she having with friends?
Girls go through huge hormone drives which affect appetite, attitude and behaviour and often don’t understand their own thought patterns, let alone how to explain them- it might be helpful to do some research on the teenage brain. Most come out as lovely functional adults, it doesn’t last forever 😄.


Darbs76 · 16/05/2021 08:29

All the sanctions you’ve put in place are making the eating issue worse. She’s got nothing to do now and stuck in the house so is bored and eating more. I’d start with a trip to the GP, and I’d get her doing these activities again, as that will help with the weight.


AfternoonToffee · 16/05/2021 08:29

I'm sorry that you and your daughter are having such a difficult time at present. It sounds very tough and this is way more than normal (pre) teenage behaviour. The behaviours themselves are par of the course, just not on the scale.

Firstly, get her room tidied (preferably both of you) and return everything that was removed. Then get her to the GP, this is much more than needing to teach her control.

Sending strength.


Thebookswereherfriends · 16/05/2021 08:33

Taking away outside interests has probably worsened the problem. It seems like this has developed into an eating disorder and I think you should take her to the gp. Could you find an activity that you both could do together? Even a walk each evening? Give her a chance to connect and talk to you. Give her a checklist of things she needs to do each morning.
All behaviour is communication, you need to work out what she is trying to communicate to you.


Lorw · 16/05/2021 08:34

My autistic brother used to do this when he was young. I remember once he snuck down early one Easter and ate ALL the Easter eggs (there was 6 of us) I would definitely get her to a GP.


andtheweedonkey · 16/05/2021 08:34

You've taken all of her activities and her phone away.
You've taken all of her toys away (except for the ones you choose).
You've taken all of her clothes away (except for the ones you choose).

The only things left in her life that she has control over are her personal hygiene and food intake.

And now you think putting a lock on the kitchen door is a good idea?


AfternoonToffee · 16/05/2021 08:35

In terms of mess you just have to turn a blind eye mainly. Basic ground rules only. Rubbish in bin, dirty washing up brought out (a tray outside her room may be a compromise) and washing in the basket - perhaps even one in her room.

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